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25 Ways You Can Turn a One-Time Buyer Into a Repeat Buyer

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you are a business owner, you want customers to keep coming back.

Customers who make repeat purchases lower the costs that your company incurs for marketing and advertising. With repeat customers, you can easily market for any new product or service you add to your offerings because repeat customers are happy with what they have been getting from you so far. 

Chances are that you aren’t the only business offering a solution to your customer’s problem, so why should they keep buying from you? The answer lies in the techniques you use to keep those customers coming back to you.

Here are some ways you can convert one-time buyers into repeat buyers.

1. Make every effort to ensure an easy transaction. 80% of customers say that convenience, speed and knowledgeable help are important elements as they transact with any business. 

2. Offer multiple payment options A client of ours saw a huge uptick in sales by just adding a “Pay with Paypal” option at check out.

Why? Think about how much easier it is to log in to pay, versus finding your wallet when shopping online. 

3. Offer free shipping on the initial order. The key here is to make sure that the company has enough of a profit margin on each sale, and is not losing money when offering free shipping. Consider your costs before offering free shipping.

4. Offer discounts for frequent purchases. Offering a 10% discount after the customer buys from you five times is an incentive to buy multiple items, and they’ll be encouraged to use your store as a resource for any similar future purchases.

5. Offer loyalty rewards points that can be redeemed for a free product or future discounts on additional products. In fact, 75% of customers are more likely to purchase again when they get an incentive.

6. Offer rewards for referrals. Referral programs are one of my favorite strategies. The key here is that there should be a specific incentive for the person who refers a friend — don’t just give them a “discount.” Offering money motivates customers to share your site with their friends and family.

7. Send a handwritten thank-you card to customers, especially when they spend a certain amount. Today’s world can be very impersonal and many people value personalized experiences over automated ones. TD Bank reveals that 77% of customers are pleased when businesses show them their appreciation.

8. Create an unforgettable unboxing experience. Get creative in the way you package your products so that the unboxing experience is exciting for the customer. Premium packaging increases the perceived value of your brand, boosts the perceived value of the product and lets your customers know what your business stands for. 

9. Make your returns policy flexible. Many buyers get scared of purchasing because they perceive the returns policy as inflexible. Use this knowledge to your benefit by implementing a return policy that is flexible enough to encourage people to buy from you. 

10. Send newsletters or emails with current sales and offers to all clients, including those who have not purchased in a while. For example, I love that my favorite meal prep company sends me an email once a month reminding me of what is coming on the menu.

11. Offer upsells and cross-sells to customers based on what they express interest in purchasing. Use upselling and cross-selling to customers as tools to identify the best product or solution to a client’s problem. The client will be happy that you helped identify what will serve them best, and a happy customer is likely to return. 

12. Offer customers the option of buying gift cards online. Take your existing offline business, connect it with technology and extend your reach to people who are otherwise unaware that you exist.

Related: 3 Essentials for Building a Loyal Customer Base

13. Keep special occasions in mind. In today’s automated world, it is easy to keep track of your customer’s birthdays. A birthday card will do wonders to a buyer who purchased their wedding gown from you, for example. Take note of those special days and use them to deepen your relationship with customers.

14. Give away free samples because they establish brand loyalty. My favorite chocolate company, Godiva, sends me free samples of their new creations all the time and it doesn’t matter that I didn’t buy anything for over a year. This makes them stand out as a reputable brand that cares about its customers.

15. Deliver products quickly. 63% of online shoppers expect an average delivery time of three days. You can win repeat customers by delivering their purchases quickly to beat that average time. You will become the go-to company when people want something, fast.

16. Update your website, Facebook page and other online resources regularly with fresh content. The internet changes every day, but I’m sure we can all agree that it’s not enough anymore just having an “online presence” because people have short attention spans. Make sure your webpages are updated regularly with fresh images, blog posts and videos.

