he Email Automation All Consumable Goods Brands Need

The Email Automation All Consumable Goods Brands Need (That Many Don’t Yet Use)

Have you ever run out of products before you realize you need to restock? Skincare, makeup, soap, laundry detergent, you name it. Some consumers have roommates or family members to remind them to restock items like toilet paper or dish soap, but some don’t. 

If your business sells consumable goods or consumer packaged goods (CPGs), you might need to be the roommate or family member that your customers need to remind themselves of when they need to restock. That’s why, in this blog, we’re focusing on automated email reminders to promote repeat purchases. Let’s get started!

The Power of Repeat Purchases

There’s nothing like acquiring a new customer and getting them to buy from your website for the first time. If you own or work for a small business, it may seem like the most important thing you can do is to grow the size of your customer base and the number of people on your email list.

So why should you worry about a repeat purchase rate?

Because, believe it or not, repeat purchase rates can make or break e-commerce brands. For many marketers, the ability to cultivate loyal customers and influence repeat purchases is the most important thing they can do to grow while also earning recurring revenue.

In fact, the statistics around repeat purchases are pretty jaw-dropping:

The average e-commerce business earns 41% of its total revenue from only 8% of its customers (aka repeat purchasers).

Customers who have already purchased from your brand twice are 9x more likely to convert than a first-time shopper.

Your top 10% of customers are worth 6x as much on average as the other 90%.

Repeat purchasers spend 3x as much as first-time customers.

Think about it this way: If you could have 100 customers buy something from you once, or you could have 10 customers buy the same product from your brand every month for the rest of their lives, what would you choose? The latter, most likely.

While it’s probably not breaking news to you that it’s ideal for your customers to buy more than once, the tricky part is figuring out which strategies will encourage shoppers to come back. Additionally, if you sell consumables that people can find at their local shop, how do you keep them coming back to your online store every time they need a refill?

To combat the customer retention challenge, many brands have discovered that setting up a subscription or a membership allows them to guarantee regular repeat purchases.

However, setting up this type of business model isn’t always feasible for every business since there are often higher operational costs associated with subscriptions and memberships and it can be more complex to manage.

Additionally, not all consumers want to commit to recurring payments, so brands that don’t offer subscription services or operate according to both a subscription and non-subscription model need a different way to influence repeat purchases.

In a perfect world, you’d have psychic powers that allowed you to know exactly when your customers were running out of a product so you could follow up, but that’s not exactly realistic. Instead, we’ll focus on the magic of the replenishment email to help you with follow-up.

Why Replenishment Emails Belong in Your Marketing Mix

A replenishment email is something e-commerce brands can use to remind customers to make their next purchase around the time when the product they bought is likely to be running low or almost gone.

As opposed to a subscription reminder, replenishment emails don’t inform customers that their card has been (or will be) charged or that their product is on the way. Instead, a replenishment email reminds the customer to place a new order to restock their supply.

You can automate this type of message through most email service providers (ESPs) in order to increase customer lifetime value (LTV) and repeat purchase rate.

For brands that sell consumable goods, also referred to as consumer-packaged goods (CPG), the name of the game is all about customer retention. For many, it’s not about the number of customers they have, but how often they return to make their next purchase.

CPGs are any products that eventually run out that you often replenish, including food, beverages, household cleaning products, skincare, makeup, haircare, vitamins, supplements, office supplies—the list goes on.

Since CPG brands sell products that consumers, well, consume, it makes perfect sense to use a replenishment email automation to encourage customers to restock when they’re likely to run low on their products. For example, if you sell olive oil, it makes sense to nudge your customers to restock every two months if that’s how long a bottle typically lasts.

On the other hand, if you sell bedding and home goods, it’s a little more difficult to predict when your customer is going to buy their next set of sheets and it probably doesn’t make as much sense to remind them to purchase the same product. Instead, a cross-sell or upsell email automation might be a better option.

But why should you send a replenishment email? Won’t your customers just restock your product themselves once they run out?

Ideally, yes, but your competitors are bombarding your customers with alternatives to your product on a daily basis. Perhaps your customer loves your coffee, but they’ve just been hit with an enticing ad that’s offering them 10% off to try a new brand.

Not to mention, if your customer does run out of your product before placing a new order with your brand, they may seek out a quicker way to get what they need. Maybe that means stopping by the convenience store down the street or taking advantage of a service that provides same-day shipping. Either way, it means you risk losing out on a potential sale.

Replenishment Email

The best way to think of replenishment emails is as a crossover between a post-purchase email and an abandoned cart email. 

That’s because you’re nurturing your customer while also treating them as a shopper who’s shown an interest and intent to purchase a product—because, in a way, they have.

Similar to an abandoned cart email, you typically keep your replenishment email focused on the product, but in this case, the focus is on the item you’re convincing them to restock. 

Simple copy, product imagery, details, and a clear call-to-action (CTA) go a long way…but that doesn’t mean the content has to be boring.

Repeat Sales on Repeat

Your customers are your greatest asset, which means the more you do to cultivate customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases, the better position you’ll be in for the long run, especially for brands that sell consumables.

You may not have considered adding a replenishment email to your post-purchase automation, but it’s the perfect way to nurture your customers and stay top of mind once they’re ready to restock.

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