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The Importance of Making Repeat Business in eCommerce



When it comes to customer management, most guides focus on acquiring new customers, but this course of action may not be the most profitable one. In order to gain a customer, you need to invest heavily in various marketing strategies; but in order to make one return you only need to do two things- make a good first impression, and remind them of your existence. Furthermore, according to one particular statistic, in the world of ecommerce almost 40 percent of all revenue is made by only 8 percent of customers. How? The answer is simple- repeat business.

Return Business vs. Return Visitors

Have you ever heard of the term “lifecycle marketing”? If not, the concept is fairly simple. Not everyone who comes to your e-store is ready to buy something from you. Sometimes, they may just need a bit of time, and on occasion even a bit of encouragement. According to this particular technique, you should study what your visitors are browsing through while on your page, and then use email marketing services for ecommerce to bring them back. If there is something new to offer in one of the categories they have previously looked at, you need to let them know. Still, this couldn’t exactly count as a hard-sell strategy, since you are only informing them of something they may be interested in. Whether they buy it or not is up to them.

Not all Repeat Customers Are the Same

One of the problems with the repeat business is that it is quite hard to label it properly. In theory, anyone who has made at least two purchases in your e-store can classify as a repeat customer. However, it doesn’t seem fair to try and put in the same basket someone who has purchased from you twice and someone who has done so over a dozen times.

Luckily, there is a catch here; with every purchase, the chance of the next one occurring increases exponentially. Therefore, if someone buys from you once, there is a 27 percent chance they will make a second purchase. If they buy twice, there is a 45 percent chance a third one will occur. In other words, all you need to do is make them return once, and the numbers alone will start working in your favor.02

Developing a Habit

Why the repeat business works in this way is quite easy to explain. If someone makes a purchase on your ecommerce website several times, they will start turning it into a habit. This makes them much more likely to make a purchase they wouldn’t even consider making just few months back. To make things even better, a return customer won’t be afraid to spend much more than a first-time buyer.

Testimonials and Recommendations

Finally, not all benefits of repeat business are material ones. There are also many indirect ways in which return customers can help your marketing efforts. For example, they can give you a large amount of credibility in the eyes of their friends and acquaintances by word of mouth recommendation. Apart from this, you can always gather their testimonials and display them on your website or rely on them to give you a high mark on a review. All in all, the benefits are simply too numerous to be listed in their entirety.


Of course, not every industry has to worry about making a repeat business. A real estate agent that sells a $4 million mansion doesn’t have to worry whether he will sell anything to the same buyer again. Same goes for a yacht or an art salesman. Nevertheless, when it comes to the ecommerce, the return business is the backbone of the industry, which means it requires your full focus and your undivided attention.

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