The post-purchase experience is most times secondary to the marketing funnel aimed at converting a customer. Your marketing strategy most likely focuses on returning customers, and it is not just based on good customer support, but also outstanding customer service at the checkout. The post-purchase experience is directly tied to your customer loyalty, which therefore requires careful attention and a genuine focus to maximize the Ad-spend to get repeat purchases to take place. From the first purchase to becoming a brand advocate, there are many steps that touch on order tracking, social media, participating in Facebook groups, and even interacting with live chat on Facebook messenger for any questions the client may have. Let's cover some of the key elements that can make your post-purchase experience stand out.
Stepping up value-added services
Touch Points in marketing terms are prompts, calls to action, engagement points, and guidance that customers would take note of and be promoted to take the next step for your target audience arriving at your online store. When it comes to products and services, these are key for the marketing funnel, however, just as important in the post-purchase experience. Value-added services add additional touch points to the end-to-end shopping experience and have the opportunity to increase customer retention such as a loyalty program. The value-added services can also include promotional loops, referral loops, and additional value loops in bundling or cross-branding (Example: Get item X, get item Y for half off). Existing customers check out these schemes and engage with them and in doing so become more loyal customers.
Value-added service example 1
Product protection: The peace of mind value, especially if the goods are more expensive is an important offering. Only most recently, programs and software offerings have been available in the eCommerce Platform App Store to be available to sign up and offer these value-added services. Offering repair or replacement services keeps the client tied to the brand, and if claimed the good customer service received will be a perceived touch point that brought value in keeping their product going, or replaced. By solving the customer pain points and having this interaction, the brand equity improves and adds a positive story that they can share on social media and with their friends. Therefore, offering product protections gives an all-rounded customer experience, and not offering it would leave customers underserved.
Value-added service example 2
Customer reviews and testimonials: Having the customer come back to the store after receiving their order to write a review is another touch-point. Sometimes this is tied to the loyalty points gathering so that users can pad their account points. The more items they purchase, the more they can review items and add points to their account. Not only this motivates a post-purchase experience touch point, but also aids in SEO and User Generated Content (UGC) as well as provides feedback to prospective buyers on the experience when it comes to sizing, color, quality, and the comments they might have to contribute. Reviews will boost confidence for new audiences arriving at your store when it comes to the product and brand. Trustpilot performed a survey in which it establishes that online shoppers use the 5-star rating and comments as key purchase decision criteria when adding an item to their basket. 64% of USA consumers are influenced by reviews, and 63% are influenced by 5-star ratings. Prompting customers to provide their reviews at the right time engages a return and an engagement. This engagement loop has value on both your online store and the customer audience which then will boost your stores' performance.
Value-added service example 3
Loyalty Program: This is a key component of an online store that gives value to the audience by having them come back regularly. Repeat purchases are rewarded, and they grow to be connected to your brand all the while tied into your promotional cycles as well. There are a couple of types of loyalty programs. The ones that are free are based on points and are awarded based on purchases and other various engagements such as subscribing to an Instagram account, Facebook page, or LinkedIn profile. The other is a paid subscription, where there are benefits such as discount coupons and other value engaging offers. You can have different tiers in a loyalty program, giving the more active users more privileges. Reaching a VIP level tier could mean early access to new collections, deeper discounts where they would get notified via Email Marketing. A balance between the customer and the brand has to be reached - the bigger the ask the bigger the reward. Surveys, and additional data can be used to profile the customer base further - so using the data for a great customer experience should reward the customers for educating the brand on how to best approach them.
Value-added service example 4
Self-service returns: To improve the post purchase experience as well as lower the purchase friction at checkout, a smooth returns process for wrong, missing or damaged goods is important. To diffuse frustration on items that do not meet expectations, having an easy returns process will allow for a great customer service - especially if the user does not have to pay for the return shipping. A self-service returns process that includes labels, the re-use of the packaging that came in with and a bar code form to track the customer account and item being returned should be part of the process. When that's not a possibility, checking into other options such as a brick-and-mortar return or initiating the return process via a QR code from their receipt. There are 3rd party returns businesses such as Lockers that offer a return process. This reduces friction at the checkout, peace of mind that your goods will be handled if they don't fit, this decreases costs, enhances repeat purchases and drives overall customer satisfaction.
In today's real-time purchasing when it comes to eCommerce, having a competitive edge is crucial especially when building your brand. Sure, you can do your market research on what customers are looking to purchase, or can work with your customers to create feedback loops than can enhance various types of marketing that you might engage with. Utilizing customer feedback to feed back into social networks and marketing channels can drive more customers which identifies with the content to have a look and see. Customer reviews can be used in blog posts, and even build them in Ads for social media marketing. Creating a marketing strategy with these value added services will lower friction at the checkout, and increased customer engagements. Don't miss out, and get these in place in your online store. If you have any questions on how to add these tools into your Shopify or BigCommerce store, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org