What is Post-Purchase Marketing?
So you've successfully convinced a customer to make a purchase on your ecommerce website. Congratulations! Time to move on to the next customer? Well, you might want to think again.
If you treat that sale as done and dusted, you’re leaving serious money on the table. Research shows that a third of all revenue from online shopping comes from returning customers. What’s more, repeat customers are likely to spend 3x more than one-off customers on average.
This is precisely why post-purchase marketing is so crucial for ecommerce businesses. In this article, we'll explore what post-purchase marketing means and share some valuable insights on how to do it right.
What is post-purchase marketing?
Post-purchase marketing refers to the strategies and tactics businesses employ to engage with their customers after a purchase. It involves using marketing channels to keep customers informed, delighted, and loyal to the brand.
Post-purchase marketing can take many forms. They can be your order confirmation emails, personalized thank-you messages, product recommendations, and referral programs.
The goal of post-purchase marketing is to foster a long-term relationship with your customers. Ultimately, the objective is to drive repeat purchases and increase customer lifetime value.
What are post-purchase activities?
Post-purchase activities are the actions your business can implement to engage with customers after a purchase has been made. Designed to provide customers with a positive experience, post-purchase activities reinforce shoppers’ decisions to buy from you and encourage them to make repeat purchases.
Some common post-purchase activities include:
Acknowledge the customer’s purchase and provide them with details about their order.
Send notifications to customers to inform them when their order has been shipped and provide tracking information.
Offer personalized product recommendations based on a customer's previous purchase history.
Customer feedback requests
Ask customers to give feedback on their purchase experience and use that feedback to improve future offerings.
Give customers incentives for repeat purchases, such as discounts or exclusive access to new products.
Crafting your post-purchase marketing strategy
To implement an excellent post-purchase marketing strategy (also known as after-sale marketing), it’s vital to understand what post-purchase behavior means. Simply put, it’s the way a customer feels, thinks, and acts once they make a purchase. This is when they analyze if they’re satisfied or unsatisfied with what they bought.
This assessment will decide if they will buy from your brand again and what they will say about your brand to others. Obviously, there are two broad outcomes of this:
Positive post-purchase behavior: Positive reviews, repeat business, brand advocacy.
Negative post-purchase behavior - Negative reviews, one-off business, returns, and refunds.
As an ecommerce business, your priority should be to influence the customer in a way that results in positive post-purchase behavior. That’s exactly what post-purchase marketing is. It’s your opportunity to make your customers feel happy and confident about their purchases so they don’t fall prey to “buyer’s remorse.” In other words, post-purchase marketing is all about elevating a customer’s post-purchase experience.
Benefits of a post-purchase marketing strategy
When done right, post-purchase marketing encourages repeat purchases, boosting loyalty and retention.
It can also help you convert your happy customers into brand evangelists who spread positive word-of-mouth about your business—and you know what that means. It’s as Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of HubSpot says, “The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you have to buy.”
Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of post-purchase marketing.
Increase customer loyalty
Keeping in touch with customers after their purchase can help you build a relationship with them and encourage them to shop with you again. For example, Athletic Greens regularly sends informative emails to help its customers live healthier lifestyles. Plus, the brand constantly spotlights Athletic Greens users. Not only does this help to build excitement in their customers, but it also creates a sense of community and builds brand loyalty.
Generate repeat sales
Post-purchase marketing can also lead to repeat sales. For example, Redbubble offers product recommendations similar to the ones the customer just purchased in their post-purchase emails that make it easy for customers to discover new products. This simple feature can help ecommerce brands increase customer retention, generate more repeat sales, and offer a more personalized shopping experience.
You can use post-purchase marketing to invite referrals from your customers. For example, the fashion e-tailer Stitch Fix encourages existing customers to refer their friends. Both the customer and the person they referred will get $25 off their next “Fix.”
Gather customer feedback
Post-purchase marketing can also be used to gather customer feedback, which can help improve your products and services. For example, the skincare brand Maelove sends post-purchase emails asking customers for ratings and reviews on their recent purchases. This not only helps the brand improve its offerings but also shows customers that their opinion is valued.
How Do You Engage Customers Post Purchase?
As you can see, post-purchase marketing helps ecommerce brands build stronger relationships with customers, generate more sales, and improve their products and services. Depending on your goals, there are several post-purchase marketing strategies that you can choose from. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Order confirmation messages
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you may be surprised to learn how powerful a simple order confirmation email can be.
Jeff Miller, Senior ecommerce Customer Success Manager at Gorgias, says, “Most brands spend way too much time on repetitive customer support tickets. It doesn’t need to be this way. Our data shows that usually, at least 30% of questions for brands are some version of “Where is my order” (WISMO), the king of all empty-calorie tickets. These questions need to be answered, yes, but they don’t need a human touch. And your people have better things to do.”