17. Showcase testimonials from happy customers. According to one study, up to 90% of people trust recommendations from friends and family. If someone sees other people singing your praises, then chances are they’ll also buy from you too. User-generated content is a powerful way to win customer loyalty while cutting your marketing budget.

18. Tell a compelling brand story. All customers prefer to do business with companies that mirror their values, so your brand story should be compelling to attract repeat buyers. For example, if you let your customers know that you only source organic materials, you are likely to win lifetime customers who value that.

19. Add a twist to social media platforms. In today’s world, most people tell their friends about products that they enjoy by exposing them on social media instead of talking directly with them face-to-face. Make your social media easy for customers to share with discount codes. 

20. Follow up with customers every 30 days. Focusing on repeat buyers and ensuring customer satisfaction is the best way to boost your word-of-mouth without having to spend any extra money on marketing. 

21. Offer a VIP program where customers receive special perks, discounts and freebies if they buy from you regularly. Virgin Airways does this well; each time someone flies with them, they are automatically given points which they can use to redeem things like free flights and other perks that make customers feel special. 

22. Offer unparalleled customer service. 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a good experience, and a whopping 80% of customers say that their reason for switching to another company was poor customer service.

Related: How the Customer Experience Affects Your Bottom Line

23. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing and try something similar. It’s easy to spend a lot of time and money trying to be innovative, but this can sometimes backfire. Instead, try doing something similar — but better — than what your competitors are currently doing. Use them as an example for success and add your twist. 

24. Send just-in-time purchase reminders. In the case you sell products that a client is expected to replenish periodically, send them a quick message a few days to the time when what they bought is about to be depleted. If, for example, your automated sales tracking system tells you a certain customer buys pet food monthly, remind them to replenish on day 25, just before what they have is used up. The person will gladly buy from you again and again.

25. Give existing customers early access to your new products. When a new product is about to hit the market, give your existing customers a chance to buy that product before it is available to everyone else. Pre-sales are good for your business, and the customers will feel valued when they are first to access your new product.

Does it sound like you have to do too much to win repeat buyers?

Well, consider the fact that a customer is likely to spend 67% more after doing business with you for 31-36 months when compared to the first half-year of doing business with you. In terms of transaction value, repeat customers are also 31% more likely to spend more on their average order value with your business. This shows that every effort invested in getting repeat customers pays back excellently, so get to work and design a system through which you will convert as many buyers as possible into repeat buyers.

Related: Customer Service Is the New Upsell

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These are the 12 big bets of future disruptive technologies

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The 12 big bets on future technologies as per Nasscom report

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and Boston Consultancy Group (BCG) have identified 12 big bet technologies that can potentially disrupt markets in the next 3-5 years.

A report titled “Sandboxing into the Future: Decoding Technology’s Biggest Bets”, has identified these technologies of the future: autonomous analytics, Artificial Reality and Virtual Reality, autonomous driving, computer vision, deep learning, distributed ledger, edge computing, sensortech, smart robots, spacetech, sustainability tech, and 5G/6G.

AR VR concept image

The report noted that these 12 technologies will unravel in diverse ways, giving way to regional and vertical-specific big bets. While buyers in North America and Europe are betting on technologies such as autonomous analytics, APAC is likely to focus more on 5G/6G technologies, sensortech and smart robotics. Overall, technology buyers anticipate that investments in emerging technologies will account for 70%- 80% of tech spending by 2030.

“Going forward, it will be interesting to see how businesses will put their bets on emerging technologies and how they would be taking ahead the tech revolution for the larger good of the society,” said NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh.

Cognizant acquires Utegration

Leading technology services company Cognizant has said it bought Houston-based Utegration LLC, a full-service consulting and solutions provider specializing in SAP  technology and SAP-certified products for the energy and utilities sectors.

Cognizant will gain approximately 350 employees in North America and India upon the close of this acquisition.

“We believe Utegration’s rich industry expertise and differentiated portfolio of energy and utilities-focused products and accelerators is a perfect complement to our SAP practice,” said Rob Vatter, Executive Vice President of Cognizant’s Enterprise Platform Services.

