Why Repeat Business is the Best Kind of Business
Nowadays, the average person living in the western world has a lot of options, for almost anything. Take buying basic groceries for an example. Even in a smaller city, you’ll have at least a few big supermarket chains at your disposal, including smaller corner shops, and local markets, etc.
But that’s just counting physical locations. In reality, you also have grocery stores that offer delivery or companies that deliver ingredients for whole meals with cooking instructions. For me, as a shopper, all of these options are more or less equally convenient. This means that all the businesses are fighting to have me as a customer.
With that in mind, there’s one that’s a big challenge for both an offline and online business: getting a new customer to buy something. You need to gain their trust by offering them products and services that they’ll gladly exchange for their hard earned cash. Moreso, you need to provide them with exactly what you advertise, which is no easy feat.
However, once you break the ice, and have your first order, getting each subsequent one is easier. Repeat customers or repeat business should be your bread and butter because it doesn’t require additional effort. Converting your customer for the first time is much harder in comparison.
iWant It All, iWant It Now
Even though Apple might sometimes have a hard of a job converting new customers, people tend to get hooked over time. What starts out as just an iPhone, for example, turns into a first Apple laptop. And once a person has multiple devices, they get pulled into the whole ecosystem, so Apple TV, Airpods, and even Apple HomeKit follow, not to mention various subscriptions. On top of that, people who love Apple usually tell everyone they know about it. Imagine having that kind of word of power behind your brand.
Shop Smart, Shop S Mart
An even better example than Apple is that of Costco. We’re sure it’s not easy getting someone to become a Costco member. After all, why shell out money to shop as a member when you can get practically everything they offer in other stores without paying for the privilege? That initial step a customer has to take can be a huge hurdle for Costco, but once someone’s converted, they tend to buy all they can from there. The reasons are numerous and include good return policy, exclusive bundles or products, the food court, free samples, and so on. In the end, there’s no shortage of people who now swear by Costco that purchased a membership way back.
As the owner of an online business, you should realize that converting your first customer is always going to be difficult. But once you make it past that initial step, don’t stop! Try to make it more than just one transaction, reel them in. Employ mailing lists, social media, subscriptions, or any other approach you can think of to capture your customer’s attention. As you can see from the examples above, once a customer starts using your ecosystem, it’s much easier to secure additional sales without much persuasion.