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Creative Shop Talk with Wendy Batten

Jul 17, 2023

 With host retail coach Wendy Batten


You’ve made it to Part 4 of the Simple Sales Strategy Series! Today we are talking about Return Customer Rate.


So what is a Return Customer Rate? Your Return Customer Rate is calculated by dividing the number of customers who have made more than one purchase from your store by the total number of customers you’ve had during a given timeframe. It’s the percentage of your customers who are coming back again.


Your POS system likely gives you this number.  Keep in mind that figuring out your return customer rate isn’t a perfect science. Your POS system likely tracks return customers by the credit/debit cards they use, so customers who pay in cash might fly under the radar. 


So now that you have your return customer rate handy, give it a quick analysis.  At first glance, a high rate might seem like something to celebrate, but keep in mind that super high return rates might mean that you aren’t acquiring new customers. On the other hand, if our return rate is low, we might be acquiring tons of new customers but if they aren’t coming back we need to know why. Unfortunately, there is no ideal return customer rate, but much like the rest of this series, knowing and analyzing your return customer rate is super empowering and important to your marketing strategy and the tactics you put in place to achieve success in your strategy.


“[You need to understand]...where to spend your time and your energy…so that you are not just doing random acts of marketing.” - Wendy Batten


So let’s recap: Know your numbers: Conversion rate, average order value, and return customer rate. Know how many people are coming into your shop. Identify where you want to improve your numbers and ideally what you want them to be. (This is your STRATEGY.) Next, attach TACTICS (how you are going to implement your strategy) and get to work implementing. 


This is truly where the magic happens.  Retailers who are intentional with their marketing strategies build strong, healthy businesses. 


Related podcasts we think you’ll like:  

Episode 165: Simple Sales Strategy Series: Increasing Your Average Order Value

Episode 164: Simple Sales Strategy Series: Foot Traffic and Conversion

Episode 163: Simple Sales Strategy Series: Where to Start


About your host, Wendy Batten

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m Wendy, a small business coach and founder of the Retailer’s Inner Circle, where I help other independent shop owners learn how to gain the right business skillsets to see more profits, paychecks, and joy as they navigate running their retail business. 

Through online classes, business coaching programs, speaking, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped hundreds of retailers around the globe reclaim their dream and see the success they want from their beautiful shops. My signature private coaching community, The Retailer’s Inner Circle, has helped retailers around the world build their retail business skill sets and confidence. 

I am proud to have been featured in several major publications, including my own business column in What Women Create magazine. I have been privileged to be a guest on top-ranked podcasts and sought-after as a guest speaker and teacher for several brands, associations, and communities that are passionate about the success of independent retailers.

When I’m not coaching, you will find me either DIYing and renovating my very imperfect old crooked cottage by the sea in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Lunenburg, NS, or blogging about our travel and RVing adventures and the weird fun things we get up to in our coastal village. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for real retailers at 


For more support from Wendy


Retailer’s Inner Circle - Join Wendy inside the best retailer’s community


Wendy’s FREE Resources for shop owners 


Hang out and connect with Wendy on IG 


All of Wendy’s programs and services for shop owners can be found HERE. 

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