Okay so, you’ve made a sale and your amazing product is on its way to a new customer, great! But have you really thought about that customers experience going forward, and have do you honestly believe they will return to shop with you again? The reality of online retailing is that no matter how many new customers you get through the door with your use of SKU Feeds channels, amazing optimised checkout page and website to continue to make profit you need to retain a few of them and keep them coming back as regular customers. The only way to make this more likely, is to think of your customers experience from the moment they click on to your website to the moment your product is in their possession not just until they order.
Firstly it is crucial to customise the page your shoppers see that moment after they make a purchase. It should contain all the important information on their chosen product, payment and delivery address with an option for immediate customisation before shipping occurs. However as well as offering all the important information you can offer, this page needs to reflect your brand, let yours customers know exactly who they have shopped with and give them a feel of your company’s warmth or sense of humour. Personalise your ‘thank you for purchasing’ message by mentioning their ordered item, or if multiple items were ordered mention something generic to your store but don’t make it generic to all stores in your industry. Even though you have to pile in heaps of information and personality, do your best to make it as simple as possible, a confusing checkout page can leave customers worrying about your organisational skills. Offer some keep shopping buttons and even a sign up option if that was not required for purchase and just give them a little indication that a confirmation email of their order will be on its way to them, provoke them to run to their inbox.
Got them to open up their inbox in anticipation? It’s a good start, but if what they find in there is dull and plain they will be severely underwhelmed. So again, customise your email completely from the colours to the style of language. Do everything in your branding power to let them know without a doubt this email is from you. Add clear and attractively displayed images of their purchased items and give any kind of helpful information about expectancies for shipping that you can. While the excitement of their purchase is high, it is a great time to offer a small bonus such as a voucher code as a ‘thank you’ to this customer for shopping with you. If you don’t want to do this, then it can be done a little later on. Otherwise give a gentle push for a review on your service. Don’t make it seem too corporate of a question and make it clear that it is a requirement that takes little time. Make the review a simple yes/no question with the option for additional comments, making comments not mandatory highers your chance of customers taking part as many do not want to spend the time reviewing to get nothing in return. This time, offer a little insight that a shipping email will be with them shortly.
Now your customer knows their order is placed and could be on its way any minute, they are more likely to open any email from you in the hope that it is their shipping confirmation. Use this to your advantage by sending them a little email reminder about all the great things your company can offer. Tempt them back to your website in a way that does not require them to make a purchase, as attempting a sale right after another is a recipe for disappointment. Inform them of all the amazing products, updates and information you can provide them with through your blog, social media and other platforms. Show them a taster of other people’s good experiences (reviews) with your company to get them that little bit more excited for their purchase, ask them to make their own if applicable. If possible provide links to posts and blogs they may find interesting based upon their purchase, if not try to tailor it as best as possible through browsing history. Below all this beautiful information, don’t forget to add links to all of the amazing pages you are telling them about. Add in some social share buttons, links to your social media, blog and review pages. Even advertising the exclusive benefits of your newsletter is beneficial and may just get you a few more sign ups from people who weren’t interested at checkout.
The excitement is already high and you are about to elevate it. Your customers item has been shipped and now you need to send them their shipping email. By now it should be natural for you to add your personality into your emails, add some kind of branded delivery gimmick or joke into your design if possible or suitable. Keep it lighthearted and happy, your customers are excited so don’t make it too technical and have them worrying over the smaller details of their purchase. Display their ordered items clearly alongside their name and delivery address. Where applicable offering a tracking link as this can not only evoke reaction from customers, but get them clicking through your email links. Don’t forget to offer expected delivery dates and times and if you didn’t do so earlier, offer them a thank you bonus. Whether it may be a voucher, discount code or specified amount off their next purchase, do all you can to get them thinking about shopping with you again before their item has even arrived. A good item arriving to an already satisfied customer will boost their confidence in your brand. Add at the bottom your customer return policy as a sense of security for those that worry about their purchase not showing up correctly, or sizing issues.
Now that your customer knows their item is on its way to their home they will have their eye out for it. What better way to let your shoppers know that their item has arrived than by sending it in packaging that is undeniably from your brand? It’s time for even more personalisation. Use your brand colours, themes and logo to make it clear your package is from you and hopefully evoke some early excitement when your customer sets their eyes upon it. For more upmarket stores with high budgets, a beautifully designed and prepared box is great for shipping items with a bit of class and elegance. However for smaller budget companies, customising the bags can be just as effective. Be sure the items are prepared in a presentable way inside the bag, wrap them in tissue paper that screams your brand identity if you want to, but make it look good and make it look like it’s from you. Be sure again to add your personality to whatever you send out, add a leaflet in each package thanking them for their purchase for that extra bit of personalisation. Whatever packaging method you choose, if you feel it’s good enough for someone to have an amazing unboxing experience with it, your customers are going to be more than impressed with your attention to detail.
Leave your customer a while now, you’ve filled up their inbox with so many emails about their purchase they are sure to need a break to enjoy their item. Once a week or so has passed after their expected delivery date (unless they have enquired about a lost or not received parcel) trigger a follow up email to them. Subtly remind them of their purchase by displaying the product images or mentioning a recent purchase and of their voucher code if offered and not yet used. Ask them if they are happy with their purchase and if all was well with their order, wish them happiness with their items and be sure to keep up your brand’s personality through all of this. Offer advice on the use or maintenance of their items if you have any and ask them for a product review this time rather than a service review. Hopefully there will be no issues with your customers purchase, so this is a great place to invite them back your website, if a voucher or code was offered, subtly mention its end date or simply remind them that they can still use it to shop with you for more high quality products.