Consumption: An Overlooked Business Concept by @EcomBuffet

by Jennifer Horowitz | Featured Contributor

Business owners often overlook nurturing customers to get repeat business.  This is leaving money on the table.

Getting someone who has already spent money with you to spend more is always going to be easier than finding a new lead and selling them.  However, that only works if you properly nurture the customer and ensure they use your product and ask them to buy more or try a complementary product.

What I am talking about today, getting repeat business; is actually one of the most powerful thing you can do to get more out of your advertising dollars and increase revenue.

It all starts with the concept of consumption.  Meaning your customers need to actually consume or use what they bought from you.  You’d be surprised how often people buy things and don’t use them!

Without consumption, repeat business is next to impossible.

I could give countless examples of times I’ve purchased and not consumed a product.  I look at my bookshelf and see all the books I haven’t read.  I look at my make-up drawer and see the unopened tubes and jars.  I don’t even want to open my closet where I store my marketing materials – I know there are tons of courses that I’ve bought and not yet put to use.

At the time I bought each of those items I was excited to use them.  So what happened?  I got busy, I got sick, the next exciting thing came along and I focused on that.  So many things are vying for our attention on a daily basis and things get forgotten.

Training products, DVDs, books, skin care products, supplements, clothes and health programs – there is no product that is immune to this phenomenon.

For business owners, this is bad news.

Whenever I talk about this concept, people say “But I made a sale so why do I care what they do with it once they get it home?”

Your advertising dollars are stretched further if you increase the lifetime value of a customer.

So how do you get them to use what they bought and want more?

I suggest you start by listing all the reasons that someone may not use your product.  It’s important that you list everything you can think of, even if it’s not your “fault” and not something you think you can control.  It will definitely help to understand what roadblocks to consumption you are facing.

Some of the more common reasons will be:

  • Confusion about how to use it.
  • They forgot about the product by the time they get home or when it arrived in the mail.
  • They may be too busy to learn to use it/set it up.
  • They may come home to a crisis and set it aside and forget about it.

Think about what you can do to re-excite them and get them using the product quickly.

The first and easiest fix is to include an easy to follow instruction sheet so there are no questions on how to consume the product.

If the purchase was online, set up a follow-up autoresponder series that prepares them for the arrival of the product and give them ideas/suggestions on how to use it, when to use it and remind them why they should use it.

Include extra bonuses, like recipes and health tips if it’s related to cooking, include “how to” make-up lessons if it’s a make-up product.

There are countless creative ways to share information and tutorials via email and social media.  Get them involved in a contest.  Subtly continue to sell after the fact, reminding them what their problem is and how your product is the solution.

You can offer them a discount on their next order or even some other free gift if they use your product and give you feedback within a certain amount of time.  You are killing two birds with one stone there – you give them the incentive to consume and you are securing a testimonial.

None of that guarantees they will use the product, but it makes it much more likely.  The best you can do is think of the biggest factor that would stop people from consuming your product and try to address that issue.

The key here is realizing that if you hope to grow the lifetime value of a customer, you can’t consider the sales cycle complete after the first order.

Always remember, just because someone wants something – doesn’t mean they will use it.  Teach your customers how and when to use your products and educate them on why they need more of what you offer.

If you focus on teaching consumption to your customers and building your business through repeat visitors, you’ll see those advertising dollars working harder for you and you’ll enjoy more revenue and likely more testimonials and positive feedback (which in turn helps you grow your business).

Get to work on your list of reasons why people won’t consume what you sell and then get creative in finding your solutions!


Jennifer_Horowitz_EcomBuffeJennifer Horowitz I am the Director of Marketing for I’ve been in SEO/Online Marketing for 14+ years and love my work. My focus is always on results based marketing. It’s about business growth. My job is to uncover areas of new growth for clients. My job is also to educate site owners that want to be proactive in their marketing efforts.

I love what I do and I love all the cool people I get to work with. In the rare moments in time when I realize there is more to my life than social media and search engines, I love to get crafty and creative. I love sports, music and turtles. Writing, problem solving and creative strategizing are a big part of my job. I’m happiest when I get to wear my creative hat.

What else to say? I have a love for white boards (what is more fun than writing on a white board?) and a hate for chalkboards (not fun at all). I love to engage and interact, so feel free to comment on posts and connect with me on Twitter or Facebook. (One final note, I also love to write in parenthesis, I have a font obsession and I like little smilies.)

Thanks for spending a few minutes of your day with me. I leave you with one final tip: Focus on the details and the data – that is where the success lies!

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