While it’s true you’ll put megawatts of energy into making a sale, what you do afterwards is equally important—if not more. Your long-term strategies should always be focused around generating repeat business. After all, it’s far less expensive to sell to an existing customer than it is to attract and convert a brand new one.
Optimizing the post-sale experience also helps increase your average order value, generate repeat business, and reduce your ongoing marketing costs. This is what you need to do after a sale is made.
Provide Order Confirmation
Immediately upon completing a purchase, your customer should see a verification screen detailing their order and confirming payment is received. Simultaneously a personalized email should be triggered, thanking them for the purchase and confirming once again the purchase has been made. This message should also provide an estimated delivery date and a promise to notify them when the product has shipped.
Transmit Shipping Confirmation
Another confirmation message should be dispatched when the product actually ships, providing your customer the carrier information and the tracking number. This is also a good place to reiterate your customer service information and return policies. Provide a link to your customer service page, as well as your FAQ page listing common questions about purchases and order tracking. Another nice touch is providing information to help the customer get the most from the item they purchased
These actions will alleviate residual anxieties the customer might have about buying a product online. It also says you understand their concerns and are doing your best to ensure their comfort and enjoyment of their purchase.
Optimize The Unboxing Experience
Ideally, your products will ship in logoed packaging materials. If you’re dealing with large items, say for example if you sell furniture online, this might be a bit more difficult. However, you should always include a thank you note, a copy of your newsletter (or other promotional materials) and coupons for discounts or incentives toward follow up purchases on complementary items.
Be proactive. Rather than waiting for them to get in touch with you get in touch to make sure everything was to their satisfaction. This is a great time to invite them to complete a post-purchase survey to learn how they felt about the buying and shipping experience. This does a couple of things. In addition to once again demonstrating you care, it gives you an opportunity to identify the weak links in your logistics chain and correct them if needed. This is also another good place to suggest items that would go well with their purchase.
Invite Enrollment in Your Customer Loyalty Program
Along with the survey should be an invitation to join your loyalty program. The perks of membership will of course vary according to the nature of your products. It’s also a good time to ask for a testimonial, detailing their appreciation for the product and your processes. Include a link to a “Share Your Experience” page, wherein they can tell their story. Offer discounts on subsequent purchases or another special offer as an incentive for doing so.
All emailed communications should be optimized for mobile. While many orders are indeed still being placed on desktop devices, the vast majority of communications are conducted with handheld machines. Thus, all of these missives should be small-screen optimized.
Optimizing your post sale experience according to these guidelines will play a significant role in your customer retention efforts. Remember, driving conversions is about more than just acquiring new patrons. It’s also about making the existing ones feel appreciated.