Whether you run a retail store online or in person, you are probably all too familiar with seeing a certain customer buy from your shop and then... never return. If you are repeatedly churning customers, this could bode ill for your company’s future growth. 

So, you’ve got the challenge of inviting one-time customers to buy again – and, hopefully, again and again – from your store. Here’s how you could potentially spark a new flow of conversions...

Educate yourself about ‘the buying cycle’
This term refers to the process a customer goes through in the run-up to making a purchase. One Content Marketing Institute article outlines what are generally the three main phases of this process: ‘need’, ‘initial research’ and ‘final research’.

Basically, after becoming aware that they need something, a customer will conduct research to discern first what to buy and then where to buy it. Therefore, for customers doing research, your job is to inform them in such a way that they are tempted to buy from your store in particular. 

Post blog articles that tackle pain points
If your website doesn’t currently have a blog, you should seriously consider adding one. Once you have done that, you could then think about what issues tend to flummox your particular customers. 

In a series of articles published to your blog, you could address these issues and how to overcome them. After all, people tend to enter a ‘buying’ state of mind after encountering a problem. Still, how can you figure out exactly what types of problems your casual customers commonly run into?  

Hold interactive events online
This would be beneficial for several reasons. One, you would be offering an immersive experience, not just a product. Two, you could more easily position yourself as an expert in your field. Three, these events would give you opportunities to converse directly and at length with customers.

You could, for example, hold a webinar where, after allowing customers to air grievances, you explain to them how you would be able to help resolve these dilemmas for them. 

However, don’t simply provide all of the answers for free
When producing and publishing content, you must strike a fine balance between genuinely helping the customer and leaving them eager to ask you for even further assistance. 

To this end, you should – in your promotional content – insert a ‘call to action’, where someone answering that call would net you a sale of some kind. Perhaps you could encourage the customer to either buy a particular book of yours or sign up to a free trial of a specific service you offer. 

Keep track of your conversion rates 
To calculate a conversion rate, divide sales transactions by gross traffic counts. So, as FSR magazine explains, if a store logs 500 traffic counts and amasses 200 sales transactions, the conversion rate would be 40% – as 200 is 40% of 500.

If you run multiple stores, monitor each one’s conversion rate to see if you can ascertain room for improvement on a store-by-store basis.