Utegration serves over 50 North America-based clients in the energy and utilities sector with solutions across four domains aligned to market needs: customer experience, billing and advanced metering infrastructure, managed services, data science and analytics, and finance and asset performance management.

HCLTech partners with Intel and Mavenir for 5G solutions

HCLTech, a leading Indian technology services company revealed a new collaboration with Intel Corporation and Mavenir to develop and provide scalable private 5G network solutions for communication service providers (CSP) and broader cross-vertical enterprises.

Through this new collaboration, the companies will work closely on a range of projects and activities across enablement, go-to-market and sales acceleration, with the goal of delivering more 5G solutions to CSPs, Internet of Things (IoT) and enterprise verticals, a statement said.

HCL

The three companies will work cross-functionally to add new offerings and help generate greater value for enterprises. The companies will develop a cloud-native enterprise-to-enterprise (E2E) architecture of an Intel Xeon processor-based 5G solution leveraging Mavenir RAN, Intel SmartEdge and HCLTech’s management, orchestration and automation services.

“There is currently a great need for scalable, reliable 5G solutions across nearly every enterprise and industry,” said Kalyan Kumar, Chief Technology Officer, HCLTech. “This need represents a major opportunity to innovate and deliver solutions that will have a major impact on business operations and outcomes.”

Collins Aerospace to expand operations in India

Collins Aerospace, which is part of Raytheon Technologies has announced that it will be expanding its operations in India. The company inaugurated its Global Engineering & Tech Centre and a new India Operations Centre to mark its 25th year in Bengaluru.

Collins Aerospace has also pledged significant capital and manpower investments over the next five years given that the Indian aerospace & defence (A&D) market is projected to reach $70 billion by 2030.

The team at Collins India is actively collaborating with Indian R&D organisations like NAL, CMTI, DRDO for study into materials, additive manufacturing, pre-qualification tests and other important projects.

Wipro bags top honour for workplace inclusion

Wipro Limited, a leading Indian technology services and consulting company, has been recognised as a ‘Gold’ employer by the India Workplace Equality Index (IWEI) 2022.

Awarded to the top employers by IWEI, the gold employer is the highest of 3 levels, where an organisation is credited with ‘embedding inclusion in the workplace.’ Highlights of Wipro’s efforts in this journey include recognition of Wipro’s leadership in India to advance LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace, from organisational policies to external communications.

wipro

It also demonstrates a long-term and in-depth commitment towards LGBTQ+ inclusion, where Wipro has implemented several initiatives enabling its employees to become active allies for the community.

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Corraling Kafka: New ecosystem simplifies, democratizes event-streaming data for enterprises

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Aiven, a cloud-data platform based in Helsinki, has fleshed out an open-source ecosystem for Apache Kafka, a popular event-streaming platform. The new offerings promise to help enterprises consolidate their Kafka infrastructure using open-source components. 

“Event streaming is transitioning toward the main stack of the IT infrastructure,” Filip Yonov, director of data streaming product management at Aiven, told VentureBeat. “At Aiven, we have witnessed the fastest growth in the event-streaming domain compared to all other products.”

Apache Kafka provides the infrastructure for wiring streams of data together from databases, apps, IoT devices, and third-party sources. Kafka helps organize raw data into event streams that reduce data size and are easier to integrate into event-driven apps and analytics. Enterprises use it to improve customer experiences, build the industrial metaverse and monitor patients. 

However, building out a Kafka infrastructure involves a lot of moving parts. Aiven has consolidated all the necessary tooling into one place to simplify this process. Key new enhancements include support for Apache Flink and data governance. These complement existing tools for connecting services, replicating data and managing schemas for Kafka deployments.

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The need for simplicity

LinkedIn originally developed Kafka to integrate data across its large microservices infrastructure and open-sourced it in 2011. Over the intervening years, large enterprises have customized the tooling for their own needs, and several vendors have rolled out proprietary enhancements to fill in gaps around governance and integration. Many organizations use Kafka for various data pipeline scenarios, such as transferring data between applications in real-time or moving data from a database to a data warehouse.

