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276. Do Your Repeat Customers Need More Sparkle to Keep Buying?

276. Do Your Repeat Customers Need More Sparkle to Keep Buying?

Today’s episode was inspired by a recent client conversation. She initially reached out for support and insight into what might be going on in her business right now. 

Sales are down from last year and while this time is always a bit slow for her – she just had this sinking feeling that the struggle may continue. 

Over the 60+ minute call, we went through a lot of data and down a lot of rabbit holes. And inevitably, one of the things that came up was… well are people just not spending right now? 

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This is something I talked about a few weeks ago on episode 273. Sales down? Here’s what you can do about it. While the consensus is that yes, people are spending less due to factors outside of our control, ultimately our job as the CEO is to focus on the things we can control and that’s what I walk through on that episode. 

As we were chatting through how that might be affecting her business – for some context, she runs a hobby business with consumable products and lots of repeat business – she said something that really stuck out to me…

They spend when there is sparkle. 

Essentially, when they have new products, special events, pre-orders, etc… people buy. In fact, she often sells out new items to her pre-launch list before they ever make it to the general public. 

So the lesson here is that people are spending… when it’s something REALLY want – and they have the urgency to do so. 

Is this ideal? No. Of course not. It’s exhausting. Constantly sourcing new items, creating these elaborate marketing campaigns that require website updates, social content, and email strategy… believe me I know. That’s exactly what I did at my previous day job. Talk about feeling like you’re on a hamster wheel. 

As fun as the process is, we’ve all got our breaking point. 

It came as no surprise that what they really want to do is sell more of the evergreen items that they already have and do less of the new product launches and all that jazz. 

Not only is it less work for the team, but these are the items that are evergreen to the vendors too, so they don’t have to worry about moving delivery targets and logistical issues.

While that is certainly a good goal to have and something they should strive for – at this point that’s not what the customers are spending their money on. 

My gut tells me the biggest reason is probably because they know they can get those items whenever they want – there’s no urgency for them to buy. They want the sparkle… so you might just have to give it to them, right?

And I know, this feels contradictory to what you hear me and a lot of other educators talk about. You gotta get back to basics, double down on what’s working, lead with your bestsellers, be known for something, don’t be making new products all the time. 

And all of that is still true, especially when you’re talking about acquiring NEW customers. 

But, and this is a big but, depending on what you sell – if there isn’t any other urgency – that might not be enough. 

Ultimately, you have to balance the two and be intentional about where and how often you’re focusing on what. 

What that looks like for your business is going to depend on a lot of different things. If you want to dig into it 1:1 check the show details on how to get in touch so we can hash it out together. 

Here’s the recommendation I gave for her business. 

For new customer acquisition, that’s where she should focus on her best-selling item and turn it in to a bundle. It already sells well, has a great AOV, and naturally turns into repeat business. Since the majority of her new customer acquisition is coming through paid ads at the moment, she should create an ad campaign specifically featuring this item and target cold audiences. She can create a special landing page on her site to sell this product and make it as easy a yes for the customer as possible. 

She also noticed alot of the new customers she’s acquiring are a bit more beginner in this hobby which opens up a new opportunity for her to put together starter kits, essentially bundles, to better convert this segment of her customers. 

This was an important unlock too because the customer she has today isn’t the same customer she had in the beginning. Naturally, as your business grows and your reach increases, you’re going to start attracting people who aren’t as ideal a fit. 

Now this can get tricky because you don’t want to try and be everything to everyone. That’s a recipe for disaster and if they’re truly the wrong fit you should be okay with repelling them. 

But in some cases, maybe they’re just one step behind in their journey.  And while you don’t necessarily need to go out and bring in new products to accommodate this group – but if there’s a way to repackage what you already have and make it more presentable to this person, there’s nothing wrong with that. 

Which is essentially the same strategy I recommended for her repeat customers. 

While she isn’t going to stop sourcing new items and creating marketing events, she can supplement the time between those by creating sparkle with what she already has.   

I’m not 100% sure how many SKUs she has, but it’s a lot. I bet there are items she sells that even her loyal customers don’t know about. 

All she needs to do is position them in a new way, package them up into different bundles, or present them from a different angle to get her customers excited about them. 

In episode 247. Perception is Reality – How Your Product Positioning Drives Consumer Behavior I talk more about this concept. Customers will think about your products what you tell them to think. 

I want you to take that same approach when you strategize how to presenting your evergreen items to your existing customers. How can you present them in a new way, bundle them together, talk about them differently so that it seems sparkly? 

The other thing to consider is that sometimes… you don’t actually need the sparkle. Sometimes you just gotta remember to talk about the thing. 

I use the example in my own business all the time. When I talk about the Lounge, people join the Lounge. When I talk about Content Badassery, people buy Content Badassery. When I tell people to sign up for my email list to get access to the Free Resource Library, they join my email list. 

When you have so many new things going on in the business, new products and collections, promotions, seasons, etc. Sometimes those year-round always awesome evergreen items don’t actually get much attention in our marketing. 

It’s not necessarily that our existing customers don’t want to buy them, they’re just not being marketed those items. 

Take a quick look at the last 90 or so days of your marketing content. Your social media, your emails, wherever you’re actively marketing your business. How many times have you mentioned those evergreen items?

One of the things I see trips us up the most is we FEEL like we’ve talked to death about these products. But when you take this deep dive, you’ll probably notice that’s not true at all. 

Just because something has existed on your website for a while, doesn’t mean your customers know it’s there, or that they’re thinking about it. Our customers have a whole lot more going on in their life than just our businesses and the products that we sell. 

If you notice that you haven’t given them the attention they deserve, here are a few things you can do about that. 

First, commit to talk about these items at least once a month, more often if you can. 

Next, create a segment of your email list who has never purchased those evergreen items and send them a 3-part email series featuring nothing but this best seller. 

If you can package it up or talk about it in a new way like discussed earlier, then you can even send it to people who have purchased it before. 

If there’s a holiday coming up that it would make a great gift for, that’s another angle you can take. 

You’ll want to do something similar on all of your marketing channels. Maybe that looks like going live on social media or dedicating a few posts to some of these items. 

Remember, even if it’s not sparkly and new to you – doesn’t mean that it won’t seem that way to someone else, if you can present it in that way. 

The trick is you have to have the energy behind it. You have to be as excited and enthusiastic about that product as you were when you first added it to your store. If you’re not excited, your customers won’t be excited so keep that in mind. 

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Hey, I'm Jessica

I support scrappy female entrepreneurs with actionable steps & strategies to grow and scale the traffic, sales & profit in their eCommerce businesses. 

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