Too many B2C marketers will nurture shoppers up to the point they make their first purchase, then pat themselves on the back and stop engaging with them.
But your job is by no means done just because a customer bought once. If anything, marketers need to double down and get one-time buyers to a repeat purchase while their interest is still at a peak. Research from Adobe has shown that a customer who purchases from a brand even one additional time can spend up to 3 times as much money on their second order as they did on their first.
But more importantly, you need to recognize that the second purchase – not the first – is critical to driving future customer engagement and fostering loyalty. Getting your customer from first purchase to second purchase makes it that much easier to take them from second to third, from third to fourth, and so on. The key is to get your customer from one purchase to two as soon as you can, then start delivering loyalty campaigns that build on that momentum.
With the right marketing campaigns, you can actually drive up customer lifetime value. But how should B2C marketers go about this?
1. Thank shoppers for each purchase
Especially after the first and second purchases, it’s critical to let shoppers know that they mean more to you than the money they spend with your brand. Delivering a post-purchase thank you is one of the best ways to not only show your appreciation, but it’s a great opportunity to solicit feedback on the customer’s shopping experience and discover opportunities for improvements in your customer service.
2. Use a step-driven incentive plan
Post-second purchase is one of the biggest opportunities marketers have to drive loyalty and encourage additional purchases. RJ Metrics reported that 53% of shoppers who make a second purchase with a brand come back to make a third, and 64% of shoppers who make a third purchase return to make a fourth. You can actually nurture high-value customers through your marketing. Depending on how much your shopper has spent with you by the time of their second purchase, marketers can offer specific rewards as incentive for purchase behavior like hitting specific spending benchmarks, as shown in the chart below (for example, if a shopper has spent $80 so far, you can consider offering a reward if they hit $100).
3. Extend your campaigns beyond email
It’s no secret that any email campaign is infinitely more effective when it’s coordinated across channels and devices – and marketers who use omnichannel engagement strategies to speak to their loyal customers retain roughly 89% of those shoppers long-term. Marketers should make sure that their customer loyalty campaigns are synchronized with actions that shoppers take on other channels (such as mobile), and are extended beyond email to include more real-time channels like mobile push and web push. Your customers are rarely exclusive to one device, so it makes sense to make sure you’re reaching them on every channel that they’re on.
4. Segment your shoppers so you can deliver more targeted campaigns
It doesn’t make sense to treat a first- or second-time shopper the way you’d treat someone who’s made 4 or more purchases – but the good thing is that marketers learn a little bit more about their shoppers with each new purchase they make. A post-second purchase campaign provides even bigger opportunities for engagement because by now you know what each unique customer is looking for from a relationship with your brand, and can segment your shoppers based on those unique needs. And segmentation makes it possible to deliver the kinds of personalized campaigns that resonate with your shoppers on an individual level.
5. Experiment with delivery timing based on each customer
The most effective loyalty campaigns are aligned with a customer’s peak moments of engagement and interest in your brand – ideally, marketers want to make sure that customers aren’t just excited about a purchase they’ve just made, but are eagerly thinking about what they might want to buy next from your brand. Consider experimenting with the delivery timing of your post-second purchase loyalty campaigns, based on what you know about your customer and where they are in their unique shopping journey.
The second purchase is the key to putting your customer on the path to true customer loyalty. It’s critical to make sure you’re not mistaking the first purchase as the finish line – instead, consider the second purchase the starting line to driving long-term engagement and encouraging even more purchases. Once your shopper has made the decision to shop even one additional time with your brand, it becomes easier and easier to meet their needs and develop a strong customer relationship.