Fintan Meagher
Head of Content, ReConvert
Table of contents

Here’s the truth: most online retailers overlook a simple, yet profoundly impactful aspect of their business - the post-purchase experience.

It's easy to become fixated on the chase for new buyers (we’ve all been there). And look, acquiring customers is essential, especially if you’re a new brand. But with acquisition costs rising, nurturing and retaining your hard-earned customers pays a higher return.

Today, you’ll learn how to unlock the hidden potential of the post-purchase journey. As we navigate this territory, we'll uncover why optimizing this phase is not just a luxury but a necessity for sustainable growth.

And you’ll learn 6 simple, proven strategies to help you build a post-purchase experience that turns one-time shoppers into raving fans.

Sounds good? Let’s jump in!

Why You Can’t Afford to Overlook the Post-purchase Experience

Let’s take a second to understand why a good post-purchase experience matters more than you might think.

In recent years, customer acquisition rates have skyrocketed by 222%. This makes attracting new shoppers increasingly challenging. If $1,000 of ad spend generated 50 sales in 2016, it might only get you 15 sales (or less) today.  

Don’t get me wrong, the pursuit of fresh faces is necessary. However, the real secret to success lies in retaining those customers you've already won over.

See, acquired customers are not only more accessible but also more inclined to make repeat purchases, making them more lucrative than any cold audience.

What's more, customers tend to spend more on subsequent orders. Bain reported that, by the time a customer makes their fifth purchase, their order size can balloon by a staggering 40% compared to their initial transaction. So, in a nutshell, repeat customers are:

  • Easier to sell to
  • Cheaper to sell to
  • Likely to spend more money than new customers

That begs the question: “How do I get more repeat customers?”

Enter the post-purchase experience. Think of the post-purchase experience as the best opportunity to turn one-time shoppers into raving fans. By delighting customers at every touchpoint after the sale, you'll not only foster loyalty but also ensure a steady stream of repeat business.

And the best part? You can automate almost the entire post-purchase flow for hands-off loyalty building. So, let's seize this missed opportunity and unlock the full potential of the post-purchase journey to fuel your growth.

6 Simple Strategies to Optimize Your Post-Purchase Experience

1. Add One-Click Upsells

Let’s start by talking about what happens immediately after a customer buys something. At this juncture, your new customer’s purchase intent is peaking. So it makes sense to offer them another opportunity to buy something via one-click upsells.

Picture this: a customer has just completed their order, feeling satisfied with their purchase.

Before they even have a chance to close the tab, a carefully curated offer pops up, tempting them with complementary products - that’s a one-click upsell. The beauty of one-click upsells lies in their seamless execution – no need for customers to re-enter payment details or navigate through cumbersome checkout processes. With just a single click, they can add more value to their shopping experience without a second thought.

But what makes one-click upsells truly effective? It's all about creating a sense of urgency and exclusivity. By subtly hinting at scarcity – whether through limited-time offers or exclusive deals – you can drive conversions and capitalize on the momentum of the purchase moment.

One-click upsells generate a high proportion of additional sales, right off the bat.

2. Add Cross-Sells To Your Thank You Page

The thank you page – is often an afterthought in the e-commerce journey, but oh, what a missed opportunity it can be. This unassuming corner of your website has the potential to become a powerhouse for driving additional sales through strategic upselling and cross-selling.

As your customer lands on the thank you page, they're greeted not only with expressions of gratitude but also with carefully curated offers for complementary products or enticing subscription options.

Take, for example, the case of B2C bidet retailer Tushy. By leveraging their thank you page as a platform for cross-selling, they managed to generate an extra $191,786 per month, converting 2.87% of customers into repeat purchasers.

By offering low-ticket add-ons such as towels and toilet paper to complement their initial purchase, Tushy turned a simple thank-you into a revenue-generating machine. In our experience, the thank you page is the most untapped source of revenue for every e-commerce business that hasn’t optimized it.

3. Collect Customer Birthdays On Your Thank You Page

With so much competition these days, personalization is the name of the game. And what better way to personalize your customer's experience than by celebrating their special day?

By collecting customer birthdays on your thank you page, you not only show your appreciation but also open the door to a world of targeted marketing opportunities via automated birthday emails.

Once armed with your customer's birthday, you have the perfect excuse to reach out with personalized offers and promotions. Whether it's a special discount, a free gift, or exclusive access to a birthday sale, you can tailor your marketing efforts to make your customer feel truly valued on their special day.

Take the example of cosmetics brand Ava Estell, who saw impressive results by collecting customer birthdays on their thank you page. They generated an extra £7,268 in just 30 days by sending personalized birthday emails containing discount codes. It's a small gesture that can greatly impact customer loyalty and retention.

4. Promote Your Referral Program or Social Sharing

Your thank you page isn't just a place to express gratitude—it's a prime real estate for expanding your reach and attracting new customers. By strategically promoting referrals and social sharing on this page, you can turn satisfied customers into enthusiastic brand advocates, amplifying your online presence and driving organic growth.

The benefit of promoting referrals and social sharing on your thank you page lies in its simplicity and timing. At this moment, your customers feel satisfied with their purchase, making them more receptive to sharing their experience with others.

By making it easy and rewarding for them to do so, you're tapping into the power of word-of-mouth marketing and leveraging your existing customer base to attract new business.

5. Add Triggered Videos To Your Thank You Page

One powerful way to level-up the post-purchase experience is by incorporating triggered videos on your thank you page. These personalized videos can leave a lasting impression on your customers, deepen their connection with your brand, and even drive additional sales.

Tailor videos to their customer’s purchase journey. Whether it's a warm welcome from your founder, a heartfelt thank you for their continued support, or helpful tips on how to make the most of their new product, triggered videos add a human touch to the post-purchase experience.

