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5 min read

5 Tips to Make More Money from the Customers You Already Have

5 Tips to Make More Money from the Customers You Already Have


By Duane “DJ” Sprague

It’s All About Customer Lifetime Value

In ecommerce, as in every business, one of the most effective growth tactics is to increase the customer lifetime value (CLV) of the people who buy from you. Once your customers have completed their initial buyer’s journey, an entirely new journey begins, where you take them from buyers to repeat customers to raving fans. 

Creating raving fans of your customers is the ultimate goal because those are the customers who not only spend more money with you, but also bring you other customers by sharing about you on social media and to their family and friends. Raving fans become an extension of your marketing team, giving you free, authentic exposure and referring other excited customers to your business. 

So how can you turn customers into these types of fans? What makes the difference between someone who is simply satisfied with their purchase and someone whose satisfaction grows to that next level?

Unfortunately, that transformation rarely happens naturally. Studies have shown that even super happy customers are less likely to speak up than customers who have had a bad experience. Therefore, you must put in some initial effort in order to move those customers further down the line into brand advocates. But again, the work will be worth it, because you will not only increase the lifetime value of that buyer, but most likely gain additional customers as well. 

One of the most simple and effective ways to get these customers to advocate for your business is to get them to leave a review of the product they bought and/or their experience shopping in your store. This creates social proof that is highly persuasive to other customers when they see it. 


Five Simple Ways to Get Customers to Engage with Your Brand

Here are five simple tips for the types of engagement you can solicit from your customers that will not only bring more traffic to your store and convert new buyers, but also solidify your brand’s relationship with a happy customer. 

1. Ask for reviews. Reviews are a powerful way to turn buyers into brand advocates. In fact, the very act of leaving a review causes the satisfied customer to reflect on the positive experience they just had, further solidifying their satisfaction. What’s more, putting that experience into words helps the reviewer create a story in their own mind of how your store and/or product helped them solve a problem or fulfill a desire. Of course, that helps cement the emotional connection between the buyer and brand that creates lifelong fans.

2. Get video reviews from those customers. Video reviews are especially powerful and resonant for a couple of reasons.

A. The first is that video is so popular and easily shared across social media. If your company is using a review platform such as Shopper Approved, you may have the option of syndicating those video reviews out to certain social media channels, giving you an easy way to show off those reviews. Of course, it is also simple for the customer to share their video review to their own social networks. In this way, customers become natural brand advocates, broadcasting a positive message about your brand.

B. The second reason video reviews matter is the impact they have on the viewer. One study found that  62% of consumers watch product review videos before making a purchase. Video is more engaging and lets shoppers see your products being used; in addition to the review they are hearing, the video can give them visual proof that the product looks and performs the way your product pages say it will. As the saying goes, “Seeing is believing,” so video reviews are a great way to provide answers to shoppers and convert them into buyers.

C. Video reviews from Shopper Approved are automatically hosted on your YouTube channel, giving them a unique SEO value and a dedicated search results tab in Google that gives you more visibility.

D. Video is more visible and stands out in search results due to the physical size and the image of the video thumbnail. And according to Marketing Sherpa, video can increase site traffic up to 300%. 


3. Employ user-generated content (such as reviews) as social evidence. These days, one of the biggest factors in generating online sales is social proof. With so many brands, stores, and products competing for consumers’ attention online, shoppers are constantly seeking reassurance that they are (or will be) spending their money wisely. The most convincing element in a shopper gaining that reassurance is proof that previous shoppers have also taken the same journey, made the same purchase, and have been happy with what they received in return. Reviews—whether written or video—give that proof. In fact, reviews are so convincing that studies have shown that around half of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.


4. Reduce returns with reviews. Lots of “R’s” in that sentence, but the fact remains that reviews are a great way to ensure that your paying customers are “buying to keep.” Not only do reviews give the reassurances we talked about above, but they are also a great way for customers to get their questions answered. This can ensure that customers choose the right product among similar options, and find their way to features and benefits that other users have discovered and been pleased with. All of this adds up to buyers ordering and paying for the best product for their needs, reducing the odds that they will return their purchase.


5. Use Q&A to reduce cart abandonment (and returns). Q&A (sometimes known as FAQ) is yet another form of user-generated content that can help shoppers resolve doubts about buying and feel reassured that they are spending their money well. There are multiple proven, direct benefits of Q&A:

A. Since Q&A allows customers to both ask and answer questions about certain products, this can result in insights for your product pages that you may not have thought to give. These questions and answers fill out your product pages and give customers more than enough information to feel comfortable that they are making a fully-informed decision. This decreases the likelihood that they will leave your page to gather more information (risking that they never return), which ultimately increases your conversion rate.

B. Of course, when your customers make a purchase with that much information at hand, they are more likely to get exactly what they want, decreasing the number of returns.

C. Finally, just as with giving a review, the act of answering questions about products and helping other shoppers find the information they need is something that solidifies loyalty and turns those customers into not just fans but advocates for your brand as they teach other users about the things they like about your products.


Reduce Churn and Cart Abandonment with Simple Tactics

When the goal is to make more money from your current customers by reducing churn, cart abandonment, and returns, sometimes the most simple tactics can be the most effective. The five tips listed above are easy to implement yet can have a big impact when employed over time, and especially in tandem with one another.

These tactics give you tools to reduce uncertainty during the buying process for your customers, as well as give your most passionate customers an avenue to become outspoken fans of your products and share an authentic message across the internet on your behalf.

When you are ready to add review and Q&A services to the arsenal of tools you use to promote your website, create a stellar user experience, and increase revenue for your ecommerce store, a review platform such as Shopper Approved will be the ideal partner to help you leverage those tools. Every day, Shopper Approved works with thousands of entrepreneurs and online businesses to help them increase traffic and conversions, visibility across the internet, and customer loyalty. Visit the Shopper Approved site here to learn more and sign up for a free 45-day trial, where you can begin collecting reviews immediately.


About the Author

DJ Sprague headshot

Duane “DJ” Sprague is a conversion rate expert, a Certified Behavioral Design Coach by the Online Influence Institute, and a certified expert by the Behavioral Design Academy, the Mindworx Academy, and the Interaction Design Institute. As CMO of a billion-dollar national franchise, he leveraged the power of social proof and online reviews to improve SEO and accelerate growth, as he developed and managed a comprehensive online reputation management strategy that spanned nearly 200 websites. He has written for Forbes, Small Biz Daily, and several industry trade magazines, contributed to several books and university course packs, and is quoted in the Los Angeles Times as a subject matter expert. He holds a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication and has received the 1st Place Gold Award in a global integrated marketing competition. Duane is the CMO of Shopper Approved, where he works with thousands of ecommerce websites to improve their SEO and CRO.

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