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It’s a well-known fact that it costs more for businesses to acquire new customers than to keep their existing customers coming back for repeat purchases. That’s why the post-purchase experience is so important for your business. Delighting your customers after they click ‘buy’ should be a key part of your sales funnel. Here are four great tips on how to keep your customers engaged post-purchase.
Start with Checkout
It seems counterintuitive, but the post-purchase experience actually starts with checkout. Asking customers to create an account during the checkout process can give a big boost to their post-purchase experience.
Getting an email address or phone number allows you to communicate with customers, send new offers and promotions and even create a loyalty program — but be wary. Twenty-four percent of users said that they abandoned their cart because the site forced them to create an account. Account creation needs to be done right in order to yield positive results.
How do you get customers to create an account? Make it worth their while. Offer customers simple incentives like 10% off their next purchase, or even free shipping. By offering these small value-adds, you can get valuable data that will allow for a direct line into your customers’ pockets, making it easier to drive repeat business.
Do More with Shipping
The next most important step in the post-purchase experience is shipping. This is a pivotal point for the customer, where their experience with an online brand finally becomes tangible, so it’s crucial not to mess this one up. Businesses can do a few simple things to improve the customers’ shipping experience, like offering free shipping, giving updates during the process or offering expedited shipping times, but you can also add product protection to help cover costs if something goes unexpectedly wrong along the way.
Uncertainties in the supply chain make shipping protection a more popular add-on than ever. If you don’t protect your product and it gets lost in the mail, you’ll be responsible for absorbing the cost of shipping a new item — or worse. If you can’t ship a replacement, you risk your brand reputation as the customer might write a bad review and tell their friends to avoid shopping with you at all costs.
Merchants work hard to optimize the customer experience, and offering shipping protection helps ensure customers receive their products, no matter what happens after an item leaves the warehouse.
Make the Unboxing Experience Unforgettable
Now that the customer has your product in-hand, it’s time to dazzle and delight them with their unboxing experience.
First, your packaging game needs to be on point. A box is more than a delivery system. For many ecommerce companies, it’s a customer’s first time experiencing your brand in a physical way. That means creating a great look and feel for your customer, one that matches their expectations and ensures a quality experience.
Next, think about what comes inside the box itself. Your product, of course, but what else? Will you include branded wrapping or specially designed protection for your product? How about a gift in addition to the customer’s purchase, like stickers or pins? CBDistillery, a BigCommerce customer, loves to include special gifts with their products, like beanies, sunglasses, or socks.
“By placing a coupon or special offer in the box, you’re incentivizing your customers to come back for repeat business,” said Max Kiely, Associate Product Marketer at BigCommerce.
Communication = Retention
Speaking of repeat business, that’s the final goal of any post-purchase campaign or interaction: you want the customer to come back and buy again. If you’ve focused on creating a positive post-purchase experience, repeat business should be easy.
Once your customer has created an account, you’ve got a direct line to their inbox. Now you can send them promotions, special offers, and even product suggestions based on their purchase history.
But email marketing is only half of the story. With SMS marketing, your customers receive similar messages to emails, but this direct message is so much more impactful and personal than a message sitting in an inbox. According to BigCommerce partner Omnisend, in 2022 email marketing generated 72 orders for every 1,000 promotional campaign emails clicked on compared to 343 orders for every 1,000 automated messages.
But remember, don’t spam your customers. This direct line of communication should be viewed as a privilege and used sparingly. Think of SMS messages as a more intimate and urgent message than an email. Start with automated messages triggered by your shopper’s behavior — think shipping or order updates — then move into promotional messages around big events, holidays or sales.
While customer acquisition is an important part of every sales funnel, retention and repeat business should always be top of mind. Keeping existing customers happy and upselling costs less than acquiring new ones. But how do you keep your customers coming back for more?
It starts at checkout by giving them a chance to sign up for more deals or a loyalty program. Then, you need to dazzle them with lightning-fast shipping. Next, make their first physical interaction with your brand a memorable one by upping your packaging game. Lastly, keep in touch with them with email or SMS marketing, offering deals on new products or upselling based on their order history.
By creating a great post-purchase experience, you can keep your pipeline strong and turn your focus on growing your business. Explore how BigCommerce’s ecommerce platform can help you better engage with your customers post-purchase.