Shopify Ecosystem

Expert tips from leading agencies: Increasing customer lifetime value

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This article was published in collaboration with Tapcart

Quickfire Digital

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Nathan Lomax, Director at Quickfire Digital:

It’s an interesting topic, because so many clients we speak to tend to miss customer lifetime value as a metric. They often focus on the here and now, but don’t think about the potential that a customer could have.

The first thing I would do is dive into the data and identify how many purchases a client makes, the value of them and the average length of time they’ve been a customer. This will highlight your most valued customers and it is then our job as marketers to make sure that we make that repeat purchase funnel as easy as possible. What do I mean by that? Well, it starts with user experience.

How can we make sure the second somebody has purchased, they are put into a sequence or adrip funnel type of campaign that says periodically – every week or every month, for example – “here’s something else that you might be interested in based on your previous purchases”.

I would start to think about how you can introduce educational content to help those customers instead of simply selling to them. Look at what you sold initially and then aim at building that level of trust, rapport and respect by providing them with content which is going to help and educate them. Then you can take your relationship to the next level. It goes beyond initial trust and respect and it comes to converting those customers into ambassadors.

If you are selling a product which requires repeated purchases, first and foremost should be thinking about making that journey as easy as possible. How, when that product was sold, can you say ‘I hope you enjoy the purchase, please let us know if there’s anything we can help you with’. At this stage, you could possibly introduce a bit of a surprise and delight and give them a little something extra after that first order – a future discount or even a ‘new customer bonus’, but then going forwards, when you know that a repeat purchase is going to be required in, say, four weeks, you’ll want to plan for a message a week or so before. Ask the customer how they are finding the product and direct them to other products which have been frequently bought alongside theirs. You could offer a free trial or sample or create a simply journey for them to addthe new product to their cart. Then you get the conversation going again.

When I’m talking to our clients, it is really important that we look at how we can turn them from standard clients into raving fans. And I think there’s a massive opportunity with tools like Recart to allow us to do that.

Social Lite

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Brandon Clark, Partnerships at Social Lite:

To build a profitable, sustainable eCommerce business, it’s not enough to simply focus on getting a new customer to buy once. The first purchase only offsets the customer acquisition cost, so we need to focus on reselling to customers and ultimately growing customer lifetime value.

With cost per click’s (CPC) rising on Facebook, Google, Youtube and other media platforms, brands need to be versatile in how they engage with their customers. This doesn’t mean that you need to be on every channel, but you definitely need to be onthe channels that your customers are active on. Don’t spread your efforts thin, focus on channels that are providing the greatest return on investment.

In addition to paid advertising, it’s important that we utilize our owned media channels, such as email marketing, Facebook messenger marketing, and SMS, where we can reach our customers when we want. And, of course, we need to prioritize providing value and encourage our best customers to keep coming back. Provide value first and the sale will follow. Here are two quick win implementations that are a must have for the upcoming holidays to ensure that our website is doing a majority of the heavy lifting for us:

  • Automated email flows (welcome series, post-purchase and abandoned cart)
  • Recart (messenger welcome flow and abandoned cart messenger flow)

J7 Media

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Sam Sevigny, Head of Partnerships at J7 Media:

The first step is planning – it’s critical to write down all your tools, resources, acquisition tools, landing page software, and more. Next, map out each touchpoint in the customer journey: before, during and after purchase. This is needed to build funnels and break down the main product offer to increase average order value.

Next is to work on implementation. A great example is building an email list to engage in BFCM. One way to do it is to offer an exclusive VIP discount in exchange for an email before the busiest time of the year. It’s key to invest in ads when CPM is low, not when CPM is high (like the holidays). This lets you capture an audience at a lower cost per email before everyone else does. Everyone is expecting big discounts during BFCM — don’t be afraid to offer one early to get them in the funnel. 

Next is to automate all your email flows, including abandoned cart and checkout and other email campaigns (e.g. a product review for a 5% discount on the next order). You should aim to run specific email promotions throughout the year: BFCM, Christmas, Valentine’s day, etc. — there are all kinds of holidays year-round.

Focusing on ways to boost average cart value (ACV) is helpful for boosting customer LTV. One way to boost ACV is to offer an additional service or product during purchase as an upsell or a cross-sell. It’s also helpful to build an evergreen funnel that’s sustainable so you can sell year-round. 



Andriy Boychuk, Founder of Flowium

A great way to increase customer LTV is through email sequences. One sequence we use is called Bounce Back – this is a good way to increase average order value and customer lifetime value.

Here’s an outline of the flow: right when an order is placed, trigger a Thank You email. Wait 15 minutes, then email a limited time offer for the next 60 minutes. Sell a high profit margin with a steep discount (e.g. 50% off, 75% off or 40% off), something attractive that makes the customer want to buy again.

The goal is to make them take action. For the next 60 minutes, you can get these $20 jeans for just $10. Another example is a brand’s hat, normally $28, on sale for $14 for the next 60 minutes. This turns a one time buyer into a two time buyer.

Someone who purchases twice is much more likely to purchase more from a brand than someone who has purchased just once.

It’s important to act fast – that’s why we wait just 15 minutes after the Thank You email to send a follow-up with a limited time offer. Customers are significantly more likely to purchase an item the day of the initial order.

Special thanks to our friends at Recart for their insights on this topic.

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