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Advice Etsy Marketing Small business

Creating Repeat Customers

It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. This is as true for small business owners as it is for big businesses. So in today’s post, we’re talking repeat business!

Most Etsy sellers feel that a great customer service at the time of sale and a 5 star-review is enough to ensure that you have got yourself a customer for life. The reality, however, is quite different. Your customers are flooded with choices. So no matter how satisfied the last experience might have been, there is a good chance that they have already forgotten about your shop by the time you have shipped the order.

Is there a secret sauce to making every customer a long-haul partner? Let’s dig in!

1. Branding & Packaging Never Fails to Impress

It’s easy to forget the shop’s name, but it’s hard to forget how it made you feel. Your branding and packing can go a long way in making your customer feel the values behind your brand. Whether you are all about eco-friendly products or precious jewels, your branding and packaging can make all the difference to how your customer feels about owning one of your products. Even if for only a brief moment, you can make them feel special.

Branded packaging for honey

And remember to label your work. A simple tag with your shop name sewn under the collar of your T-shirt or a small logo behind your art print will help your customers know where to return.

Have you been thinking about creating a new brand identity for your business? Then check outPart 1 and Part 2 of our branding blog series by our creative director, Megan as she dishes out some great branding advice.


2. Coupon Codes Work

Some sellers hate offering discounts as they think it hurts their business. But here’s the deal — people like deals! Doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, if you offer them a deal, they’ll love you for it. All you’ve got to decide is what you are comfortable with. Meaning you need to think about your products and pricing. If you offer medium to high priced products, and if your items are not bulky or large, it might make sense to offer FREE SHIPPING to your customers. Because who doesn’t like something for FREE!?

If, however, your products are low priced, it might make more sense to offer a 10% discount on the next order. For example, if your card sells for $3.50, a 10% discount would only cost you $0.35. That certainly wouldn’t put a dent in your business and it might earn you a loyal customer.

Learn more about offering coupon codes to your Etsy customers.

3. Favorite Your Shop

When a customer or a fan “favorite’s” a shop, it stays at the top of their dashboard. If they favorite your shop, they will get an update each time you make a shop announcement or release a new line of products. What this does is it creates a top of the mind recall with your customer. The next time they are thinking about buying a new bracelet, you want them to think about your shop.

If you have had a particularly good customer experience, you can gently ask them to “favorite” your shop, so that they never miss an update. You can even ask them to follow your social media pages and/or sign-up to your newsletter. If they are continuously reminded of your shop through their news feed, their social media pages and maybe even their email address, AND they’ve had a good experience buying from you the last time, then they’ll come back to you for more.  

Pro Tip: Put a blurb on your cover image directing them to the favorite shop button.

Shop branding

4. Email is King (or Queen)

Ask your buyers to sign up to your mailing list. Consider putting a link in your sales confirmation email, directing them to the landing page which can be used to collect email addresses. You can also place this link in your FAQs or your shop announcements.

To be clear, I am not suggesting that you add them to your email list without their permission. You DON’T want to do that. Not only is it against Etsy’s terms and conditions, it’s also something that’s highly frowned upon by the customer.

Pro Tip: Offer them an incentive to join your list. This is could be anything from discounts, to early access to your next collection. This is when you put on your thinking cap and come up with creative ways to drive them to your landing page. Because only YOU know what makes for a valuable incentive for your customer.

5. Create Top-Notch Customer Service

A great customer service is what turns a “good” experience into “awesome” one. Remember, the key is in not just being better, but in being different. You want to make them feel so good that they almost can’t wait to make their next purchase from your shop.

  • You’ve got to set clear expectations right from the start. For example, if you can’t accept returns for digital products or custom orders, state that clearly in your product description so that there is no disappointment later.
  • Make sure your shop policies are clear and transparent. Do you offer next day delivery? Do you ship internationally? Will your customer have to incur customs duty or taxes? Cover it all!

Pro Tip: Try and ship a little faster than what your policy states. Aim to underpromise and over deliver. Your customers will be thrilled!

  • Send a handwritten “thank you” note with every order. Ultimately, it’s the little things that matter. A thoughtful note and personal message can quickly turn a casual buyer into a fan.
  • “Shout out” to repeat customers on your social media pages. (I want to give a big thank you, my lovely buyer, Sarah from Colorado. Sarah, I know you are going to love the new necklace I am sending your way.” )
  • Be generous with your feedback to your buyer. Make it personal and thoughtful. Maybe you want to scroll through their profile, to help you craft a thoughtful and personal feedback.  This will leave a lasting impression on your customer. It’s all about the feeling, remember?
  • Reply to all your conversations in less than 24 hours. Go above and beyond in ensuring that they are satisfied with your reply. It’s these little things that will work in your favor when the customer is ready to make the next purchase.

Handwritten thank you note

Which of these tactics have you tried? And did they worked for you? Is there anything that we may have missed out from the list? If so, please share your suggestions in comments know!

3 comments on “Creating Repeat Customers

  1. We reach out to customers to confirm shipping times and make sure they’ll arrive by the time of their event. We’ve also used hand written notes.

    • That’s great! Do you feel like that stuff makes a difference to your customers?

  2. I enjoyed these suggestions and will definitely be adopting some, if not all of them😁

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