You’ve worked hard to optimize your ecommerce site with the intention of leading buyers toward a purchase. Once they hit that checkout button and enter their financial information, you might just feel like the battle has been won. After all, funneling consumers through the buying cycle, courting them with special offers and personalized experiences—these things can take a long time. A purchase is a victory! Before you start celebrating, you should know the battle is really just beginning.
Behold, the Order Success Page
The very first chance you have to make a first-time customer a life-long customer is the order success page. A simple “Thanks for your order” can go a long way toward building a strong relationship -- but think for a moment. In your own relationships, you want more than just an acknowledgment, right? You want something that promises security and mutual respect. Consider these wishes when building your order success pages, because that’s what your buyers want, too. So, how do you give them the warm and fuzzies?
Show them exactly what they purchased, how much shipping costs, and to which address the products will ship. Nothing causes frustration more than realizing after clicking “purchase” that the order is set to ship to the buyer’s Aunt Millie because his last purchase was her birthday present. Even more frustrating is noticing the shipping is over half the cost of the item purchased.
This information should be displayed clearly, and your buyers will love you forever if you make changes easy. Even after clicking the purchase button and finalizing the order, buyers should be able to change the shipping address or even the payment method (because nothing’s more embarrassing than using that maxed out credit card by accident and having to cancel an order). By making these changes easy, you could retain even more sales. Not only that, buyers will also love you forever—and that’s the real goal, isn’t it?
To show you’re paying attention to what your customers buy, your order success page should also include suggestions for complementary products. For instance, if someone just purchased a Blu-Ray player, you might provide information about the cords needed to connect the player. If someone purchased a coffee table, product information about rugs, matching end tables, and even decorative accessories could lead to another immediate sale.
The real key to the success of product suggestions is relevance. Simply showing other products from your site with no real attention to their connection to the purchased items could turn buyers off. At the very least, they’ll be ignored instead of purchased. If, however, the products shown could enhance the buyer’s experience with the item they just purchased, you could be well on your way to delighting that customer for life. Keep in mind, though, that when you're suggesting someone buy another product, they may be starting at a different point in the buying cycle for that product even if they're ready to purchase the original item. Make sure that, unless it's obvious like a power cord, you provide an opportunity for educational content.
People love the chance to show off their purchases. Amazon is one particular site that’s made sharing product purchases easy. Upon checkout, buyers have a chance to tweet or update their Facebook page with braggy statuses about their new things. Not only do you give them a platform where they can share the good news, but you also open up the possibility of new customers once the buyer’s friends see how amazing your ecommerce site is.
Even better, you can offer buyers the chance to “like” your page and follow you on Twitter for further engagement. Maybe they won’t join you on their first purchase, but they’ll be glad you gave them a chance once they see how awesome your company is. The next time they come by to buy something, you can be certain they’ll give that “like” button a click. For one thing, they’ll have had time to see how your company and products perform, so they’ll feel more comfortable telling everyone how amazing you are. For another, they’ll be glad they don’t have to seek you out on their own.
Tying your order success page to your follow-up email is important. You want to affirm that the customers recognize your brand when emails arrive, so a message confirming the products purchased, the financial information given, and the shipping address is a great way to make sure customers remain comfy with your relationship.
You can also offer any of the above items in your email follow-up to give buyers one more chance to interact with you. More product suggestions based on their purchase might prompt customers to return for another purchase. A chance to connect with your ecommerce site on social media might result in that “like” or tweet you missed out on with your confirmation page.
Above all, you want to make sure all of your messages after a purchase are filled with warmth and gratitude. Personalize the pages and emails with first names and a clear thank you message. Curt responses will be noted, and your company might just be avoided the next time customers need the products you sell.
What other ways can you build a solid relationship with customers through your order success pages? We’d love to hear some of the tactics that have worked for your ecommerce sites in the past.