5 Ways to Engage Your Customers Post-Sale

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Making a sale is typically considered the end goal for an eCommerce store. In reality, though, once you’ve made a sale, you’re really starting the sales process all over again. The experience your customer has with you after their purchase can be the determining factor in whether or not they’ll make a repeat purchase with you.

As a result, there are some key things you must do to engage your customer post-sale.

1. Use your transactional emails wisely.

The emails you send to a customer after they purchase from you containing tracking and receipt information are known as transactional emails. These emails have 8 times more opens and clicks than your typical marketing emails. When given the opportunity to act as a revenue channel, transactional emails are also able to generate up to 6 times the revenue of your other email types.

Here are a few ideas to get you cooking on customer engagement post-purchase:

  • Send educational information about the product(s) they purchased. For instance, if your customer bought a set of cooking knives from you, including an instructional video about using and maintain them in one of your follow-up emails will improve their shopping experience. You could also send them recipes to cook with their new knives. Bonus: While the educational material is valuable in and of itself, you can also use the material to provide call-outs to other products you sell.
  • Include a dynamic block that can suggest related items for purchase.
  • Include social sharing buttons that enable excited customers to easily share their new purchases with their friends.

2. Optimize your order tracking experience.

Your order tracking experience is a key part of your post-purchase experience. The perfect order tracking experience can replace the instant gratification of an in-person buy with an exciting build-up to receiving the product that ultimately leaves the customer far more gratified.

To take full advantage of the emotional build up that comes with the wait, it’s best to have customers track their package right on your website, linking their excitement to your brand. An app like Tracktor enables particularly Shopify stores to do just this.

And bonus: A great self-service order tracking experience also saves your customer support team up to 60% of their time. A self-service order tracking system can completely eliminate “where’s my package?” support tickets.

3. Send a thank you note.

There is some evidence that thank you notes (especially handwritten ones) could be a phenomenal way to boost repeat buys, garner customer loyalty, and drive word-of-mouth marketing.

Depending on your average order value and number of customers per month, you have a few options for sending thank you notes:

  • Write handwritten notes to everyone that you send separate/a few days after their packages.

  • Write handwritten notes that you include in the package itself.

  • Have pre-written notes printed that you sign by hand and include in every package.

  • Send a thank you by non-automated email.

  • Send a thank you by an automated email.

  • Some mix of these depending on certain criteria. For instance, handwritten notes sent to customers who purchase over $X and automated email thank yous to everyone else.

Obviously, the handwritten note is the more personalized. You can organically specify the product and what you hope they enjoy doing with it. You can also naturally express your gratitude for that particular purchase.

An automated email can’t really achieve those aspects as well, but can still be quite effective in other ways. If you send the thank you out in the founder’s name, for instance, and offer an explanation from them as to why each customer means so much to your business, your thank you can still evoke emotion.

4. Package your items beautifully.

Ultimately, the packaging you use is what will make your very first physical impression on your customer. Packaging offers you the unique opportunity to demonstrate who your brand is while creating an experience similar to a Christmas morning gift-unwrapping.

Packaging can include quite a lot of things from boxes and tape to stickers and tissue paper. What level of packaging works for you will depend on your brand. A luxury retailer may want to do a box-within-a-box and include a lot of tissue paper. An eco-conscious retailer may wish to reduce waste by sending the least amount of [recyclable] packaging possible. No matter which direction you go, be sure that your packaging reflects your brand and demonstrates the care you’ve taken for your customers.

5. Offer easy returns.

A program that makes returns easy is, counterintuitively, one of the best ways to garner repeat customers and customer loyalty. (Zappos learned that 95% of its customers who make a return make a follow-up purchase.)

What counts as an “easy” return program? Here are a few key points:

  • An easy return policy is above all convenient. You need to accept multichannel returns. You should consider sending a return label in the package itself. Use packaging that the customer can re-use to ship the item back.

  • Make your return policy simple and apply it across the board. Don’t make customers feel like they need a lawyer to understand how to make a return.

  • Offer free returns. Definitely don’t make your customer pay a restocking fee (they probably don’t even know what that means). Try to offer free return shipping as well, even if you can only offer it at the same threshold as your free shipping.

Conclusion

Engaging your customer after they make a purchase is crucial. It’s your best opportunity to cultivate their brand loyalty. Using the above techniques, you can execute a perfect post-purchase experience.

About the author

Cara Wood is the Digital Marketing Manager at ShopPad, a company devoted to helping Shopify stores become successful through custom services and native apps. When Cara is not hard at work sharing the word about ShopPad, she can be found trying to keep her beagle out of the trash.


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