5 Tips for Getting Consumers to Return to Your Website

by Ken Mueller on July 10, 2013 · 5 comments

5 Tips for Getting Consumers to Return to Your WebsiteThis post is a guest post from my friend Stacey Hood.

Businesses are missing out on a lot of opportunities online, regardless of whether they sell services or a product. We live in a time when there is no such thing as an ignorant consumer. Consumers are armed nowadays with reviews and price comparisons that make them a difficult target to hit at times. But there are tactics you can use to get consumers to return to your site after making a purchase or even if they don’t, after clicking the “add to cart” button.

Some of these tips are common sense and used by the bigger e-commerce sites like Amazon and eBay and even some of the smaller ones. They’re effective and easy and work for all budget sizes:

1) Birthday Message

This is a classic.

“Hey, Happy Birthday! Save an extra 20% on purchase today for your birthday!”


“Happy Birthday from Acme! Here’s your free (insert giveaway here). To claim your free (insert giveaway here), click here.”

This is another opportunity to sell them again. Be sure to change your content and target it to the user. The main idea is to make them feel good about their birthday, that you “remembered” it, and you’re offering either a freebie and/or a great deal.

2) On Site After The Order 

Amazon is a master of this. They also do it as you’re shopping online. Once your order is confirmed, you see more items related to what you just purchased. Buyers are more likely to buy again once they are familiar with the buying process, so why not hit them again once they’ve completed a purchase.

Example: an auto parts company that specializes in let’s say, Ford Mustangs. A customer buys a headliner for a 1965 Mustang. After they make their purchase, a script can alert them that they can also buy the door sills and complete the interior restoration process. This is simply cross-selling if you break it down.

3) Confirmation Email After Order

Again, another opportunity to cross-sell. After an online purchase, a confirmation email will make a customer feel more comfortable about purchasing online and it gives them a receipt of the transaction for their records. It also allows you to send some more recommendations for purchasing within the email. “Thank you for purchasing XXX. You may also like YYY.” And it gives you an opportunity to create a stand-alone landing page to drive slow-moving products or services if applicable.

4) Review an Item

Asking a customer to review a recently purchased item sends the customer back to your site, giving you the opportunity to show new related products and more opportunities to present your products or services to them again. In addition, you can use this opportunity to cross-sell again with new items. It also allows you to create new content and we all know what new content does for SEO.

5) Abandoned Shopping Carts

I’ve done it and I’m sure a lot of you have done it. You pick some items, throw them in your cart, and then leave the site before completing the purchase. Unlike doing this in a grocery store, where you have to put the items back in the freezer or on the shelf, online you can just click the tab closed on your browser. If your cart requires customers to sign in or make an account before seeing their cart again, this gives you contact information so that you can tailor your message.

“We have some items for you.”

Any copy you can use to lure them back to the site. Maybe they got distracted while at work and forgot to get back to the cart; maybe they had second thoughts. Offer a discount to come back, 10% off of an item can do wonders even if it doesn’t impact your bottom-line. Other ways to get them back might include a new photo of the item or a new review of that same item.

These tips can be used on their own or in combination. They are simple, yet effective methods of getting users back to your site to further gain their trust and engage them on different levels. Competition is everywhere when you’re online, even from overseas companies and any advantage you can gain over your competition is something that is a win-win for you and your consumers.

Have you tried any of these methods? What would draw you back to a website?


Stacey Hood is a Gentleman By Day, Philosopher by Night, Hooligan by Choice, Partner at Guitar.com, an upcoming community site for guitarists and fans alike.

sarahfayebauer like.author.displayName 1 Like

As per the email confirmation strategy, it would be compelling to include links to company blog posts related to the purchased products.  Giving customers additional how-to's, tutorials, and information about their purchases could encourage them to visit again.

Thanks for the ideas! 

Netelixir like.author.displayName 1 Like

Very good advice Stacey. A lot of times site owners are focused on their SEO, but getting returned visitors is such a great way to build loyal visitors, who will convert so much better.


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