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Personalize Your Customer Experience with These Tips

Use these post‑purchase tips to build a better experience and boost brand love.

The holidays are here and you’ve been going nonstop. Keep up the momentum by creating a seamless and easy shopping experience for your customers—this could be crucial for your continued success.

In a recent study by Segment, 60% of survey respondents said they were likely to be repeat buyers after a personalized shopping experience. In this high-stakes stretch of peak-shopping season, personalization is essential.

So how do you make it personal for shoppers? The answer: a post-purchase strategy. This is your chance to create a unique experience that can help keep customers coming back.

Let’s break it down.

1. Stay in touch

Ever get excited over tracking an item you ordered? Your customers do, too. That’s why it’s essential to send them shipping notifications, including status of their order, shipping delays and other delivery updates.

If you use a shipping provider, don’t rely on them for client communication. Instead, be thoughtful about the value you can bring the customer each step of the way. Every touchpoint is an opportunity to forge a lasting connection between the customer and your brand.

For example, can you add details about what their package might look like? Will it be in their mailbox, at the front door, or does it need special delivery instructions?

Remember to stay in touch when orders come back, too. Email notifications that say you have received their order, or are shipping out a replacement are all expected now. The more transparent you are with your outreach, the more customers may appreciate their experience with your brand.

Also, be sure you think beyond shipping with your post-purchase communications. Your customers are getting their products in their hands and hopefully they’re happy with their purchase. This is a great time to follow up for product reviews while they are most connected to your brand—all of which can be automated through Mailchimp. So make certain all of your post-purchase automations are set up and ready to reach out.

2. Own the unboxing

That feeling when the package you ordered online finally sitting on your doorstep is an exciting time. Needless to say, this “unboxing” moment is key for your brand. Capitalize on this by making your brand look its best and leave a great impression on your customer, even after purchase.

Something as simple as getting the size of your shipping box right can go a long way. Not only is it more cost-effective not to pay for oversized packing, but a snugly-packed item also shows it wasn’t bouncing around in a box during transit. Remember, a properly-packed item shows that you treated their purchase with care, adding another layer of personalization to their post-purchase journey.

Plus, packaging an item with care helps give you the confidence it will show up exactly how you shipped it. After the holiday rush, you could even consider customizing your packaging with branded or environmentally-friendly packaging.

But delighting your customers at the moment of unboxing can be more than just getting an item safely to their door. If you’re a smaller business, consider a handwritten note slipped inside to show how personal care goes into every item. Or give them something extra that can help spread the word about your brand, like a sticker or button that may help steer them into brand advocate territory.

Speaking of creating brand advocates, make a compelling reason for customers to share their purchased items from your store on your social media channels. For example, you could offer a special promotion for anyone who posts their purchase on Instagram and tags your business –– an increase in brand awareness that may be worth every penny. And be sure to keep up with who’s tagging you so you’re engaging with them and following through on what you promised.

3. Make good on a bad experience

No matter how hard you try, sometimes a sale can go wrong. Whether someone received the wrong product or changed their mind, customers will sometimes ask for a refund or exchange. But all is not lost. A 2020 survey by Doddle said the returns experience is important for customers’ forming opinions of a retailer. You can help make their experience positive with a solid post-purchase strategy.

First, check to see that no one is slipping through the cracks and that they have a clear way of communicating with you. One way to do this is through home page integrations, like chatbots, to make it more convenient for your customers to contact you. You’ll also want to make sure your return policy is easy to find, both on your website and in your order confirmation emails.

Next, ensure that returning your products is easy and flexible, with options for reimbursement or product exchange. Consider covering the cost of returns or extending your return policy through the holidays.

Finally, if your customers are looking for an exchange, add a small bonus item to surprise and delight them, showing that you're committed to their shopping experience. This can be a great opportunity to clear inventory of small, slow-moving products, or even branded items like stickers and buttons.

4. Finish the year strong

You can almost see the end of the holiday sales season, but it’s not over until the product you intend to sell is off the shelves. This is when you can take advantage of one final major opportunity to capitalize on sales in the final week of the year.

With returns to make and gift cards to redeem, the week after Christmas has grown into a staple of the holiday shopping season. Last year, a study of 2020 holiday shopping by McKinsey found 20% of survey respondents planned to shop sales events from December 26th through New Year’s Eve.

This is a perfect opportunity to explore promotions for items that haven’t been as quick to move as you’d like. Audit your inventory and determine how much you can discount while protecting some of your margin. There are several options, including percentage discounts and promo codes, free shipping, and buy one, get one free deals.

Whatever discount you choose, be sure to include clear messaging on your website and in emails targeted to past shoppers. These promotions can cut into your margin but may help move those harder-to-sell products. If you’ve set up healthy, everyday product pricing, there should be room to still cover your expenses.

If you don’t have the margin to cover expenses, then set a 2022 goal to review your product pricing to allow flexibility with your promotional offers. (Click here to watch Mailchimp Product Manager, Brittney Sheffield’s, E-commerce Masterclass and learn everything you need to know about setting your product prices for healthy margins.)

By providing your customers with a personalized post-purchase journey, you could continue to see results long after the holidays are over. This season belongs to you, and we’re here to help you succeed every step of the way.

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