As all retail owners know, repeat customers can be your bread and butter. Not only do they tend to spend more than new customers (67% more according to BIA/Kelsey!) but they’re also more likely to refer your business to other potential customers.
It’s a common misconception that online shoppers have less of an attachment to a store than in-store shoppers and are less profitable to cultivate into repeat customers. In fact, online buyers make decisions based on their relationship with or perception of a brand—same as when they decide which physical stores to visit.
The opportunity for retailers today is learning how to turn those online shoppers into repeat customers and draw them into your store.
Bravo makes managing sales, inventory and customer relationships seamless across your online and physical store because we understand that regardless of how your customers interact with you, their experience is an integral part of ensuring they’ll continue to come back for future purchases.
Here are some important things to consider when nurturing new customers into repeat customers:
1. Always ask to connect
If you want to invite someone back again, you’ll need a way to reach them. Don’t leave it up to the customer to provide you with information—ask them for it! Collect phone numbers, email addresses, and sign them up for MobilePawn or the Buya App so that they can receive important messages about their purchase… and promotional messages from you.
2. Make the journey from “impulse” to “buy” shorter
Instant gratification is the phrase of the century. Being able to find what you want in a matter of clicks is one of the key reasons people shop online. Customers can shop multiple stores, compare availability and prices and have the product shipped straight to their door.
For customers, choosing where to shop is a matter of access: to product information, customer service, promotions, and more. To create a good customer experience online and avoid disappointment, shop owners should ensure that their inventory online matches their physical inventory and that shipping times, policies and prices are easy to find.
To make your customers’ experience smoother, Bravo Point of Sale easily syncs your inventory across all your physical and digital storefronts so customers and floor associates can easily see what’s available. Plus, uploading product descriptions and prices is a breeze since employees only have to enter a product into the system once.
Improve your customer service by enabling two-way chat on MobilePawn or the Buya App, allowing shoppers to speak to an associate in real time to negotiate offers or ask questions.
Having easy access to customer service and product information is more than a general best practice - it’s a critical part of making the customer’s decision-making journey as short as possible. After all, it’s called an “impulse buy” for a reason.
3. Ensure customer service is consistent before, during, and after a transaction
Bravo founder and former CEO Steve Mack advises all retailers to “treat your online customers as if they are standing right in front of you in your store.”
Having access to customer service prior to making a purchase is great - but encouraging customers to come back requires good customer service throughout the entire purchasing process, including after they’ve checked out.
Consistent customer service starts with training employees consistently. Ensure employees understand their role as not being limited to selling but being relationship managers for your store. Even when online, every interaction with a customer should be as though they were in person.
4. Target your marketing to new customers
With the number of options that customers have available, it’s important to keep your business fresh in their memory. Sometimes, offering that extra incentive to remind them to return can help retain their business and encourage increased spending.
UseBravo’s Ad-Hoc list builder to identify new customers and see what they bought, then send them a personalized promotion via Mobile Messenger and the MobilePawn app to invite them back into your store—whether that’s online or in-person.
Here are some promotions you could try:
- Offer a percentage off based on their number of visits/purchases
- Make promotions time-sensitive to encourage a visit sooner
- Send them an advertisement based on an item related to their last purchase
- Slip a coupon into their packing slip
5. Don’t discount the power of social media marketing
87% of people said that they took an action after seeing product information on Instagram, such as following a brand, visiting their website or making a purchase online.
Don’t forget that a customer’s decision-making process often starts long before they’ve visited your website. Build a strong social media presence and post regularly to help people feel like they’re a valued part of your community and to inspire them to engage with your business.
Customers also find chat support incredibly helpful - especially on social platforms and email. Having speedy response times and regular conversations with those who reach out online is an easy way to keep the conversation rolling. This activity creates a trustworthy relationship and makes your business top-of-mind duringthe purchasing decision.
6. It’s as simple as saying “Thank You”
It’s easy to take saying “Thank You” after a visit or purchase for granted. If you do nothing else, following up with a customer just to show appreciation for their time can be more powerful than any other tool.
Use Bravo’s automated mobile messaging services to ensure that every customer gets thanked personally.
Competition for your customers’ time and money is steep (hello, Amazon!). It’s important to foster a good customer experience online as you would in your store.
Bravo's eCommerce integrations (including eBay, Buya and UsedGuns.com) help facilitate real-time communications and transactions between your store and the online customer –giving you the tools to turn new customers into repeat business every time!
About the Author:
Tally Mack is a fifth-generation pawnbroker and eCommerce enthusiast. She loves traveling, being outside, and working out.
Before taking the reins as CEO, Tally served as Bravo's Vice President of BusinessDevelopment, leading the company's sales and marketing organization. She's been instrumental in leading and executing many of the company's strategic shifts, including the acquisition of Compu Pawn and the recent launch of UsedGuns.com.
Tally earned her Doctorate of Law (J.D.) from DePaul University College of Law in 2013 after attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she earned her B.A. in Communication Studies. She also completed the Key Executives Program from Harvard Business School in 2013.
Tally is a pawnshop lover and eCommerce enthusiast—dedicated to the success of both her employees and customers!