Guest post: 6 Post-Purchase Tips to Improve Customer Retention

Every business needs customers to thrive. To make it happen, either the business needs to attract new customers, or it needs strategies to keep its existing ones. These two marketing orientations are great, but the latter is essential for ecommerce growth.

No matter the business focus, the truth is, no business would want to lose their existing customers since they’re a key reason why the business is still operating in the first place.

According to a 2020 survey, 42% of new online customers are attracted to a brand by friends or family. This shows how your existing customers can be the marketers you need to attract new shoppers.

Marketing strategies have evolved over the years, and businesses need more than just quality products to keep their customers.

There are many ways to boost customer retention. Focusing on your post-purchase strategy is where to begin. Here are a few that you should consider.

1. Use a Simple Refund and Return Policy

Customers are mindful of where they purchase their products. This is especially common with an online purchase. A customer will opt for a brand that offers a more desirable refund and return policy.

Ensuring yours is consistent and care-free also a smart way to show shoppers how you’re aligned with their wants and needs.For instance, making returns free can make customers identify with your brand as you’re showing your trustworthiness.

The first step to improving your customer’s retention is to spell out the refund and return policies in clear terms. 

Helping your customers reduce post-purchase anxiety is very important, and a transparent refund policy will minimize that anxiety.

I know you probably think such policies will encourage returns and reduce overall sales. But the truth is that more than 90 percent of customers who return a product will likely order a new one. This means that a great return policy will have little or no negative effect in the long run.

2. Have an Effective Product Guide and Information Policy

Adding a product guide and information to your product package is another way to improve customer retention post-purchase.

As much as customers want your product, they don’t need to be frustrated before they can start enjoying your product.

Great brands understand the importance of a how-to-do-it note. Packaging your products should not just be about fancy wrapping; you could also  include a step-by-step guide on how to use your product. This simple gesture is enough to make customers keep buying from you.

This extra content can also spice up your customers’ unboxing experience, leaving a lasting impression.

Product information and guides can also help reduce returns that result from not being able to get your product working.

Many factors influence customers. But nothing is more disappointing than finding it difficult to use the product you paid for.

3. Send Branded Emails

One of the common post-purchase practises to increase customer retention is the use of branded emails. For instance, sending a simple congratulation mail to your customer after purchase sells the ongoing relationship you seek to have with them..

It makes them feel appreciated and wanted. Your brand’s confirmation message can also help reduce customer’s anxiety while they are waiting for their product to be delivered.

Making sure your customers feel safe doing business with your brand boosts customer retention, and a simple email is where to start.

Branded emails can also serve as effective tools to win back customers. Reminding your customers about your product is more personal with an email that’s branded. They are aware of new products and reminded of why they should buy from you.

Using your loyalty program, you could also send point update emails that remind shoppers to return to your site to redeem rewards.

4. Introduce VIP Programs

VIP programs are another popular means of improving customer retention. They are used to motivate customers to pursue rewards or maintain an elite status with your brand. Most brands grant VIP status to their repeat shoppers.

By creating such an environment, brands encourage individual customers to buy their products over and over again. Categorizing your customers like this can improve customer retention since you’re showing that you appreciate their custom and you can give them more everytime they engage with your brand. 

In such an environment, most people would consider themselves as part of your brand’s community, rather than as an individual customer.

5. Improve Branded Packaging

Packaging is geared towards increasing sales as it can often appeal to your customers’ emotions. If they are successful, they’ll do your brand a lot of good, and without them, you risk losing your customers.

Good packaging gives your customers an all-round customer experience, memorable unboxing experience, and a sense of fulfillment.

The existence of eco-friendly packaging is a great way to show your customers that you’re aligned with them using widely available materials.

If you can wow your customers with your packaging, you’ll sow the seed for long-term loyalty. Even if they forget other brands, they won’t forget you easily. You can give them what others cannot, packaging that they’re excited by.

There are also long term benefits for improving packaging. When your brand provides customers with perceived extra value, they are likely going to stick to you. 

6.  Take Advantage of a Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs are designed to encourage customers to continue pursuing  your brand as they register under a scheme that gives them value.

Loyalty programs are another popular post-purchase idea that grows retention. Once customers sign up, they can earn points for completing a purchase or on-site activities (like signing up to your newsletter). Once they have points in their account, they can then redeem them for desirable rewards. This way, these customers will have some sort of allegiance to your brand.

Does this really work? Well, one survey revealed that integrating a loyalty program with your ecommerce platform can increase average order quantity by 319%. Yes, it is that much, imagine what it will do for your business.

Discounts are not limited to a reduction in price since you can actually offer special delivery services, or free shipping perks to your loyal customers. A good loyalty program can promote consistent brand identity and encourage repeat shopping.

Conclusion

Turning customers into loyal ambassadors is what every brand wants. The post-purchase ideas discussed here will help you build a strong connection with your customers, and over time they’ll become loyal to your brand.

Remember, loyal customers are the best advertisers you can have. Your post-purchase ideas can effectively bridge the gap between online vs. offline experience.

About the author

Phillip

Phillip Akhzar is the Founder and CEO of Arka with over a decade’s experience in packaging. Phil is a San Francisco native and attended Cal Poly SLO as an Industrial Engineer before graduating from both Y Combinator W15 and 500 Startups Batch 16.

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