Many eCommerce websites focus almost exclusively on the acquisition of new customers, with budgets and strategies heavily skewed towards this goal. However, brands may be missing out on returning customers to become brand advocates and ultimately delivering more revenue by not making sure the post-conversion customer journey is up to scratch.
Why care about post-conversion?
In our experience, the post-conversion customer journey is by a long way the most neglected, perhaps due to the relative difficulty in assigning return-on-investment on the work. However, an effective post-conversion strategy can can drive huge value for a brand including:
- Increased customer return rate
- Increased lifetime value of customers (LTV)
- Engaged brand advocates marketing by word of mouth
- Increased subscription rate
Post conversion woes
Still not convinced? Let me paint you a picture – you’ve just finished paying for a product you’re really excited about receiving and have been thinking about for days. A few moments later you go to check your emails but there’s been no purchase confirmation. The doubt begins.
The next day you receive confirmation by email and forget about it. The product arrives, but unfortunately the instructions got caught in the rain and can’t be read. You look online but there’s no guides on the website on how to build the product. The frustration rises. You look for contact details on the website, but there’s nothing to be seen.
Eventually you manage to piece together your product, but now you’re not sure the best way to get going with it, or how to use it. Again you look on the website for advice but to no avail. Peak frustration.
What started as pure excitement for a product has ended in frustration and annoyance, and a customer is unlikely to purchase again. This is known in psychology as the “peak end rule” – people are most likely to judge their experience of an event based on how they felt at the “peak” of the experience, and the “end”. Therefore, a poor end to an experience can disproportionately influence an experience. Even if you have a slick website, competitive prices, beautiful products and a great brand – a poor post-conversion experience can stop customers from coming back.
How to target customers at post-conversion?
1. Create relevant content
To create a useful post-conversion journey you need to think like your customers. What are the questions that customers are likely to have following the purchase of your product/s:
- Delivery information
- Instruction manuals
- Care guides (think Patch Plants)
- How to use/enjoy
Ensuring you have this information readily available on your website for customers that have already purchased allows you to facilitate their post-purchase experience. In a situation where they may lose faith in a product and become frustrated, instead you can turn their experience into a positive by providing easily accessible information that solves their problem. Through this SEO can become both and acquisition and a retention channel.
On the flip side, you can enhance their excitement and experience of a product by providing advice, tips, or inspirational content about how they can use your products now they have purchased it.
The beauty of post-conversion content is that it can be also be used cross-channel. If you create a care guide for SEO purposes, this can be sent out via email marketing to existing customers to enjoy. Similarly, a video produced for TikTok can be repurposed as a blog post.
At NOVOS, eCom SEO specialists, creating a content strategy that targets all stages of the customer journey, including vital post-conversion content, is always part of our initial audit & strategy for performance growth. Showing expertise on a site, and building trust, are two key factors in Google’s Search Quality Rater’s guidelines and thus can help a site to establish a successful growth strategy, whilst also keeping customers happy!
2. Targeted communication post-purchase
Getting the right message to your customers at the right time is crucial. Sending a request for a review before the (delayed) product has arrived is a one-way ticket to a 1* rating, for example (and has happened to these writers on more than one occasion!)
Platforms like Yotpo take the guesswork out of post-purchase communication, allowing you to tailor triggers for when to send communications after a customer has purchased. With the ability to reach customers by email or SMS, specific segments of customers can also be targeted based on their likelihood to purchase, meaning tailored communication that matches customer-types.
3. Customer support
Customer support can be expensive to run, however, providing the right level of support for your customers is crucial to creating a successful post-conversion experience.
4. Encourage and supply subscriptions
Not every product is conducive to a subscription model, but if you are, subscriptions are a fantastic way to increase lifetime value and reduce the friction to future purchases. What’s more, the status quo bias suggests that once people are subscribed, they are likely to stay subscribed!
