Some 40% of offline retail buyers never buy from the store again, and the percentage of one-time buyers for websites is even higher than that, according to the authors of the new marketing book, 'Call To Action'.
Written by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg, 'Call To Action' proposes four simple ways to help turn such one-time buyers into repeat buyers. The book's opening remarks emphasis that acquiring new customers is too costly to have them buy once and then defect forever.
"One of the best ideas is to send each first-time buyer a welcome kit," said Jeffrey Eisenberg. "A welcome kit might contain a thank-you, a company biography, and even a membership card. Done well, this approach can increase your second-purchase rate by as much as 50%."
A second option is to send first-time buyers a free sample of some kind. Catalogue retailers have been using this approach for many years, and with great success. But the free sample shouldn't be more of the product the buyer just purchased, but something similar enough to be useful and appreciated. If the customer likes the free sample, they often return to buy more of that product.
Another way to encourage first-time buyers to become repeat buyers is to send them buyers a surprise gift, effectively over-delivering on their expectations. Again, the gift should be related to the product they have already purchased, but should not be placed as something they automatically get for placing an order. Bryan Eisenberg added: "Please, don't make it something with a logo and phone number on it - free magnets are no surprise."
The fourth tip offered is that catalogue and online retailers alike should not overlook the matter of packaging. The packaging is the first thing the buyer sees when they receive their products. So, if possible, use nice new blank boxes and unprinted tape for packaging. Better still, custom-designed packaging is even better because it gets the company's name noticed and reaffirmed at the most emotionally significant time of the transaction.
The Eisenbergs are the co-founders of marketing boutique Future Now which helps clients convert web site traffic into sales leads, customers, and ultimately sales through persuasion architecture, copywriting, usability and web analytics. The company has worked with clients including Dell, GE Volvo, Overstock & Disney.