Why Creating an Impactful Post-purchase Experience is Important for Your E-commerce Business

Why Creating an Impactful Post-purchase Experience is Important for Your E-commerce Business

A customer just ordered from your e-commerce store. You’re on cloud nine, and why wouldn’t you be – you just converted a prospect into a customer. But as exciting as getting orders is, you can’t rest on your laurels just yet.  

This is only the third stage of a buyer’s journey (shown below). You are now no longer accommodating a prospect looking for a solution, you are now dealing with a consumer who is looking to get value from your brand and products.

What happens after a purchase is just as important to the bottom line as the initial purchase. Data from Salesforce shows that 80% of customers say the experience provided by a company is as important as the products and services they sell. Meanwhile, 57% of customers said they stopped buying from a company because of a competitor who delivered a better experience.

And yet, most e-commerce businesses are reluctant to invest in or even properly understand the post-purchase experience. 

So, what exactly is the post-purchase experience (PPX)?

To define it simply, it’s how you treat a customer after they have made a purchase from your e-commerce store – the journey that commences right after checkout. 

A lot goes into designing a post-purchase experience that will convert skeptical buyers into raving fans. How do you think Amazon took over the marketplace landscape? From super-slick fulfillment to timely feedback requests, simple returns, and refunds, they’ve nailed many aspects of the buying journey – at least when it comes to a marketplace-based shopping experience.

Components of a winning post-purchase experience

Now that you know what the term “post-purchase experience” entails, here’s a look at some typical touchpoints of a post-purchase experience:

  • Fast, on-time delivery (such as through Ohi’s 2-hour, same-day, and next-day delivery options)
  • Real-time order tracking & updates that are on-brand
  • Product care tips and optimal usage suggestions
  • Simple returns & refunds process
  • Post-purchase feedback
  • Value-adding upsells and cross-sells
  • Sustainable e-commerce fulfillment

A great after-sale experience will encourage retention, increase sales, and improve your brand’s reputation.

A few good reasons why your e-commerce business needs to optimize post-purchase customer experience

In the words of Kristen LaFrance, the head of Shopify’s Resilient Retail series:

“In e-commerce, you don’t have the same face-to-face sales interaction that you would in a retail setting, so you have to take care of some of those steps post-purchase when you finally have a direct line of communication with the customer.”

Optimizing the post-purchase experience can therefore be an excellent customer retention strategy, and it doesn’t require brands to spend a king’s ransom to do so either. And with better first-party customer data, direct-to-consumer (DTC/D2C) brands should have a competitive edge here, because understanding customers better is the key to optimizing the post-purchase experience. 

Optimizing the post-purchase experience will increase customer retention, improve AOV and repeat purchase rate. 

Once your e-commerce business is relatively well-optimized, your top priority shifts to retaining customers.

Repeat customers are, after all, the holy grail of your e-commerce business, and a well-optimized post-purchase experience will help increase the average order value (AOV), reduce customer churn, and increase customer lifetime value (CLV), which all ultimately dictate your bottom line.

This is why Ohi focuses on amplifying the e-commerce post-purchase experiences for its partner brands. By enabling ultra fast delivery (including sub 2hr) and on-brand, customizable post-purchase communications, Ohi helps brands deliver a positive and powerful post-purchase experience that keeps customers coming back for more.

The impact? Ohi brand partners see significant ROI, including an average 28% increase in conversion and up to 120% higher repeat purchase rates.

It’s how you foster brand loyalty!

To build long-term brand loyalty, emphasize how your customers will benefit from sticking with your brand. Setting up a memorable post-purchase experience will help you influence how your customer thinks, and most importantly, how they feel about their purchase and their relationship with your brand.
When you deliver exceptional post-purchase experiences, existing customers develop loyalty toward your brand.

Part of the reason for enhanced loyalty is that these positive customer experiences can help foster an emotional connection, which studies have found capable of driving as much as a 306% higher LTV for your online business.

An optimized post-purchase customer experience also leads to higher customer advocacy. 

According to Nielson, 92% of customers said they trust the product recommendations provided by their family and friends.

When you offer care and support even after they have purchased from you, you give them a reason to stick with your company.

