The benefits of generating repeat business are the same across all industries—it’s more profitable to sell to existing customers than it is to attract a new one. But if you’re struggling to sell more to your customers, here are three ideas to increase repeat sales.
1. Encourage repeat purchases.
You are undoubtedly familiar with loyalty programs, either through a restaurant, grocery store or retail center. You can apply the same concept in your business to create loyalty and reward customers for making repeat purchases. Consider these ideas:
- Contest It: Hold regular contests that encourage making a purchase. Example: GoGurt holds contests that require you to enter a code from the product at their website to see if you’ve won.
- Point It: Create a points or credits system that they can redeem. Example: Safeway gives points for grocery purchases that you can redeem for a gas discount.
- Coupon It: Send a weekly coupon to frequent shoppers. Example: Clothing stores that print weekly “50% off one item” coupons.
- Gift It: Offer a special free gift on the fifth purchase. Example: Restaurants that offer a free sandwich after the purchase of 10 sandwiches.
2. Increase purchase frequency.
A great way to increase revenue is to increase purchase frequency, but this is a challenge unless you can find a way to stay in front of your customers. Here are a few ideas:
- Collect It: Offer different collectible items in a series that are available only for a limited time. Example: Happy Meals with different toys each week or month.
- Simplify It: Make it really easy to buy your product. Offer home delivery, perhaps even at a discount. Example: Medical prescriptions delivered by mail.
- Discount It: Offer coupon booklets and give a discount for buying in bulk. Example: Car washes sell a bundle of 10 car wash coupons at a 20% discount.
3. Create a subscription product.
One of the best ways to increase repeat sales is to create product or service subscriptions. Some products or services are naturally built for this (cell phone service, personal trainer, etc.), but others are not. Here are a couple of examples that will get the juices flowing for you:
- Calendar It: Make the purchase an automatic, recurring event on someone’s calendar. Example: Book-of-the-Month Club.
- Subscribe It: Give a deep discount for subscribers only. Example: Magazines that give a deep discount off the cover price.
- Concierge It: Charge a monthly fee to be redeemed for products or services. Example: Subscription legal services.
- Trend It: Provide information about important trends for a fee. Example: Online newsletter subscription about trends in the stock market.
Once you’ve implemented a few of these ideas, you’ll see repeat sales from existing customers increase and your profits soar.
Posted on 16 December 2011