Let’s face it. Your website was built and should be built with one thing in mind. Convince new customers that your product is worth buying, and give them an experience that guides them down that path to trial/first purchase.

But what about for all of those people who are already customers? Where should they go to make a second, third, or fourth purchase? To the homepage, catalog page, a product detail page? It seems like all of these have drawbacks since most if not all were built with first time acquisition in mind rather than returning customer conversion.

Options for where to send returning customers on Shopify

So let's explore the pros and cons of each, and a brand new solution you can try.

Should you send returning customers to your homepage?

The homepage comes with a really strong pro but also a host of cons. The biggest advantage of sending people to your homepage is that it's easy for you to execute. You can send the same email to all customers with zero segmentation or analysis and invite them back to shop.

The problem is that most aren’t in “shop” mode with your brand any more. They want an easy way to “buy”. Sending returning customers back to your website is asking them to do a lot. They have to navigate through everything that's designed for first time customers to find the products they know they want but now have to look for around the entire site.

pros and cons of returning customers to the homepage

If you’re just getting started with retention marketing, sending returning customers to your homepage is a great place to start but far from ideal. With proper segmentation and flow branching you can send customers to experiences that are personalized to previous purchases. Or you can use Repeat’s Klaviyo integration so that you can personalize your post-purchase emails without complex branches using a single replenishment flow.

Should you send returning customers to your catalog page?

In a similar fashion to the homepage, when you send returning customers to the catalog page you make it easier on your email segmentation and branching logic. You can have every CTA point to the same place.

The major benefit of the catalog over the homepage is that it puts a returning customer closer to a purchase. They can get to a specific product they want to buy in a single click. This is a great option for those just getting started with retention marketing … if you have a small selection of products. If you have a large catalog of products (15+) this tactic has many of the same downfalls as the homepage.

pros and cons of returning customers to the catalog page

Personally, I would choose sending to the catalog page over the homepage in a non-segmented and non-branching post-purchase strategy. That said, adding segmentation and branching logic to a replenishment flow unlocks a ton of personalization (or just use Repeat in your emails).

Should you send returning customers to your product detail pages (PDP)?

The short answer is yes. However, sending returning customers to a relevant PDP requires some knowledge of the customer and some work within your ESP to make sure that customers are being sent to the right place.

If you don’t use branch logic to start different flows based on what a customer bought last time, you will be sending all customers to a PDP that won't always be relevant. Sure you can send everyone to your most popular items PDP and it will be right sometimes maybe even most of the time depending on how popular it is, but these replenishment emails can be much more effective if you send the customer to the PDP of what they bought last time.

pros and cons of returning customers to the product page

If you want to send a customer to the product they bought last time you need to do one of two things.

  1. Create branching logic on your flow for each product you offer so that returning customers are sent to the PDP of the product the bought last time to restock
  2. Use Repeat’s “due to reorder” trigger to time the send at the right time and send the customer to their personalized Repeat cart with a single flow

Replenishment flows are a vital piece of retention strategy for CPG brands. If you choose to use branching logic to build this experience you can find a ton of actionable advice in our most recent collaboration post with Klaviyo on CPG specific email tactics. If you want to simplify it all into a single flow grab a time with our team or simply get started.

Here’s the difference between a singular flow vs multibranch flow.


Is there an option designed for returning customer conversion?

Glad you asked. There is! A returning customer conversion point is what Repeat is obsessed with. We have spent years crafting an experience that’s designed to make the reorder experience seamless, fast, and personalized for your returning customers.

The cart is a personalized offering of products that is anchored in a customer’s purchase history. Said more simply, each customer is shown products that they have bought in the past which are also the products they are most likely to buy in the future.

pros and cons of returning customers to a Repeat cart

The same CTA can be used to direct all customers to their personalized cart. Leading to personalized replenishment flows without all the logic, and a conversion point that is 15% more effective than sending a returning customer to the PDP or other website landing pages. Because other products are at their fingertips it also increases AOV by 30% too.

With acquisition costs rising and attribution more difficult than ever, focusing on optimizing revenue from returning customers has never been more important. No matter where you decide to send these customers to convert you should always be measuring and optimizing for the best result.

Don’t give returning customers the same experience

No matter what approach you take, don’t send your returning customers through the same conversion experience as first time shoppers. Your returning customers are built differently. They want to BUY while all those first time customers are still shopping.

Most of what makes your homepage and PDPs great for traffic you are acquiring for the first time can actually just get in the way for returning customers. Build an end to end experience for them, and one of the most important components of that is where you send them to convert. Choose wisely!

Share this post