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    eCommerce sales automation

July 30, 2019

How To Turn One Time Shoppers Into Lifelong Customers

 

If you increase repeat purchase rate by 5%, you can increase profits by up to 95%!

Most eCommerce stores spend the majority of their marketing dollars on driving cold traffic and converting new customers.

But did you know that 40% of the average online store’s revenue is generated by only 8% of its customers?

When you launch, and as you grow, of course you need to attract new customers. But many ecommerce businesses would grow faster and more profitably by focusing more effort on customer retention.

(A.K.A you should try to increase your repeat purchase rate!)]

Here’s my top 3 tips to increase your repeat purchase rate

 

What’s the average repeat purchase rate?

According to Shopify, the average repeat purchase rate for ecommerce is about 27% for first time customers.

However, once a customer returns to make a second purchase, they are 45% more likely to return again for a 3rd purchase. The fourth time a customer returns, the odds of them buying again jump to 56%!

So how do you get there? How do you give yourself the best chance of increasing your repeat purchase rate?

Step 1: Customer Onboarding

What the heck is ‘customer onboarding’ you might ask. Yeah, I hate jargon too. I promise I won’t do that to you too often!

Customer onboarding means – welcoming your brand new customers and sharing some content with them that is designed to help them have the best, most successful experience using or consuming your product possible.

Making sure your new customers are really happy and satisfied MUST BE the first step to increasing your repeat purchases.

In fact – providing a great first experience is absolutely critical to your bottom line!

Because 84% of customers now say that their experience is EQUALLY important as the product!

And further to that – companies that focus on providing a great experience actually grow 4-8% faster than those who don’t.

This customer onboarding thing can be done using your email marketing program.

My favourite platform to use for this is Klaviyo.

You want to include at least 3-4 emails in this campaign (don’t worry, you’re not sending them all at once!).

Within these emails, you’d welcome them to your brand family and thank them for their order.

You could include some kind of customer case story or cool video that helps to reinforce the new customer’s purchase decision, or that inspires them and keeps them anticipating the arrival of their new purchase.

I recently purchased some supplements online and the first email I received included links to two informative articles that were really relevant to my situation.

You want to anticipate any customer service moments.

For example, an email that’s scheduled to go out after the order should have arrived, asking ‘Is everything OK?’

The main goal with these emails is to roll out the red carpet to your new customers and make them feel really special. Hopefully ensuring they absolutely LOVE your stuff (ie priming the pump ready to ask them to purchase again!)

Step 2: Ask for a review

Once you’ve taken a brand new customer through the above post purchase sequence and you’ve made them feel really special and appreciated, then what?

You probably want to ask them to buy something else right about now. BUT hold your horses, you’re not ready for that just yet!

The next thing you want to do to increase repeat purchases, is to ask for a review.

We all know how influential social proof can be when it comes to growing sales. So it’s important that you ask your new customer, who is hopefully really happy with your product AND your awesome customer service, to give you a review!

The best way to do this is to automate it using a fabulous review-request app called Stamped.io

I love this app so much because customers don’t have to click back to your website or log in to leave a review. They simply need to reply to the email and Stamped will post it to your website for you. It even knows precisely where to put the reviews on your website!

The other cool things Stamped can do is to add a dynamic feed of product reviews on your website home page, along with star reviews. This kind of social proof has been proven to increase your website’s conversion rates, so you definitely want to employ this strategy!

One of our clients, Tiptoe & Co, demonstrates this really well. On her website home page, the ‘Best Sellers’ section shows you the dynamically-updated customer reviews that Stamped posts to her website. Nifty right?

Step 3: Time to sell!

OK your leash is off now – NOW you can go and offer these new customers something else to buy!

WARNING: Do NOT simply add these customers onto your email newsletter list! This strategy will fall flat if you are simply relying on your email newsletter to entice your new first-time customers back for a repeat purchase.

To entice your new customers back to buy again, you want to sell to them AFTER you’ve completed steps 1 and 2!

You want to automate this process of securing a repeat purchase from your first-time customers.

Why is this important? Because, if you can increase loyalty (ie repeat buyers), you immediately become a much MUCH more profitable business.

It costs much less to get an existing customer to buy from you again, than it does to convert that customer in the first place!

TOP TIP: Add an additional three sales emails to the above Post Purchase campaign.

Just make sure you remember to leave enough of a time-lag between the last customer onboarding email and this first sales email, to allow for your Review Request email to be sent from Stamped.

