Turn Shoppers into Loyalists with Post-Purchase MessagingMay 2, 2017 - by Kristine Lowery
Reaching out to consumers at the point of purchase offers a powerful opportunity to make a mark. Still, many retailers miss it. In a recent survey from Support.com, 40% of those surveyed say that post-purchase experiences, such as returns, make up the most memorable aspect of the overall brand experience. Nearly 80% also say that a positive brand experience overall post-purchase is important to them.
Given this consumer state of mind, a purchase is not just a purchase. It’s also an opportune moment for direct one-to-one communications at a time when customers are at their most engaged.
What Not to Do Post-Purchase
Interestingly, despite the intuitively benefits of post-purchase communications, RetailDive reports that retailers are still struggling to strike while the iron is hot. How great is the need for post-purchase communications? An entire startup called Happy Returns exists just to manage returns of online purchases. By allowing returns to happen through a third party, retailers are losing opportunities to connect with their customers themselves. As a result, they can’t, say, offer an alternative product.
Far too many retailers wait until post-delivery to resell, though plenty of consumers still shop while they wait. Other “don’t dos” include non-branded shipping confirmations and addressing messages to “Dear Customer.” Sephora, for example, sends customers video previews of their monthly Play Box package’s contents.
In today’s competitive retail environment, it’s easy to lose a customer. As Amit Sharma, founder and CEO of post-purchase tech provider Narvar told Womens Wear Daily, “Customers are quick to abandon brands if their experience is less than perfect, and brands who go MIA after customers click ‘buy’ will surely lose those customers.”
What to Do: Strike While the Iron is Hot
Here’s a brief overview of post-purchase messaging tactics, which we outline in further detail in our best practice guide, Increasing Repeat Purchase Rates. These foundational and sophisticated tactics will keep customers engaged. And that will ultimately lead to them wanting to buy more.
Foundational post-purchase messaging tactics include branding and product information in any transactional email, as well as any order history pages onsite. If a customer’s buying frequency declines, offer discounts through a series of email communications. You can also encourage reviews, referrals, social shares and loyalty program memberships, among others, after a purchase.
One more sophisticated post-purchase messaging tactics include offering discounts to those customers who have left negative reviews. Another good one is to recommend other products and discounts to customers who make returns.
In addition to post-purchase messaging tactics, our guide to increasing repeat purchase rates includes other strategies and tactics for growing sales and revenue. Download it now.