How to Use Shopify to Increase the Lifetime Value of a Customer

Shopify City

It would be fair to say that any business thrives on sales; the more a customer buys, the more value he brings to the company. It follows by implication that a company’s marketing plan should revolve around generating repeat sales. The more a customer buys, the more his lifetime value increases. Given these contentions, the following questions arise:

· Is there a way to determine a customer’s lifetime value?

· Is there a system that can help boost it?

The answer to both questions is ‘YES’.

Aside from the basic logic of looking at how much and how frequently a customer is buying, there are existing systems available to a business owner that don’t require grabbing a calculator or calling an accountant to crunch the numbers. For example: If a business is already on Shopify, the platform counts analytics and customer behavior reports as one of its main (and more innovative) features.

Shopify also has resources on its blog, which will help a business generate (and chase) ideas on how to increase sales, as well as bump-up customer lifetime value. A case in point is this blog post: Decoding Customer Lifetime Value and Designing Buyer Behavior. The post gives a business owner the statistics behind what drives a customer to buy more. Should all the graphs and text be a bit intimidating, here’s the bottom line: A customer’s lifetime value dramatically increases after the second sale. Thus, one of a business owner’s immediate goals should be to push for the customer’s second purchase.

The Art Of Driving The Second Purchase

Customers who buy from online stores are probably doing so initially to fill a need. However, should the store fulfill that need successfully, loyalty could result — especially if the business reaches out and makes a point of building a relationship with the customer. Given the positive experience, the customer will make subsequent purchases.

How To Create A Positive Experience For The Consumer

Simply put? Customer satisfaction.

· Customer satisfaction primarily comes from receiving top-quality products and services. The quickest way for a company to lose a customer is to overpromise and underdeliver. The top priority is then to deliver only the best.

· Customer satisfaction also hinges on top-quality customer service. In the event of mishaps or defective products, a sensible — and fast — refund and replacement system is critical. The communication should be underscored with sincerity and honesty. Nothing secures customer’s loyalty more solidly than a support team who appropriately and smilingly apologizes. A company would do well to recruit staff who believe in the company, its products, and treat customers like royalty.

· Nothing kills a customer’s enthusiasm quicker than a long wait. Aside from delivering purchases on time, the company should deliver replacements and refunds promptly. Timely support responses are equally important.

· Positive, feel-good post-purchase communications could drive the next sale. When a customer makes a purchase, a prompt email to follow up after the purchase — with cleverly targeted offers — could result in impulse purchases. A great way to do this would be to use Spently, which allows products to be marketed along with transactional emails. Options to drive further purchases has been made easier — even automatic.

· An encouraging loyalty program — or a discount system — could be the difference between ho-hum and brisk sales. Everyone loves discounts, so customers will be encouraged to buy. Attractive rewards drive both sales and loyalty, as well.

· Thoughtfulness is a nice touch. A system that remembers customers’ birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and similar special dates, make customers appreciative of the product and the company. It’s an approach that encourages loyalty and drives repeat sales.

Should the customer base grow steadily and become tougher to manage, services like Sellry simplify the process — making increasing a customer’s lifetime value achievable.

About the Author  
Dillon Holst, Business Development at Sellry.

Sellry is a service agency that specializes in all things ecommerce — from user experience strategy and interface design to high-end hosting optimization; from custom module development to data integration. The team at Sellry are dedicated to making their client’s ecommerce ambitions become reality.

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