Take inspiration from top D2C brands like Feey, who have successfully implemented triggered videos on their thank you page to elevate the post-purchase experience.

By creating videos that welcome customers, express gratitude, and provide valuable insights, they've not only strengthened their relationships with customers but also driven additional revenue.

Elevate Your Post Purchase Experience With an Email Flow

So far we’ve covered five tactics that optimize the immediate post-purchase experience. But in the days and weeks that follow, email is the best channel to keep the momentum going.

A well-crafted post-purchase email flow can help you stay top-of-mind with your customers, provide valuable information and support, and ultimately, turn one-time buyers into repeat customers.

Let's dive into the first email in your post-purchase journey: the order confirmation email.

1. The Order Confirmation Email

The order confirmation email serves as the initial touchpoint in your post-purchase communication strategy, and it's an opportune moment to not only confirm the transaction but also introduce additional products or services to your customers.

If someone didn’t convert on your thank you page cross-sell offer, it’s a good opportunity to give them another chance to grab an item they’re interested in.

Here's how you can structure it:

  • Gratitude: Thank the customer for their purchase.
  • Order Details: Confirm items purchased and shipping information.
  • Customer Support: Provide contact details for assistance.
  • Social accounts: Nudge readers to follow your social channels
  • Cross-Sell or Referral Opportunity: Suggest a complementary product or promote your referral offer.

By providing a seamless and reassuring experience, you set the stage for a positive post-purchase journey and lay the groundwork for future engagement with your customers.

2. The Shipping Confirmation Email

The shipping confirmation email builds on the excitement of the confirmation email. It gets customers excited about their purchase and relieves any anxiety (“Did they steal my money?!”)

Here are some tips to create a great shipping confirmation email:

  • Include a link for customers to track their package
  • Provide an estimated delivery date
  • Include a round-up of the order contents again

Beyond the basics, you can test adding other elements to this email. For example, adding a blog post with tips for how to care for your products, or suggesting more cross-sell items can work well too.

3. The Post-Delivery Check-In Email

While most brands send orders and shipping confirmation emails, few send a post-delivery follow-up email.

The email’s goal is to check if everything went smoothly for your customers. For example, perhaps the customer's box was damaged in transit or an item was missing, this email offers them a direct way to raise their concerns. This proactive approach demonstrates your care for your customers and helps mitigate the negative impact of chargebacks.

Instead of leaving them feeling dissatisfied and putting the burden of contacting you on them, it’s a great opportunity to touch base and give them the space to voice any concerns.

Chargebacks not only affect your revenue but can also damage your reputation with payment processors and banks, making it harder to conduct business efficiently.

Send this email anywhere from 2-48 hours after their order is delivered for best results.

💡Did you know that proactively solving customer complaints leverages a psychological quirk known as the service recovery paradox? This quirk means customers become more loyal than if they never experienced the problem in the first place.

4. The Review Request & Referral Email

The review request email serves a dual purpose: to gather valuable feedback from customers and to encourage them to share their experiences with others.

Collecting reviews helps provide social proof for your business. You can leverage positive reviews at every stage of your eCommerce marketing funnel to boost conversion rates.

At the same time, referrals are a powerful (and low-cost) strategy to acquire new customers. Happy customers are likely to refer their friends, and their friends are more likely to buy as your brand comes with a social stamp of approval.

Here’s a good example of a review request & referral email from D2C pet food brand Sundays:

The keys to success with this post-purchase email are:

  • Promptness: Send the email shortly after the customer has received their order while the experience is fresh in their mind.
  • Incentives: Offer a small discount or incentive in exchange for their referral to increase participation.
  • Ease of Use: Provide a direct link or button for leaving a review to streamline the process. The less friction, the better.
  • Personalization: Address the customer by name and reference their specific purchase to show genuine interest.
  • Gratitude: Thank the customer in advance for taking the time to provide feedback and for their continued support.

A well-crafted review request email not only helps gather valuable insights but also demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and improvement.

And at the same time, reviews and referrals are great growth strategies to drive new faces to your store. Essential for rounding out the post-purchase experience.

Optimize the Long-Term Post-Purchase Experience

Once customers finish your post-purchase email flow, it’s time to keep building their experience and move them closer to your brand. Here are some key areas to focus on:

  • Add new customers to your regular marketing emails: Keep in touch with customers by sending them your usual promotions, newsletters, and birthday email offers.
  • Segment new customers: Segment customers to send them targeted offers. Personalized offers based on what they’ve ordered or how much they spend will maximize your sales.
  • Push them to your social media accounts: Social media is a great way to communicate your brand story in a non-salesy way. Encouraging customers to follow is  a great way to boost our social media engagement
  • Provide stellar customer service: Continuing a great level of service is essential to keep shoppers coming back for more.

Use these Tips to Create a Powerful Post-Purchase Experience

In the online retail industry, mastering the post-purchase experience is essential for building lasting customer relationships and driving sustainable growth.

By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can transform your post-purchase journey from a mere transactional interaction into a powerful tool for customer engagement and retention.

From one-click upsells to personalized triggered videos, each strategy offers a unique opportunity to delight your customers and elevate their shopping experience. By incorporating cross-selling opportunities, promoting referrals, and soliciting reviews, you can not only increase revenue but also foster a sense of loyalty and advocacy among your customer base.

Remember, the key to success lies in providing value at every touchpoint and staying true to your brand identity. By prioritizing transparency, personalization, and gratitude throughout the post-purchase journey, you can create a seamless and memorable experience that keeps customers coming back time and time again.

So, what are you waiting for? Harness the power of these tips to create a post-purchase experience that leaves a lasting impression and sets your e-commerce business apart from the competition. Your customers—and your bottom line—will thank you for it.


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