What is the best way to create returning customers?
I have a quality product that customers enjoy, but I have no idea what I should be doing to prompt them to purchase more of my bags after the initial contact.
Right now I give out business cards to anyone who purchases a bag from me in person so that they can go to my website for e-commerce purchases, but aside from that, I have not done anything else. Please help!
Collection of email info from clients who buy is a great way to keep your business in front of these "warm prospects" There are several automatic email programs that can reach former customers with new products and ideas to keep them coming back
Hi Carrie, you've already got plenty of advise and it seems that most of them are spot on and definitely relevant to your business.
I didn't read all the comments you received so if I missed one that also made the suggestion that I'm about to make, apologies for that.
I think it is crucial to find out who your "real" target audience is. You promote 2 ways of selling:
1. Direct to end-consumers
2. Indirect to retailers and distributors
My suggestion is a bit different. I would get rid of one of them or at least concentrate only on one for the time being. My personal preference (and it might not be yours) is to target retailers and distributors.
The reason being is that they usually will take care of advertisement, marketing and selling your products to end-consumers. This also means that you can sell in bulk (if that's a possibility for you) and get your name out there much quicker than through the direct end-consumer route.
In this case you open up completely new markets and could even ship worldwide. Especially in countries where fashion items are a big seller such as France, Italy, Germany and UK. Retail buyers and distributors are always looking for new and exciting products that they can re-sell and within a few months you could cover entire new markets.
By doing it this way, your work would become much more focused. Your reward schemes would be different on repeat orders and you could even help them create a marketing plan. Selling to retailers and distributors is not selling a product but an investment. Depending on how fast they can re-sell your products is key and especially in your business you might find it much easier to sell to those retail buyers than finding one consumer at a time.
You already have an extensive list of retailers that stock your products on your website (at least that's the impression I got) so it is important to keep in touch with them regularly and see how they are doing, how the sales is going, if there is anything you can do to help and finally how much more stock do they need...
Your work should bring you to international trade shows to showcase your products and get sign ups right there and then. I remember from the home textile fair in Frankfurt a few years back that people signed up with manufacturers and distributors to buy stock. This is liquid gold so I would definitely go to one of those as an exhibitor. The home textile fair (Heimtextil Messe) in Frankfurt is the biggest in the world and buyers from all over the world are traveling there every year in the thousands to find new and exciting products. Might be the right fair for you as well.
To summarize: I would go after the retailers and distributors in the world and make a value proposition. I would completely drop the end-consumer route or at least put your focus more on the retailers and distributors of this world.
Just my 5 cents. I hope this is helpful.
You can drive your customers by offering discounts on your products and run some contest like lucky draw, etc... Also you can run ads online to make your website presence more visible to others. Target searchable keywords and try to get those keyword position on top in SERP. You can also send newsletter and press release every week or month so that your customers come to know about your offers and availability of your new products. Use social media to make most of it. Hope my advice will be helpful to you. All the best :)
you can take their contact details and do a follow-up thru sms, email, phone-calls and a direct mail reminding them to be your prestigious client and just to update them with the new arrivals.
Create a loyalty program for your customers.
Ask them to fill paper ith their data and phone number, ask them to occasionaly send them mail or sms.
Give them card with number or some other way you can track their shopping.
Offer discounts to them when returning, when buying more than one or two bags.
Also give permanent discount if they bring another loyal customer or more.
This is a fantastic question. You are smart in realizing that existing customers are the best source of additional purchases and referrals. Here are a few ideas:
1. Incentive additional purchases with coupons.
2. Consider establishing a frequent buyer program. Buy so many and get a percentage off the next purchase (or receive one for free)
3. Give existing customers a credit toward next purchase when they refer a new client.
4. Engage customers on social media (e.g., Facebook) by offering fashion tips or similar advice. Make sure you have lots of photos and videos.
5. Have an e-publication that goes to customers on a regular basis with coupons or other incentives.
6. Donate a percentage of your profits to charity or have a special bag, where a high percentage goes to charity. You can promote this separately or in conjunction with social media.
7. Sell for other parts of their life. If someone is going to an event an purchased an evening purse, show them options for an everyday bag, a business option and a beach option.
