Conversion optimization projects and cart abandonment rates keep marketers busy, but what happens after the customer buys from you? Most companies assume their buyers re-enter the sales funnel and start the shopping process all over again, but this is a costly mistake.
Post-purchase engagement allows customers to skip certain parts of the sales funnel, bringing them back to your website to buy again. Furthermore, treating existing customers like new customers can hinder your sales and inhibit your ability to connect with buyers.
Here’s why you should focus on post-purchase engagement and how you can do it effectively.
Maximize Post-Purchase Engagement
The customer purchase doesn’t end the buying cycle. In fact, the end of one purchase signifies the start of the next buying cycle. There are significant financial benefits to your organization for engaging with customers after they buy. For example:
- There’s a 27% chance of first time customers returning, but a 45% chance of repeat customers returning.
- Repeat customers are nine times more likely to convert than new customers.
- Repeat customers spend an average of 67% more when they have more than two years of loyalty with the brand.
These statistics also only reflect the benefits of bringing the same customers back after a purchase.
They don’t take into consideration factors like word-of-mouth promotion, improved product pages from customer-generated reviews, and better SEO from increased conversion rates and better analytics.
Organizations that invest in post-purchase engagement could see their business as a whole improve, not just the loyalty department on their marketing team.
4 Ways Improve Your Post-Purchase Engagement Strategy
While post-purchase engagement can increase sales and conversion rates, it’s only effective when brands approach is strategically. Follow these four steps to make sure your campaigns actually bring customers back to buy.
1. Tap Into Replenishment Marketing
Brands with a strong knowledge of their customers can tap into replenishment marketing strategies and sell to customers when the products they bought are likely to run out or wear out.
Amazon’s Dash buttons are the quintessential example of replenishment marketing. In 2015, Amazon created actual buttons that customers press in order to restock on items. Instead of running to the store or looking at different options, customers press one button and the item is replaced. According to Fortune, more than half of Glad’s 40-count OdorShield Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags are placed through Dash buttons on Amazon. Not only does this build Amazon loyalty, it also builds brand loyalty for the supplies that customers buy.
Every business has its own buying cycle. Knowing when your customers need to return can help you target them with post-purchase email engagement or coupons to keep them loyal to your brand.
2. Look for Additional Items and Upsells
One of the biggest mistakes eCommerce pages make in post-purchase engagement marketing is promoting the same items the customers just bought. Unless you’re offering replenishment services, your customer is unlikely to need more of the same items they just bought. For example:
- A customer spends $150 on a pair of running shoes. An ineffective retailer sends emails a week later advertising more shoes based on their past interest in shoes.
- A customer spends $150 on a pair of running shoes. A strategic retailer sends emails a week later advertising athleisure wear and training gadgets based on their interest in athletics and running.
3. Ask For Feedback and Reviews
Tapping into post-purchase engagement doesn’t necessarily mean asking customers to buy from you again — at least, not immediately. Many brands use email communication with customers to encourage them to connect on social media or give feedback on their overall experience. A few post-purchase email options include:
- Encouraging customers to leave reviews of the items they bought.
- Asking customers to take customer service quizzes on the overall experience.
- Inviting customers to follow your brand on social media or sign up notifications.
These post-purchase emails allow you to market to your customers on other channels while turning your customers into brand ambassadors. As long as you offer quality products and top-notch customer service, these requests should lead to positive reviews and feedback.
Brands that are struggling with this form of engagement can also offer discount incentives or exclusive gifts to encourage customers to leave a review or complete a survey. These incentives have the added bonus of encouraging customers to return to your store and buy again, reinforcing customer loyalty.
4. Test Engagement Frequency
Along with determining the best content and products to share with your existing customers, brands also have to time post-purchase engagement for optimal response. In some cases (like promoting upsells) this could be a few days or a week after the customer buys. In other cases, brands might wait several weeks or months before contacting customers again. A few examples of the varying timeframes used to engage customers include:
- Turning new customers into loyal customers.
- Increasing the average frequency that customers buy.
- Marketing seasonal opportunities to non-seasonal customers.
- Engaging with customers who haven’t returned in several months.
Each of these goals would have its own email list to engage existing customers. A customer who visits the online store four or five times per year would receive emails to bring them up to six or seven times per year. Customers who haven’t shopped in more than six months might receive a coupon to re-engage them with the brand.
If your brand doesn’t have a post-purchase engagement strategy, even to solicit feedback from customers, then your eCommerce business is missing out on opportunities to sell to existing customers. Your brand can continue marketing to new customers while ignoring existing ones, but your ROI will suffer and your company will spend more than needed to reach revenue goals.
To learn more about lifecycle marketing within ecommerce and how it can drive growth in your business, please contact us for a confidential consultation.