Loyal customers who return to purchase things from you again and again are every entrepreneur’s dream come true. Not only will a lot of your revenue come from repeat customers, it is also a good sign your business and products are successful. Loyal customers have many benefits including ensuring custom and can help with your social media presence. Repeat customers may also talk about your company to family and friends, meaning they are an extremely valuable source. If you want to encourage repeat customers, follow these steps to ensure first-time buyers want to come back to you again and again.

Brand Recall

This is a term that businesses and advertisers love to hear. This refers to the customers’ ability to recognize your brand and associate products to your business when they see your slogan or message. The better your products and advertisements stand out, the more people will recognize you, even subconsciously this can make a customer more likely to come back.

Other than advertisements that stand out and are original, there are other ways in which you can ensure a customer will remember you. Packaging that is fun and relevant to your brand and clientele will ensure repeat customers, and if the packaging is multipurpose, such as a reusable box or tin, they may see your brand every day in their home.

You may want to check how your adverts are working on different websites and where your website traffic is coming from, whether it be customers from a particular site or from all over. This can help you discover your target market and who is most likely to come across and be able to recognize your brand so that you can aim adverts on popular sites for that clientele. Using a Google Analytics plugin such as MonsterInsights could be useful to help you discover where customers are coming from, and analyze how they interact with your website, and therefore help you understand how make your brand recall more effective to your target audience.

Make Your Customers Feel Special

From the moment someone enters your website, they will be building an opinion of your company and brand. When a customer feels valued by a brand, they are more likely to become a repeat customer. Nowadays with so many websites out there selling similar items, why should that customer choose you? It is much more than selling an item, they should be happy with the entire buying experience.

A thank you email when a first-time buyer has purchased an item from your store can make them feel valued and can be more meaningful than simply “your order from…” which many companies use as a standard email after a purchase. Personalizing the emails you send to customers ensures they will be getting content they are interested in and are much more likely to be a repeat customer. If you are a small business starting out, it is worth going the extra mile and adding handwritten personalized notes to promote your business and make your customers feel extra special.

Of course, with big businesses this is not always possible, especially if you are shipping off hundreds of packages a week. In this instance, using onsite retargeting software (for example OptinMonster) could be your best option, as it helps you develop customized promotions for returning customers. This means you can keep the benefits of making your approach to customers a bit more personal, without having to spend a lot of time on handwritten notes.

Great Customer Care

With the internet having such a wide range of choice and competitive prices, your pricing may not be the main reason a customer comes back. Customer care is extremely important and can be the difference between a customer returning or not. Consistent and good customer care means not only will the customer be more likely to remember your company, they will be more likely to return. If a customer has a bad experience with your brand, how you handle this could determine if they come back to you. Handling complaints can be hard, and customers prefer to talk to a person on the other end of the phone or face to face. Handling complaints in a timely manner and always putting the customer first can ensure they still return.

Everyone makes mistakes and it may be nothing to do with your brand; a product may have been damaged in shipping or there may be countless other reasons why a customer may not be happy or want to return a product. How you handle this determines how the customer will remember you. This is extremely important if you are in a shop rather than online, as the employees you hire represent your brand. Choosing the right employees to represent your brand is extremely important and keeping your staff happy is vital in keeping your customers happy. Appropriate training for your staff can ensure fewer mistakes are made, but a customer will remember a good retail experience.

Loyalty is Key

Yes, it is ok to bribe customers. Although it can mean you aren’t maximizing revenue, offering a second purchase with a great discount can ensure a customer comes back. If they’ve come back twice, they are much more likely to come back a third and a fourth time and so on. Reminding a customer of you a couple of weeks after a purchase with a tempting offer or discount personalized just for them will make them feel special and may just tempt them into another purchase. If you are selling something that lasts a few weeks such as a monthly meal package or a 30-day trial of a product, aiming this email and discount at around the time your current product is going to end can be the push the customer needs to become a repeat customer.

Rewarding customers with loyalty programs such as discount after so many purchases, birthday surprises or free gifts can be another great incentive for a repeat customer. Whether you decide to do a point-based loyalty system which can be used against the purchase of your products or you’d prefer to give a discount or free product or service after so many purchases, any one of these great offers mean you are going to encourage repeat custom of your products and services.

Another fantastic way to increase customer base, meaning more chance of repeat custom is to offer “refer a friend” offers, which means if a customer refers a friend who makes a purchase, they both receive a discount. This is a great way to spread word of your business, encourage repeat customers whilst also increasing your customer base. The larger your customer base, the more chance of gaining repeat customers. Birthday discounts or freebies are great, especially if you work in the food industry. Offering a repeat customer, a special treat on their birthday may encourage them to eat at your establishment, and they probably aren’t going to come alone, meaning more custom and the greater chance of repeat custom.

Whether you own a small business or a large one, your loyal customers are the reason your business is where it is and how it will continue to grow. Look after these customers and they will value the extra time spent on making their time purchasing with you relevant and fun for them. Many companies offer great incentives to bring in new customers, although this can be great for expanding your customer base; your loyal customers need love too!


Founder of Paisley.org.uk in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X