A positive post-experience results in happier customers, higher retention, better reviews, and more positive word of mouth for your company. Make absolutely sure your brand is doing everything in its power to provide the best PPX on the market and drive as many potential consumers through the entire customer lifecycle, from the minute they encounter your brand to the point where they are self-propelled advocates for your brand and your products.

What helps people, helps business – Leo Burnett (American advertising executive) 

Post-purchase experience is not limited to a post-purchase “thank you” email. And going beyond just an email is the difference between standing out and fading out in the customer’s memory. You have to push the envelope – expand your idea of what a memorable post-purchase customer experience truly entails: from checkout and order updates to fast delivery and delightful unboxing experience, to post-purchase offers and beyond.

About Ohi

At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.

The Best D2C Marketing Strategies to Reach Consumers for Direct Buying

D2C fulfillment

Now’s the time to start setting the stage for a successful 2022. For direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, you’ll want to map out your marketing strategies to increase conversion rates, deliver an optimal experience, and reach customers for direct buying. 

If you’re considering new marketing channels for your D2C business in 2022, there are plenty of avenues to explore. Lifecycle marketing continues to grow in popularity and effectiveness and includes multiple touchpoints to create brand awareness and build customer loyalty. Deploying strategies such as retargeting through social media and email can help increase conversions and reduce cart abandonment, as well. Additionally, segmenting your audience and personalizing your campaigns can help reach your target audience on the nose each time.

Embrace lifecycle marketing 

Lifecycle marketing is a strategy that follows prospective customers through every stage of the marketing funnel; from awareness of your brand to consideration, conversion, and becoming a repeat customer. You can use a variety of tactics and touchpoints — such as email, SMS, and social media marketing — to reach customers. 

Lead buyers through the funnel 

When you create your D2C marketing strategy around lifecycle marketing, you’ll want to implement different tactics at each stage of the funnel. The stages of the marketing funnel are: 

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Retention 

You can achieve brand awareness through social media marketing, search engine marketing (paid search), or search engine optimization (SEO), to name just a few tactics and channels. Once you’ve led people to your website, an easy-to-navigate page with clear, visible calls to action can help turn website visitors into customers. 

Build brand loyalty with a seamless checkout experience and fast fulfillment from micro-fulfillment centers that are close to your customer base. 

Retarget to reduce cart abandonment 

Every D2C website experiences cart abandonment. But there are ways to get those customers back once they’ve navigated away from your website. You can use retargeting tactics to remind customers of what attracted them to your site or products in the first place, entice them with added savings, or show them related products they might be interested in coming back to take a look at.

Retargeting is effective using paid social or paid search methods, but you can also use email marketing to remind your site visitors about the fabulous deals and products they may have left behind. For brands that also have a brick-and-mortar presence in retail stores, you may consider using SMS marketing that is geo-targeted. For instance, if a website visitor has left a pair of boots in their cart and your SMS marketing software can identify their location at a local shoe store, you might send a coupon via SMS to allow them to save money buying the item online and have it shipped directly to their home. 

Deliver value with segmented campaigns 

While retargeting is a great way to increase conversions and reduce cart abandonment, you can also use it for brand recognition. You’ll want to make sure to capture an email address from every person that visits your website. Then create segmented campaigns to send your site visitors highly targeted emails chock-full of relevant content. 

You don’t always have to distribute emails that advertise sales or promotions. Sending targeted emails that relate to topics your market cares about — such as cooking or travel tips — helps build brand loyalty and can give people a reason to visit your website if you promise more of the same helpful and engaging content.

Track your results and do more of what works

Whatever marketing strategies you deploy for success in the new year, you’ll want to track your results. Every D2C digital marketing strategy should include SMART goals that are: 

  • Specific
  • Measureable 
  • Achievable 
  • Realistic 
  • Time-bound 

These goals can relate to site visitors, bounce rates, sales figures, or increased conversion rates if you’re looking at website metrics. If you’re engaged in a social media campaign, you may wish to count new followers, likes, engagement, or clicks and sales. 

Set a definitive endpoint for your campaign when you’ll measure the results and make changes to improve your numbers for next time. 

Stay true to your brand’s vision and purpose

Today’s consumers look for authenticity from the brands they love. Managing a D2C website to target direct buying gives manufacturers a unique opportunity to control the conversation around their brand. You’ll want to ensure that every element of your marketing campaign reflects your core values. 

