How to Improve Your Post-Purchase eCommerce Strategy

You've gotten a customer to convert but you can't rest on your laurels. Now it's time to deploy your post-purchase eCommerce strategy.

The following is a guest post by Pierre Melion, Digital Marketing Assistant at Impression Digital Limited.

The “post-purchase” is an essential, yet often overlooked, stage of the eCommerce customer journey. With repeat customers accounting for 40% of store’s revenue, it’s important to have a strong post-purchase strategy in place in order to provoke repeat engagement, encourage referrals, and drive more revenue.

So how do you go about implementing a successful post-purchase engagement strategy that continues to delight customers long after they click “buy”? Here are some tangible ways to improve the post-purchase experience for your customers to ensure the relationship doesn’t end at checkout.

Outline goals and objectives

Before undertaking your new strategy, be crystal clear about your goals and objectives. Here are some broad goals that can be achieved with a post-purchase customer engagement strategy:

  • Increase repeat purchases: A successful post-purchase strategy has the ability to influence customers to re-automate purchase.
  • Higher post-purchase engagement: Provoke users to engage with your micro-content, which can serve as a gateway to re-automating purchase.
  • Drive more customer referrals: Loyal post-purchase customers can refer others and recommend your brand, product, or service to other people.

Now that you have outlined relevant but desirable outcomes for your strategy, you can start to go ahead and research ways in which your business can attain the outlined goals and objectives.

Think back to offline retailing

Online retailing has the added benefit of round-the-clock shopping, reduced product prices, and instant accessibility. But it lacks physical interaction in both the pre and mid-purchase stages of the customer journey.

When customers first receive your post-purchase eCommerce offering, this might be the first physical interaction they have with your brand. This makes optimizing your product delivery and packaging experience vital. Creating a physical experience with your customers can prompt people to re-engage and interact with your brand post-purchase, giving them the ability to re-automate into the engagement cycle as opposed to dropping off.

Rowena, a creative director from Boxtopia says, “Product delivery and packaging equally reflects the the brand as much as the product or service itself. Creating memorable experiences for you customers will give them an experience which will stick!”

Re-automate purchase incentives

Having loyal customers is great. But if customers display loyalty by referring, following, or re-purchasing from your brand, what’s in it for them if they’re not getting rewarded or recognized for their efforts?

Offering purchase incentives within your post-purchase strategy is important so that you recognize a customer’s loyalty through reward. As a result, this will give customers more of a reason and justification for re-automating engagement.

This can be apparent for a great array of post-purchase considerations. Whether it’s getting customers to follow your social channels, sign up to your newsletter, or re-automate purchase, rewarding loyalty is the key to prompting happy customers to return.

Create “follow worthy” content

Getting customers to engage with your social media channels is a great form of re-connecting with post-purchase stage customers. To ensure customers actually engage with your social media content, you need to make sure what you’re providing is “follow worthy.” Easier said than done, of course.

Creating an effective social strategy begins with understanding the medium. A one content form fits all strategy for the different available social media channels will never grasp engagement to it’s full potential. Understanding the demands of each consumable social media channel by creating content for the medium will be a key factor to making your social media efforts “follow worthy.”

Jab, jab, jab, right hook!

Gary Vaynerchuk‘s take on creating effective social media content is to give. His book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World argues that in order to ask followers to do something, you first have to give. And keep on giving.

  • The jab: The jab is all about giving. Creating content which is fit for its medium whilst being passively consumable.
  • The right hook: The right hook is content which asks something of your audience. This form of content should be fed through once there have been a sufficient amount of “jabs” given to an audience. An example could be a post about a new product or promotion with a link to purchase that particular item.

One of the key takeaways is that this strategy has to cater to your audiences particular wants and needs. To successfully implement “the right hook”, Vaynerchuk stresses, “Whatever your jab is, it doesn’t entitle you to land the right hook. It just allows you to have the audacity to ask.” This will ensure that the audience is comfortable to actually interact with “the right hook” content.

Offer competitive delivery

Offering competitive delivery options can keep you inline or set your products ahead of competitors. Many third party eCommerce retailers sell the same products as their competitors within their industry, making it important to set your offerings aside from that of competitors. Customers who successfully receive your competitive delivery offerings will remember the added value.

Get even more creative by using free shipping as a potential tool for upsell by deploying personalized messaging based on the value of a user’s cart. If your site’s free-shipping threshold is $100 and a user has $70 worth of products in her cart, let her know that she is only $30 away from those items showing up on her doorstep, delivered for free!

Leverage your expertise

If your business simply isn’t capable of offering fast delivery services, you can still offer USPs over shopping with the retailing giants. Online retailers such as Amazon offer an amazing array of products at competitive prices, but what they lack is the opportunity to show any expertise in the products they sell. This is because they sell a large quantity of different products, giving them no authority to become “market experts” within a specific product sector niche.

Becoming an expert within your field by offering great on-site content with amazing customer service can make your brand stand out from the fat cats of online retail. If customers are comfortable contacting your pre, mid, or post purchase, it’s more than likely this will play an added benefit when looking to re-purchase goods within your e-commerce offerings field.

Give more than just the product

Including more than what a customer ordered is always an exciting surprise. This will make customers valued when they buy  products from you. This little extra can be anything, from a lollipop right down to a targeted discount off their next purchase. Most importantly, it gives customers added value that will bring your brand to mind the next time a consumer needs your product.

The following is a guest post by Pierre Melion, Digital Marketing Assistant at Impression Digital Limited.