One simple yet effective way to reduce WISMO tickets is to send clear order and shipping confirmations to customers post-purchase that include order tracking links. You should also use this opportunity to set expectations about delivery times, etc.
For example, GRAVIS uses parcelLab’s post-purchase platform to proactively inform customers about delivery times, potential delays, and other shipping updates. It also gives customers a real-time Order Status page and a Net Promoter Score to collect feedback. All of these touchpoints are white-labeled. In addition, GRAVIS can check how their carriers are performing and take corrective action if needed.
2. Share unique value-added content
A great way to impress your customers and elevate the post-purchase experience is to send them value-added content. This could be tips on caring for or maintaining the items they just bought best practices for using the products, or answers to frequently asked questions about those products.
Suppose a customer orders a bicycle from your online store. Upon successful delivery, you could send them shipping communication that includes assembly instructions in the form of a video. The screenshot below shows an example of a post-purchase email (sent upon successful delivery) from IKEA that provides video instructions on quickly setting up the SYMFONISK lamp.
You could also use these emails to share personalized recommendations for related products that may complement the one they just bought. For example, if someone bought a bicycle, you could share recommendations for a helmet, bike lights, water bottles, etc. This can be an excellent opportunity for generating some additional sales as well.
Leading fashion retailer New Look uses parcelLab’s post-purchase platform to send its customers timely, relevant, and personalized communication like the one you can see below. Not only does this enhance the after-sales experience, but it also creates opportunities to increase revenue by offering personalized product recommendations.
3. Ask for feedback
Asking for reviews of the product they just purchased is a great way of building stronger relationships with your customers. It shows them you value their opinion and want to serve them better. Here’s an example from Fashionette, an online fashion accessories platform that uses the parcelLab solution to send post-purchase communication to its customers.
All of the strategies mentioned above have one thing in common: they help to increase your brand value and elevate the customer experience. By proactively sending the right information — whether it’s order confirmation, tracking information, shipping updates, personalized recommendations, or “how-to” content — you can position your brand above the rest.
To learn how you can use parcelLab’s platform to automate and streamline your post-purchase marketing communications, contact us today.
A post-purchase platform is a technology solution designed to help online brands optimize their post-purchase experiences. These solutions usually offer a range of tools and features that allow businesses to engage with their customers after a purchase, such as email automation, order tracking, customer feedback management, and loyalty program management.
Post-purchase platforms can also provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences to inform future marketing and sales strategies.
As such, the best way to implement the tips above is to use a post-purchase platform. Doing so can streamline your processes, improve customer satisfaction, and drive more repeat business.
Marketing-related behavior that occurs after a purchase can take many forms, and it typically involves ongoing communication between brands and customers.
Examples of after-sale marketing behaviors include:
- Follow-up emails: Sending personalized follow-up emails to customers after they make a purchase, thanking them for their business, encouraging them to leave a review or providing them with product recommendations.
- Re-engagement campaigns: Sending targeted marketing campaigns to customers who have not purchased in a while to encourage them to return to the site.
- Cross-selling and upselling: Suggesting complementary or upgraded products to customers based on their previous purchase history, to increase the overall purchase value.
- Loyalty programs: Offering incentives such as discounts or free shipping to customers who make repeat purchases or refer friends to the business.
- Remarketing: Targeting customers with relevant ads based on their purchase history or browsing behavior to encourage them to make additional purchases.
The specific advantages you’ll reap from post-purchase marketing depend on the tactics you’re implementing. Broadly speaking, though, here are some benefits you can expect if you implement your post-purchase tactics:
- Increased customer loyalty: By providing a positive post-purchase experience, you can encourage customers to become repeat buyers, increasing customer lifetime value and revenue.
- Better customer retention: A strong post-purchase experience can help you retain customers for longer, reducing customer churn and improving overall profitability.
- Enhanced brand reputation: A positive post-purchase experience can lead to more positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, improving brand reputation.
- Improved customer insights: By analyzing post-purchase data and customer feedback, you can gain valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences, informing future marketing and sales strategies.
- Higher conversion rates: A well-executed post-purchase strategy can increase the likelihood of customers making additional purchases, leading to higher conversion rates and revenue growth.
With over two decades of experience in B2B technology companies, Sidra brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her role. She holds an MBA and is also a proud mom to a teenager.
Sidra's passion for marketing is driven by her curiosity and love for understanding how things work. She is committed to staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the industry and leveraging them to create innovative marketing strategies that drive business growth.
As a strong advocate of stepping outside of one's comfort zone, Sidra lives by the motto "Do one thing every day that scares you," coined by Eleanor Roosevelt. She believes that taking risks and pushing oneself beyond perceived limitations is key to personal and professional growth.
In her spare time, Sidra enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and exploring new cultures.Read more from Sidra