Post purchase experience

The ultimate checklist for an elite post-purchase experience

Everyone loves a good post-purchase waiting game. Checking the order status back and forth to see that the package is still in the sorting center; opening multiple tabs to look how other people use it; dreaming endlessly of the perfect moments to show off. It’s all fun and games until the day it arrives and the brand’s presence is no longer felt thereafter. End. What, no way!

The post-purchase experience is an important, yet frequently overlooked, part of the online purchase process. How your brand engages with customers after they placed an order can make a difference between whether they’ll return to your site and buy again, or not.

A wise marketing strategy is a key ingredient for creating lasting brand loyalty. In post-conversion, the end is the start. The post-purchase experience is the last thing in the sales cycle but is also the first step in your shopper’s next checkout. If your recent transaction with a customer was as positive as the first time, you’ve then unlocked more opportunities to gain valuable feedback and trust.

The post-purchase process: the basics

A successful purchase should be like a messaging thread that after every ‘Send’ hit comes to a reply. Or at least appear like a best friend who constantly checks on you and you do the same to them. When you’ve already won your customers’ business, any contact by your brand after that will give them a sense of belonging that isn’t only about you gaining from their pockets. 

A study shows that keeping one customer saves you from spending anything from 5 to 25 times more just to gain a new one. Increasing retention rates by just 5% would help increase profits by anything from 25% to 95%. Imagine the impact of knowing how to nurture your market.

Customers like to feel superior as if your business depends on them. And it does. But little do they know that you’re also capable of converting them. To make it worthwhile, adjusting to their implied special needs as customers will construct a path that won’t end from a single purchase. There are brands who are only good at causing a buying action, but leave the customers out as soon as the package status says ‘order received’. The value customers feel after the purchasing stage builds up reasons after reasons to repeat the action. Without it, nothing’s going to follow.

One of the best timings to prove that you truly care is in the worst incident: when problems arise. These could be a missing package, a defective product, or a wrong item. In cases such as these, it’s highly required that you be respectful, attentive, and, most of all, flexible while attending to any of these issues. However, no matter how good or bad a purchase ends up, the only way to keep your customers around is by sticking with them throughout their pre- and post-buying journey. Now you stick with us as we explore the ins and outs of the post-purchase process, and discover how to take full advantage of this important stage in the sales cycle.

The ultimate post-purchase experience checklist 

For something as important as the sales process, it's handy to commit to as many step-by-step lists as possible. Better prepared than sorry! This way you’re sure to never miss the potential to increase sales and boost customer satisfaction. This shouldn’t feel like a guessing game as you’re a customer yourself, but here’s a checklist we prepared to help your brand target the right places.

Always say thank you

You might’ve expected this, but you’re still welcome. It’s an immediate response to thank someone every time they do something for you, and a simple and direct ‘thank you’ page after a purchase was made is all it takes to let your customers know that you value their business and are grateful for their choice to shop with you, out of hundreds of other brands that they can rather choose from.

Handle with care labels

This strategy sends customers signals that what they have purchased is worth caring for. It’s not the average cheap, online, throwaway fashion that they can toss anywhere once they have a change of interest. Product care messaging also reinforces the idea that your brand cares about what happens after you get their money. Some brands barely think of that. 

These care labels may come in the forms of a how-to video or written guide on your website, email or infographic, or attached card inside the package. When executed well you can avoid the risks of returns, and that’s convenient for both sellers and buyers.

post purchase experience - packaging
Burberry gift wrapping (source: Pinterest)

Persuade with packaging

It’s like the frame for a piece of artwork. If you put a beautiful painting in a cheap plastic frame, it will drastically reduce its perceived quality and value. The same is true for your products. Customers may have crazy expectations while waiting for their purchase to arrive at their doorstep, so the packaging should, foremost, display a strong impact. Since you own a fashion brand, the chances are big that you have a talent for aesthetics, branding, and visual storytelling. Use it to reflect and communicate your brand identity, from the outer designs to the mini personalized cards you slid in for some bonuses.

Incentivize interest with coupons

Sucker for sale? Who’s not?! The more positive interactions you can create between you and your customers, the better. If that positive interaction also happens to be an incentive to visit your shop and buy again bingo. Vouchers and other exclusive offers are your simple "thank you"-efforts for your customers’ business. It’s also another effective way to connect with the post-purchase experience because they’re always appreciated. Through discounts applicable for their product interests, customer loyalty develops, then forms the tendency to drop by your shop now and then to see what’s new.

Subscribe to the newsletter

A brand is more than just a collection of products under one umbrella, it’s an identity and a lifestyle. A newsletter lets your customers feel your brand, which directs them to all the sides of your business: news, updates, product sale and releases, item availability, and anything else that concerns them as a buyer. It’s like an indirect trace that influences customers into making another purchase, even after that one they had from a month ago.

Newsletters frequently remind customers they are always welcome, and their past contact with your shop still matters the same. 

83% of consumers say that they expect regular updates about their purchase.

It won’t hurt to do that, and you want to consider recommending some complimentary products to trigger a little shopping stimulation.

Share info about the return policy

Although web shoppers continue to grow massive at the moment, it’s undeniably true how ordering fashion products online is still viewed by many as a tricky decision. That being the case, you would want to grab every opportunity possible to instill trust in every purchase. Sharing your company’s return policy in the package or your website will put your customers’ minds at ease. This will keep them coming back for future purchases because they’re confident of your accountability for taking necessary actions. Customers will always stay away from post-purchase anxiety, that’s why online fashion shops that don’t go the extra mile to establish connections will often lack stable conversions. 

Collect feedback

Never neglect taking customer satisfaction into account. This last checkpoint serves as the most personal communication you could have with them. Your initiative to apply these post-purchase strategies into your brand will definitely fulfill your customers, knowing that they’ve made a good purchase and have received the rightful treatment all the way.

It is then the best time to know their valuable reviews about your brand, products, and services, their customer experience, and the overall buying journey they had. Remember, often the best way to get what you want is simply to ask for it. Invite your customers for their honest opinion and oh, don’t collect them as a habit. Respond to their feedback not only to make their voices feel heard but also to remind them that there’s something they should watch out for next time. Asking for customer reviews lets them know that you’re faithfully on the lookout for ways to improve your business. 

Summing up

There’s no end to the selling process—that’s why it’s called a sales cycle. By now it should be clear that clicking the ‘confirm purchase’ button is far from being the end of the whole transaction.

The post-purchase experience acts like a magnet where one contact attracts another, and so on. It’s the room for what you want to be a long-lasting relationship full of trust and value for your customers, and growth, revenue, and reputation for your brand. 

Stylehub makes it painless for you to manage every step of this process with customizable alerts, business intelligence tools, and automation. Since we hate goodbyes, it's never been easier to bring all these at your disposal and implement a smart, proactive post-purchase process that will drive your sales to more consistent hellos. 

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