How to keep your customers coming back

EOFY Sales and flashing neon lights can be great ways to attract business, but there are a few simple things you can do to keep your customers coming back year-round.

End of Financial Year
Repeat customers are integral to the success of any business.
According to US management and consulting firm, Bain & Company, repeat customers spend on average up to 67% more than one-time buyers.

At Smartbag, 64 percent of our bags and packaging customers have shopped with us previously. Not only do these customers buy more products over time, but they are also more likely to trust our service and will potentially buy more expensive products in the future. As their businesses grow, we want to grow with them.

A loyal customer becomes a valuable advocate for your brand and will tell other people about your business. The Bain & Company study also found that repeat customers refer 50 percent more people than new customers.

In your company, every person who walks through your door is a potential repeat customer, but it’s up to you to convert them.
Exceed your customers’ expectations … every time!
Over the last two years it’s been a hard slog for bricks and mortar stores to lure customers back through the front doors.

Online sales took off during lockdowns and some shoppers may never venture into retail stores again. However, some consumers are craving to return to face-to-face shopping.

There is no doubt walking out of a shop swinging a luxurious laminated bag can give a rush of endorphins. You’ve tried on the perfect pair of jeans. They fit. You buy them. There’s no need to wrangle a complicated return - resealing bags, printing labels, and wasting time queuing at the post office.
There are plenty of advantages to shopping IRL, but to sort the browsers from the buyers, you may need to up your game.
Here’s a few tips to set you on the right path.
5 secrets to retaining customers
1. It’s all in the bag

“Steve [Jobs] and I spent a lot of time on the packaging. I love the process of unpacking something. You design a ritual of unpacking to make the product feel special. Packaging can be theatre, it can create a story.” Sir Jonathan Ive, ex-Chief Design Officer, Apple Inc.

End of Financial Year
Create your own story by taking a little extra effort at the checkout counter.

A warm welcome is a good start. Then a bit of tissue paper, a colourful sticker and a glossy laminated bag or a high quality kraft paper bag.


A bundle your customer is delighted to walk away with and will be excited to unwrap all over again when they get home.

The bonus of making theatre out of your sale is that customers spend a little extra time at the counter.

How many times have you been waiting at the checkout and spied a display of must-have goods at the register?

Don’t miss the opportunity to upsell those inexpensive impulse buys.

2. Give a little

We know things have been tight lately, and with skyrocketing inflation on the horizon we’re not suggesting you give away expensive items, but a ‘gift with purchase’ or sample tastings are effective promotional tools to surprise and delight your customers.

Way back in the 70s, cereal companies started dropping plastic toys into corn flake boxes. Banks gave away money boxes to every child opening a bank account. McDonalds raised the ‘gift with purchase’ bar even higher with their happy meals

Hairdressers do this well. An offer of a coffee or wine is always a nice touch. Adding a little chocolate even ups the ante. It feels homey and welcoming, like a warm hug.

Loyalty programs are a great incentive to retain customers. The big companies have been doing this for years – Everyday Rewards, Flybuys, Qantas Frequent Flyers. But no matter how big your business is, look for innovative ways to reward loyalty.

Cafes offer free coffees. Chocolate shops offer samples at the counter. A small price to the business, but this simple but effective initiative is a big win for the customer. Who doesn’t love a free chocolate?

3. Shop to the Beat of your Drum

The right tunes piped through your outlet can have a calming effect on your customers. Alternatively, the wrong music can send your potential client running for the door.

You want background music to enhance the shopping experience and make your customers linger a little longer. Select a playlist that suits your brand – rap music may be suitable for a trendy target market, while classical may suit a high-end jewellery store.

Studies conducted by Curtin University show that the slower the tempo of the music, the longer your customers will spend in your store.

And check the volume. Don’t send customers scurrying away because they can’t hear themselves think.

4. How’s your scent marketing working for you?

Yes, scent marketing is a thing.

Think about a favourite perfume or aftershave. How does it make you feel when you wear it after a long break? Does it transport you back to a time and place? That’s because scent memories trigger emotions, even more than sight or sound memories.

The smell of coffee in the morning. The smell of bacon sizzling in the pan. All these smells evoke a pleasant emotion, so why not make that work for your business?

A study by Nike found that “adding scent to an environment can increase purchase intent by 80 percent".

A vaporiser or oil burner, even a spray of scent on a business card slipped into a paper bag, can make the shopping experience more memorable.

5. Options, options, options!

Give your consumers options to pay and collect their goods.

By offering all payment methods, from cash to credit cards to Afterpay, your customers will have no reason to leave empty-handed.

Shoppers also like to save on delivery costs, so a Click & Collect service is great for those who live nearby or want to save on expensive freight costs. They can pop in at their leisure to pick up their purchases – and who knows – maybe buy up a few extra things while they’re there.

Making your customers feel special and providing a sense of connection is the key to building trust. And with trust, you’ll find the same familiar faces will keep appearing at your door.

Proudly Australian-owned, Smartbag supplies carry bags, tissue paper and Ecommerce packaging to retail, salons, clinics, fashion labels and the food and beverage industry.

Owned and operating from our Sydney warehouse, we take pride in serving Australian businesses, large and small, for almost 20 years.
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