If you have been active on the internet for a while, you will likely agree that getting your customers to return, is one of the most significant challenges for any internet business.
Assuming of course you are able to get past the initial customer interest judgment, which will only last for a few seconds at best, the challenges do not stop at this point. It also holds true that even if customers have shown an interest in what you are offering, and you have convinced someone to register on your site or subscribe to your mailing list, getting them to come back and actually buy something, remains a challenging task.
Having spent some time considering this carefully, I have noticed some specific trends in my own browsing. Using this as a baseline I thought it might be of value to consider the offerings of these websites carefully, and more specifically what it is that encourages me to go back.
I get paid
Any website that I participate in, that has the potential to earn me money, is a website that I frequently visit. I have to check if I have earned anything. The motivation clearly being money, any site that finds a way to give me some money, can expect me to return for sure.
I believe the latest statistics on web usage suggest that as much as 29% of internet use is for gaming specifically. Personally I find there are two reason for me to participate in this activity. Simply put I look for a combination of entertainment value and really just a way to stave off boredom, while being entertained. Essentially it gives me something to do. Some challenge and certainly some competition also adds to the entertainment value.
For any website where I am not getting paid for something, it is essential that the website constantly has new content that would hold my interest. If there is no new content and I have seen everything that is there, no real reason for me to return. Your typical news type websites come to mind.
This is probably one of the biggest draws for me personally. The larger the number of active people on a website and the more the website allows me to connect with those people, the more frequently I will be returning. I do not believe it necessary to explain, though if this is not clear I am referring to social media as a whole, including also the legions of forum, networking and dating websites. Our inherent competitiveness and need for voyeurism of sorts make this very interesting.
I created it
Comparing ourselves to those around us, including evaluating our skills and general success, have become a fairly significant activity for many, and so any website where I get to create something, monitor my progress, and then compare my progress against progress made by someone else, tends to grab my attention. Being permitted and able to explore my own creativity also tend to attract and often hold my attention.
Letting me know in a non invasive manner
Unfortunately we are so constantly bombarded with some form of advertising or promotion we tend to automatically ignore anything that has the appearance of advertising, unless we are looking for something specifically. So sites that are discrete about how they advertise, and make it easy for me to find what I need, when I do, tend to get my returning patronage. Search capability is essential, and easy access combined with the every so often reminder that they exist, is helpful.
Addressing a repetitive need
This is a tough one to do especially since finding the niche that will achieve this affect is hard enough without considering the competitiveness of these types of businesses. The more money there is to be made, the more competition you will likely encounter. This is however something to consider when building your internet business. The point is to try and offer or sell something that runs out, so people have to come back to get more.
Though I am certain there are many more motivations that will generate customer return, it is important to consider that anything that you do regularly yourself, is probably something someone else out there will be doing as well, so follow yourself and build something that would make your return.
I wish you all the best with your ventures and invite you to comment and share your stories here.