Ecommerce pros want repeat customers. The value of gaining repeat business versus needing to chase new customers has been discussed in many quarters.
Sixteen years ago, a study by Bain & Company and Mainspring told a painful truth:
“in almost no instance can an online retailer break even on a one-time shopper.”
The drumbeat of retention trumping acquisition continued ever since.
Marketing analytics firm SumAll found in their network 25 to 40 percent of total revenues for the most stable businesses derived from repeat customers. Similar findings have been expressed elsewhere.
So how to make an acquisition a retained, valued customer?
Richard Lazezzera at Shopify suggests the key is inside the packages sent to customers.
Packaging inserts have existed since before the ecommerce era. One opens a package and finds an extra flysheet or two, some with a discount offer on the next order, others suggesting other top items the customer might like.
Shopify touted several features of utilizing packaging inserts to encourage repeat business:
- low cost,
- a way to deliver a highly targeted message,
- their ability to cross-sell related items,
- or even promote slow-moving inventory.
Online sellers have many options besides the time-tested flysheet.
Shopify suggested premium printing options to convey discount opportunities like a percent off the next order, or free shipping.
Likewise, an insert could be more personal than professional, like a thank you note or other personal message from the company.
Some creative sellers have even taken the concept of the end-of-dinner candy delivered with a check to new heights.
Shopify noted the inclusion of candies and other promotional giveaway items as something to make customers happy, without causing them to feel they’re being pressured to buy again.
Shopify’s last point, a call to action for product reviews or otherwise sharing one’s product experience by word of mouth on social media, really feeds into the idea of building one’s future business.
Customers want this review content; a packaging insert gives a seller one more way to try and elicit this valuable review.
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