Return customers are key to a Shopify store’s success for a multitude of reasons. They are cheaper to sell to and spend 300% more per purchase than new customers, for a start. There are many ways to improve your post-purchase experience overall to create for long-term loyal customers. But, as any direct-response marketer will tell you, sometimes you just have to implement things that lead to immediate sales and the post-purchase experience is no different.
1. Optimize your transactional emails.
Transactional emails, in this case, the emails you send to confirm the order and provide shipment updates, are insanely valuable. These emails on average see eight times the number of opens and clicks as your other marketing emails. That makes transactional emails a key time to engage your customers and prime them for their next purchase. Here are some ideas you can include to generate sales right from your transactional emails.
- Dynamic product recommendations within your emails. Shopify’s API is able to pull dynamic product recommendations based on a recent purchase. A system like Klaviyo can then display that data in an email. (For email systems that don’t have this integration built-in with Shopify, our automator, Mesa, can easily create that connection.) These product recommendations are an easy way to upsell related products to a customer or catch their eye with something they hadn’t seen.
- A CTA to your site. If directly selling within the email doesn’t make sense for your brand, include a CTA bringing them back to a page on your website. Consider including a link to a related blog article, video, or tracking page hosted on your site. From this page, you can push them towards your products instead.
- A bounceback coupon in one (or all) of your transactional emails. Combine this coupon with in-email product recommendations for maximum success.
2. Provide easy returns.
Returns are, rather counterintuitively, an incredible time to create a repeat customer. Zappos actually found that 95% of customers who return an item will make a repeat purchase later. And while just having a simple, easy returns process can produce future repeat sales, the return process itself can be optimized for immediate sales.
One creative way to turn a return on the spot into a repeat purchase is to offer instant store credit for a return. Typically eCommerce returns take several weeks to hit a customer’s bank, making an instant credit seem like a pretty sweet deal. The credit even has the added bonus of psychologically mimicking a discount, so customers will often spend even more than the original purchase.
One Shopify store that provides an excellent example of how to provide instant credit at a return is Unique Vintage. They offer customers a choice to utilize a voucher right at return. Then, if you don’t opt to use the code at the time, they also follow up with several emails to remind you that you have the choice to use this voucher until the item is processed.
3. Provide product recommendations on your tracking page.
Having an on-site order tracking page is crucial to generating brand loyalty and, as the above stat demonstrates, lucrative. Our research shows that customers check their on-site order tracking page an average of three and a half times per order. We also further found that merchants who enabled product recommendations on their tracking page experienced a 141% lift in orders in the following four months. Our order tracking app, Tracktor, makes it easy not just to have an on-site order tracking page, but to run product recommendations on that page. It’s quite literally as easy as a click of a button.
4. Bounceback coupons in packaging.
Package opening is perhaps the time of maximum engagement for customers, making it an ideal location to include a bounceback coupon. ShopApricity, a Shopify dress shop out of Los Angeles, includes a 15% off bounceback coupon with each package they ship. The coupon also doubles as a beautiful thank you note. Personally, I’ve actually put these cards on my fridge to use later, that’s how pretty I thought they were.
Even brands focused on being as green as possible can utilize this method while minimizing waste by using recycled paper with soy ink.
5. Trigger product remarketing within a reasonable time frame.
The final part of the post-purchase experience is really to kick-off the follow-up sale marketing. After all, you need to be picking back up a conversation you’ve already been having with a customer, not starting a brand new one.
One of the best ways to optimize this handoff from post to pre-purchase is through highly customized retargeting ads using Facebook’s custom audience builder. These ads should be triggered at a time when your data indicates a customer is most likely to think about purchasing again.
This is most easily executed for customers who have purchased items that need to be restocked. These customers can be targeted at a time when they are running low on the product and can be shown that exact product (along with any complementary products). However, you can certainly target customers who purchased an item that won’t need to be restocked with products that are complementary to the initial purchase. You may also consider targeting them with some higher level brand-awareness type ads to refresh their memory of who you are.
The best post-purchase experiences lead to a return purchase. With these tips, you can start seeing those purchases faster.