post-puchase

Turn Shoppers into Loyalists with Post‑Purchase Messaging

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.

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.

Given this consumer state of mind, a purchase is not just a purchase. It’s also an opportune moment for a trigger that begins the process of creating the next sale, as customers tend to be most engaged with a brand near the time of purchase. Post-purchase, the brand knows something new about the customer, and should incorporate that information into their subsequent messaging strategy.

Foundational Post-Purchase Tactics

Foundational post-purchase messaging tactics are imperative for retailers looking to increase revenue from email. Often the easiest to implement, these tactics represent the lowest-hanging fruit for return. Examples include:

  • Adding product recommendations to triggered messages such as shipping or order confirmations. In this case, Nordstrom understands that because the customer returned a backpack, she’s likely still looking for one. As a result, the retailer included recommendations for bags with similarly simplistic styles and muted colors, but in a variety of price points.
  • Increasing incentives over time. Ten days after a sale, for example, an email could contain a personalized product recommendation that complements the item previously purchased. A month after a sale, the customer could be offered a discount. And then on day 45, he or she could be offered a more substantial discount — but only if the purchase is completed that day.
  • Boosting engagement. Start with a thank you. Make someone feel even better about their purchase and they may be more inclined to engage further. That could mean leaving a review, downloading your app or joining your loyalty program. Beauty retailer Tarte does this well, letting the customer know how much more value her purchases have if she’s a member of Tarte Rewards.

Sophisticated Post-Purchase Tactics

More sophisticated post-purchase tactics provide a significant opportunity for material return. However, they often require more resources — in people and in technology — to drive toward the end goal of deeper, more profitable customer relationships. Examples include:

  • Sending pre-purchase communications. Post-purchase messages are inherently reactive — but they don’t have to be. With predictive technology, marketers can look beyond what a customer did and tap into what they’re likely to do. Predictive technology identifies the likelihood that someone will make a purchase, including when and how much. Recommend products accordingly.
  • Setting triggers for consumables. The average time between purchases for consumables could be fairly consistent. When a customer buys something they’re likely to use up, set a trigger to encourage them to restock before they run out. This is a key strategy for retailers that sell CPG, such as Walmart, Sephora and Dollar Shave Club.

Post-purchase emails are just one way email marketing can help your bottom line. To learn more, download Increasing Revenue from Email: The Definitive Strategy Guide for Fashion, Apparel and Specialty Retail Brands.

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