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How to use post-purchase marketing to boost customer retention

Pre-purchase eCommerce tactics get a lot of attention. You’ll find plenty of tips on setting up your eCommerce website, optimizing your online marketplace listings, and using free and fast shipping to reduce cart abandonment.

However, with repeat customers costing less and buying more, are you missing a trick? Well-established eCommerce businesses should focus more attention on post-purchase marketing to boost customer retention and significantly drive profits.

Why buy isn’t goodbye

It’s easy to get so caught up in attracting customers to your buy button, that you neglect to think about what happens after. Once the buy button has been clicked, you have an opportunity to extend the customer experience and turn that customer into a repeat customer,

But first, why are repeat customers so important to your eCommerce business?

  • You’ve already done the hard part in converting them once, making them easier to convert in the future because they know you, trust you, and (hopefully) have an account with you.
  • Convincing them to make a purchase requires five to seven times less marketing spend when compared with attracting new customers.
  • They’ve been through your sales channel already, making them ideal for providing valuable feedback.
  • You know what products they like and what shipping option they prefer, giving you invaluable information for cross-selling, upselling, and promotions.

Ultimately, repeat customers increase your customer lifetime value, which increases your profits, and helps you expand your eCommerce business.

Post-purchase marketing tactics to boost customer retention

The evidence is clear, and it makes sense: you invested a lot of time, effort, and money getting that customer to your store. Why waste it? Once you’ve realized the importance of customer retention, the next part is easy: post-conversion marketing tactics.

Thank you

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, which is why a post-sale thank you email is an essential part of your customer journey. Send a branded email that confirms the customer’s purchase, thanks them for their patronage, and gets them excited about their delivery (extinguishing any buyer’s remorse).

You can also use this as an opportunity to cross-sell (ie. these shoes would go great with those pants), encourage guest users to create an account, and get them to share their purchase on your social media channels.

Shipping updates

Share the great news – your order has been shipped. Buying products is an exciting experience; sharing tracking information not only keeps customers updated on where their order physically is, but it also generates excitement that their product is nearly in their hands, and it shows that you’re excited about that too. Use a shipping service that enables tracking and then update customers via email and push notifications.

Reliable and fast shipping

96% of customers say that a good shipping experience influences repeat sales with that brand, making fast, reliable shipping crucial. If you’re self-fulfilling orders, ensure that you have the systems and infrastructure in place to take orders from sold to the shipping carrier’s hands efficiently, quickly, and consistently (as promised), no matter how busy you are.

If you struggle to maintain shipping standards during peak times (or at all) as you grow, it might be time to outsource to change your fulfillment solution to an outsourced expert who has the knowledge, staff, and shipping options to guarantee fast shipping always.

Follow-up emails

Show your customers that you care about their satisfaction by asking how the product and shipping service was for them. This gives you an opportunity to quickly fix any problems that might have come up, provides feedback for future orders, and gives your customer a place to vent that isn’t public. If everything went to plan, ask your customer if they’d mind sharing their glowing experience with a review or rating.

Note: Some marketplaces have restrictions on how many emails you can send buyers, and on the content of those emails. Please make sure your overall post-purchase emails comply with your marketplace restrictions.

Re-engagement

You kept your customer updated, shipping went to plan, and your buyer is one happy customer – it doesn’t stop there. Now’s the time to build an ongoing relationship by re-engaging your customer through emails such as…

Personalized emails

Emails tailored specifically for your customer make them feel special and more connected to your brand. Address emails to them and include personalized product recommendations (“we think you might like these…”), life event offers (birthday treats), and “we’ve missed you” discounts.

Replenishment emails

If your customer brought something that runs out (for example makeup, contact lenses, or hair products) send them an email to remind them when it’s about time to re-order.

Loyalty programs and offers

Loyalty programs and offers encourage customers to buy more often and spend more when they do. Create a points program or send minimum spend vouchers and shipping discounts to encourage loyalty and give your customers value beyond the product price.

Multi-channel selling

A customer may have come across your product on Amazon but actually, they prefer shopping on Walmart’s marketplace because they guarantee free 2-day shipping at no cost. Let your customers know that you sell on multiple sales channels in your emails to give them more platforms to re-engage with you.

Tip: Sign up for fast shipping programs such as Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping to boost your visibility through fast shipping tags, high search result ranking, and buy box prominence.

And, if they didn’t make it to the buy button…

All is not lost. You can use similar cart abandonment tactics to re-engage with those who filled their cart but didn’t click buy, including:

  • Post-cart abandonment emails thanking them for their visit;
  • Pop-up notifications offering shipping discounts; and
  • Personalized emails with product recommendations.

Wrap up

If you’re a well-established eCommerce business, you should be focusing 40% of your attention on acquiring new customers and 60% of your attention on customer retention using these post-purchase marketing tips. With reliable shipping options and a few simple emails, there’s no excuse not to invest in customer retention.

Post-purchase marketing checklist

⃞   Send thank you email

⃞   Send tracking details

⃞   Ship on time

⃞   Ask for feedback

⃞   Re-engage

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