Today’s consumers also care about sustainability. An IBM report revealed that nearly six in 10 consumers said they were willing to change their shopping habits to reduce environmental impact. Roughly 80% of consumers polled said sustainability is important. 

15 E-commerce Best Practices for DTC/D2C Brands Looking to Level Up

person people woman laptop

According to eMarketer, web traffic on DTC/D2C e-commerce websites has doubled in the last two years. In 2020 alone, US DTC e-commerce sales grew by 45.5%. Consumer goods companies saw 70% of their growth come from DTC sales online.

Traditional retailers of all sizes are hopping onto the DTC trend. Adidas announced this year that it plans to have direct-to-consumer make up 50% of its sales by 2025. Nike is investing to expand its direct-to-consumer digital empire and plans on gradually exiting its wholesale partnerships. 

As competition stiffens and more players target DTC e-commerce as a means to grow their brands, how will your DTC-focused brand stay in front of the pack?

Here are 15 e-commerce best practices to help your DTC brand get ahead. 

1. Add instant delivery

Customers are continually looking for faster delivery options at the checkout. 

With e-commerce giants such as Amazon now offering same-day delivery, D2C-focused brands cannot afford to lag in this area. But it can be challenging for retail companies and brands that sell direct. They lack the ability and resources to provide instant delivery themselves, instead of requiring the help of an instant commerce partner like Ohi

As for adding value to brands, in an analysis of its partner brands that offer both two-hour delivery and same-day delivery, Ohi found that orders delivered via sub 2 hr delivery were associated with substantially higher repeat purchase rates and CLV versus those delivered same-day.

2. Use first-party data to personalize the online shopping experience

Personalization is one of the best ways to improve ‘customer stickiness’. Having rich first-party data can provide a big competitive edge for e-commerce brands. 

Direct to consumer brands can use personalization to optimize their future marketing efforts and improve the overall online shopping experience. Here are a few ways: 

  • Create tailored product promotions: promote products a user is most likely to purchase based on their past orders or products they’ve viewed
  • Use first-party data to segment customers and reach out to them on the platforms they spend time on
  • Serve promotions to specific customers based on what has worked well with them before, whether that’s coupons, merchandising, specific messaging, etc.

3. “Wow” your customers with an awesome post-purchase experience 

Customers don’t just want products, they want services, experiences, and meaningful relationships with brands. A great post-purchase experience can compel your customers to keep purchasing from you, increasing your repeat purchase rate and customer lifetime value (CLV).

Ohi amplifies e-commerce post-purchase experiences for its partner brands by enabling excellent post-purchase order communications like real-time order tracking, order updates via SMS, and the experience of getting hand delivery in a custom-branded tote bag. 

4. Add diverse payment options 

Customers want to be able to pay however and wherever they want. For this reason, only accepting traditional credit cards will not suffice in the competitive e-commerce market. Enabling multiple payment methods is a critical part of offering a good customer experience. Many people today prefer making payments via e-wallets and alternative payment providers like Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal, as they make checking out even easier and safer.

5. Keep customers in the loop with real-time tracking 

Your customers increasingly expect the ability to know exactly where their order is, having experienced the visceral excitement of real-time location services through Amazon, Uber, DoorDash, and other modern tech-driven experiences. 

Keeping customers informed about the entire order process, such as with a real-time map that shows where the courier is, can build trust between your customers and your brand and serve as a powerful differentiator.

6. Make sustainability a priority   

According to a GreenPrint survey, 78% of people are more likely to purchase a product that is clearly labeled as environmentally friendly. Today, customers are more environmentally conscious than ever and want their deliveries to be ‘fast’ and ‘sustainable’. They want to buy from brands that embody their values and allow them to make a difference in the world.

Using ebikes/bicycles and sustainable eco-friendly packaging, for example, Ohi helps its partner brands minimize their e-commerce channel’s carbon footprint, winning the hearts and minds of their eco-conscious customers. In a similar vein, EcoCart is a startup that allows e-commerce brands to offer carbon-neutral ordering through the use of carbon offsets.

8. Send abandoned cart emails: create urgency and use FOMO!

This is where you go after the one that got away. A common tactic is to send reminder emails about products that have been added to cart but not purchased.

