Women In Business

Strategies that work for repeat business

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In the pursuit to grow your business, you will no doubt face the question on who to target.

There are two fundamental approaches:

  1. Via new consumers (penetration growth)
  2. Through existing buyers repeating purchase (loyalty growth)

Accordingly, there are different schools of thought on which is more effective.  Professor Andrew Ehrenberg posits that behavioral brand loyalty within a category does not vary much from brand to brand and consumers buy across a portfolio of brands to fulfill their category needs. The exception being brand leaders who, due to their size, can expect higher repeat business.

Ehrenberg’s work suggests that recruiting new users to a brand is much more fruitful than trying to increase frequency of purchase. This theory is well documented in How Brands Grow: What Marketers Don’t Know by Byron Sharp.

However, you may not have the budget or the desire to grow your business via new consumers and want some successful strategies in place to inspire repeat purchase. Having a more loyal consumer base certainly works for a number of brands and offers several advantages. It may allow you to increase prices and margins and help protect against the onslaught of private label.

In this article, we look at 5-core strategies that work for encouraging repeat business.

  1. Fill a consumer need with a product that doesn’t exist

Developing a new product innovation can be a hugely rewarding venture.

If you can identify needs not yet met, you have the opportunity to deliver a true innovation and be first to market.   Start by exploring the unmet need in depth and undertake any necessary research essential to fully understanding the consumer problem.

An example of a recent such innovation is active skincare for even the most sensitive skin, which fills the consumer demand for non-prescription natural products that help with a range of skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis. If you crack the answer to the problem and are first to market, there will certainly be high demand and repeat for your products.

  1. Excel in customer service

Providing your customers with a positive experience should not be underrated. In today’s competitive market, a dissatisfied customer will quickly turn to one of your competitors.

Here are 6 ways to improve your service and keep customers coming back:

  1. Design the user experience (UX) based on consumer behaviour
  2. Personalise your contact with customers
  3. Ensure you respond promptly to questions & complaints
  4. Utilize time saving technology such as automation software (think Mailchimp)
  5. Don’t be afraid to have a contact number! Not everything has to be over email or social
  6. Follow up with customers after a purchase has been made
  1. Market the consumer benefits (and don’t overpromise)

Make sure your product or service delivers on the promises you make.

If you are marketing a product and want to claim (or even suggest) it has certain benefits, then you need to have proof it will deliver.

The advantage is that when a customer is impressed with a product they will often use word of mouth, reviews or social posts to recommend the products to others. In addition, if the product works the customer is more likely to come back and buy it again.

  1. Be a thought leader

Be more than just a product or service, be a body of knowledge that customers turn to.

By being the knowledge expert, you can gain trust and get the edge over your competitors.

For a business to succeed in this area it is advantageous to provide education on the industry or field your product or service sits in.

You can do this by:

  • Gathering relevant local and global insights
  • Undertaking important research and publishing the results
  • Providing a point of view on the category
  • Guest speaking at industry events
  • Developing informative articles and blogs
  1. Offer a personalised product

Tailoring a product or service to individuals can help to drive repeat business.

The Coca-Cola Company had great success with their ‘share a Coke campaign’, where consumers could purchase a drink with their name on it. Many companies are now offering personalised products, ranging from bags with your initials, your very own breakfast cereal recipes to merchandise and shoes that you can co-create with the designer.

How can you bring an element of personalisation into your product or service?

About Kiri Yanchenko

kiriy@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Kiri Yanchenko is founder of the AMPERNA® skincare brand committed to creating active products specifically formulated for even the most sensitive skin, is experiencing strong repeat business. Part of this success is due to providing skin care for individual requirements. Kiri works with people with skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis and rosacea to understand their needs and concerns, then works with them to tailor the product solution. This approach has resulted in her customers getting great results and has led to repeat purchase.

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