Editor’s note: We know that being a great retailer today requires more than great shipping - you need to be across the entire spectrum of ecommerce to succeed. That’s why we’ve invited subject matter experts - like Shannon Ingrey, General Manager APAC at Oracle + Bronto to share his top #TemandoTips.
Imagine you’re a single, outdoorsy guy who regularly shops at a large shoe retailer. On your last visit, you bought climbing boots and boat shoes for an upcoming vacation. You even gave them personal information when you signed up for the loyalty program at checkout. Within a few days, several emails arrive in your inbox. The first encourages you to join the store’s loyalty program. But you just did that, didn’t you? Even stranger are the promotional emails with subject lines that are uninspired or way off-base. “Get Your Holiday Bling On!”. Worse yet, they include images of peep-toe booties and cocktail handbags. Bet you aren’t feeling much like a valued customer, are you?
This scenario happens every day. Many retailers don’t craft messages specifically for recent purchasers, or they fail to prevent them from being bombarded with messages right after they buy. Our research indicates that only a third of online retailers send post-purchase messaging, and only 20% take the time to personalize it. Just like those times when shoppers are disappointed that there’s no other delivery options than ‘standard’, failing to personalize at post-purchase messaging is a lost opportunity. Sure, post-purchase communications should include transactional information, such as order and shipping confirmations or requests for product reviews. But there are so many other ways to engage a customer once they’ve made a purchase. Here’s some:
To speak more effectively with different customers, sporting apparel company Everlast delivers a knockout punch by segmenting its mixed martial arts, boxing, fitness and women’s apparel shoppers. Its post-purchase series engages customers by building brand awareness and encouraging a second – or even third – purchase. Open rates for Everlast’s post-purchase series are 65% (412% above that of a basic email), with conversion rates of 7 to 8%. And the success is not tied solely to incentives. The brand continues to see engagement from the second message in the series, which is sent to customers who have purchased and received the first post-purchase message in the last 30 days. According to Everlast Ecommerce Manager Danit Zmora, “It’s not revenue-driven, but the engagement is still pretty cool to see.”
Deploying a triggered post-purchase message campaign three to five days after a customer buys something is a good way to start. You can thank them for their recent order and encourage them to make another purchase by offering a discount on a future purchase or giving them a customer service-oriented call to action, such as linking to your customer service portal or resource center. When building post-purchase messaging, do A/B testing and drill down with your reporting. Analyze metrics on individual messages, grouped by message type and time and date sent, to see what works best. Be sure to balance promotional content that encourages someone to shop again with valuable information, such as product care tips and reorder reminders. Aim for a 50/50 or even 60/40 consumer-to-company ratio. And remember that when a shopper is part of your post-purchase series, it’s best to suppress them from standard promotional messages for a while.
Social media can create a dialogue with shoppers while increasing brand awareness. Be sure to align the content and timing of your email messaging, including post-purchase communications, with your social team. Tarte Cosmetics takes a nimble approach to marketing its natural, trendy makeup. Strong buzz on social around an eye color palette? Tarte’s Digital Marketing Director Stephanie Urban will work it into an email. And it’s easy to implement socially-themed post-purchase messaging:
- Tell shoppers about your social sites, so they know where to find you.
- Encourage crowd-sourcing by asking shoppers to share “selfies” with the product or write a Facebook review.
- Run a user-generated content (UGC) contests. For example, ask them to post a photo drinking your brand’s fitness water at the gym with a hashtag for a chance to win!
If post-purchase messaging seems like too much of a bother, consider this: By not implementing a post-purchase strategy, you’ve in effect decided that a purchaser and non-purchaser are the same and should be treated as such. This can significantly affect customer loyalty.
Without enhancing the user experience and connecting with customers, what’s going to motivate them to buy from you the next time and not a competitor? In addition, simply sending more promotional messages after a sale can come off as disingenuous, as it shows little regard for the customer’s recent actions. By differentiating, you take more control over driving the purchaser to come back and shop again. By doing nothing, you leave it to chance, or even worse, drive them away by providing a less-than-friendly experience.
You may have succeeded in personalizing shipping experiences for your customers, but don’t forget to continue fostering it through with post-purchase messaging. In the end, crafting emails that engage your audience is one of the best ways to grow your email channel, strengthen customer loyalty and see significant lift in engagement, traffic and revenue. With a little time and effort, your brand will be front and center in the minds of your customers.
For more great ideas on what strategies work, download “We Asked, They Answered: Top Commerce Marketing Tactics Shared”.
Oracle + Bronto provides a cloud-based commerce marketing automation platform to mid-market and enterprise organizations. Oracle + Bronto is the number one ranked email marketing provider to the global Internet Retailer Top 1000, with a client roster of leading brands, including Rebecca Minkoff, Vince Camuto, Lucky Brand, Theory, Björn Borg, Ashley Homestore and Christopher & Banks.
Next up: Demsytify US sales tax with these #TemandoTips from TaxJar.