8. Make it easy for people to purchase at the point of sale.
9. Have a party, where clients can bring friends and receive a hostess gift
10. Most importantly, make sure you are offering a high quality product and great service.
Hope this helps!
If you want the clients come back,
1) Stay in touch with them by sending newsletter, ....
2) After some time, contact them (by email, directly, whatever) ask their opinion and ask if they need any help.
3) Consider after sale service and good support because they are very important.
Pretty simple ... be memorable, remarkable, indispensable, and consistently exceed their expectations. Do these four things and you are no longer a vendor but, a trusted member of their team :)
It looks like you have a good assortment of fashion handbags as well as professional travel accessories.
This opens up a wide variety of ways to sell items to returning customers.
Setting up an email list of current customers and prospects is a must. You can then use holiday events and business recognition days such as Administrative Professionals Day on April 23 to advertise specific items.
For Administrative Professionals Day you could send out an email about your Laptop bags/cases as well as Ereader or tablet cases.
For Mothers day you could send out an announcement about your bags that are "new arrivals" that would be the perfect gift for your Mom.
Then take it a step further and send out this information on Twitter, Facebook fan pages, other social media sites and you may even consider using video in these posts. Remember to add the video to YouTube as well.
Also consider setting up a database with customers birthday and offer them a discount coupon they can use during their birthday month.
You might also want to set up a "refer a friend" campaign so you can ethically bribe your customers to get their friends to buy from you as well.
Consistent contact with your customers and prospects will keep them interested in your products and you will have many returning customers.
Hi Carrie, so can I assume that you are selling your bags from a retail store and you are selling the same bags from your website? Or are you selling more products from your website? Why do you expect the same customer to buy more of the same bag from you?
What kind of bags are they? When someone buys something, they are usually not ready to buy another one right away, but you need a way to tickle them every 2 or 3 months for the repeat purchase by showing them when you have NEW products that they might be interested in. Knowing your customers is key in establishing a buying relationship with them, what do THEY want from you? Simple ask them that question will help.
The other thing you can do is try to get referral business, it would be worth it for you to give them their purchase for FREE if they refer you 5 customers. Lets say you sell a product for $100, and $20 is profit, you sell one and make 20, to get 5 customers you essentially give away all your profit from the first sale, but you GAIN 5 customers, who are both likely to buy more, and refer more customers. This works even better if your margin is greater than 20% which I am sure it is. Do the math, see what makes sense.
Your customers are your best teacher, find out from each one what would work for them and come up with a program, keep doing whatever works best.
Hope that helps.
To expand your business find other business owners to resell your product.
Good question Carrie. You have to ascertain if your product or service is one-time or recurring. Offer incentives for referrals and you may want to keep in touch with them on a regular basis. Use the 30 day rule. Contact them every 30 days to see how they are doing. (Note: It doesn't have to be about the product or service, it could be about family, career, or interests.)
The more you find out about your customers, the easier follow-up calls become.
You have a quality product you say and the next ingredient is a winsome and effective customer service personality and the third ingredient is a customer need for your product. You have to ask "why do they need mine over others?"
You say results are poor so you need now to create that need for them to buy yours over others. Good luck
Consider enticing them with a second visit discounted item or email response thanking them for their purchase and if they ever need more product to come and see you.
In short, satisfy. In detail, this very much depends upon the business. Sometimes one purchase is all you could expect from a customer. But, even then, referrals are golden. Something a lot of startups neglect is process: Recognize a need, fulfill it, and follow through. Did you solicit your customer's opinion after sale? Did you ask for repeat business? Advertising is impersonal. Sales are built upon relationships.
Build a trusting relationship on their terms; not your companies. Non-verbal communication is the key.
prepare their data-base and start calling them back to know feedback of your product. and when are they gonna buy it again . note it down and call them back when its time.
analyse the data collected after a while which will tell you which segment , area age group is buying more , then you can plan your strategy for a fresh marketing
Give them a discount for the next purchase.
It can be progressive, i.e. more bags -> larger discount.
You can ask people how you might be able to help their business and if you can do so. There's a million ways to "love your customers" from loyalty programs, referral bonuses, exclusives or pre-sale exclusive opportunities. Feedback on satisfaction/taking suggestions and showing appreciation for that also works.