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Why checkout shouldn’t be the end of your customer’s journey

To succeed in running an online shopping website, your eCommerce business needs a steady flow of revenue month after month. As such, returning customers are the bread and butter of your eCommerce site, as they ensure you raise sufficient levels of income to maintain your organisation’s financial security.

With cart abandonment being a bitter fact of eCommerce, it is vital to have sound strategies in place such as having secure online payment services to get your customers past the checkout page. But the customer’s journey shouldn’t stop the moment their payment clears.

A customer who comes back for more is usually someone who is satisfied with the experience of shopping at your store. And, repeat customers are the ideal targets of marketing campaigns as they are easier to convert. Attracting new customers is important but keeping an existing customer benefits your bottom line more than acquiring a new customer.

In this post, written in collaboration with international online payment gateway PayU, we look at the opportunities that could increase the average order value of a customer after a sale has been completed. The first move,  to sell more to customers after an initial purchase, is to interact with them by delivering valuable content at the right time.

Here are some of the benefits of post-purchase engagement:eCommerce

  • Return customers are more profitable
  • Brand loyalty is built
  • It stimulates feedback from customers
  • Relationships are built

Customers who have completed a transaction to their satisfaction are generally more open to your marketing messages. That’s why online merchants should take care not to overwhelm these customers with messages heavily focused on selling. Exceed their expectations and provide additional value beyond the appeal of just your products. This will add a bit of fun to customers’ encounters with your brand.

Post-purchase strategies

Below are a few strategies you can implement after customers have made a purchase on your eCommerce website.

1. Standard practice is to send the customer an order confirmation and shipping confirmation email informing them of the status of their purchase and thanking them for shopping at your store. But, this is also a chance to sell more. Include complementary products or recommendations in the email to lure them back to your eCommerce site.

2. Special offers can do wonders for repeat business. You can also include them in follow-up communication. Offer your customers discount coupons that are valid for a short period of time after they made the initial purchase. Customers enjoy the feeling that their purchase gives them something a little extra; for this reason, special offers are effective in driving revenue.

3. You can also include a review request in your post-purchase email to ask for customers’ feedback on how they experienced your brand. Asking the right questions and offering an incentive for completing the survey will not only give you valuable feedback but stimulate the customer’s interest in the brand, encourage engagement and ultimately generate more leads.

4. It should go without saying that each interaction with a customer should be tailored according to their needs and wants. Follow-up messages should be relevant to their recent purchase but also to their general preferences (you’ll need to collect consumer data for the latter). Producing quality marketing content should generate greater engagement.

5. Send out reminders of products that customers may have discarded during their previous purchases. Products that have been excluded from the shopping cart do not necessarily indicate lost interest as the customer might return to buy the products at a later stage.

6. Another way to boost conversions is to start a customer loyalty programme and ask customers to join. This should serve as a reward when shoppers complete their second purchase or when regular customers reach a certain number of orders or a monetary target.

The bottom line is that customers who already shop on your eCommerce website are more valuable. They know what to expect from your product, service, and business by now. If their experience has been positive, you can devote your time to reaching out to them after a transaction has been completed.

Remember, that personalisation is king and when you do this right, you can take advantage of the benefits that client retention has to offer.

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