The three sales emails you include here should all make the exact same offer. That is, you introduce an offer in the first of the sales emails, and then reiterate it in the subsequent two emails. (Follow-up works guys – you’ll always sell more if you follow-up!)

One of our past clients, Kapow Kids, is a brilliant example of just how powerful this strategy can be in growing your eCommerce sales. Check out their story here.

Looking for help to increase and automate repeat purchases in your own business?

Implementing these strategies can be the quickest way to fire up your eCommerce store and start making some serious dough.

The first step is to book a no-obligation strategy call with us, where we’ll discuss your current business situation and your goals, and work out if we’re a good fit to work together.

 

July 28, 2019

How To Automate Your New And Repeat Sales In 3 Easy Steps

 

& Generate Over 1300% More Revenue Per Email Subscriber

On average, as an eCommerce store, around 20% of your total revenue is generated by email marketing.

Does that sound high to you? Or are you doing even better than that?

Where does email automation fit into this?

For most online stores, only about 2-8% is coming from automated triggered emails, such as an abandoned cart email.

Not so great huh.

You may be wondering why on earth I get so excited about this sales automation stuff then….

That low percentage makes absolutely no sense at all when you consider that automated emails out-perform broadcast or newsletter-style emails by pretty much every metric that matters.

  • Open rates are 165% higher.
  • Conversion rates are over 1500% higher.
  • And revenue per recipient is over 1300% higher!

Automated emails are true revenue-generating power houses when you put them to work.

Here’s how to leverage email automation to build stronger customer relationships and make more money.

Here’s My 3 Easy Steps To eCommerce Sales Automation

I remember about six years ago, so back in 2010, I was expecting my third child. Even though I didn’t plan on taking much maternity leave, I knew I’d need to have the flexibility to “take my eye off the ball”, so to speak, for a few months.

And that meant that, whilst I wasn’t there to run the ship, I somehow had to make sure that sales continued to grow!

I needed to get more eyeballs on website AND capture those leads and turn them into sales.

The solution for me was sales automation

It’s possible to automate the process of generating traffic, converting the first sale (at a really good average order value), AND motivating those customers to come back and buy more than once.

How much would YOU love to automate the process of building a crowd of obsessed brand fans who’ll salivate over your every single offering, and who’ll buy from you repeatedly? This is what “sales automation” is and I reckon it’s the holy grail of eCommerce marketing!

Here’s exactly how I did that:

1. Attract & Convert Customers

In the early days of eCommerce, there wasn’t nearly so much competition out there. It was possible to have success by being very generic in your positioning and to target a very broad audience.

Those big players are well established now, though. So for new players to gain traction, we need to niche down. We need to serve a very specific audience, and we need to be clear on who they are and how they buy.

Let me give you an example:

Are you selling kids clothing?

Or are you selling funky, hard-wearing threads for the outdoor adventure-loving little superhero?

What kind of marketing messaging will appeal to your exact customer?

And what is the ultimate benefit they are buying in your product?

Bottom line is…

Not everyone will be obsessed with you, but some will – your job is to work out who those people are.

Clarifying the kind of customers you want to serve gives you the power to absolutely knock their socks off with your perfectly-matched products, your mouth-watering content, and your promotions will start generating a shoe-sale-frenzy level of excitement amongst your tribe!

Once you’ve attracted the right audience to your website, you want to convert as many of them from browsers into buyers.

So let me ask you:

Do you believe you’ll make more sales if only you could get more people to visit your website?

I’m sorry to say, that’s not the total solution. People rarely buy from you the first time they’re on your site.

But if they’re on your site, they’re likely to fit your ideal customer profile. So you don’t want to lose them, do you?

The solution – collect their emails

So that you don’t miss out on any potential sales from these first-time non-buying visitors to your website, you want to collect their name and email address.

We call these email subscribers “leads” – they’re your potential customers.

You want to entice as many potential customers to subscribe to your email list as possible. You do this by offering them an incentive, such as a discount or coupon or a free downloadable gift of some kind (called a ‘lead magnet’).

But, what are you gonna do with those email addresses next?

Hint: you do NOT simply add them to your email newsletter list!

Our goal is to move your customers from just-found-out-about-you to ‘YES-I’m-buying-this-product-now!’

And you’ll never achieve that by sending out ad-hoc newsletter blasts to your entire email list.

The key to increasing the number of customers who buy from you is…

Follow up with your new subscribers and make them an offer they can’t refuse!

Direct selling experts will always say you need to follow-up multiple times in order to get a sale. The money is in the follow-up.

You should be following up a minimum of three times, which means having a minimum of three emails in the automated email sequence you send to new subscribers.

