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Expert Tips For Keeping Your Customers Coming Back

Expert Tips For Keeping Your Customers Coming Back

Katherine Oyer found herself shopping for baby clothes while traveling long before she became a mother, which led to her noticing that the brands she found abroad were lacking distribution in the US.

To fill this gap, she launched Francis Henri, a modern shop for little ones. Francis Henri’s curated collection started online, and it recently opened its first retail space, causing sales to more than double.

Katherine was able to sign the lease on a second retail location thanks to her savvy investments in customer experience. She prioritizes her shoppers, and now they keep the brand growing through word of mouth.

Learn how Katherine’s smart customer retention plan helped her scale her kid’s clothing brand.


How to retain customers

Katherine greets two of her guests at the grand opening of francis henri’s first retail location.
Katherine was the only employee the day her store opened, and she took the time to greet customers and form real connections and friendships with as many as she could. Francis Henri

1. Pace your business growth

In the early days, Katherine packaged and shipped orders herself. “I kept the business small enough that I could manage because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sit at home and ship boxes all day,” Katherine says. Entrepreneurship can be a solo experience long before your brand generates enough income to afford staff. Stay on top of all your customers’ orders so they feel compelled to return.

Later, as more customers returned, she felt confident attending in-person events to sell. “I was doing in-person pop-ups once a month. I wasn’t doing it every week because of the life that I was living,” Katherine says. While these events can be great opportunities for brand awareness, don’t overextend yourself either.

2. Make thoughtful choices

“The customer experience is so important to me. I will not cut corners on handwritten thank you cards in every package or specialty tissue paper and stickers,” Katherine says.

Making thoughtful choices requires knowing your customers well. “We have a parking lot with a back entrance, which pretty much has become a front entrance because everyone parks in the lot and brings their strollers in,” Katherine says.

She listened to customer feedback, hearing that other stores in town needed help to access and pick up from. To solve this, she launched BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store). “If there is a mom who has a sleeping baby, we’ll get messages that say, ‘Can you just run my bag out?’”

two stuffed dinosaurs stand in between stacks of clothing at the francis henri store.
Katherine wants her customers to enjoy a beautiful store experience, so she curates unique accessories and toys to decorate the store between stacks of clothing. Francis Henri

3. Trust the data

When Katherine notices a particular item has sold out or is ordering a new item from a popular vendor, she’ll buy more for her repeat customers. “Being able to sort in Shopify by vendor is so interesting,” Katherine says. “You can see the sell-through of certain brands and then certain brands that don’t seem to translate as well.”

Getting into the data on the back end of her Shopify store helps Katherine decide how much of each SKU to order. If you have the items they want in stock, your current customers will come back for more—and bring new customers with them. “I have always believed that if you have a wonderful customer experience and a superior product, people come back,” Katherine says.

Tune in to the full Shopify Masters episode for more customer retention tips and discover Katherine’s advice for launching your first retail store.

This article originally appeared on Shopify and is available here for further discovery.
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