October 21, 2016

What Are You Doing To Retain Online Customers?

customer retentionIf you’re not already celebrating every time someone makes a purchase through your website (or though your Etsy/other store), you should be.  It takes a tremendous amount of work to get a customer to purchase a food item from a small brand they may either not know or just be passingly familiar with.  So congratulations!  The next question though is, what are you doing to keep them coming back?

The hardest part of a sale is getting the customer to make that purchase for the first time.  But once that work is done – and assuming you’ve delivered a product and customer experience that is up to their expectations – you now have a customer who has a positive view of you and your business and should, for all intents and purposes, be willing to purchase from you again.

Too many food entrepreneurs though don’t do anything to get customers coming back time and time again.  We assume that the customer, if they like what we offered, will come back when they’re ready to make their next purchase.  But too often even the most well-intentioned customers will forget and it will slip from their to-do lists to place another order.  That’s why mega-brands spend so much on advertising – so that their brands are front and center in customers’ minds when customers are making purchases.  Without that, it’s easy for customers in their incredibly busy day-to-day lives to simply forget about us.

This is especially true for specialty food products where what we’re offering may fall into more of the category of ‘want’ versus ‘need.’  There is also the added complication of waiting for something to be shipping versus going out to the store to purchase it now.  And lastly, let’s not forget that specialty food is typically more expensive than the mass-made competitors.  That’s a lot of strikes against us so we need to thinking about how we keep ourselves front and center for the customer (without crossing that line into being annoying!) so that when the time comes for them to re-up their stash of (insert your product type here), they think about you before anyone else.

I’d be curious to hear what you’ve done or seen done by brands that’s worked well versus what you’ve done or seen done that you think has fallen flat or crossed over into the ‘annoying’ line.

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2 comments on “What Are You Doing To Retain Online Customers?

  • CeAnne on said:

    This is a hard one! #1 Get thier email so there is a direct way to communicate #2 Offer a blog full of valuable content #3 Daily Instagram posts about tea related things #4 Weekly YouTube video about our family, farm and our teas

    • Jennifer on said:

      I love the idea of weekly YouTube videos that help to show the ‘real people’ side of your business – that’s a great way to build connections. That being said, I’m sure those videos take you a lot of time to produce so kudos to you for following through on them every week!