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After the Purchase

By Alessandra Ceresa

You just launched your ecommerce website, and you have just been notified that you have made your first sale. You’re excited. Your hard work is beginning to pay off, and you can’t wait to see the sales start flowing your way. But now what? First of all, you want to make sure that the purchaser had a pleasant experience, and even more importantly you want to make sure they come back over and over again. So, how is this accomplished? It’s all in the follow up.

Post-purchase follow up is a crucial component of selling successfully online. It is yet another part of the customer experience, and one that should not be overlooked. As mentioned in Monday’s post about ecommerce, this post is going to talk about some best practices when following up with your online sales.

Day of purchase: Say thank you. First and foremost, thank your customer for choosing to purchase the item from your online store. Make sure this is a customized email that actually identifies what they purchased, and not some generic message that they know was sent to everyone.

One to two weeks after purchase: Follow up with your customer to see how they are enjoying their new product. This not only gives you a chance to ensure the quality of your product, but also acts as yet another touch point with your customer. The more engaging you are, the more likely they are to think of you the next time around.

The upsell email: The timeliness of this email is going to depend on the product purchased, and any products that relate to it. For example, if you have an online ski shop, and someone recently bought a pair of goggles, you may want to send an email within a week talking about a different lens that the skier may need for different lighting. However, if you just sold a San Diego Chargers Jersey, you may want to wait a few weeks, or until after a big win to upsell a hat or another novelty item.

Any upselling you do should always relate to the product that was originally purchased. It may be wise to also take into account trend data here. Amazon does a great job of this. At the bottom of the item description Amazon includes a “Frequently Bought Together” item list, as well as a “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought…” item list. The items are always related and are there to entice you into purchasing more. Of course, it is wise to upsell at the time of purchase, but post-purchase can be just as lucrative, if not more.

A few things to keep in mind when sending out your upsell email:

  • Always be relevant to the original product
  • Ensure your upsell is valuable
  • Make them an offer they can’t refuse

The offer email: The offer email is a promotion or a special that you send their way a couple of months after the original purchase. Again, this is not only a way to sell more of your awesome online products, but a chance to get in front of your customers again. Staying front and center encourages your customers to stay loyal to your brand. Why would they scour the Internet for another option when you have just presented them with an offer on a product they ‘have’ to have?

Again, it is wise to make your offer personalized to the purchaser. If they bought skis, it is probably not a good idea to send them an offer on snowboard bindings. This may seem like common sense, but I’ve seen stranger things happen.

All of these follow up emails may seem like a ton of hard work, but it doesn’t have to be. With the help of integrated software, you can track purchases and use dynamic data to send personalized automated emails to each and every one of your customers. Once you set your post-purchase workflow and create your drip campaigns, following up with your customers is a breeze.

By simply implementing these best practices, your business will not only create a tribe of loyal customers, but boost revenue too!


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