Although making that initial sale may seem all-important in your ecommerce marketing strategy, your post-sales efforts can be even more essential for growth.
Post-sales applies to everything that happens once your customer has checked out and completed their order. From this point onwards, every single thing you do will determine whether that customer comes back again after receiving their products. Even more than that, everything you do from there on out also determines whether the customer has a positive interaction with your store.
Ecommerce marketing is about attracting and keeping customers. Providing a memorable post-sales experience for your customers plays an integral role in both.
Ecommerce Marketing Post-Sales Strategy Benefits
Why is it so vital to have a post-sales strategy in place? Here are some of the biggest ways that it will help your ecommerce marketing efforts.
Drive repeat purchases
As we mentioned above, what happens after customers complete their order will determine whether or not they return. The more positive the experience a customer has from the moment they check out to the moment their order is delivered, the more likely they are to come back to your store. Needless to say, repeat purchases are the only way to generate constant growth. Unless you are selling big-ticket items that are unlikely to be purchased again, you will want customers to return to your store to shop again. While automated order confirmations and shipping updates are par for the course, there is far more you can do once the order has been placed. We’ll share some ideas a bit later.
Increase order size and value
When customers have a good experience after shopping, they are also more likely to spend more when they return. This comes down to trust as well as customer satisfaction. Let’s use a home decor store as an example. A new customer discovers your store when searching for bedroom linens. After going through the sales cycle, they make their purchase. They have an extremely positive after-sales experience. Not long after, they decide to get a few more things for their bedroom. This time, because they have been happy with their first experience and know that they are likely to have a good experience again, they order curtains, blankets and a rug.
Encourage positive reviews
Using this example, the customer is so impressed with their shopping experience from start to finish, they tell their friends and family. They also leave positive reviews, share photos of their products, and tag your store in social media posts. These reviews happen organically. Customers do not feel obligated to leave reviews – they want to leave reviews because they have had such a great experience.
Create a loyal following
Happy customers become loyal customers. Ecommerce marketing goes far beyond the sale itself. It’s also about driving loyalty. Although there are many ways to increase loyalty, one of the most effective ways is to show customers that they matter. When you fulfil the order and never think about that customer again, you make customers into an order number. When you take the time to develop post-sales strategies designed to provide genuine value, you show customers that they are valued.
Ecommerce Marketing Post-Sales Ideas
Now that you know why a post-sales strategy is important, let’s take a look at how you can develop a strategy that drives your ecommerce marketing success.
Offer unexpected touches
When your customer checks out, you could think about offering a small discount on orders over a certain amount. If you do not promote this offer, it will be a nice surprise that customers appreciate. You could also include a free sample or small gift with your order. Touches like these add plenty of value when they are not expected. They are likely to be remembered for the next time customers shop at your store.
Create a physical experience
Do not underestimate the power of physical experiences when it comes to online shopping. When customers order a product, they are likely looking forward to receiving their order. The vast majority of products are packaged the same way. Plain brown packaging boxes, bubble wrap, plastic wrapping and occasionally styrofoam. This may be functional (and cheaper). It takes away the anticipation, however. It also leaves a less than memorable experience. Now, imagine the home decor shopper we talked about earlier receiving her linen. The delivery arrives (after being kept updated on delivery progress). She unpacks the courier box, finding a beautifully packaged box inside. The box is branded, with tissue paper in your brand colours. There is a printed thank you note inside the box, with care instructions and a list of your social media accounts. That physical experience goes a long way in impressing customers. This impression can be strong enough to turn a one-time customer into a loyal fan, purely by creating an experience that goes beyond online.
Plan personalised campaigns
Personalised ecommerce marketing campaigns are vital across all areas of your strategy. They help create a stronger sense of intimacy. For post-purchase strategies, personalisation is especially beneficial. Avoid seeing your customer as a chance to push endless emails and product campaigns, regardless of whether they are relevant or not. Instead, look at the data and create personalised campaigns based on purchase history, spend and buyer persona. That customer purchasing bed linens will be more interested in curtains, rugs and bedroom decor. She may not be interested in kitchen or outdoor decor at this stage unless she has been actively browsing such products. Sending targeted campaigns featuring products you know she will be interested in will be far more effective than generic campaigns. You could also add incentives with exclusive rewards for her next purchase.
Develop a multi-channel strategy
Multi-channel strategies allow you to get the full value of any campaign, including post-sales campaigns. You have many different ways to reach customers after they have purchased. Each channel offers its own advantages and opportunities. Your primary goal across all channels is keeping customers engaged enough to want to return to your store. You could look at email campaigns that keep customers updated on new arrivals in your decor store. You could plan a social campaign on Facebook that showcases bedroom decor trends for the current season. You could craft quality content on decor ideas on your blog, to offer genuinely useful tips that can be put into action. You could plan a user-generated campaign that allows customers to showcase their bedrooms and how they use your products. When these campaigns are integrated within a multi-channel strategy, it becomes easier for customers to follow and interact with your store.
Keep communication lines open
On the topic of interaction, you will need to keep communication lines open at all times. It is frustrating enough when customers can’t reach you before making a purchase. When they have made a purchase, they need to be able to contact you easily. In the case of product issues, delivery issues or any other issue that may require returns, you will need to be available. Avoiding these issues is obviously ideal. This can sometimes happen, no matter how much effort you put into the customer experience. You also want customers to connect with you for other reasons, too. They may want to tell you how happy they are with their product. They may have questions about the product. The easier it is to reach you, the less likely it will be to have frustrated customers. Keep all lines of communication open – email, phone, social and WhatsApp and make sure that you respond to every message quickly and professionally.
Post-Purchase Ecommerce Marketing
Putting thought and effort into your post-purchase strategy is something that will pay off, time and time again. This ecommerce marketing strategy will help to create a highly memorable customer experience, showing your customers that you care and help your store stand out in a crowded market.