Targeting customers for subscription options at the right time post-purchase is crucial and can be a fantastic way to increase revenue. Companies such as Yotpo offer subscription management solutions to make this dream a reality without complex setup and oversight.
How the post-conversion stage can improve acquisition
As well as indirectly improving customer acquisition through a positive customer experience, ensuring a positive post-conversion experience, coupled with having the right processes in place to gather information you can use on your site can mean that it can also have a direct improvement on acquisition.
5. Reviews to leverage social proof
The ability to quickly and easily gather reviews from customers post-conversion gives you access to powerful information that can be used to
If reviews aren’t always hitting five stars, this can also give you valuable information about how you can improve your product, or your customer journey. Don’t be alarmed if you’re not averaging a perfect score – there is evidence to suggest that customers actually are more likely to trust products that score less than a perfect 5* .
As well as leveraging social proof, reviews can also be used to get more customers on your site with rich results in Google search, if the correct structured data is applied. Stand out from your competitors!
Garmin could be losing out on customers to competitors by not focussing on gathering reviews from their engaged customers post-conversion which show in the search results, compared to Amazon and other competitors.
And if all that wasn’t enough, reviews are also the ultimate way to convey trust to your customers, one of the factors in Google’s Search Quality Rater guidelines, alongside Experience, Expertise, and Authority (referred to as E-E-A-T). If you’re interested, check out more ways to convey E-E-A-T on your site.
6. User Generated Content on-site
Another fantastic example of how post-conversion focus can actually directly help to support acquisition is through the creation of user generated content – having images of customers actually using products in action.
These further strengthen social proof, enhancing acquisition by convincing potential customers to convert when on category or product pages, whilst also allowing existing customers to share their positive experiences with your products, helping to turn them into brand advocates. To find out how to generate authentic reviews that make a difference and display them where they’re most impactful, take a look at Yotpo’s Reviews offering.
Time to dis-count discounts?
Discounts can be a fantastic tool in any eCommerce brand’s arsenal, increasing new customer acquisition and even re-engaging existing customers that have stopped purchasing. However, it is important not to overuse this as a tactic. As this great blog post on the topic of sales periods discusses – extended periods of discounted products can change the perception of your product – this has become especially prevalent following the exit from COVID, where eCommerce businesses had endured some of the most significant sales periods to date (in pretty much all verticals), when that ended, to continue to drive similar levels of revenue, they turned to continual discounting – propping up revenue but impacting brand.
Gymshark is a good example of this, customers wait for the Gymshark sale, and likely only once per year in a deep discount sale period. Yes, this helps to prop up revenue, but ultimately this results in a low-value customer.
- A customer’s AOV drops from £100 at full price to £50 at sale price
- The same customer’s LTV is then £150 rather than £300 if buying at full price
- Their free delivery threshold is £50, so that’s what the customer gets to – buying 2 pairs of an item rather than 1 to qualify
So why doesn’t this customer buy at full price? They associate sales with Gymshark – the customer knows Gymshark will have a deep discount sale period, and so waits to get their products only at that time.
Enter loyalty schemes
Now we’re not suggesting that loyalty schemes are a replacement for discounts, or sales periods. Far from it! However, loyalty schemes can be a fantastic way to reward your loyal repeat customers and brand advocates, without having to impact brand perception with sales.
Offering points and discounts for repeat purchases of referrals to loyal customers rewards their loyalty, without the negatives associated with long-term sales periods. Find out more about how loyalty schemes can help drive revenue growth!
Post-conversion is not not past it
The post-conversion stage of the customer journey is almost always neglected – but with a concentrated effort it can become one of the most fruitful.
Win big where your competitors are missing out by optimising your brands post-conversion journey!
 Maslowska, E., Malthouse, E. C., & Bernritter, S. F. (2017). Too good to be true: The role of online reviews’ features in probability to buy. International Journal of Advertising, 36(1), 142-163. doi:10.1080/02650487.2016.1195622