Several years ago, a Fivestars infographic revealed that 63% of marketers thought that new customer acquisition was the most important advertising goal. But does attracting new customers actually contribute to a more profitable business?

This quote from Help Scout spells out the answer in simple language that packs a punch:

“In a world where your competitors are only a click away, customer loyalty really is the new marketing.” 

How Do New Customers stack up against Loyal Customers?

Loyal customers are those who have visited your store at least 10 times and they account for about 20% of your customers, indicates Fivestars. But that 20% is no menial number when you consider that it drives 80% of your total revenue and 72% of total visits to your business. And guess what? Over their lifetime, loyal customers will spend up to 10 times more than new customers.

Still not convinced that you should be focusing your marketing on repeat customers? Check out these stats from Fivestars:

  • New customers are more price conscious, which means the probability of getting a sale from a brand new customer is only 5-20%.
  • The average conversion rate (actual sales) from promotions sent to new customers is less than 1%.
  • Loyal customers, especially VIP and loyalty program members, are 70% more likely to spread the word about your business.
  • Because your loyal customers know your business, the probability of making an additional sale, or upselling, is 60-70%.

Furthermore, Help Scout points out that it costs 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than keep an old one, so it makes more sense to focus your marketing efforts on your tribe of loyal customers.

According to Forbes, “There’s a misconception in retail that you need to gain new customers all the time when in reality, repeat customers are what any business should aim for.”

Conclusion

Author and management consultant, W. Edwards Deming, once said, “Profit in business comes from repeat customers…” Indeed, studies continue to show that repeat customers are loyal customers, and loyal customers are the real moneymakers.

While acquiring new customers should still be included in your marketing game plan, the reality is that new customers aren’t as profitable as loyal, repeat customers.

That’s why it’s so important to evaluate where you’re focusing your marketing efforts and adjust them accordingly so you can maximize the value of your marketing budget while retaining the customers who, over their lifetime, will spend 10 times more…at your retail store!

About Author

Sherene Funk

Sherene Funk is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime (but that doesn't stop her from collecting more). A graduate of Brigham Young University, she has published several humorous non-fiction articles and worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current position as a writer on modern retailing at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with other small business owners through informative articles that address their unique needs.

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