Time to crack open that recession playbook again

A little over two years back when COVID first appeared, I started giving advice around handling slow periods and recessions.

Part of that advice was to create processes or a playbook for these slow times. In it you would document strategies and tactics that worked with your store. All because slow periods are common and come back again and again.

For some stores, 2020 ended up being a boom year as stay-at-home orders diverted retail sales to ecommerce so slow-times were far out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Other stores struggled to stay afloat.

Now though, with the dual specters of inflation and recession (plus the on-and-off shipping issues) those stores who started on their recession playbacks will be able to adapt to the economic changes faster. There’s a good chance some are already getting their strategies started right now.

What goes into your specific playbook will depend on your store. You might cut ad spending, while another store might increase theirs. You might focus on lower cost email marketing or you might stop it as your staff who writes those emails are needed elsewhere.

The important part is to make sure you have something that can guide you to adapt.

It doesn’t need to be perfect. It doesn’t need to document every step. It just needs to make your adaption easier.

(Having that will also make you more likely to switch over to recession instead of hoping the good-times recover soon)

One thing that’s going to save a lot of stores is the awareness of their repeat customers. As customers become more careful with their income, they’ll start showing signs of loyalty to the companies who have a relationship with them and they trust. That’ll make customer acquisition more difficult and cut into a lot of growth.

Optimizing loyalty behavior and getting more customers to stick with your store should be an ongoing activity that becomes more important during slow periods. Using existing customer behavior, Repeat Customer Insights can show you customer patterns and optimizations to make in your Shopify store with the goal of attracting and keeping more of your best customers.

Eric Davis

Use cohorts to find out who the best customers are in your Shopify store

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Repeat Customer Insights will automatically group your customers into cohorts based on when they first purchased. This will let you see how the date customers bought would impact their behavior.

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