What is a repeat customer?

A repeat customer, or repeat buyer, is a customer who makes at least two purchases with the same company. Over time, as they continue to repeat business with you, these individuals can become your most loyal customers, with higher customer lifetime value and levels of customer satisfaction. As the cost of acquiring new customers can be five to ten times greater than that of retaining existing customers, identifying repeat customers and understanding their needs and preferences is a powerful strategy for any ecommerce business. 

Subscribers are a particularly valuable type of returning customer, as their purchases recur on a set cadence. However, subscribers and repeat customers are not synonymous, as a repeat customer does not always sign up for a subscription to continue their purchasing behavior.

Strategies for increasing repeat customer rate

There are many strategies businesses can use to encourage customers to make repeat purchases. Paying attention to customer feedback is a crucial one, as is monitoring trends in customer shopping behavior. By identifying patterns in customer data, behavior, and feedback, businesses can identify areas for improvement in the customer experience—not only helping increase customer retention rate, but also aiding in new customer acquisition. Customer loyalty programs can be another effective way to encourage repeat customers to continue to purchase. Perks like free shipping, discounts, or exclusive access to products and early releases can all be incorporated into a loyalty program to incentivize a repeat purchase.