How Do I Get My Repurchase Rate up?

Good Morning, Kings and Queens, 

Exciting week here, as Yotpo celebrated our first-ever internal conference called IMPACT. It was a full-day event for the entire company to hear from our CEO about where Yotpo is going as an org and celebrate what we’ve built thus far.

Next week, I’ll be at ShopTalk in one of my least favorite cities, Las Vegas. If you're around, be sure to stop by and say hello at Booth #1450.

Over the last three years, I’ve conducted nearly one hundred weekend consulting calls on MentorPass, all focused on CX and Retention.

So often, the same exact questions come up.

This week, I’ll share some of the advice I repeat somewhat often.

Consider it free alpha, if you will. 🤣

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“Help. My Brand is Growing Too Fast”

Recently, I’ve had a few folks ask a question that sounds something like this.

“My business is growing 3-5x year over year, and while it’s a great problem to have, I don’t know what I don’t know. As someone who has worked at brands with such massive growth, what have you seen that I should be aware of?”

It takes so much self-control not to say, “Wow, a great problem to have,” so I’ve avoided that.

Instead, I generally say this:

1. Your problems often stem from boring things:

Operational inefficiencies, inability to forecast properly, etc.

Most fast-growing brands fail to produce quickly enough or have a ton of excess inventory. Especially with brands in their first few years, there are not enough of historicals to look at, and every year is dramatically different.

Throw a few category expansion situations in, and you are practically in the dark.

Hiring a fantastic supply chain and ops team (or fractional) will do more for your business than almost anything else. Focus on the boring. 

2. You didn’t come to me for growth advice:  

I am a retention and CX guy, and I won’t tell you where your next one million customers will come from, but I will tell you this: 

Most brands with fantastic growth quickly become cocky and ignore retention. “If I am growing so quickly, my products are definitely incredible. I am invincible.”

No, Jeremy. You cracked the growth code. But your TAM for vegan chocolate chips probs isn’t as large as you put on your investor deck, and you are burning through customers quickly if you are not focusing on experience.

Anecdotally, I see a ton of “hot” brands, especially in the fashion vertical, offer mediocre CX, return policies, and degrading quality. As soon as that hype cycle ends, they can easily disappear as quickly as they popped up.

Ironically, I think Crocs did a great job delivering great quality at a great price point with great CX and was able to sustain a full hype cycle and down cycle and now are back on the rise.

Focus on the long-term while you are popping off, play the long game. Invest in great CX, and continue to iterate on your retention strategy. 

3. Hire one good one instead of three mediocre ones:

I can not tell you how often I have seen this play out with hiring.

You see a problem that needs to be solved and throw a person at said problem.

But not any person; you look for the entry-level one and underpay them, thinking you are solving the problem and saving money while doing it.

Months later, the problem isn’t fully solved, so you throw another entry-level employee at it. And another one.

All along, this was probably an operational inefficiency that could have been solved more strategically with one more senior hire.

I see this across lots of parts of the business, but most often with CX.

Lots of tickets >> outsource to a cheap BPO >> need more agents >> keep scaling.

Recently spoke to someone that had a team of 30 at $15 an hour (near-shore BPO). With the volume these agents were doing, they could have easily hired a team of 10 domestically for $30 an hour to get the same volume done at a much higher quality.

Obviously, the math has to math, but ensure you are solving a problem strategically, not something that will cost loads more over time.

“Ok, but Eli, not everyone can afford the most senior leaders for every single thing?!”

Ah, yes, I agree.

I would rather consider hiring a fractional CX Director for 4k a month vs. a full-time CX Manager for 7K (as an example).  

“How do I get my repeat purchase rate up?”

If there's one puzzle I see brands wrestling with time and time again, it's the quest to boost repeat purchase rates.

I’ve chatted with countless brands, all scratching their heads over a few vocal customers. 

Take, for instance, the feedback that a product is too sweet. The knee-jerk reaction? Reformulate. 

But hold up—what if I told you that, while you’re busy tweaking recipes, there’s a silent majority happily hitting the 'buy again' button? 

The loudest voices don’t always echo the majority. The quiet ones, the ones voting with their wallets, often hold the key.

1. Being customer-centric means going beyond guesswork:

It’s easy to think being customer-centric means jumping at every piece of feedback. But real customer-centricity is not a wild guess game. It’s about strategic moves grounded in both data and direct conversations. 

Here’s how you can start refining your approach:

Kick Off with a Typeform Survey: Start simple. Roll out a Typeform survey to your churned customers. Thank them for being instrumental in your growth. Make it clear you are asking three questions that take less than 3 minutes of their time, and offer a chance to win a $100 gift card. 

Have some Qualitative Conversations: Pair those survey insights with honest, one-on-one conversations to pair the data with qualitative convos.  Reach out to a mix of customers - the repeaters, the one-timers, and even the cart abandoners. 

Iterate with Precision: Armed with a clearer understanding, begin iterating. But here’s the catch - move slow. Test one change at a time and measure its impact meticulously. With too many variables moving, you’ll have no idea where the real impact was from.

Loop in Your Audience: Remember those customers who suggested changes? Keep them in the loop. Let them know you’ve heard them and you’re making moves. When they see their input come to life, you’re not just making a sale; you’re earning a loyal advocate.

2. Focus on the actionable metrics:

In our quest for repeat purchases, here are some metrics that matter:

Understanding Time Between Purchases:  Most marketing is annoying. There, I said it. Sorry.

We love posting a screenshot of the cringe email we sent to our followers on X, but we know well that we’d roll our eyes if it ended up in a mailbox near us.

I think most of that is because they are generally so ill-timed.

Imagine being pushed to repurchase days after you got a bottle of deodorant that should last 30 days.

You really don’t have to imagine; buy from almost any CPG brand and you can expect it.

We know what typical behavior looks like, yet marketing is an adventure to try to change 99% of that behavior because it works 1% of the time. 😵

Instead, look at your data to better understand when they usually are ready for repurchase, and start a bit before that. (You can, and should, be nourishing them throughout and even before this)

Start with a personalized email, throw in a sprinkle of SMS for that personal touch, and toss in some direct mail if you passed the time that 80-90% repurchase. 

(Remember to keep those one-time buyers out of the loop on the direct mail if you on a tight budget or just want to be super incremental)

Identifying Common 'Next Items' Ordered: This is where the magic happens. When you dive into your data and realize that a good chunk of your customers who bought X are also buying Y, you’re onto something. 

If 80% of your Orange flavor fans are moving on to Grape, don’t beat around the bush—show them the Grape! 

It's much simpler to bring forth existing behaviors than to try to create net new ones. 

3. The Art of Cohort Analysis

Source and Medium Matter: The journey of a customer who stumbled upon your brand through a Facebook ad might look a whole lot different from the one who found you through an influencer they trust. 

And what about those who jumped on the bandwagon during BFCM versus the ones who found you in the tranquility of March? 

Each path tells a different story, and understanding these narratives can help you tailor experiences that resonate.

By honing in on these segments, you're avoiding shooting in the dark and you are ahead of 90% of brands. 

Instead, you're becoming a master archer, aiming with precision at creating experiences that not only hit the mark but also make your customers feel like you've crafted a journey just for them. 💫

That’s it for this week!

Any topics you'd like to see me cover in the future?

Just shoot me a DM or an email!


Eli 💛