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Happy Returns

Retaining your customers is a lot less expensive than getting new ones. So how do you keep them coming back for more?

This story appears in the January 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

E-tailers, like brick-and-mortar businesses, should always strive for repeat business from customers. After all, statistics say it costs five to 10 times more to find new customers than it does to keep the ones you already have.

Jeremy Shepherd, founder of $3 million e-commerce site PearlParadise.comin Santa Monica, California, understands the importance of return customers to his jewelry business. "We've been working hard to build relationships with repeat customers," says Shepherd, 30. "Repeat customers are our best customers. They buy more than new customers."

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