When your Shopify store isn't getting many orders from repeat customers, the problem can be difficult to fix.
One suggestion I give to store owners is to reach out to repeat customers and try to start a conversation with them.
By starting a conversation you're able to talk to your customers and can discover why they shop (or don't shop) at your store. With that information, you can better formulate plans to attract and keep more of those customers.
Reaching out to a customer needs to be a process though. You don't want to just do it on a whim or only when trouble starts because you won't have enough time to correct any problems.
There are several times when contacting them makes sense.
The most natural time to contact repeat customers is when they place a new order. They are going to be in a good mood and will have your store's experience right in the forefront of their mind.
Most ecommerce systems already send email confirmations when an order ships. This is an opportune time to add a personal, custom message to your customer. Even something as easy as thanking them for their order and asking a simple questions can be a powerful conversation starter.
Post-purchase follow up
After your customers have received their products and had a chance to use them, you should follow up with them and get some feedback from them. You'll usually hear one of three responses:
- everything is good,
- something is wrong, or
- they haven't had a chance to look at the product yet
Use this as an opportunity to start a conversation with them based on what they said. e.g. What did they do with the product first? How can you correct the problem? Do they have any questions they have?
Early notification about upcoming sales
Everyone gets messages about upcoming sales but how many times have you gotten an early one, before everyone else along with a custom message? Not often I'd bet.
Contacting your better customers this way can work well if you keep a few things in mind.
- Make sure they ordered or use similar products as the ones on sale.
- You genuinely think that the products would be useful to them.
- You keep it light on the sales messages. You're just giving them an early heads-up notification, save the heavier sales for the official sale campaign.
You've created educational material around their product
This won't apply to every store but if your products have an educational component, then contacting customers who purchased the product in the past about a new resource is a great way to spark new conversations. For example, if you sell men's razors then emailing when you post a new shaving video makes a lot of sense.
Remember conversations start from value
The big point to remember with all of this is to make sure that you're reaching out to your repeat customer because you feel like they'll get something of value from you.
The second big point is to make sure that you setup a process around your outreach, otherwise you won't have the consistency to see any real results with it.
Find patterns in customer behavior
You don't have to be in the dark when it comes to your customers. Using their existing behavior, Repeat Customer Insights shows you patterns and optimization potential for Shopify stores, leading to more and better repeat customers.