New customers vs existing customers - who should traders invest in?

New customers vs existing customers - who should traders invest in?
Fri, 13/12/2019

Many traders want to increase their traffic at all costs and therefore focus exclusively on acquiring new customers. However, this is the wrong strategy for success in e-commerce. According to countless studies, it is five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to look after an existing customer. However, it is important to remember that new customers are the existing customers of tomorrow. So what should online retailers focus on? This is not an "either...or" or "new customers vs existing customers" question. Retailers should not be concerned with strictly dividing their customers into new and existing customers. Both customer groups are of great importance to traders.

For whom does it make more sense to acquire new customers?

Start-ups and small shops, for example, first need a customer base that they can maintain - that's clear. However, if you already have a presentable customer database, you should also maintain it. Because if they don't, they'll be gone faster than you can count to three. So if you already have a presentable number of customers, you should concentrate primarily on your existing customers. In addition, the retailer should think about how he can retain customers in the long term. If he fails to do so, they may order from a competitor tomorrow.

Why are existing customers actually usually more valuable than

new customers?

According to the motto: new customers cost money - existing customers bring money. So you first have to invest in new customers, but with existing customers you already have an investment. For this reason, online merchants who already have a large customer base should focus primarily, but not exclusively, on their existing customers. Why is this so? Satisfied and loyal customers buy again and again from the online retailer and thus build up customer loyalty. In the long run, this usually pays off more than acquiring new customers. And these are the reasons why:

  • Existing customers buy more often and also have larger shopping baskets than new customers
  • The costs of customer acquisition are about five times higher than those of maintaining existing customers - customer care is therefore a lot cheaper
  • Satisfied existing customers recommend the shop to potential new customers
  • Existing customers make personal communication easier, as the retailer already has important information about the customers

And here's how

The answer is simple: personalisation and relevance! At best, customers can be made even more loyal to the online shop with personalised attention as well as marketing that is tailored to them and relevant. So that means More personalisation pays off!

Special promotions or direct mailings are one way to further bind customers to the shop. These include, for example, seasonal mailings, birthday campaigns or discount campaigns.

If you want to contact your customers via more than just e-mail, you can incorporate other communication channels into your customer loyalty strategy. Which channels can these be? Messengers such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger can be perfectly used to communicate with customers - after permission has been obtained, of course. Personalised emails sent during dispatch can even achieve an open rate of up to 80 percent.

Personalisation - even beyond the ordering process

Personalisation usually hits the mark with customers. However, this should not stop after the order has been sent. Usually, retailers communicate with their customers before and during the order process with great effort and a friendly tone. But once they have sent their order, they are dropped and handed over to the mail-order company. However, if you want to focus on personal communication, you should be able to guarantee this even beyond the order - because shipping is the emotional component of the customer journey.

###Experience shipping messages in action!


Every retailer should think about whether it makes sense to focus on new or existing customers. Most of the time it makes sense to pay attention to existing customers (as far as you already have a customer base). There are various possibilities that traders can use to implement this. With small attentions, in the form of vouchers as well as personal discounts and through a personal approach - there are no limits to creativity here. What is important is that customers must be looked after along the entire customer journey. This means: from the order to shipping and returns.

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Create new reasons for people to love your brand. Build standout post-sales experiences tailored to your customers. Deliver personalized touch points that grab attention and spark loyalty.

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