A close look at some of the most successful digital businesses in the world, and it's easy to see repeat purchases as the main reason for their tremendous success. Repeat purchase is the purchase by a consumer of a same-brand product bought on a previous occasion. Repeat purchase has so much significance to any business.

Repeat purchase is an indicator of the degree of a customer's loyalty and a measure of how satisfied a customer is with a brand or business. Having repeated purchases should be the goal of every digital business. It is expensive to acquire new customers; several studies suggest that it costs seven times or more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing customers. With repeat purchases, businesses can save new-customer acquisition costs and increase profitability.

It is pivotal for e-commerce businesses to look for ways to encourage repeat purchases. Digital businesses across industries and models must explore innovative ways to retain customers.

These are five ways e-commerce platforms can increase repeat purchases.

  1. Subscription-based model

On a high level, businesses are implementing a subscription-based model to achieve repeat purchases. This model is the key strategy behind the success of streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Spotify and Apple.

However, this model is still new in e-commerce but is fast-growing, according to a McKinsey report on e-commerce consumers. This research shows that 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products repeatedly in the United States. In the United States alone, the subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100% over the last five years, according to the report. Walmart and P&G have followed this fast-growing trend and launched new subscription businesses.

For Africa, which usually takes after trends from the developed markets, this is a trend e-commerce platform should look out for.

2. Encourage registering

While we have always encouraged allowing first-time customers to make payments without registering on your e-commerce platform, it is also essential to persuade customers to register accounts with your e-commerce platform. When a customer registers with your e-commerce platform, there are more possibilities of that person returning to purchase another item and becoming loyal to your business.

Customers have vast benefits from registering on e-commerce platforms; they get a unified shopping experience, making it easy for them to carry out seamless transactions and personalised experiences.

There are several ways of encouraging customers to register with your e-commerce store; you can start with a mobile-first account creation process as mobile shopping dominates online shopping. Also, registered customers should be able to experience an omnichannel experience and get personalised settings.

Another way to encourage customers to register is by connecting loyalty programs to registered accounts.

3. Make customer experience easy

An important strategy in retaining customers in e-commerce is to deliver an easy and seamless customer experience. The whole process of shopping and purchasing should be as easy as possible for customers.

While shopping on your e-commerce platform, customers should be able to easily find information about products, prices, order status etc. Products should be well displayed; websites should be searchable and mobile responsive.

Making payments should be easy and seamless for customers to complete the buyer's journey. This step is where a trusted payment gateway provider like Fincra is perfect for your online store. With Fincra Pay-In, it is easy for your customers to Checkout with several options; pay with cards, bank transfer, virtual account and PayAttitude. Fincra is the perfect payment partner for your e-commerce business. Talk to us here to get started.

4. Loyalty program

For the overview subject on repeat purchases, loyalty programs help to retain customers.

Offering discounts, gifts, exclusive access to merchandise etc., will make customers feel valued and connected to your brand. This strategy can help build brand loyalty and increase repeat purchases.

5. Excellent customer service

Excellent customer service creates customer happiness, preventing customers from forgetting your business or brand. Customer service plays a significant role in ensuring your repeat purchase rate.

A great customer service strategy includes constant and intimate communication between businesses and customers, asking for feedback from customers and acting on it and building relationships.

A great way to build relationships with customers is by being involved in their special days like birthdays and anniversaries by for example sending a birthday note and gift.