Competition is tough in the world of ecommerce. With so many competitors across almost every industry niche, many ecommerce businesses now seek to compete on their customer experience. It’s also of growing importance to consumers, with 74% saying they are at least somewhat likely to buy purely based on experience alone. That experience starts before a customer even makes a purchase, and extends far beyond the point where they place an order.
Post-purchase emails are invaluable to Shopify merchants looking to stand out from the crowd, and luckily Klaviyo makes it easy to automate this crucial part of the customer journey using workflows, otherwise known as flows. Let’s look at why post-purchase is so important, and five flows you can easily implement to start building customer loyalty.
Why the post-purchase phase is important
The post-purchase phase is just as important as making a sale; customer retention and building a base of loyal customers is far more valuable to your store than acquiring new customers. The average ecommerce store spends 80% of their marketing budget on acquisition, but 41% of their revenue comes from returning customers who represent just 8% of their customer base. The likelihood of repeat purchases increases also the more purchases they make, after one purchase their likeliness to make a repeat purchase increases by 27% and after the second this goes up to 54%.
Part of how you retain those valuable customers is through giving them a great experience - 58% of customers say they’ve stopped doing business with a company because of a poor customer experience. Providing a great experience then results in more loyal customers, and a higher chance of repeat purchases. That loyalty is built over time, and email is a really great way to make the most of the post-purchase phase to nurture those relationships. It’s a direct line to your customers, where you can really show them that you care about their choice to shop with your store, their satisfaction, and their continued interest. Post-purchase emails also have some of the best performance rates too, according to Klaviyo’s data post-purchase messaging sees a 217% higher open rate, and 90% higher revenue per recipient than an average email campaign.
5 post-purchase flows you can implement now to increase loyalty
#1 - The “Thank You” flow
After your transactional flows, the “Thank You” flow is a must-have to add a touch more personalization to your automated campaigns and show your customers that you appreciate them. This can be split into two different paths - one for new customers, and another for returning customers. For new customers you can include details of any loyalty programs you may have, links to anything they might find of interest, and give them a little more detail about your brand. For returning customers, you can instead thank them for their continued support. You could go even further here and branch your flow based on their lifetime value, allowing you to tailor the content even more for your most valuable customers with perks and sneak peeks of upcoming sales or products.
The “Thank You” flow doesn’t just end with just one email, rather it can be a series of emails related to their order. You could send educational content about the product whether that’s use guides, or any specific care instructions, as well as your brand’s story, your production process, or other details that might add more character to your brand for your customer.
#2 - Celebrating Anniversaries and Birthdays
Personalization is a big factor in nurturing a relationship with your customers, and recognizing special dates with an email is a really easy way to win over your audience. There are a few different dates that you can use to trigger these emails:
Celebrate with your customer by offering them a small discount, free gift or free shipping.
First purchase anniversary
Show your customer you value them by sending them an email on the anniversary of the day they made their first purchase. You can offer them a small reward here too, to show your appreciation.
Subscription reminder and thank you
When a subscription is nearing its renewal date, send the customer an email thanking them for their continued support.
If your store is within a specific industry that works around milestones, for example the wedding industry, then you should ask for their special milestone’s date. That way you can send automatic emails when it’s close to that milestone, for example a wedding date or a child’s birthday.
#3 - Feedback Requests
Feedback is not only invaluable to how you develop and improve your store, but it’s also a great way to show customers that you care about their experience and satisfaction. Your flow for this can include a few different emails that focus on different aspects of their experience. For example, the first could focus on their experience with shipping and fulfillment. A week later they’ll be sent an email asking to review the products from their order. Another can then be sent a few weeks later checking in to see if they’re still happy with their order. Additional emails can be sent depending on if they did or didn’t leave feedback, for instance rewarding customers who leave feedback with a discount or free shipping on their next order. This fulfills a few different things for your business - the feedback allows you a real-time view of what is and isn’t working about your business and products, the reviews left are great for your store’s SEO and for convincing future customers to make a purchase, and if you offer an incentive for feedback then you might also secure a repeat purchase.
Bonus - Respond to negative feedback
Unfortunately, feedback requests won’t always be positive. In these instances, it’s extremely important that you take the time to respond to this negative feedback and attempt to resolve the issue. This ultimately will show the customer that you care about their individual experience and want to make active improvements. They may not make another purchase, but they will be more likely to share that positive experience with their friends and family.
#4 - Personalized Product Recommendations
Sending personalized recommendations is a great way to lure back those customers who may be likely to make another purchase. Sending campaigns with your latest products and bestsellers is great, but personalized content is becoming more important to customers - 74% of people say they hate being shown irrelevant content. Conversely, 44% of consumers say they’re likely to make a repeat purchase after a personalized experience. After just one purchase, you’ll be able to use the data from that order to start recommending products to that customer based on complementary products to their order, products other customers purchased, or what other products they viewed. By showing them products that they might be more interested in, they’ll be more inclined to check them out on your store. You can then set up emails triggered by if they clicked on any products in the email to try to encourage a purchase by using a discount code for example.
Bonus - Personalize recommendations for your seasonal customer base
Seasonality is important in ecommerce, for example around Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the holidays you’re likely to get a lot of customers who are purchasing gifts. The way you appeal to them is by personalizing their experience so that they primarily get product recommendations around that time of the year with products complementary or updated versions of what they purchased previously. You can also set up personalized product recommendations based on products the customer has viewed. Segment this audience as “Seasonal customers” based on when they made their first purchase and set up flows designed for them. This way they only get product recommendations relevant to them at the time of year most relevant to their purchasing behavior.
#5 - Rewarding Loyalty
Everyone loves a reward, and especially if it’s for a brand they really love. It’s a win-win - you get another sale from a returning customer, and they get a perk for buying a product they already wanted to purchase. Rewarding loyalty is important in the post-purchase phase, and this can be done at different stages of a customer’s growing loyalty to your brand.
This is the best way to onboard new customers into becoming loyal ones - providing a loyalty program. You can even use an integration for your Shopify store such as Loyalty Lion to develop a really great program that works across your store and Klaviyo flows to pull data about individual customers’ purchasing habits and preferences to really tailor their content.
Another way you can use the Loyalty Lion integration with Shopify and Klaviyo is by creating a referral program. For example if a customer refers a friend and they make a purchase, the friend gets $10 off their order and the customer who referred them gets a $10 off voucher for their next purchase. The win here is that you get a new customer, and you’ve got another sale from a returning customer as well as incentivizing them to share their referral code with more people. You can create a flow that reminds them of the referral program as well as of how many rewards they’ve already received through it, sending more frequent emails to top referrers.
We’ve covered already how you want to encourage returning customers, and a great way to do this is by creating a sense of exclusivity around being a VIP customer based on lifetime value. Send automated emails that reward these VIPs the more they spend - this can be perks such as discount codes, or even early access to your best seasonal sales.
By making the most of flows and segmentation in Klaviyo, you can make sure that the post-purchase phase of the customer journey is memorable and meaningful, encouraging them to not only remember your brand, but to become loyal customers for years to come.