Let's talk about repeat business. It still makes me giddy every time I see that little green star by a buyer's username. Out of all of the shops on Etsy, this person made a conscious choice to come shop with me.. AGAIN. There are plenty of ways to deliver a top notch customer experience (stellar packaging, great quality products, amazing customer service), but beyond making them happy with their original purchase, what you really want is for them to come back and shop with you time and time again.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to generate repeat business.
1. Include a coupon code with each purchase.
Now, before you go rolling your eyes at me for suggesting something that most Etsy shop owners will tell you to NEVER EVER do, let me explain. It doesn't have to be an earth-shattering discount. Here's why:
People like deals. No matter what kind of deal, really. We've all been casually shopping online and seen the notification that says "SPEND $50 AND GET FREE SHIPPING!" Let's face it, you only needed something that cost $20 and shipping is only $5, but gosh-darnit, you're gonna spend that extra $30. My psychology major bestie could probably give you the actual reasons behind this weird phenomenon, but I'll leave that for a different blog post.
You have to decide what you're comfortable with.
If you sell medium to high-priced items, consider giving a code for free shipping. People respond extremely favorably to the word "free" and if the discount of free shipping comes out to the same or less than a small percentage discount, you're good to go.
Personally, I offer a 10% discount for my letterhappy customers. My items are priced pretty low, and shipping can sometimes cost just as much as a single card (HEY THANKS, USPS - angry face emoji). Therefore, free shipping doesn't work for my business model. But 10% off of a $3 card is only $0.30. That's barely over the price of a single listing fee, but it's something. Remember what I said earlier. People like deals.
If you're intrigued by the idea, but want a little something more in return for your precious discount, try this next idea.
2. Offer a discount on contingency.
Etsy allows you to put a limit on your coupon codes before they're able to be used. If you're not comfortable giving someone a discount until they spend a certain amount with you, set up a code that reflects that. (Example: Spend $75, get $10 off) Plenty of larger retailers do this with huge success. It encourages more spending when someone otherwise may not have spent anything at all.
In happytatts, I offer a coupon code (again, 10% - nothing earth shattering) in return for a share and a tag on Instagram. Temporary tattoos are highly shareable, as is jewelry, clothing, home decor, and anything related to kids/babies. Essentially, my customers are spreading the word of my shop to their entire circle of social media followers, which will in turn bring me highly coveted word-of-mouth business. That's definitely worth a discount to me.
BONUS TIP: Use the photos your customers have shared as listing photos (with their permission of course) if they fit with your shop's vibe!
3. Nudge them to favorite your shop.
Since Etsy has moved to a front page based on your previous views, favorites, and purchases, a buyer's favorite shops stay up front and center in their news feed area. If they favorite your shop, they'll see when you post new items, which will make them want to check you out again.
Try putting a blurb in your shop announcement or on your cover image directing them to the Favorite Shop button and let browsers know that if they click it, they'll never miss an update!
4. Ask them to join your email list.
Let me just go ahead and get this disclaimer out of the way. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, under any circumstances, add them to your list without their permission. Not only is it against Etsy's terms, it's super annoying.
Instead, consider putting a link in your sales confirmation email to a landing page where you can collect their info. (MailChimp offers a free service up to a certain number of subscribers, and LeadPages is a great paid option as well.) Your sales confirmation message isn't the only place you can put the link, either! Try your shop announcement, FAQ section, or at the end of each listing description.
BONUS TIP: Offer an incentive for joining. Discounts, sneak peeks, and/or early access to seasonal items all work well.
Have you tried any of these methods? How have they worked for you?