Repurposing your online store’s existing stock can greatly help encourage customer loyalty
What is it that keeps a given shopper coming back to a particular e-tail outlet? You might imagine that in many cases, buying repeatedly from one store is due to reassuring familiarity, or even just that shopfront’s prices being seemingly lower than any other’s for equivalent products.
Or in the instance of a direct-to-customer brand that offers its own products, you may presume that being able to present a continual stream of new products helps to get more of the same customers coming back over time.
And the above could be a factor – after all, it’s good to have direct control over the design, specification, and manufacturing of your store’s products. But it’s also important to appreciate that it’s perfectly possible to make existing core items in your store seem fresh and interesting, and that this can help to drive repeat sales.
So, let’s have a look at some of the ways in which your own ecommerce store could do exactly that.
Make certain items ‘limited edition’
Who among us can say we haven’t rushed to buy a product from time to time in a haze of FOMO (fear of missing out)? So, you might already know what to do to cultivate these feelings in your store’s target audiences for a certain category of products.
Of course, it helps if the product really is a ‘limited edition’; trying to suggest scarcity when the given item is easily available everywhere else online probably won’t help much.
If, though, the item genuinely is subject to limited numbers – perhaps due to being the ‘last of the line’ of a certain popular product – you will want to draw attention to that in how you present it in your e-tail store.
Refer to ‘final edition’, not ‘discontinued’
Your use of language can make a big difference to how shoppers perceive certain items in your store. The word “discontinued”, for instance, might not be greatly powerful for getting customers to buy a product that truly has been discontinued, as they may wonder whether the item was discontinued due to poor sales.
So, you might want to switch your online shop’s use of the word “discontinued” to something like “final edition” instead. This will help focus the customer’s mind on the finite remaining stock, and might encourage them to move fast to purchase it, even if they know an updated version of the same product will soon be hitting shelves.
Cultivate hype around an updated version of a product
If there’s a particular item that has been a proven and enduring seller for your store over the years, the same product being given a refresh or updated by the manufacturer represents as “safe” a bet as products come for shopfronts like yours.
Still, previous customers of yours who already have a past version of the item, may not see the need for an upgrade. Unless you go out of your way to strongly promote the benefits of an updated variant of the product, they might conclude that any improvements in design and specification are too small or subtle to be worth the bother.
So, when a new version of a popular product in your store does come on stream, don’t allow it to simply ‘appear’ in your store out of nowhere, with zero hype or announcements surrounding it. Start taking pre-orders as soon as the product is announced by the manufacturer, and make a fuss about it on your store’s social media channels and in your marketing emails.
As the launch of a new version of the product looms, you might give a ‘heads-up’ in your marketing communications when it is a week away from being released. Measures such as this will help to make an updated variant of a familiar product feel like more of an ‘event’ than it may have otherwise been.
Hopefully, our advice above will have shown you that it’s perfectly possible to create a sense of ‘freshness’ around products in your store that customers may otherwise take for granted. After all, those products shouldn’t be gathering dust in your inventory – they should be playing their part in getting more of your past customers buying from you again.
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