Customers are incredibly receptive to post-purchase emails when buying online. That's why a retailer like Amazon would never let got of their customers after the checkout. However, most retailers don’t take advantage of this crucial part of the customer journey in order to create customer loyalty and additional revenue.
“Thank you for your order” is often the only message a customer receives clicking the buy button.
What is post-purchase communication?
Post-purchase communication includes any interactions a customer has with a brand after purchasing. It can be through emails, customer support or social media interaction.
Why is post-purchase communication so important?
Shipping is the most emotional and exciting part of the customer journey. Which is why communicating with the customer during the delivery is incredibly important. The customer wants to know exactly where their parcel is and when it will arrive.
Post-purchase communication offers huge potential for retailers to serve up engaging and relevant content.
Market studies prove that customers are highly responsive to e-mails after they buy online. Post-purchase communication specialists, parcelLab, report that messages containing order status information have an open rate of over 80%, with 75% of these customers returning to the retailer’s website and a minimum of 4% going on to buy again. Figures like this cannot be ignored and prove that retailers must attach more significance to post-purchase communication and the part it plays in the overall sales and post-purchase marketing strategy.
8 Hacks for an Amazon-Like Post-Purchase Experience
1. Don’t rely on your logistics partner
The customer journey does not end after the order confirmation has been sent. The lack of communication between checkout and delivery is commonly known as experience gap. Once the customer has made that final click, their anticipation couldn’t be higher. Don’t let your logistics partner own this part of the customer journey. Push them to your site or app to follow the order status and even push customer loyalty programmes.
Online retailers have to close the experience gap by improving the post-purchase experience.
2. Keep it simple
It’s the duty of every retailer to provide their customers with relevant order updates. Dispatch confirmation, delay alerts, confirmation of delivery and even the returns process all need to be communicated effectively. However, this must be done in a customer-friendly manner and not include logistical jargon. Few customers will understand the meaning of a parcel being sorted in hub A and transported to hub B.
3. Facilitate the delivery with useful additional information
It’s simple, the faster and easier the customer receives their order, the more satisfied they are. Try to look at the process from the customer’s point of view and consider additional information which might help them. If they chose to pick up their order from a shop, provide information about its opening hours and perhaps a navigational link through Google Maps.
Get the language right “You must collect your order within 4 working days”. Being honest, letters from the tax office sound friendlier than most retailer communications. Make sure your language and tone of voice is on brand, friendly and informative.
Example of post-purchase email showing additional information about a pick-up location.
4. Be a storyteller
The average delivery from an online retailer takes 2 days. You can alleviate the wait time and build anticipation by providing the customer with relevant content. If they bought a sofa, offer up some interior design tips. If they ordered a new food processor, why not send them some recipe ideas. You can create a positive purchase experience by providing the right content at the right time.
The time of delivery can be utilized to sending out the right information.
5. Be there to help
You can’t expect every purchase goes smoothly. However, the way in which you deal with these issues can transform a negative into a positive post-purchase experience.
So how do I provide post-purchase support?
Make sure the customer knows that you’re there to help at every step. Clearly communicate your contact information, availability and FAQ pages.
6. Ask for feedback
Customer satisfaction should always be your top priority. Give them the opportunity to give you feedback and reward them for their time. This information is vital to improving your quality of service and in turn encourages customer loyalty.
7. Time to upsell
Much like offering up relevant content, this is also a prime time to cross-sell. If the customer bought a bike, offer up safety equipment and clothing. If they bought a BBQ, offer up cooking utensils and recipe books.
Post-purchase communication doesn’t have to be difficult. If you can keep your customer front of mind and up to date during the shipping process whilst offering up relevant, informative and helpful content, you create brand loyalty.
8. Look to the future
The majority of post-purchase communication currently happens via email. Yet the way in which we communicate is constantly evolving. Embracing alternative communication options such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger or Amazon Echo will ensure that you stay relevant and ahead of your competition.
LiA, Lidl’s Facebook Messenger chatbot, answers questions about a parcel’s shipping status.
Guide your customers through the entire journey, with branded communications that embody your style. From delivery updates to confirmations and returns, we enable you to leverage and maximize every customer touch point.