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5 Ways to Incentivize The Second Purchase

Good news! A customer just made their first purchase with your brand, and it’s certainly a moment to celebrate.

But as a B2C marketer, your journey isn’t over quite yet. Without further nurturing from your brand, the vast majority of your customers will make a one-time purchase, then disappear forever.

It’s a fact of ecommerce business that 80 percent of a brand’s revenue comes from 20 percent of its customers. Unfortunately, many marketers are so focused on acquiring new revenue that they forget how vital repeat customers are for shaping the future of their ecommerce store.

In order to build and cultivate loyalty within your existing customer base, it makes sense to focus on the first logical step—incentivizing a second purchase. Why? Because after your new customers are wowed by your marketing, and then your product, it gets easier to encourage them to buy a second time from you, and then a third time, and so on.

In fact, 53 percent of customers who make a second purchase with a brand come back to make a third. And of those who make a third purchase, 64 percent return to make a fourth.

What does this potential for exponential growth mean for ecommerce marketers? Simply put, if you can convince a new customer to make a second purchase, you’ll be on your way to moving them down the path of multiple repeat purchases. With that kind of customer loyalty, it won’t take much to turn them into brand advocates for life. Not to mention a loyalty-focused strategy will ease up your marketing budget since retention costs less than acquisition.

Learn more about Repeat Purchase Rate

Here, we’ll look at marketing campaigns from top brands to see how the best marketers are actively incentivizing the second purchase. With these examples in mind, we hope you feel inspired to change up your next marketing campaign!

1. Offer a discount on the next purchase

We’ve already shared our thoughts on why offering discounts on a customer’s first purchase isn’t always a good idea. But second purchases? Those are an entirely different matter.

Once a customer has made their initial purchase, it’s now your chance to show them just how much you appreciate them. From there, you can prompt them to consider making a repeat purchase with the help of a discount, as True Citrus does in this post-purchase thank you email.

post-purchase thank y

The discount doesn’t need to be anything elaborate and you certainly don’t want to come across desperate in your attempts to get them to return to buy (this isn’t a winback campaign!). A simple discount code, along with some suggestions for what they might want to use it on, is more than sufficient to show them they’re on your mind.

2. Reward customers for each purchase they make

Offering loyalty or rewards points for each purchase is another way to encourage customers to make a second purchase. But perhaps more than that, it gamifies the act of shopping in customers’ minds by creating a goal for them to achieve. This goal-oriented shopping strategy also happens to be the top reason customers show their brand loyalty.

In this example, Spikeball gives new customers loyalty points as soon as they create an account, then rewards them even more after placing their first order. Spikeball has even set up an entire email nurturing flow that teaches customers how they can earn even more SpikePoints toward their next orders.

loyalty rewards

3. Incentivize customer feedback

Customer feedback emails are something of a two-for-one. First, your ecommerce store gathers feedback, creating an opportunity to learn more about customers’ needs in order to improve future interactions with them. Then, as thanks for the information, you can give an incentive like a discount that directly encourages the second purchase.

Even brands as high-end as Kate Spade are fans of this process of soliciting customer feedback. Sure, it’s a savvy way for their customer service team to get a better idea of how satisfied buyers are with their products. But as marketers, we love this approach even more for the potential it has to encourage repeat purchases.

customer feedback

4. Recommend other products directly at checkout

Some retailers use the checkout to its fullest potential by recommending a series of additional products that coincide with the item(s) a customer is about to purchase.

For example, CB2 employs two different tactics to cover their bases. First, they recommend similar products literally right within customers’ shopping carts during the checkout process. This encourages upselling, and when done in a non-intrusive way, it can lead to an increase in the overall value of your customers’ orders.

checkout discount

Notice how their suggestions were contextually-relevant in terms of what we were about to buy? That’s how to recommend the right way.

In addition, once customers finally check out and complete their purchases, CB2 highlights related products within their confirmation email. It’s a seamless way to recommend a next step based on where the customer is in their shopping journey. And although it may seem like a minor addition, it’s a smart tactic that can easily be implemented with the help of your B2C CRM.

5. Give perks in exchange for referrals

In the age of texting and social media, word-of-mouth buzz is hard to ignore. That might explain why 84 percent of people trust the recommendations of friends and family above anything else.

The smartest brands, including Stitch Fix, have taken advantage of this data by offering discounts, customer loyalty points, and other special perks (like free gifts or free shipping) for spreading the word about their products.

second purchase email

Incentivizing second purchases while also driving traffic from each customer’s existing networks? Referral programs really are a win-win.

Here’s one final stat for you: 48 percent of shoppers say the most critical time for a company to gain their loyalty is after they make their initial purchase. Without coming up with incentives and marketing campaigns to incentivize the second purchase, there’s no guarantee your customers will ever be more than first-time buyers. But once they’ve made the decision to visit your ecommerce site even one extra time, the path is paved for you to continually learn about their needs and deliver a superior shopping experience that stands out from the rest.

To learn more, check out our whitepaper on converting one-time shoppers into loyal customers.

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