Yonov told VentureBeat that as Kafka clusters become larger and more complex, they require additional tooling and governance to ensure proper operation and management. “Unlike existing Kafka solutions, Aiven’s offering does not require organizations to choose between proprietary tools and vendor lock-in or open-source technologies without support,” he said.

Improving the developer experience with event streaming

One essential aspect has been to democratize the experience for working with event-streaming data. The open-source tool, Klaw, provides a self-service interface for managing Kafka clusters. Kafkawize, which develops Klaw, recently joined Aiven’s open-source development office in September to help integrate their tools together. Now they are working together to improve self-service, simplify user management and enforce data governance. 

Another significant development was to connect streaming data to SQL queries familiar to data engineers. The new Aiven for Apache Flink tools allows teams to process larger volumes of events and run real-time analytics using SQL. Aiven provides this as a fully managed service that reduces the complexity of deploying a Flink cluster. It also simplifies the integration with Aiven for Apache Kafka to filter, enrich and aggregate events on the fly. 

Aiven hopes to replicate the success of other open-source frameworks like PostgreSQL, Kubernetes and Linux, built by a healthy mix of contributions from various communities. 

“We truly believe that fostering an open-source, community-driven and inclusive ecosystem of technologies around Apache Kafka can drive further innovations and new developments in the data-streaming domain, ensuring the long sustainment of the technology in the future,” Yonov said.

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How do tech layoffs impact PERM and the green card process? • TechCrunch

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Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

TechCrunch+ members receive access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Dear Sophie,

I handle HR and immigration at our tech company. We filed a PERM for one of our team members about five months ago for her EB-2 green card, and we’re awaiting certification from the Labor Department. We’ve been gearing up to start PERM for another employee.

Will the layoffs in the tech industry affect the PERM process for EB-2 and EB-3 green cards? What will happen to my team members’ green cards if our company has to do layoffs?

— Pondering in People Ops

Dear Pondering,

It’s wonderful that you’re steadfastly supporting your team with green card sponsorship. This can provide unfathomable peace of mind for people still on non-immigrant status in the U.S. through the green card process. We’re here to help ease the holiday season with education on the options for both companies and individuals.

Let’s dive into the winter wonderland of PERM and employment-sponsored green cards.

Will tech layoffs impact the PERM process?

For the permanent labor certification application — or PERM — your company is currently working on, the short answer is yes, the layoffs may have several different effects depending on where your company is in the process.

The PERM green card process is a multistep and time-intensive one involving a labor market recruitment test requiring employers to demonstrate to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that there are no qualified U.S. workers (U.S. citizens and green card holders) who are qualified, willing and able to fill the EB-2 or EB-3 PERM position. PERM also aims to ensure that the opportunities, wages and working conditions of U.S. citizens and green card holders are protected.

A composite image of immigration law attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (opens in a new window)

If you are in or will soon start the PERM recruiting phase, you may receive a larger number of job applicants for your job posting due to the recent layoffs in the tech sector. With an uptick in potentially qualified applicants, it could prove more difficult to demonstrate that there is no qualified U.S. worker to fill the PERM role. If a qualified U.S. worker is ready, willing and able to fill the PERM role, the labor market test fails and the DOL will not grant the company’s PERM labor certification.

Keep in mind that unemployment is a big concern for the DOL. During the last recession, when millions of jobs were lost, DOL increased its scrutiny of the adjudication of PERMs, particularly within the financial sector, to ensure displaced U.S. workers were considered for positions before international talent.

At the moment, the U.S. unemployment rate is under 4%, so we have a ways to go before we match the 10.6% unemployment rate in 2010. Although there have been many layoffs in tech, I remain optimistic, as there are other indicators that the economy is still strong and there are many job requirements in and beyond the tech sector.



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