When it comes to engaging a group of customers for the new product or any other product then your existing customers are the best option to target. Targeting an existing customer will automatically reduce your ad spends because they know about your eCommerce store.
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But here comes the twist, engaging an existing customer depends on how you treated your customer in the post-purchase stage. Most of the eCommerce business commits a mistake by ignoring their customer in the post-purchase stage.
A successful eCommerce website always nurtures its existing customers and provides a satisfactory post-purchase experience. To repeat engagement and drive more conversion you need to have an effective post-purchase customer experience strategy that can help you to drive more revenue.
Therefore in this article, we are going to draw your attention to something that can help your eCommerce business to outperform your competitor. We will be discussing why you should focus on your post-purchase stage and how you can improve your customer’s post-purchase experience.
If you are looking to create a buyer persona for your business then check our article on How To Identify The Right Buyer Persona For An Ecommerce Store In 2020?
Why do eCommerce websites focus on the post-purchase stage?
Most of the eCommerce businesses focus on improving their sales and revenue. Only a few care about their customer and focus on optimizing their customer experience. Post-purchase and customer experience are very much relatable, once your customer purchases any service or products from your e-store then the real engagement starts.
In the buying cycle, your customer analyzes and evaluates your product & brand. You may think that after a customer makes a purchase form your e-store the buying cycle ends. Well, that’s not how it works, the actual buying journey starts after a customer purchases your e-store.
For example, if any of the customers visit your website to book a flight ticket. Then he will simply enter the destination, details and book the flight. What do you think his buying journey ends after purchasing the ticket? Many of you may think that their buying journey is over but the actual engagement starts after a customer makes the purchase.
After customers purchase a product, you can use upsell to advertise additional products like adding meals, upgrading the tickets and providing various options for traveling, etc. The same goes for every industry no matter what your niche is about, whether you are selling cloth, appliances, subscription or any other items. The post-purchase stage can play a crucial role in increasing your sales and revenue.
There are various strategies out there that can help you to improve your customer experience, make them feel welcome and ask them to return and make the purchase from your store in the future. Optimizing your post-purchase behavior can improve your eCommerce business reputation and increase your customer satisfaction.
Tips to optimize the post-purchase experience of your customers:
1. Make use of your transactional emails
Most of the brands make a mistake by simply sending the simple transaction email with the order number, tracking number, link, etc. Your transactional emails are the ones that your customer will open at any cost to get all the details. So, You can make use of it to advertise your most selling product in front of your audience.
A post-purchase email has the highest chances of engagement than the normal marketing email. It means your transactional email will have your customer’s attention because they purchased from your store so they will look for every detail.
Generally, an eCommerce website sends two different types of post-purchase emails: a transactional email and a thank you email. Remember you are competing with many e-commerce websites so you have to use unconventional ways to attract your customer’s attention to different products.
You can use the data and depending on that you can offer some relatable products. For example, your customer has bought jeans from your eCommerce store then you can recommend them shoes, T-shirts, jackets that relate to the product they brought. Because those are the products that can encourage you the customer to visit back on your website to check the details.
If you look at the image then you analyze how Amazon is making a smart move by engaging their customer by offering the same kind of product in the transactional email. You can make use of this example to understand how this works and implement it in your marketing and branding strategy.
2. Optimize your return policy
Getting a product return notification can hurt your eCommerce business but an easy return policy will encourage your customer to make the future purchase for your website. According to the recent report, Zappos found that 95% of their customers who returned their product made their next purchase from the same store.
If you want to optimize your post-purchase experience then highlight and tell your customer about your easy return policy. Providing this type of solution will encourage your customers to buy the product. Even there are chances that your customer may buy the product that you recommended in your post-purchase email, to check the product effectiveness.
That’s why it is recommended to keep your return policy as simple as possible. If possible you can offer the same day pick up for the return. Don’t include too much jargon in your return policy, instead use simple words, so that your customer can understand all the terms and conditions in your return policy.
Today, few businesses charge extra money for returning the package. If your eCommerce business is among them right away you should stop it. Because your customer doesn’t want to pay an extra amount. Those fees can save your money but your customer may not show interest in paying extra money. That’s why it is recommended to provide a free return policy for every product you sell.
