We’ve all been there. You find a product you absolutely love, and before you know it, you’re almost out of it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s shampoo, dog pads, aspirin, or air fresheners; we all find products we’re loyal to. It could be the quality, the price, the message, or the mission that sticks with us; regardless of how, this little thing we never knew about becomes part of our daily routine and, inevitably, we need more.
As businesses, that type of consumer brand loyalty is something we’re all shooting for. But every business owner and executive knows that lurking in the shadows lies the competition, eagerly wriggling into the pool of dedicated consumers with ad buys, deficit-inducing prices, and lowered standards. At Liiingo, we file these under the category friction. You want a smooth and easy rebuying experience for your customers. Your competition wants that to be painful, slow, and confusing.
It’s a free market, with all the advantages and disadvantages inherent therein. If you’re forcing your customers to repurchase through Amazon or another marketplace, or to Google to find your online presence, you’re playing with fire. Any platform you don’t control almost certainly has a vested interest in promoting your competitors, and in you keeping your prices low. Your own SEO and advertising purchases matter tremendously if that’s how you’re expecting customers to discover (or rediscover) you.
That’s what makes the funnel from product need/interest to purchase so critical, particularly for customers who have historically purchased your product. The easier it is to purchase or repurchase your product, the less chance there is of friction getting between you and your customers. That’s pretty high-level information, so here are some concrete steps you can take to make matters easier for your customers.
There’s nothing worse than finding a website on a product that doesn’t take you where you need to go. Consider making purchasing easier with a QR code label that directs customers directly to purchase your product. Liiingo are your experts when it comes to putting the right information at the right time at your customers’ fingertips.
Improve Online Ordering
This is part and parcel of improving your product labeling. Purchasing should be easy, not complex. Examine your online checkout process for extraneous steps that can be discarded. Also consider things like user profiles, so your customers don’t have to go through the process of re-entering contact and billing information with each purchase they make. Features such as saved payment information, one-click reordering, and personalized product recommendations really streamline the re-purchasing process. And, above all else, ensure your website is mobile optimized!
Implement a Subscription Service
You may have some idea of how frequently your product gets used up. If that’s the case, consider a subscription service. Not only do they largely run themselves, but customers appreciate the convenience. Amazon.com has implemented subscriptions for many consumable goods like dog food, groceries, and hair products to great success.
Implement a Loyalty Program
Rewarding loyal customers with exclusive benefits and incentives, when executed correctly, is a proven strategy to encourage repeat purchases. Implement a robust loyalty program that offers points, discounts, or personalized rewards based on each customer's purchase history. By making the re-purchasing process more rewarding, you can foster a sense of appreciation and strengthen customer loyalty.
Use Personalized Communications and Recommendations
The power of the personal is incredible, and consumers are offering up more and more information about themselves, their behavior, and their purchasing habits, if you know where to look. Use customer data and employ personalized marketing techniques to engage with customers effectively. Send timely reminders or notifications about potential re-purchases based on their previous buying patterns. Leverage aggregated buyer histories to deliver product recommendations, offering customers a seamless and relevant re-purchasing experience.
Obviously that’s a lot of monumental projects to take on, and as such, they can’t all be reasonably taken on at the same time. But the great part about improving your repurchasing funnel is that it can easily be accomplished by incremental improvements.
Once you’ve started making headway on some of the changes above, you’ve got the opportunity to flip the script on your competitors. You can be the one standing by, ready to poach your competitors’ customers. Here are some ways you can take advantage of your improved customer experience:
You should be intimately familiar with the key terms that purchasers of you and your competitors’ products are searching for. You can use that to undercut the competition from the jump. Advertise how easy it is to purchase your products and services. Competitive analysis should tell you where you’re stronger than the competition, and you can highlight those differences in every arena where a potential customer might find both of you. As a bonus, ad spending makes your customers less likely to churn out for a competitor if they’re looking for your products online.
Up-Sell and Cross-Sell
When you make it easy to reorder your products, you shift a significant mental burden off of the customer. That means they can invest greater effort in exploring your other offerings. Discover, if you don’t already know, what product your customers tend to purchase in tandem. Every dollar that customer spends with you isn’t just increased revenue for your business- it’s also money they’re not spending on competitors’ products.
Run Contests and Promotions
Another thing you can do to take advantage of all that freed up attention you’ve given back to your customers is to run ads for contests and promotions. You can do things like encourage liking and subscribing to social media feeds, newsletters, and more to help organically grow your reach while incentivizing minimally invasive participation on your customers’ part. Expanding your social reach ensures future promotions and product releases get the attention they deserve without incurring additional costs.Just be careful not to run afoul of local laws!
Provide Valuable Content
You and your employees probably have some creative ideas about how your customers could use your products. They may be looking for ways to stretch their budget, or to discover things they didn’t know they could do, or they just may want to know more. Put that information in their hands during things like loading screens or after checkout completes to enhance the experience and add value. Use media like videos, blogs, articles, and infographics to educate, entertain, and solve problems. The era of the lifehack is far from over, and well-produced hack videos even have the potential to go viral, which can be a dream scenario for a business.
Have you started using any of these powerful strategies? Have some others you think this article is missing? Let us know on Instagram or LinkedIn.