5 Ways Small Businesses Can Generate Return Customers

return customers

marketing plan templateGenerating repeat, return customers with a positive customer experience is a winning strategy for your small business success

A small number of return customers generate as much as 40 percent of your entire profit. However, statistics surrounding them tend to be even more impressive. A satisfied customer might return even if you don’t engage them once again just because they’ve had a positive CX (customer experience) the last time around. Moreover, a customer isn’t likely to start promoting your business or become a brand ambassador after a single purchase.

This is why you need to figure out how to turn them into return customers before you can include them in your digital marketing strategy. All in all, there are several ways in which small businesses can generate return customers.

1. Go through various channels

The first thing you need to do in order to show them that you mean business is to reach out to them through various channels. What this means is that you should go through various channels in order to show the versatility and seriousness of your brand. Email marketing, social media outreach, inbound marketing as well as old-school marketing are just some of the things you need to try out.

The more you diversify your methods of reach, the better. You see, if you go only for digital marketing (especially if it’s only email or social media marketing), people may assume that you’re either a wannabe-startup or a hoax. Diversifying in this way gives you legitimacy, especially if you reach a single person through different means.

2. Allow them to buy without registration

The next thing you need to consider is the idea of allowing your audience to buy your product without having to register on your website. Of course, by making them register you stand to customize and improve their buying experience (something we’ll discuss in the next section).

A lot of people love to buy without having to register, and just because someone isn’t repeating purchases through their regular account, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t return customers. In other words, you lose nothing by allowing people to buy without registration, but you do stand to lose quite a bit by missing out on this amazing opportunity.

3. Focusing on the customer experience

The issue of CX is so important that we couldn’t skip to mention it in the introduction. Sure, there are tricks, methods and techniques to lure your audience to your site, however, they aren’t as effective as just providing a great service.

Being inefficient, irresponsible or non-responsive are things that your audience will remember. This means that even if you have something amazing to offer, the next time around, they’ll reconsider whether they want to do business with you or not. While examining and improving your CX feature by feature may give you some results, doing so with customer experience software is much more effective.

4. Transparency and trust

Sometimes, sweeping a piece of information under the rug may seem like a good idea, especially if it hides something that could damage your reputation or harm your appeal. Still, once the truth comes out, the backlash will be much, much worse than the original hazard ever was. For instance, deliberately omitting the tax and the cost of delivery from the price displayed on the e-store might make your product more appealing.

However, upon seeing the full price, your audience will feel cheated and it’s unlikely that you’ll get a second chance to convince them otherwise. Of course, in industries that rely on one-time purchases (exercise equipment, chess sets, etc.) this might not be as damaging. Nonetheless, since we’re talking about return customers, transparency and trust are your closest allies.

small business customers

5. Envision a perfect customer experience

At the very end, a bit of role playing might go a long way. Imagine yourself as a customer. Now, think about what would an ideal customer experience look like. Try to mimic it and see how close your website actually comes to this.

If you’re just starting off and see your service as far from ideal, you could try out a bit of old-fashioned industrial espionage. What this means is that you could go to an e-store of one of your competitors and try emulating a customer experience first-hand. Buy something inexpensive and be critical of their system. Ask yourself what it is that you like about it and then ask what you would improve about it on your own e-store.


The last thing you need to understand is the fact that each of these methods drives you forward, generating return customers along the way. In time, these people become more than customers, they become a part of the family and, in this way, contribute to the value of your brand as a whole.

The following two tabs change content below.

Dan Radak

VPS Security Specialist
Dan Radak is a web hosting security professional with ten years of experience. He is currently working with a number of companies in the field of online security, closely collaborating with a couple of e-commerce companies. He is also a coauthor on several technology websites and regular contributor to Technivorz.