Maximizing Repeat Purchases: The Blueprint for Retention Strategies

– Most retention strategies are actually focused on secondary acquisition through discounts.
– The first 45 days after a purchase are crucial for repeat purchases, and content and education should be used to remove people from offers and sales.
– Position offers between days 45-90 to unlock a second purchase, focusing on unit economics and cross-selling to increase conversion rates.Focus on the first 45 days for repeat purchase and remove people from offers and sales after purchase to maximize CAC payback and prevent loss of margin via discounts.Most retention strategies are actually secondary acquisition strategies facilitated by discounts. I’ve been criticizing retention lately because it’s what I used to be responsible for. Here’s the simple blueprint for success if you’re in this role. We are largely a discount-adjusted society these days, so lean in. Focus on the first 45 days for repeat purchases, through content and education post-purchase remove people from offers and sales. If the experience is good and there’s a need, they will come back within 45 days. This will maximize your CAC payback and prevent you from losing more margin via discounts. From day 45-90, position offers to unlock that second purchase for people who didn’t purchase again. Go deeper on offers until they buy, pay attention to your unit economics to understand profit vs. CAC payback. During this period, mix it up with offers that include bundles so you can raise the AOV, usually of the same or similar products they purchased. Also, cross-sell products other people with similar buying habits made as well to increase your odds of conversion. This has been the blueprint for years. For most companies, if people don’t buy a second time in 45-90 days, they never will at a percentage worth paying attention to. They will wait for big sales periods or new product releases to dive back into the customer pool. You can tweak based on events and behavior, but it’s more effort than it’s worth most of the time. There is a downside though to running this playbook. When you couple this with normal occasional sales and specials, you really need to have your acquisition down solid. If you do this cadence, people will be trained to ignore your offers and wait, so you’ll usually have to offer bigger discounts. This will also impact your topline acquisition costs. You’ll get more low-quality people trained on discounts. And you’re going to do a lot of chasing people that won’t come back when you start to not be able to distinguish between people that purchased because they wanted to vs. those that were just waiting for a sale. I don’t disagree with it. I’ve talked previously about torching lists if you don’t get a sale in the first 30 days and just putting them on slow informational updates and only including them in on large sales and new product launches. So here’s where I’m going to catch some flack. To me, this isn’t retention, it’s milking the living shit out of someone that’s taken an action and getting them drunk on discounts to continue purchasing. It’s successful if your margins can support it, but I’ve seen it being used as a crutch to drive revenue at all costs. Reminder though, revenue is not profit. #ecommerce #retention #strategy

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