3. Go beyond thank you
Whenever your customer purchases from your store, after the payment is completed you display a Thank you message at the end. Have you ever thought “thank you” can play a crucial role in attracting more customers on your eCommerce website? After your customer makes the purchase they are already excited about receiving the product. So you can make use of that email by asking your customers to share about the product they recently purchased.
Embedding various social media icons in your thank you page can help you to achieve your goal. Don’t force your customers to share the details instead use some persuasive terms to encourage them about sharing their product buying experience. To make it better you can start thinking from your customer’s perspective.
Instead of making your customer type the whole message you can prepare a pre-canned message and graphics which will make it easy for them to share their details on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
In this type of case, offering incentives can help you to get the best results. You can ask your customers to share the details and ask their family members and friends to download the app in return you will give them some reward in the form of cashback points.
If your eCommerce website is offering a loyalty program then the thank page can be the best option to advertise it in front of your customers. In the thank you page, you can ask your customer to join your loyalty program. You can micro-content in the form of a video that will help them to know why they should join your loyalty program.
4. Offer Responsive Customer Support
Today most of the online shoppers face one common problem related to post-purchase customer support. According to the recent report, more than 56% of the customers don’t feel satisfied after purchasing from an eCommerce store.
To resolve any issue related to payment failure or order tracking customers look for customer support. if they fail to get the proper response then simply they abandon the e-commerce website without any hesitation. That’s why if you want to improve the post-purchase experience for your customer then it is recommended to optimize your customer support.
You can simply do it by offering various contact us options through calls, email or live chat. In-person assistance can be the best option as it will allow your customer to explain the problem in detail to your customer support executive.
Your response time also plays a crucial role in deciding your customer support performance. More than 93% of companies fail to respond to their customers after they request assistance. In general, the customer expects the response time within 5 minutes if you fail to respond within the desired time then your customer may reach out to your social media pages to tell the issue. These types of actions can damage your reputation in front of the audience.
Chatbots are the best option to tackle this type of problem. If your eCommerce business has fewer customer care executives then you can opt for chatbot support where you can ask your customers to wait and use the time which will assure them that their problem will be resolved soon.
5. Offer “How to” guide to your customer
A loyal customer is the one who will help you to increase your engagement and sales revenue. To convert a customer into a loyal customer you have to show them that you care for them. Providing the “How to” guide can help you to show that you care for your customers. After a customer purchases any unknown product (mostly tech-based) you can offer the “How to” guide which will allow them to understand how the product works.
There are times when the customer gets frustrated and they return the product because they don’t find any source that can help them to know how the product operates. To overcome these problems, eCommerce businesses use the “how-to” guide to educate their customers about the product.
To offer “How to” guide you can use email to tell you customer about the product functioning. You can either send them a short video link or attach some infographics that indicate the product functioning.
6. Enhance your package tracking experience
If you want to optimize the post-purchase experience for your eCommerce website then you need to prove effective package tracking experience. Every customer anticipates receiving their product and if you fail to provide proper tracking then there are chances that they may never return to your customer. In simple words, package tracking experience can make and break your revenue, sales, and post-purchase experience.
Imagine a scenario where you send a post-purchase email to your customer with purchase details and package tracking details. Once your customer clicks on packing tracking as an unavailable page appears. What do you think after looking at an unresponsive web page will your customer return to your website? Remember by providing an easy and intuitive product tracking experience can convert your paying customers into loyal customers.
That’s why we recommend you to select the right shipping carriers that can provide transparency in tracking a product. To optimize package tracking experience make some changes to your website and allow your customers to track their shipment on your website.
7. Clear about your goals
Before planning any new marketing strategy for targeting your existing as well as new customers. You should focus on crafting an effective strategy for post-purchase engagement. A clear goal and with a clear objective can help you to create a productive post-purchase experience.
Your post-purchase strategy plays a crucial role in deciding whether your customer is going to return to your website or not. That’s why it is recommended to create a post-purchase strategy that can successfully persuade your customers to buy more products from your e-commerce website.
