If you’ve ever heard me speak about the most basic three principles of a successful commerce business, then this first part will sound familiar. If you haven’t, here they are: How do you get customers to you, how do you get them to buy and how do you get them to come back. Easy right? Well, not always because each of those three principles have hundreds, maybe thousands of choices and factors.

In my article today I want to talk about the third principle, ‘How to get the customer to come back’. Do you know what your CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) is?  Wikipedia defines it as:

Customer lifetime value can also be defined as the dollar value of a customer relationship, based on the present value of the projected future cash flows from the customer relationship.

It’s important to know that the new customer buying from you and the 50 other new customers who buy from you the same day isn’t what makes you successful here, it’s if they return and keep returning. The return customer is your bread and butter.

Focusing on how to get your customers to return is sooooo important and is forgotten by a lot of retail business online as well as brick and mortar.  Besides offering a stellar service, along with awesome products, which leaves a lasting impression in the customer’s mind, the best online example I can think of is email marketing and a close second, a rewards program. My guess is that 95% of all online eCommerce business are doing email marketing wrong, why? Because they’re not segmenting their emails to their customers needs. To the customer receiving the email there is no value or chance at conversion, hence why most eCommerce business are doing it wrong. BUT today I don’t want to focus on email marketing, but rather a rewards program.


We have partnered with www.rewardCamp.com and I have become close friends with the founder, Raheem. In fact Raheem is my favorite Texan, who now lives in New York City. 😉  If you ever get a chance to meet him, you’ll know he puts customers first and listens to their needs and pivots accordingly. If you missed his full post on rewards programs, see it HERE, it’s amazing.

There are three main types of eCommerce reward programs out there:

#1. Give money back to the customer as credit for future purchases.
Example: Customer buys a $100 product, and $10 is put back onto their account to use in the future.

#2. Give points to the customer so they can use towards purchases on the business’s website.
Example: Customer buys $100 product and points are placed onto their account which converts into $10

#3. Give points to the customer so they can buy products on a third party website.
Example: Customer buys $100 product and points are given to the customer to spend on another website to buy a different type of product.

When exploring possible reward programs for my clients, I chose #1 above.  The reason why it’s better than then #2 is because customers hate having to calculate points into dollars. The reason why it’s better than #3 is because it’s ridiculous to send your customer’s away to a third part site to spend their money, when they already love you.

Reward Camp is an example of #1 and one of the best things about Reward Camp is, each month the customer is emailed a reminder of how much in store credit they have built up with their rewards. So email marketing and a reward program built into one, there’s no way you can go wrong.