Post-purchase engagement is just as simple as it sounds. It’s engagement with customers that takes place after they have made a purchase with your store in the hopes to increase repeat purchases. While many people think of post-purchase engagement as an email or thank you page (both of which can be rather unengaging), there is lots of further potential for good post-purchase engagement practice. Post-purchase engagement should never be an afterthought and should always be a part of your marketing strategy. If you’re not engaging with customers after a purchase, you are missing out on a great opportunity!
Why is post-purchase engagement important?
While you have already received a payment for the purchase of your good or service and it may seem that your job has been completed, post-purchase engagement has proven to be a highly important step for businesses and sales that are small and large alike!
According to Colin Shaw a leader in customer experience and award-winning consultant and trainer, existing customers are 60-70% more likely to buy a product or service than new clients. It has also been found that it costs a company about 7 times more to establish a new customer than to retain an existing one.
Post-purchase engagement with customers can lead to easier repeat purchases and can help to develop brand loyalty. It’s also a great way to assure your customers they made the right choice (in other words, fight buyer’s remorse) and reduce product return rates or service cancellations.
Furthermore, it also allows past or existing customers to skip parts of the sales funnel and to bring them back to your site again. Think of treating them like an old friend, their returned visit is valued and highly anticipated, and we already know them, so no repeat introductions are necessary! In fact, treating existing customers as new customers can hinder your sales and shows that there is an inability to connect with your existing buyers.
6 Post-Purchase Engagements To Increase Repeat Purchases
1. Personalised Thank You Letter
While a customer waits for their package to arrive after purchase, there is much anticipation during this time. This period is called an engagement gap, and it has been found that customers are often very attentive to information during the engagement gap period. As a result, the engagement gap makes for the perfect opportunity to provide some type of post-purchase engagement with your client. Some forms of post-purchase engagement include:
- Order confirmation
- Shipping notification
- Thank you message
These types of automated messages are often impersonal and are anything but engaging. However, when utilized in the right way they can be powerful tools for building relationships with your customers. Some steps you can take to make your messages more effective are to include:
- Prompts to follow your business on social media profiles
- A customised or personalised thank you page
- Links to other content you have created that would interest the customer, for example, instructional information regarding the product that was purchased.
2. After Purchase Product Reviews
When the customer has received their parcel it’s a good idea to check up on them to make sure they’re happy with their purchase. This is also a great time to ask for product reviews by offering store points or other benefits when a review is left. Giving customer an incentive can also encourage them to complete a repeat purchase.
Here are some creative ideas around using store points to encourage repeat purchases. When customers leave a review or purchase a products they can accumulate store points which then can:
- be exchanged for cash (eg. 100 points = $1) which customers can use for their next purchase. Scheduling a personalised email with a reminder to use points can encourage repeat purchases.
- be used to receive samples or a small gift for their next order
- be given a chance to play a game (spin a wheel of fortune) which gives each customer different offers
- For higher involvement products, leaving a review can instantly result in benefits for their next purchase (eg. sign up for XX lessons and get 2 lessons FREE)
3. Promotional Emails & Remarketing Ads
For customers that have opt-into your email subscription, encourage repeat purchases by sending “promotional” emails and targeting remarketing ads on social media.
Promotional ads can include:
- New arrivals
- Sales promotion & discounts
- Clearance (last chance) offerings
- Replenishment reminders
4. Personalised Promotions
Post-purchase engagement does not only happen at the beginning of the post-purchase stage. You can continue to offer products and special offers to customers over time, and also bring back old customers. For example, those that have not purchased from your site in over 3 months can be sent an email with a discount voucher.
5. Loyalty Events or Birthday Benefits
Create a loyalty program that allows customers to create a personalised profile and on their birthday or even your own brand’s birthday send personalised discount codes. There are also other areas you can look at instead of birthdays like name days or star signs. Your loyalty program can also encourage repeat purchases during celebratory days, for example, World Mental Health Day or International Women’s day.
6. Member-Exclusive Offers
Retarget your previous customers with member-exclusive email offers or remarketing display ads. Most brands nowadays have established a customer loyalty program and one such brand that does it very well is Sephora. Their 3 tier membership model encourages existing customers to spend more to receive new membership privileges and also exclusive member offers that encourage new customers.
How Does Post Purchase Engagement Differ Between Businesses
Post-purchase engagement activities often depend on the length of your sales cycle and the price of the items or services that you sell. The sales cycle is the process that businesses undergo when selling a product or service and can involve many different steps depending on your business. Steps that may be included in your sales cycle are; making contact with a customer, qualifying the lead, nurturing the lead and closing a sale.
If your sales cycle is shorter, you may opt for a strategy that involves remarketing through Google Ads and Facebook Ads as well as post-purchase emails. Strategies for longer sales cycles could involve a more heavy-handed approach especially if the item purchased was a high involvement purchase, high-cost purchase. These involve post-purchase emails that are more detailed and product-specific or perhaps a phone call post-purchase.
Long sales cycles often involve the challenge of locating where a customer is at within the cycle as purchasing decisions and information search may take a long time. Engagement with the customer can help to aid them along the cycle and also can retrieve valuable information about the customer for the business.
In short, the post-purchase journey that you create for your customer can change the way they see your brand, increase their loyalty and provides an opportunity for relationship building with your customers. However, it must be noted, that customers nowadays are often desensitised to simple confirmation emails or thank you messages. Successful post-purchase interactions almost always include a personalised or customized message and should offer valuable content to your customers. If you want to learn more about engaging with your customers post-purchase, contact us today!