Before we move further - accept my sincere congratulations! The fact that you are reading this post most likely means that your existing customers have already managed to click the "buy now" button and you can defer the buying process as nicely done.
However, before we high-five each other and do a joint dance of sales joy, I have one more piece of news for you, not necessarily a good one: even though the purchase process has been finalized, you still need to take a moment for your existing customers and take care of their user experience - just by betting on the so-called post-purchase activities.
Post-purchase customer experience: what to take care of
By taking extra care of shoppers and pampering them at every stage of the shopping journey (including after the proverbial finalizing of the shopping cart), you can increase customer loyalty, bring a smile to their faces when unboxing, count on positive online reviews and, finally, count on repeat purchases and growing customer satisfaction. Now you see for yourself that there is a lot to fight for.
But let's be specific - as in any topic, the numbers speak for themselves. Retaining customers and turning them into dedicated and loyal customers is a process that is extremely cost-effective from your brand's financial perspective. However, to succeed in it, it is essential to take care of the aforementioned post-purchase experience.
Does it pay off? Research indicates that the probability of selling to a customer who already knows your store from previous purchases is as much as 14 times higher than that of selling to a new customer.
Harvard Business School, on the other hand, stresses that caring about customer lifetime value is essential. According to studies, an increase in customer retention rate by as little as 5% can lead to an increase in profits ranging, depending on the industry, from 25% to 95% (!).
As you can see, focusing on perfect customer experience matters - and can lead to great increases in customer loyalty. Now that we've established that, let's get down to specifics: what is the post-purchase experience? The process consists of several elements:
communication elements (post-purchase email campaigns, live chat, contact with customer support team);
visual elements (e.g., the issue of product packaging);
and so-called behavior-based elements (i.e., e.g., repurchasing, online ratings, reactions on social media).
Taking care of customer retention: post-purchase experience optimizing step by step
Although most brands associate the post-purchase experience primarily with a "thank you" email, there are a few more ideas for spicing up the post-purchase customer experience.
In today's post, we proudly present to you some of them:
1. The magic of post-purchase email campaigns: much more than a fancy subject line
Don't get me wrong: there is nothing wrong with the already mentioned after-purchase news. If something works - there is no reason to give it up just for the sake of innovation.
However, remember to make your emails as elaborate as possible: don't just stop at a thank-you note, but add something more. Think about what can catch customers' attention beyond the catchy subject line. Step into the shoes of buyers and discover the customer's perspective. At the end of the day, who but the marketing team knows how to take care of an email campaign and make them stand out from the competition.
It can be a discount code to use on future purchases or a link to an article from your blog describing how to use the ordered item enriched with a request to share customer feedback. Remember: tutorials are always appreciated by customers, and additional feedback won't hurt you either :)
This is the path chosen by Dossier company, representing the beauty industry in today's list:
2. Appreciate your customer service team work
A team that takes care of the customer at every stage of the purchase path is a must-have: online shoppers may encounter problems before just placing an order, when finalizing the shopping cart, and... also at the post-purchase stage. It is very important not to leave online shoppers with these problems alone.
Helping them solve their issues can have an impact on creating loyal customers and smoothening the whole customer journey.
You can help your team by supplying them with tools that make their work easier. n fact, by wisely choosing software to automate customer service through this department, you can kill two birds with one stone: some of the tools available on the market allow you to generate surveys and encourage customers to leave their feedback immediately after purchase or after contact with an employee.
3. The role of order process tracking
In fact, it is already (and rightly so) the norm in the industry to send an order shipping confirmation email containing also shipping details. Most eCommerce business look after post-purchase flow by allowing customers to track their orders' path in real-time.
Note: modern order delivery tracking allows you to do much more than provide information about the expected delivery date. Your customer wants to know if the package is still in the warehouse or if it has been handed over to the courier - and they want to have access to this data on their mobile phones as well.
A great example of an outstanding order tracking communication are messages sent by Postable - the company has implemented a rather interesting solution based on catching the attention of the audience through the use of... animation.
4. A small thing with a big effect: the importance of customized packaging
As the old saying goes, you can only make a first impression once. Exactly for this reason it is so important to invest in packaging that not only protects the contents of the package well but also immediately catches the recipient's eye and brings a smile to his face. What's more, packaging can move with the times - and be made of eco-friendly materials and enriched with graphics and branding that match your brand.
5. Make returns and exchanges easier
As we have mentioned many times in other posts, it is extremely important to ensure a customer-friendly return and exchange policy.
A good idea for handling returns is to find the right logistics service provider to help you manage their volume. That's why it's worth betting on cooperation with, for example, a company that provides fulfillment services.
On the other hand, don't forget to take care of the customers returning the goods. Provide them with clear and transparent information about returns, and in the case of online orders - add pre-printed return labels to packages, making the whole process more smooth.
Post-purchase customer experience: the brief summing up
Take extra care of the post-purchase customer journey - believe us, this is a really important part of the customer experience. Thanks to the polite feedback request, and smartly designed loyalty programs combined with stellar customer service you can gain new customers, get valuable insights, boost brand loyalty, and, simply saying, meet customers' expectations.
Make your customers feel special. Send them personalized post-purchase messages with carefully selected subject lines, offer them outstanding loyalty programs, and do not forget about cross-sell. Boost their post-purchase satisfaction - by creating a community forum and taking a closer look at the whole purchase cycle. Bet on marketing strategy supported by valuable feedback gained from review request and online community.
Remember: each next purchase done via your ecommerce site is a win-win situation, thanks to the hard work of the customer support team and the introduction of valuable changes.