Here’s what goes in those emails:

You want to introduce brand and present the benefits of buying your stuff, plus present an irresistible offer.

You want to show some social proof, like customer testimonials, and remind the reader of your irresistible offer.

And the last email is a ‘don’t miss out – this is your last chance to grab this incredible introductory offer’ kind of email. Fear of missing out is an incredibly effective motivator after all!

There are only 3 ways to increase your sales and profits online:
  1. Increase the number of customers who buy from you,
  2. Increase your average order value, or
  3. Increase the frequency your customers buy from you.

By attracting the right people to your website, growing your email list and presenting the right offer or incentive in your follow-up email campaign, you can increase the number of customers buy from you AND potentially increase your average order value.

That’s sales automation in action right there!

There’s one more way to increase the number of customers who buy from you, and it’s a super powerful one…

2. Reclaim abandoned carts

Lots of people abandon their shopping cart. It’s kinda like window shopping, right?

You go online, browse around for a bit, add some stuff you like to your cart.

And then, up to 70% of these punters leave your website without completing their purchase!

Why do people abandon their cart? Do they not love my stuff?

Well there’s lots of reasons. Most often it’s because they were presented with unexpected costs (like when shipping is only calculated at the checkout).

People also abandon their carts because they were interrupted or because it was too hard to complete on their mobile, and loads of other reasons.

Why should you chase someone who didn’t love your stuff enough to buy?

People who add a product to their shopping cart (but don’t check out) are actually your warmest leads!

These people are what we call your ‘low hanging fruit’. They’re the easiest ones to convert because they’ve already demonstrated that they really like your stuff!

Reclaim your abandoned carts – on autopilot!

By using an automated email sequence to follow up with these punters, you’ll reclaim these lost sales 10-15% of the time.

Given most people abandon their carts due to the shipping fees, I usually like to offer a free shipping coupon to incentivize people to complete their purchase.

A sales increase of 10-15% that you can AUTOMATE is nothing to sneeze at!

3. The secret sauce to turbocharge your eCommerce sales.

“Retention is the single most important thing for growth” (Alex Shultz, VP Growth, Facebook).

The first sale from a new customer is rarely all that profitable. When you take into account discounts or incentives, or the cost of advertising, your profit margin will be eroded.

The solution? Sell more to existing customers.

And you can automate this process by sending a post-purchase email sequence to all first-time customers.

This sequence includes a Welcome message and a series of Getting Started emails, followed by a cross-sell or up-sell offer.

Part 1 of your post-purchase automation

Take your welcome emails seriously. Sure, it’s an opportunity to say “hi” and “thank you” and give them an idea of what to expect.

Your goal initially is make absolutely certain their first experience with your product a positive one!

(Because happy customers buy again. Unhappy customers tell 10 friends, so you lose x 10!)

Then, you want to ask for a review! Do this BEFORE you ask them to buy from you again.

We all know how influential social proof can be at getting new customers to buy. So make sure this review-request is an automated part of your post-purchase process.

Part 2 of your post-purchase automation

This is where the rubber hits the road.

Where you get to convert your one-time buyer into a repeat buyer.

It’s time to make your customer a really great offer that entices them to place a second order with you.

Offer them a product (or product category) that makes sense as a next purchase on from their first order.

Or, offer them an incentive to buy more of the same.

And, like in the very first automation, you want to include a couple of follow-up emails to remind them about this offer!

Tips for successful post-purchase sales automation

When automating these messages, make sure you schedule them to be sent during business hours. (An automated message sent 30 seconds after someone purchases at 3am doesn’t exactly look personal!)

With Get Started emails, the idea is to encourage customers to take action quickly. The sooner they can get value from your product, the more likely they’re going to have a positive experience.

Don’t overwhelm people with a long email – just include one step at a time to make it do-able.

Regardless of how user friendly your product is, every new customer feels like “the new guy” when they start using your product. Some of your customers may not understand the best ways to the get the most value from your product.

Additionally, if you can pre-empt any customer service moments, you have a really good chance of turning an upset customer into a raving fan! (Believe me – I’ve done this many times!)

And lastly, when considering the timing between each email, you want to think about how quickly your orders are delivered AND how frequently customers generally buy from you.

That way, you can time each email and your cross-sell or up-sell offer emails to suit your customer perfectly.

Looking for help to achieve results like this in your own business?

Implementing these strategies can be the quickest way to fire up your eCommerce store and start making some serious dough.

The first step is to book a no-obligation strategy call with us, where we’ll discuss your current business situation and your goals, and work out if we’re a good fit to work together.