First things first, congrats! You’ve got customers and they like what you’re selling. That’s no simple feat considering that 70% of users tend to abandon their carts before hitting that “Confirm” button on their purchase. So this means the biggest hurdle is out of the way and now you can sit back, relax and take a well deserved break right? Wrong! Well...take breaks of course. But your work doesn’t end at check out!
Your online store is so much more than just convincing customers to buy your product. Sure, SERPs, social media engagement and heat maps all play an important role in establishing a well-rounded shopping experience, but there is a world of tactics to employ after your customer hits the “buy” button that can make or break your store.
Remember that without designing an inclusive experience that encourages customer retention, your initial sales may not add up to much. If you want to keep ‘em coming and reduce returns, here are six of our most tried and true tips for delivering an outstanding post-checkout experience - one that will secure you a loyal following.
Support, support, support
First and foremost let’s make sure you’re mastering your customer support before we explore other options for improving your post-checkout experience. While you might already be doing everything you reasonably can to ensure your customers don’t experience disruptions or problems after a purchase, sometimes hiccups happen. It’s not so much about avoiding problems entirely but rather how you deal with them when they occur.
Sometimes your shoppers will reach out to you after a purchase with questions about their item’s delivery or how to return something. (This is much easier with the right returns management and order management software.) And they may be frustrated or impatient. Make it easier for them (and ultimately better for you) by offering ways to contact you on the channels they prefer. Also, offer proactive customer service in the form of FAQ pages and clear return policies to confusion (and save your agents' time).
For instance, if your analytics tell you that your audience is most active on Facebook, make sure your page makes it clear how to reach your support team. You can do this by including the relevant links in the About section and of course, be turning on a chatbot function.
Caption: Dollar Shave Club offers multiple options for contacting their support team in their page’s About section
But even so, customers may make contact simply by posting on your page or commenting on your posts. Employ a catch all approach by integrating your Facebook page to your Gorgias helpdesk and you’ll be able to automatically publish personalized answers in the comment threads.
And if you don’t have one, get a live chat on your site! Gorgias can also help with that by allowing you to seamlessly integrate a live chat into your website, with also a list of customisable rules. The live chat button will show consistently on all pages of your site, both on mobile and desktop.
Your customers don’t need to hunt down a special contact page or dig up an email address. They always know exactly where to go when they need help. Also, using live chat is useful to create a personalized, human-centric, accessible, and fast shopping experience, which the value of can’t be discounted!
Make the most out of your confirmation email
A confirmation email might seem like just another item on the “no duh” to-do list after an order is placed but don’t let that keep you from executing on an opportunity to get creative. While the confirmation email should always include basic information (think an order summary and delivery timeline), you can add a few extras to empower your customer to make the most out of their experience with your brand.
If you’re working with a recommendation engine and already produce editorial content, this would be a great opportunity to attach one or two relevant blog articles to the lower third of your confirmation email. Not only serving as a helpful encouragement to spend more time on your site, but sending relevant content helps to reinforce the idea that you are an expert in your field.
Caption: The order confirmation email from Warby Parker includes tips on how to be sure you’ve picked the perfect frames for you
You may also wish to consider including a promo code as a thank you for ordering - it can be a small expense that ensures a customer returns.
Make your delivery date and next steps clear
Once your customer purchases an item from your site, you would benefit from having a system in place that allows them to review their item’s delivery status. This could be as simple as a “vanity” order confirmation page that appears once the purchase is confirmed. Show a simple timeline that displays where they are at in the delivery timeline starting with an origin destination and ending with their home address.
Even if they didn’t register on your site and never return to this page, showing them such an order tracking timeline leaves a good impression on your customer by reinforcing the concept that what they’ve purchased really exists and is on its way.
Stay in touch later with remarketing
You may have been under the misconception that setting up remarketing ads was reserved exclusively for your bounced traffic. While that’s certainly an effective way to recapture lost traffic, you can also use them to remind previous customers about your products when it makes sense to do so for you.
For example, let’s say you’re a cosmetic company and you’ve just launched a new moisturizer. By setting up a remarketing ad that targets those customers who purchased a similar product from you three months ago, you’re finding them again just as they may be in need of restocking. This helps place customers who may have otherwise forgotten about your brand back into your marketing funnel with the goal of getting them to buy from you again.
Enhance the “unboxing” experience
Let’s embrace the fact that we’re living in the age of social media by applying it to your shipping experience. Make your orders feel like the gift that they are by packing your product in a customized box and filling the empty space inside with fun, yet recyclable fillers like crinkle paper or business cards, personalized notes with instructions on how to leave a review or something simple but enjoyable like brand stickers. When relevant, you may also want to consider including a sample of an upcoming item into your box, or a card stock advertising its existence.
When you create an “unboxing experience” you’ll not only trigger those loyalty-building positive emotions in your customer’s brain but you’re also encouraging them to post about your brand on their social feeds - free advertisement to a similar audience of future customers!
Get those reviews (follow up after the item arrives)
Reviews are one of the most effective ways to increase sales and encourage new customers to shop with you. You need them to grow your business. But not everyone, even happy shoppers, are hardwired to follow up a purchase with a review. In this instance we like to follow the simple manta: ask and you shall receive.
Asking for reviews doesn't have to seem desperate (even though we all desperately want them). Start by building a review request into your post-checkout email workflow that automatically delivers a request to review the purchased product after delivery occurs. Play around with the sound of your email and don’t be afraid to employ a curious but humble tone that expresses your genuine desire to know that they enjoyed what they bought or how they like to see it improved in the future.
We all just want to be heard. Some of us just need a little encouragement at first.
That’s it! We hope you find these six tips useful when it comes to making the most out of your post-checkout experience. As always be patient and in time, you’ll reap the rewards of a job well done. Keep an eye on your retention rate to measure your post-checkout success.
And if you’re looking for more advice or a helpful tool to add to the arsenal, you’re in the right place.