Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Competition is steep for retailers across all industries, and because marketers are vying for a piece of the same pie, communications are often narrowly focused on capturing the sale. But what happens after the purchase?
- Are you sending confirmation messages?
- Are they personalized to the buyer?
- Are you highlighting complementary products in subsequent marketing messages?
- Are you asking for product reviews?
- Are you maximizing the value of the product your customer just purchased?
If you answered no, you’re missing a huge opportunity to develop brand advocates through post purchase communications. Consumers are more informed than ever before. They’re comparing prices in-store and online, reading product reviews, and looking to their social networks to determine which product is best for them. To become the subject of those discussions, you must have advocates who are passionate enough about your brand to want to tell the world—even well after a purchase has been made.
The buying cycle shouldn’t end after a purchase is complete. To develop brand advocates, you must first nurture their positive purchase experience, combat buyer’s remorse, and provide outlets for customers to share their experiences. Often this is achieved through a series of tactics that aim to maximize the value of the purchase.
Here are some ways to get started:
Tactic 1: Confirmation Messages.
Send these messages immediately, and customize the content in order to provide optimal value to the customer. If you’re sending a confirmation message, chances are high that you already know a little about their purchase behaviors and have obtained their name, credit card number, email address, mailing address, and more. Utilize this data to add value to future communications through personalization.
Tactic 2: Value-Add Messages.
Ensure that your customers get the most out of their purchase. Send tips and tricks that maximize the value of their purchase, and work toward nurturing a positive brand experience. In doing so, you’ll not only deepen your relationship with the customer, but also drive repeat purchases.
Tactic 3: Product Reviews.
Give your customers a voice and increase your company’s user-generated content by encouraging product reviews. Make it convenient for them to provide input, but be deliberate with your timing. This type of message should be sent after the customer has had the opportunity to experience the product, but before they no longer feel an association to the purchase.
Tactic 4: Sharing.
Make it easy for customers to tell their friends about their recent purchase through social sharing. In doing so, customers become brand advocates and extend the reach of your brand to their social networks and beyond.
Tactic 5: Cross-Sell and Up-Sell.
Inform the customer of additional products or add-ons associated with the purchased product. Be informative and make it easy for the customer to research and buy what you’re recommending. When sending this type of communication, remember that relevancy and selectivity are very important—don’t bombard your active customers with irrelevant promotional information.
When considering ways to improve your post purchase communications, keep in mind the impact that a positive experience can have on a consumer. If a communication isn’t adding to the experience, it may be time to re-evaluate the function of that message. Learn more how to improve your retail communications in Subscribers Fans and Followers: Retail Touchpoints Optimized.