Your latest acquisition campaign rocked, and now you have plenty of new customers to impress with your customer experience and lead them to the second purchase. Sure.

But how do you get a repeat purchase?

According to our aggregated data from the Real-Time eCommerce Benchmark report., after a customer buys the first time, your chances to generate a second order from them is around 24%. This means DTC brands regularly acquire many onetime buyers, and the retention rate and repeat purchases are very low.

Pay attention to these two because they each measure a different dimension of your business.

The Repeat Purchase Rate represents the percentage of customers who return to your brand for a new purchase. Don’t confuse repeat purchase rate with the Customer Retention Rate, which helps you measure the number of customers you manage to retain over a given period.

Chances to place the next order – aggregated data from the Real-time eCommerce Benchmark Report

Chances to place the next order – aggregated data from the Real-time eCommerce Benchmark Report

It means that your mission is to generate an excellent customer experience from the first order as a way to win their trust, convince them your brand is the best alternative out there and generate the second order.

As you can see in the graph, it takes time to win and increase customer trust. The first purchase sets the tone for how things can evolve in the relationship with your customers.

Customer retention and customer loyalty are a consequence of delivering top experiences at every purchase. Before thinking about customer lifetime value and loyal customers, you must focus on nailing the first experience and adjusting your marketing strategy to prepare them for the second order.

How to encourage a second purchase?

Introducing: The “Not Mess it up from the First Time” Starter KIT.

The best way to get to the second order is not f!ck up the experience with the first one.

New customers hire your brand, products, or services to make their lives better, and now you have to deliver an excellent customer experience around their first purchase.

Pre and post-delivery Net Promoter Score

The best way to measure customer satisfaction in eCommerce is to show or send a Net Promoter Score survey right after a customer placed an order (pre-delivery) and a few days after the customers started using your products or services.

Pre-delivery NPS
Post-delivery NPS

This way you will know if everything is ok marketing and product-wise. The pre-delivery NPS helps you evaluate the online shopping experience of your new customers. The post-delivery NPS enables you to measure how satisfied new customers are with the experience you created around their purchase.

You can include the pre-delivery NPS on the thank-you page and capture their feedback while it’s still hot and their attention is at maximum. 

The post-delivery NPS should be part of your post-purchase communication flow and should be triggered a few days after your new customer got the chance to test/ try/ use your products or services. 

You can steal this post-purchase email flow I’ve created for you and learn how to use NPS surveys for better customer journeys.

Measuring NPS in this early phase of your relationship is essential. It allows you to take immediate action according to the scores you received, resolve existing complaints or problems, and build further on a healthy foundation. 

Detailed and transparent order status communication

Detailed and clear communication around the order is mandatory for a relationship built on trust. Customers that have a positive shopping and delivery experience are more likely to place their second order. 

The success of your onboarding campaign depends on how you communicate with your new customers via the site, email, SMS, the details you include in their customer account.

To reduce buyer’s remorse and ensure transparent communication, your post-purchase communication needs to include:

  • Thank you page
  • Order confirmation
  • Payment confirmation 
  • Tracking number
  • Shipping confirmation
  • Estimated delivery date
  • Real-time order tracking
  • Customer support information

Add the human touch to all of your automated processes related to delivery and make sure your customer support is always aware of complaints or requests automation can’t solve. 

Create a dedicated flow for longer shipping times

If your new customers’ orders involve longer shipping times, you can create a dedicated flow that will keep them engaged while waiting for their products. 

Think about all forms of educational content around their pain points and valuable resources about the products they just ordered. It could be exclusive content that only customers can access, like a custom workout for someone waiting for their multifunctional home gym station.

During this waiting period, you can also find more about the customer’s likes and dislikes, which will allow you to personalize future messages.

Unassign newly acquired customers from all sales messages

Stop targeting new customers with discounts, upselling, and cross-selling messages before receiving your first order because:

  • You will annoy them with your recommendations for new purchases when they didn’t even receive their food yet;
  • You will show that you don’t care that they didn’t get their order yet. You only want to make $$$
  • You will increase your ticket numbers and overwhelm your customer support team;
  • Customer satisfaction will go down in pieces;
  • You might experience a lot of unsubscribes;
  • You will lower their chances to place a second order because of all of the above. 

Make sure you eliminate customers from any sales-oriented messages while they’re still waiting for their first order and while experiencing the purchased products or services. Fine-tune your automated flows, so they don’t work against you. 

You’ll know when it’s time to encourage a new purchase by looking at the average days between the first and second purchase. Ideally, by then, you’ll have feedback from their experience with the first order, and you can start taking the following steps that prepare them for the second order.  

Preparing new customers for the second purchase

As we said, to increase your chances of placing a second order, you must deliver a seamless first-time experience. 

Before you send sales-oriented messages to your first-time buyers, you have to make sure that everything went well with their first order and customers are happy with the experience they received.  

When it’s time to start encouraging new customers to place their second order? You’ll get the answer by looking at the Average Days Between Transactions (ADBT) for your store or, if you don’t measure that metric, you can use the industry benchmark.

Average Days Between Transactions (ADBT) by Industry

Knowing your ADBT and how much it takes for your customers to decide on a new purchase, you can trigger a flow designed to lead them to the next purchase.

You’ll have to mix your creativity, your customers’ behavior data, and product performance analysis insights to generate appealing messages.

You don’t want to be too pushy or send messages as part of an email blast campaign, so keep in mind where they are in the customer journey. Remember that your relationship with these customers is still fresh, and, although you make a first good impression, you want to make them feel special. 

On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long before nurturing them to their second purchase. As you can see in the graph below, the chances to place another order decreases as time goes on. The number of days varies by industry, so use this information to adjust your sales campaigns.

Chances of placing a new order after a certain number of days by industry

Chances of placing a new order is a metric that shows you how important it is to deliver an excellent experience from the first purchase and keep relevant communication with your newly acquired customers. If you did a good job, you will generate better retention rates and increase customer lifetime value.

Wrap up

The success of your customer acquisition campaigns needs to be followed by positive experiences that exceed expectations. Your relationship with newly acquired customers is in its early stage, so before even thinking about how to generate the second purchase, your focus should be 100% on over-delivering what attracted them to you in the first place. The second purchase will be a consequence of quality shopping and customer experience.

Before you go and nail your retention programs and marketing strategies, I’ll leave you here some helpful blog articles we’ve created with your needs in mind:

Retaining your Ideal Customers starts with Smarter Acquisition – a clear proof that understanding customer behavior and focusing on the right customers are key principles in Customer Value Optimization.

How to acquire and retain customers profitably – a piece that leads you through all campaign types that helps you achieve your biggest goals.
The Product Optimization Framework for customer-centric eCommerce – a material that explains how to use a must-have template for customer-centric companies that want to perform product optimization.