The old value propositions of quick delivery, best prices and easy returns are now the standards.
You can’t create competitive advantage based upon delivery when the likes of Amazon exist. Customer expectations have already been set. So, we need to think and behave more creatively, more personably.
The one thing you have, that Amazon doesn’t, is the ability to go truly one-to-one. You know your customers better than a programmed Amazon robot knows there’s.
Post-purchase communications are key to a successful retention strategy
I want you to consider what messages you send to your customer after they purchase. First, you have the order receipt. There’s so much more you can do with your receipts. You can comfortably use Klaviyo’s integrated email builder to customise the receipts and import back into Shopify
Your job, at this stage, is to alleviate any post-purchase unease. Especially for first time buyers. Make sure you’re informing your customer exactly what will happen next. Let them know your expected turnaround times and remind them that you’ll email again once their item has dispatch.
We don’t want to bombard our customers with a series of emails. So, think about how you can combine order details with a simple FAQ related to common queries you receive from your customers. Provide a link to your site where you provide me details.
The opportunity here is to pre-empt any customer issues and build further confidence in your brand. Make your customer believe they made the right choice.
It’s the simple things that we, as consumers, shouldn’t forget.
Welcome to the club
Now I want you to take that communication to the next stage. Your customer will sit within one of the following brackets:
- first time customer
- second time purchaser
- repeat purchaser
I want the next correspondence you send to recognise to your customer the value they bring to your business.
It’s a thank you.
Nothing flowery, nothing with drawn-out detail. A couple of paragraphs of customer recognition.
The most important element here is to ensure you’re directing your thanks dependent on whether that customer is a first time, returning or repeat customer.
Create a customer-welcome flow for each segment. It’s a task that will take you less than an hour to complete in Klaviyo (my go-to email platform).
Set the ‘repeat customer’ welcome for only 3rd time customers. You don’t want the same email to be sent when this person orders for the 4th or 5th time. That will feel fake and we don’t want your brand to feel fake.
Instead, at this stage (the 3rd time customer) they should be introduced as a VIP to your business and welcomed to your VIP loyalty programme (we’ll discuss this in greater detail in a few weeks time).
What are we going to tell your customers?
Let first time customers know you’re here to help. Thank them for putting their trust in you. And let me know that any questions they have, you’re the person to speak to.
The key here is to sign off (and send) from a real person. Whether that be the founder, the Head of Customer Experience, what matters is this is from a person to a person. With that in mind, send the message plain-text. It feels more real.
For second time customers you’re thanking them for thinking of you. This, as a business, is your proudest moment. When an existing customer comes back for more. Your customer will thrive on that recognition. You noticed. That’ll make folks feel real good.
The final welcome email is for your repeat customer. This is true loyalty. Whether you’re the best, the cheapest, the most convenient, what matters is that your customer has chosen you. Make good use of that bond. Remind people you won’t take it for granted.
What you do at these early stages of your customer communications can be your greatest feats as a marketer. Very few ecommerce brands bother. They’re too fixated on getting new customers in the pot. For you, it’s about being thankful to those that return. They’re the people that build your business with you. Your advocates. Your loyal customers.
There are tremendous gains to be had in how you communicate with your customers along their buying journey. Here is a simple opportunity for you to forge the relationship and make it a little more personal. You just recognise the value customer’s bring.
Recognition is a tremendous tool in your marketing arsenal.
Is this our secret or shall we pass it on?