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Recurring Customers - the Boon for Online Fashion Startups All in all, recurring customers are seriously a boon in plain sight and one that every brand should always remember to hold on to

By Ashish Gurnani

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"We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It's our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better."

When Jeff Bezos, Founder & CEO of Amazon, says something, the world pays heed. The thing about the whole online shopping revolution has been the fact that it's extremely customer-centric. While we all know that 'Customer is King' is now truer than ever before and in the online sphere, it is what drives one's business.

The Trend

As e-commerce grew, fashion startups started popping up with a variety that we couldn't fathom before. And with the mass market saturated, more and more brands started focusing on the niche markets. With the niches being tapped, the customers started getting exactly what they were looking for with greater accessibility. They did not have to sift through larger portals to find that one product that fits their need, aesthetic & budget. With the advent of these startups, it was all available under the same umbrella.

The products now available don't only fit a certain aesthetic and price point but also other aspects like sustainability and fair trade practices that customers are now conscious of. These startups changed the offerings not only in terms of the products they offer but also what they stand for and represent.

Modern Customers

The customer today is getting more conscious about where and by what means are the products that they use, manufactured. While price is still a driving point for the masses, these niche markets are a whole new band of loyal customers and a huge contributor to building a brand's credibility.

What truly does the trick is to never compromise on the quality of product and service that is offered to the customers. Over time, they come to appreciate the value that a brand has for them and apart from driving sales, they also contribute by spreading the word- be it on social media or by word of mouth. Any brand that has a loyal customer base can rely on them for genuine feedback too.

Recurring Loyal Customers

Recurring loyal customers is also important because with more and more startups popping up, it's difficult to get visibility and attract new customers. When people look for a specific product online, thousands of different brands and sites pop-up. The assortment is crazy. Whereas a recurring customer would look for the product or service they need at the site they know and trust.

While in the beginning, the need to stand out drove the basis of creation for the brands, now it's more about being able to tap and keep loyalties in the identified niche markets.

An important aspect to keep in mind is that while customer loyalty, in general, can vary with competition, brand loyalty in recurring customers means that they feel little to no need to check out the competition. They believe in the product being offered to them. And brand loyalty is something that can be built only with excellent & constant quality.

In these times of excessive competition and over saturation of the market, it's these customers that can keep a brand afloat and help it stand out.

Transparency and accountability are increasing by the day and it's becoming more and more important for brands to take notice of how loyal their customer base is. Another great way of maintaining a great rapport and retaining customers is to build personal relationships. While great quality and prices will definitely be a major lucrative factor, when a customer is given personal attention, it makes them feel looked after. A follow-up call, emails for feedback, regular relevant updates, etc. all amount to a customer taking notice of the brand's efforts.

At the end of the day, it's important to remember that while acquiring newer segments of the market is important, holding on to the loyal base is even more important. They form the crux and give shape to a brand's identity. We often associate brands by the kind of people who often wear them, and this applies beyond celebrities and to social circles as well.

Ashish Gurnani

Co-Founder, PostFold

Ashish Gurnani studied Marketing and Finance in Northeastern University, Boston. Post that moved to Seattle to work at the mecca of e-commerce in Amazon as a Digital Advertising Analyst and worked with companies like John Hancock, EMC and Amazon.  He left his high paying job to create ‘PostFold’, a brand that he hopes is looked up to for its culture, honesty and style. Out of work he’s a big foodie who enjoys trying different types of food from all over the world, travelling and experiencing new cultures and swimming on Sundays.
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