Though often overlooked, the post-purchase experience is a fundamental component of a successful customer journey. You’ve spent so much time, effort, and money to get your customers to convert, you can’t afford to butcher the follow-through. Delivering a good post-purchase experience is all about staying in touch with your customers to ensure they come back for more. It’s all about maintaining a positive perception of your brand, so consumers are enticed to return—and maybe even bring their friends along too.
What is post-purchase experience and why is it important?
Numerous eCommerce brands focus their entire sales and marketing strategies—and their site’s UX—on getting customers to make purchases. But those companies fail to realize that eCommerce sales are not a “one and done” proposition. Repeat customers drive over 40% of revenue for brands, and failing to devote enough attention to retention can result in missing out on future sales opportunities.
The goal of creating a solid post-purchase experience for customers is multifaceted. Yes, ultimately you’re trying to turn one-time customers into long-term, repeat purchasers. But it’s also a little more nuanced than that. Brands that implement successful post-purchase experiences see increased customer engagement and referrals, and help create a dedicated group of brand advocates that will sing your praises until the cows come home.
Acquiring new customers is costly. And while getting new visitors to your store and encouraging them to make purchases is extremely important, it’s not the full story.
What is post-purchase dissonance?
Post-purchase dissonance occurs when a customer regrets purchasing a product from an eCommerce retailer. This regret can stem from a variety of reasons but typically sees the consumer walking away from the purchase with a bad taste in their mouth—and often returning the purchased item. Regardless of where a customer’s dissatisfaction comes from, there’s a lot you can do to “stop the bleeding” and prevent them from going completely sour on your brand.
Interaction designer Michael Gearon stresses the importance of a solid post-purchase experience in order to make sure dissatisfied customers don’t completely turn away from your brand.
“Engage with your new customers, don’t just drop them off at the other end now they’ve brought your product,” he writes. “Through social media, email and other communications make it feel they are a valued customer. It’s far easier to maintain and resell to existing customers than it is to acquire new customers.”
“Finally make sure your customer service is top-notch, we all know and have experienced poor customer service and how it makes you feel. By demanding this high level of customer service across the board you will turn your customers into brand advocates and will be your salespeople.”
Optimizing your post-purchase experience
There are numerous methods to crafting the perfect post-purchase experience that will keep customers engaged and interested in your brand and combat the dreaded post-purchase dissonance. Let’s examine a few key approaches in depth.
Create an effective social media strategy
Connecting with customers via your social media channel is an excellent method of “keeping the conversation going” after the purchase phase. Work with your marketing team to create engaging or informative content that accurately reflects your brand and its products. Gain a solid understanding of each of your social channels and determine what types of content perform best on each. Incorporate promotional content to entice customers to return to your site and browse.
Revamp your email marketing efforts
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of keeping in contact with customers after they make purchases and leads to more brand awareness and conversions. With a return on investment (ROI) of 38-to-1, an effective approach to email is a key component of any well-rounded eCommerce marketing strategy. Utilize email marketing to keep past customers aware of new product launches, sales, promotions, and more.
Go all-in on customer service
It’s no secret that acquiring new customers is expensive, so enticing past purchasers to return is the name of the game. In order for these customers to return, however, they need to have an all-around positive perception of your brand and its products. This forms the foundation of long-term customer relationships—and where having a solid approach to customer service is crucial.
A well-designed strategy for customer service can help create loyal customers and encourage brand advocacy. These days, it's imperative that brands adopt tools and technologies that enable them to easily engage with customers to solve their problems—and do it at scale. A well-rounded approach to customer service is the glue that holds your entire post-purchase experience together.
Setting up your brand for long-term success
The customer journey doesn’t end when someone clicks “Complete order” on your eCommerce site. In many ways, it’s just the beginning of a long-term relationship that will inform your sales and revenue for potentially years to come. Implementing a solid approach to your post-purchase experience can make sure your customers keep coming back for more—and maybe even encourage their friends and family to check out your products as well.
Interested in learning more about ways to improve your post-purchase experience? Get in touch with Codal today.