Make use of your micro-content to make your post-purchase strategy more effective. Today there are many websites using micro-content to engage their customers by providing valid reasons on why they should buy the product. You can use your micro-content to educate your audience about the product as it can act as a gateway for re-initiating the purchase process.
8. Interact with your customers in the review section
If you are recommending any product in your post-purchase email, firstly the customer will check the review about that product and based on that they will make the decision. Product review plays an important role in deciding whether your customer is going to buy the product or not. If your product contains user reviews, no matter if it’s positive or negative it will help a customer in determining that other people out there are using the same product and it increases your conversion rate by 270%.
More than 60% of the online shopper changes their decision after looking at your reply for the review. Even if your customer finds any negative feedback about your product, a proper and satisfactory reply to that review can surely help your customer to decide whether they want to buy your product or not.
Before replying to any review take a deep analysis of that review and thank your customer for providing feedback about your product. If the review is negative apologize with your customer and get in touch with them to resolve the issue in the review section. You can also prove customer care numbers and email support to resolve their issues. These types of activities help your future customers to gain more trust on your eCommerce website.
If the review is positive then make use of it to engage more customers by publishing it on your social media page. It will encourage other customers to provide a review of the product and their purchase experience. So, if you want to optimize your post-purchase experience then try to offer what your customer is looking for and provide a satisfactory solution for the problem.
9. Remarketing your product at the right time
After you have obtained your customer, the next step to make your post-purchase customer experience strategy successful is by remarketing your products to your existing customer. You already know about your customer purchase behavior and the type of product they would buy from your store. So why not make use of it to engage them by displaying the related product ads on social media and Google.
You can retarget your customers depending on the time when your customers are likely to convert. Make use of your data and analyze when your customer is going to need the same product in the future. Depending on that data you can trigger them and ask them to buy the same product by offering some incentives like coupons and discounts.
For example, if your customer brought any cosmetic product from your store then there will be a time when the product will get over and the customer may look for the same product. During that time you can retarget them by displaying the same product ads on various channels like social media, Google ads and more.
Every eCommerce website wants to provide the best post-purchase experience to its customers but due to small issues, they fail to do it. The actual job of an e-commerce website begins after a customer makes a purchase. Your post-purchase strategy will play a crucial role in deciding whether your customer is going to become your loyal customer or they are going to shift to your competitors.
Above we have mentioned some important tips that will help you to improve your customer post-purchase experience. You can also use the above tips to craft an effective post-purchase strategy for your eCommerce business.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is post-purchase dissonance?
Post-purchase dissonance occurs when your customer feels unsatisfied or their state of mind becomes uneasy after purchasing from your e-store. It happens mainly after reading a bad review of the product they brought or about your brand. These types of actions result in purchase failure, where the customer starts regretting buying your product and lastly they return the product without any hesitation.
2. What is pre-purchase behavior?
Consumer decision making depends on the pre-purchase and post-purchase experience. Once the consumer becomes aware of his need then he goes for an information search to make sure that he/she gets the right product. In the pre-purchase stage, consumers gather information about the brand, product, product variations by carrying out various search activities.
3. What is post-purchase behavior?
All the activities that are carried out during purchase and after purchase are included in the post-purchase behavior. Most of the time after purchasing the product customers face post-purchase dissonance. In the post-purchase behavior, you need to ensure your customers that the choice made by them is clear and good. If you fail to do it then there is a chase that they will abandon the purchased product by placing a return request. In simple words, you need to satisfy your customers about the purchase they made from your e-store.
4. What are the five stages of the consumer buying process?
If you are running an eCommerce website then you need to understand different stages of the consumer buying process. Here is the 5 consumer buying process:
- Problem recognition: Before a customer makes any purchase he needs to identify why he is making the purchase. In simple words, the customer needs to know the problem first then he will find the solution in your product.
- Information search: in this stage after the customer identifies the problem he starts searching for the right solution in your product by checking your product benefits, features, advantages, etc. using various source customers that try to gather information about the product (solution).
- Evaluation of alternatives: After researching the product, in the next step the customer tries to compare your product with your competitor. Even if you stand out and provide an exact solution, your buyer will surely go through your competitor to check their offering. Evaluation of alternatives provides satisfaction to the customer.
