11 Sep The importance of the user journey
The user journey is an important concept – it allows you to make value-driven decisions based on how consumers interact with your business. It has repeatedly proven that the benefits of retaining consumers are huge. Not only is it less expensive to retain a customer than to acquire one, but also by nurturing them throughout the customer journey, including post-purchase, you can increase their lifetime value, and create a brand advocate.
Many brands make good use of customer journey information by utilising data to ensure that the purchase experience is ‘seamless’. But where they tend to fall short is in failing to re-engage these consumers. If you want to hold onto consumers who have used your product or service, it’s vital to continue marketing efforts after the transaction rather than cease them.
So why exactly do brands stop marketing to customers after a purchase is made? This is the prime time to ramp up your marketing and turn those purchasers into loyal followers! Here are a few ideas to inspire your post-purchase marketing efforts.
5 ideas for effective after-sales marketing
Now that a consumer has completed a transaction with you, you hold data on them that will enable you to target their specific personal needs, making post-purchase offers highly individualised. Basically, you can provide them with the stuff they want – maximising the chances of them buying your products, or using your business.
There are many ways to reconnect with your consumers, from sending out regular newsletters to updating your blog, but perhaps the most effective is to engage with them on social media. By liking or commenting on the Instagram photos they post of your products, or sharing user generated content on Facebook, you are interacting with them in a way that will make them feel a part of your brand, ensuring they feel valued and increasing the chances of retention.
Product affinity is a clever way to inspire re-purchase. This involves analysing data to understand what consumers usually buy together, and emailing suggestions to them that they may find useful after their initial purchase. By identifying purchase patterns in this way, it enables you to increases sale opportunities, and provides customers with more personalised and relevant products.
Another option is to offer the incentive of discounts and special offers – which have been indicated as the top reason for brand loyalty. By rewarding your consumers for their loyalty, you are not only providing a good experience but also developing a mutually beneficial relationship for both parties.
It’s also important to keep the lines of communication open with those of your consumers who aren’t promotionally driven. Try offering value added content, such as tips for how to make the most of their recently purchased product or service – it’s a great way to keep hold of customers, enhancing their experience and giving them a good reason to return to you again in future.
Case Study: Waitrose
Waitrose have re-defined ‘customer experience’ through their customer journey planning.
They offer a loyalty club for regular shoppers, which is less focused on collecting points like some of the other major supermarkets. Instead they enable customers to choose their own offers, which align more closely with their individual wants and needs, based on their previous purchases.
They also offer all members a free coffee and newspaper in-store, leading the way to make supermarkets more than just a place to pick up food and go. They have made it more of a place to relax and socialise, aiming to inspire re-visits and therefor re-purchases.