You will start by sending friendly reminders a few hours after the cart was abandoned. The second email, a few days later, might create a bit of urgency. Pile fully into the FOMO for the third email by sending limited-time offers to get customers to complete their purchases.

Olipop is extremely good at this tactic. In this case, the email subject line ‘You obviously have good taste’ is flattering, and the animated ‘Ding Dong’ really catches the eye. The ‘15% off’ subscription orders is pretty much the cherry on top. 

9. Create a referral program 

Given the intense level of competition, both new and established brands need more ways to continue acquiring more customers. Referral programs are a great way to entice customers into sharing products with friends, family, and anyone in their social circles. Reward your most loyal customers and watch them become your brand advocates.. 

UNTUCKit’s refer a friend offer is even bigger than their welcome offer for new customers, which is 20%. Each time a friend uses your referral code to make their first purchase, they are rewarded 25% off, and you also get 25% off your next purchase!

The Airbnb Referral Program is another excellent example. Their program allows members to win promotional coupon credits (travel credits) for future bookings by referring their friends.

10. Leverage the power of AR to provide a ‘try before you buy’ experience

Buyer’s remorse is one of the biggest impediments to online purchases. No one wants to order the wrong product and be forced into what is usually a stressful process to return the product and get a refund. This is why some DTC/retail brands, including big ones like IKEA, Sephora, and Nike, are using AR as part of their e-commerce strategies. 

11. Optimize your checkout process

This is all about keeping clicks and steps to a minimum. No one likes a lengthy or confusing checkout process. 

Amazon is one to learn from here. With its one-click ordering experiences, they’ve revolutionized the e-commerce game, making it easy for customers to buy almost anything they want in just seconds.

Adding customer-centric features like one-click ordering, guest checkout, social logins, and express/mobile payment options will keep your customers happy and reduce ordering friction.

12. Tap into social commerce

According to Mobile Marketing Magazine, “TikTok has seen a 553% rise in shopping in the past 12 months,” however, “Instagram is still ahead of the social commerce game, with 64% shopping on the platform last year, followed by Facebook (45%) and TikTok (24%).”

Social commerce will inevitably become a critical part of DTC marketing strategies in the coming year. Glossier, a beauty blog turned beauty brand, was born on Instagram. Social media and UGC encompass a large part of its selling strategy. Despite the brand featuring its competitors, a unique selling point, it’s now one of the fastest growing beauty brands.  

13. Take your customer support to the next level with AI-powered chatbots

Customer service can make or break your brand. These days, many e-commerce brands automate repetitive queries with bots and ensure the complex ones regarding shipping delays, wrong orders, or failed payments are turned over to a human agent.

Bots act as digital concierges for your customers and take care of the simple questions. They can give your team more time to straighten out complex queries, taking the overall customer service experience to the next level.

14. Tailor your content marketing strategy to be ‘customer-focused

Content is a long game. When creating the perfect content marketing strategy, remember that it has to be focused on your customers.  

Thinx, a revolutionary feminine hygiene DTC brand, is an excellent example that’s hard to miss. New ideas can often be scary, so they’ve created a comfort zone for their target customers. Ditching perfect-body stereotypes, their content focuses on body positivity and inclusivity – making it a unique selling point. And people like it because they can connect.  

NomNomNow’s content across all platforms is well-tailored to their audience’s needs, providing exactly the assortment of content capable of convincing a pet owner to go for NomNom. Their Instagram is all about pet care tips and facts, pet features, and some really really cute photos of cats and dogs, making it hard to scroll past.  

15. Give your customers a dedicated, branded, mobile shopping app 

55.4% of internet users use their mobile phones to purchase products online and 69.4% say they use shopping apps on their mobile devices – be it a phone or a tablet (DataReportal, 2021).

Offering a brand mobile shopping app could help your brand drive engagement and revenue. Nike is one great example. The sportswear giant relied on its mobile app to boost its sales in a big way during the pandemic.

For customers, apps make it easier to find and buy products, and features like rewards programs for existing or first-time customers, notifications and personalized recommendations, real-time location tracking, and product maps can really help augment the shopping experience. 

Mobile shopping apps can be a great way for brands to gather the first-party data they need to accelerate conversion rate improvement and grow CLV. 

At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.