- Purchase decision: After evaluating every alternative customer takes the purchase decision based on the above factors. Many things encourage the customer to make purchase decisions like website design, payment method, product delivery, etc. Customer goes through every small part then depending on that they decide whether they will buy the product.
- Post-purchase evaluation: After purchase, your post-purchase customer experience will play an essential role in deciding whether your customer will visit back on your website or not. If the customer is satisfied after buying the product then they become the loyal customer of your eCommerce store.
5. Why is post-purchase evaluation important?
Post-purchase customer experience is very much relatable, once your customer purchases any service or products from your e-store then the real engagement starts. After customers purchase a product, they evaluate their purchase decision. Many times customers become uncertain about the decision they make after buying the product. Remember satisfaction is one of the most important stage drawing evaluations. If your customers find a better option for the same product then they may place a return request and there are chances that your customer may never come back to your website.
6. How to improve your post-purchase customer experience?
Post-purchase customer experience is very much dependent on the next purchase, once your customer purchases any service or products from your e-store then the real engagement starts. Below Are the tips that will help you to improve your customer experience:
- You can start by showing that your care for your customer
- Offer various facilities like fast delivery, easy return policy, customer support, etc.
- Educate your customer by providing “How to” guides
- Always ask your customer about the purchase experience through feedback
- Take a survey to know whether your customer is satisfied with your service or not
- Engage your customer with the replenishment reminders emails
- Start offering a loyalty program to your customers
- Start recommending the complementary products to your customers in a transactional email.
7. How do I provide post-purchase support?
Today most of the online shoppers face one common problem related to post-purchase customer support. According to the recent report, more than 56% of the customers don’t feel satisfied after purchasing from an eCommerce store. If you are looking to provide post-purchase support to your customer then follow the below tips:
- always make sure you ask for feedback and reviews after a customer purchase cycle ends
- Start providing extensive customer support to your new as well as existing customers
- To optimize your post-purchase support you can start sending personalized product recommendations to your existing customer.
- Use less jargon and ambiguous terms in your return and refund policy. Try to craft a simple and straight forward return and refund policy.
- Thank your customer after they provide the product review and add relevant product in your thank you page
- Use loyalty programs to convert your paying customers into loyal customers.
8. How to overcome post-purchase dissonance?
In general Post-purchase dissonance occurs when your customer feels unsatisfied or their state of mind becomes uneasy after purchasing from your e-store. It happens mainly after reading a bad review of the product they brought or about your brand. So if you want to overcome post-purchase dissonance then you can use bellow tips:
- Make sure you deliver your product on the specific date that you displayed on your eCommerce website
- Don’t recommend too many similar products to your customer
- Engaging your customers after they purchased from your eCommerce store. Send them feedback email, offer coupon code to your customers and nurture them after the buying cycle id over.
- Always anticipate things that might get wrong in the future. Go for the worst cases and try to figure out how you can tackle those situations.
- If something goes wrong after your customer receives the product then apologize to your customer and try to figure out the best solution for them.
- If your business is into selling food items them make sure to mention all the safety measures in your description.
9. What can marketers do to avoid the dissatisfaction?
Dissatisfaction is one of the common words that every customer comes across. No matter how great your customer support and service is, the customer always comes across some problems that unsatisfied them. That’s why it is said that if you are into eCommerce business then it is important for you to anticipate the problems your customers can come across. To avoid the dissatisfaction you can follow the below steps:
- Firstly we recommend you to analyze your customer’s behaviors depending on that you can prevent all the complaints. Identify where your customer is getting stuck and why they are not moving to the next payment page.
- Next, we recommend you visit various forums and social channels and identify what your customers are talking about your brand. If there are any negative comments try to ask then and resolve their issues. Identify all the situations that require your attention in the review section and social media channels.
- Use your social media to create positive buzz about your eCommerce website.
- Lastly, we recommend you engage your customers by providing the proper response to their problem. Be active on various channels to identify what your customer is talking about. Never commit a mistake by deleting any comment or review of your customer.