Getting customers to order from your DTC brand once is hard, getting them to order a second time is even harder. Competition is fierce - the number of Shopify stores has grown 200% since 2020 . Despite this, it’s estimated 50% of time and budgets are spent on acquisition, with less attention paid to the difficult second order .
Focus needs to shift away from chasing new and shiny customers because according to Semrush data, you’re 60-70% more likely to sell to your existing base, compared with a 5-20% likelihood of selling to potential customers.
In this blog, we’re going to help you to work with the customer database you’ve already got, and improve your repurchase flows with the aim of increasing conversion.
Learn how to:
The first step towards increasing repeat purchase rates is to go through your repurchasing email flows and check there are no buying barriers. Customers desire speed, ease and convenience, they hate slow-loading websites, complex checkouts and unpersonalized account areas. Try the repurchase experience out for yourself and see how it feels - if it’s clunky or slow, therein lies the problem.
If the journey is smooth, ask yourself whether your product pages are optimized enough for returning customers. In our research of hundreds of DTC brands, we found that even the cream of the crop don’t have product pages designed specifically for returning customers. Instead what tends to happen is:
For instance, Dollar Shave Club has a clean and sophisticated website design but new and returning customers all land on the same product page. It’s unoptimised for repurchases and focused on first time customers.
It’s the same story with Olipop. The website design, look and feel is engaging and information is straightforward but it’s unoptimised for the individual customer as everyone lands on the same page.
Glossier offers specialist information to the customer about how to get the best out of their products and they’re diverse in their marketing, but again, their product pages aren’t optimized for the returning customer. If you’ve already bought the same blush five times, you don’t need to see the same rigid page and should be able to speed through the checkout.
At Relo, we’ve built Repeat Buy specifically to improve repeat purchase rates.
New DTC brands are springing up every day, the challenge to stand out in a crowded market and be hyper-tuned into your customers needs is immense. Without communicating the value of your product, there’s nothing sticky to convince customers to buy again.
Let’s take a look at how top brands educate their value proposition from the get go to encourage repeat purchases.
DTC beauty brand, Beauty Pie is only 6 years old, but has already cornered the beauty market with its attractive promise: luxury beauty at lemonade prices. From their optimized post-purchase transactional emails to bold headlines, the customer is constantly reminded of Beauty Pie’s value.
Speciality coffee subscription, Pact Coffee is crystal clear in its mission to make coffee better for everyone; customer, coffee farmer and the planet. The brand pays farmers 55% above the Fairtrade base price, has direct relationships with farmers in 9+ origins, and boasts a team of coffee experts including a former World Barista Champion obsessed with bringing the most groundbreaking brews to customers' lips. This education is fed across every customer touchpoint, reminding the customer that by choosing Pact, they are having a positive impact on the coffee industry.
Welsh selvedge denim brand, Hiut Denim shot to fame when their jeans were worn by Meghan Markle.
The brand is laser-focused on communicating the craftsmanship of its jeans and this message is repeated in all of their communications. The value proposition is clear - these are the best jeans money can buy.
In the case of educating customers, it makes sense to be a broken record. Repeat your value message constantly to drive awareness, finding new and interesting ways to do it.
It’s not enough to just make decent products anymore, there needs to be a differentiating factor for the customer to choose your product over a competitor.
There isn’t a start and end date to customer education. Keep adapting and adapting to stay relevant.
Let’s move onto the final section, personalization and targeting.
Once you’ve perfected your value proposition and optimized the buying journey, it’s time to put your repurchase flows to the test. But here’s the tricky part - timing your emails so they hit your customers inbox when they’re ready to reorder. If you miss the mark, you could lose out on 2.7x more revenue, stunting your growth and handing the floor over to a competitor.
If there was an easy solution to targeting customers at the right time, everyone would be doing it. The trouble is, all customers are individuals with unique repurchasing times and it's a nightmare to create customized flows. It’s usually too complex to implement data, or too simple to be effective. Instead, sending everyone the same comms - like in the example above from Pasta Evangelists - is what tends to happen.
Pasta Evangelists offer delicious homemade pasta meal kits, and feature real people from the business in their comms to give customers a more personal touch. However, in the example above the message is quite broad and was sent when this writer wasn’t ready to reorder.
Targeting customers at the right time is a problem Damien Soong, Founder at Form Nutrition relates to.
Then there is the issue of personalization. Sending a blanket email to everyone on pasta is quite broad and lacks the nuances of personal taste. Brands could workaround this with pre-purchase quizzes to discern what their customer likes and tailor reorder content accordingly. However, there still needs to be a way to easily segment that data and make it actionable, otherwise you just have stacks of data and no way to use it.
It’s clear that customers aren’t receiving personalized reorder communications at the right time, and until now there’s been no clear market solution to tackle this. Tools like Repeat Buy (which we mentioned a little earlier) make it easy.
As World Bank leaders predict a global recession, and iOS updates continue to eat up your return on ad spend, it’s increasingly important to work with the customer base you’ve got. Even the major players in this industry haven’t sussed out a way to optimize the purchasing experience or target their customers at the right time. Can you beat them to it?
We believe scaling DTC brands need smarter ways to target customers and drive repeat revenue, so we built a fast and effective solution. Our repeat revenue platform is the easiest way to get customers to reorder, try a subscription and stay subscribed. Stuck in a loop of rising costs, falling customer retention and subscription churn?
Our checklist includes tactics to drive more revenue from existing customers.