Don Heiden, aka The Auction Professor on YouTube, takes a look at eBay’s new Repeat Buyer feature to see if it has the potential to boost sales.
Building up repeat business is a great way to increase your sales. It is always far easier to get a buyer to come back to your store than it is to draw a new buyer in. I personally offer better deals to those who have purchased from me before, as do many sellers. I always encourage buyers to come back by offering combined shipping, and better pricing when they buy many items, or when they return in the future.
In the past, most sellers would have to track that sort of information down on their own (through a spreadsheet) or a database of customers. This meant that you would need to routinely download files from eBay and then sort through them, to figure out who were your returning buyers. I usually reach out to repeat buyers and personally thank them for their purchases. It is a great way to get a rapport going with your buyers, which in turn will bring them back.
Having a means to tell which buyers have purchased from you in the past is one of those options sellers have been requesting for years. Thank goodness, for once, eBay listened and has added in the ability to see who is a repeat buyer to your store.
This new repeat buyer feature can be found in many places, including on the Performance tab. It can be seen in your seller’s Hub on each sales order that is from a repeat buyer (“Repeat” is conveniently placed next to the buyer’s name).
To me, the best part of this new feature is that I can now instantly tell if a buyer is a repeat customer when a Best Offer comes in for an item. It will instantly let me know if they have purchased from me before with a simple “Repeat” box next to the buyer’s user name right in the offer itself.
This saves a lot of time and trouble sorting through sold listings or looking over a spreadsheet to determine if they have purchased from you before. It is always hard to stand out from the crowd on eBay or really on any selling platform these days, so anything that I can do to draw a buyer back I will do.
They have also added it to the Send Coupon option so now you can select your repeat buyers and target them specifically with coupons designed just for them. A 10% off coupon can do wonders for your sales, if they are done correctly. Sometimes it just takes a small incentive to get that buyer to purchase another item from you, so you should take advantage of every chance you can to interact with your buyers.
Another aspect of this new feature is that you can now see it on the Performance Tab in the Hub. There it breaks down your total sales from your repeat buyers. This will allow you to compare your repeat buyer totals to your new buyers’ totals. This is a great way to see if you are keeping and increasing your repeat customer base. These totals can be customized to cover any length of time (or time frame) you wish.
Comparing last year numbers to the current year can help you gain some insight into your business. I use month to month comparisons along with category sales to determine which categories give me the most repeat business. This allows me to tailor what I sell along with how I market those items. With repeat customers, you can source out specific items that you already have a buyer for, which is another reason they are repeat buyers in the first place.
From the information eBay states about the repeat option, it only covers the prior two years of your stores sales. The buyer also has to have purchased two or more items in that time frame to be considered a repeat buyer. There also seems to be a one- or two-day lag time between when repeat sales happen and when some of the data shows up in your reports.
In some cases, I have sold to the same buyer several times in the same day, but that has not been reflected on the reports as a repeat buyer for a day or two. That may just be a glitch that eBay will fix in the future.
Overall, this new repeat buyer feature is a great improvement and a new tool that sellers can use to their own advantage. I am truly glad they have added it for sellers, but just wish they would have done it far sooner, instead of making us wait years to finally see it.