We're hiring, check out our open positions and come work with us!


How To Get Repeat Purchases in Ecommerce

If you find it hard and expensive to try and acquire new customers to your ecommerce website, it may surprise you to know that it’s actually cheaper and easier to get past customers to purchase again. So, when’s the last time you made an effort to re-engage your current customers? We’ve compiled several strategies to help you target your current customers to visit your site and make another purchase.

Five brown paper shopping bags filled with miscellaneous items lined up on the floor

Market to Your Customer List

You’ve gone through the first step and successfully captured your visitor’s email address. Now what do you do? By sending regular emails with interesting content and offering discounts from time to time, you can help ensure that your brand and your website are at the forefront of your customer’s mind when they’re making a purchase decision.

A study by Custora in 2013 found that customer acquisition via email marketing had quadrupled in the four years preceding 2013. Email marketing then already accounted for nearly 7% of all customer acquisitions that occurred online. What’s more, as Hubspot pointed out, Forrester Research found that “companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales-ready leads at 33 percent lower cost.”

Send a discount code

Many customers are searching the web and comparing prices before they make their final purchase decision. One of the most effective ways to increase customer return rates and repeat purchases is to include enticing offers on your site such as, “Free Shipping” or discounts for purchases over a certain amount.

You can make discount codes a one-time use or referral friendly by allowing your customers to pass on the discount code to friends, which is also a great way to generate word of mouth.

Personalized Offers and Suggested Products

Personalized emails are another powerful way to entice customers to return to your site. You can use these emails to remind them of ancillary items that they may need with the recent item(s) they purchased. For example, “You recently bought a tablet. Do you need a protective case?” This technique is similar to Amazon’s “Frequently Bought Together” section where your follow-up email might include a message like, “You may also enjoy” with images and links to products on your site that are similar to the customer’s recent purchase or are most commonly purchased together.

Customer Loyalty Program

If your visitor has created a customer account on your site, then you can easily utilize it to re-engage with them through remarketing efforts. If not, then you should try offering incentives to encourage them to create an account and signup for your customer loyalty program. According to a study by Points.com, 54% of consumers buy more from companies when they are being rewarded for purchases. A different study by Aimia found that loyalty programs can increase a brand’s market share by 20% and improve customer acquisition by up to 10%.

Everyone likes feeling like they’re receiving special treatment or getting exclusive access to things. So, giving them access to sales and discounts even a day or two before they are available to the general public will make them feel like they’re getting a real advantage.

Remember their Birthday

Who feels more obligated to make a purchase with a coupon than someone with a special birthday discount code? People are generally happiest on their birthday, and with all the attention and gifts, you can make your customer feel as though even you’ve been thinking of them on their special day by offering a discount as a gift from you to them.

Retarget Customers with Abandoned Carts or Promotions

By retargeting visitors you can use various methods including: abandoned cart emails, display/search ads, and paid social media ads. Your emails and ads should feature either the items they left in their cart, items related to a previously purchased item, or even items they’re researching to increase your chances of getting in front of them at optimal times in their buying cycle. You can also implement other discounts and offers to these customers, for example, “Hurry, purchase your items in the next 3 days and receive 10% off!”

Try Direct Mail

Although it may seem like your offers will end up in the trash, according to Access Development, many people actually prefer print coupons:

  • 46% of consumers prefer print coupons, from the newspaper and mail [Valassis]
  • 87% of all consumers use print coupons they receive in the mail [Valassis]

If you have time or own a smaller ecommerce business, you can even take the time to write a personal thank you card with an unexpected gift that will emphasize how much you appreciate their loyalty to your brand. Don’t have time to write a personal handwritten note? That’s fine, we bet you’ll see results even with any personalized thank you note with the customer’s shipment.


We’re a dedicated group of designers, developers & marketers. We help build these brands, shepherd them through troubled waters of obscurity and out the other side.

How do I hire you?!