Why you need to start utilizing your online store's thank you page
Updated: Feb 10, 2019
One of the most overlooked pages in an online store is the order thank you page- you know, the one your customers see right after they finish the checkout process.
If you are using any of today's popular online store CMSs (such as Shopify, Magento etc) to build your store, you probably get a good enough thank you page right out of the box- with order and delivery details and maybe a link back to the store.
We tend to view the thank you page as a low significance page, the customer's exit door from our store after purchasing. But what if, when used in the right way, this page can become your store's revenue and customer retention secret weapon?
A lot of merchants make the mistake of focusing heavily on customer acquisition (getting new customers) and not enough on customer retention (preserving existing customers).
Now, don't get me wrong, customer acquisition is very important, especially in the beginning, when the store doesn't yet have a customer base to build upon. But I will argue that focusing on customer retention is just as important, if not more.
Why should you focus on customer retention?
For start, gaining new customers is more expansive. In fact, it can be up to 5 times more expansive than convincing an existing customer to purchase again.
Depending on how expensive your product is, and how much it costs you to acquire a new customer, it might not be worth the cost if you only get one sale out of each.
Repeating customers make bigger purchases- a returning customer spends 3x more than a first time buyer, and a loyal customer spends 5x more. In a nutshell- the more a customer buys from your store, the bigger the cost per purchase will be.
This makes sense if you and your customers build trust over time, so that they feel more comfortable buying more, higher ticket products. The more loyal your customers are, the more they are probably in love with your products and service.
Taking into account that repeating customers cost less and tend to buy more, we can understand how a repeating customer generates up to 3 times higher revenue per visit then a new customer. The more repeating customers vs new customers your store has, the higher your revenue will be.
So we've covered some of the basic reasons investing in customer retention is important, but how does your thank you page come into play when it comes to increasing retention?
3 ways your thank you page can help you increase customer retention:
1. Customers likely to buy
Customers that have just completed a purchase are more likely to make another purchase. They can be seen as "warm leads"- they have just committed to an action on your store, which makes them more likely to follow up on this commitment and complete another action.
The same principal applies to someone who signed up to your mailing list, added a product to cart or followed you on social media. But the action of completing a purchase is much larger then any of the other options.
The customer is already prepared to give you his money, if you now offer him a product or discount of value, or even ask him to share your store or give you his opinion, he is much more likely to do it than in any other time.
2. 100% open rate
We all know email open rate could be better (and were better, back there in the 90s), but they are still a great way to communicate with your customers and can yield substantial revenue.
Transnational emails (order confirmation & updates) get about a 8.8% open rate, compared to a 3.3% open rate for promotional emails. The take away from this statistic is that we need to use these transnational emails to up-sell to our customers, just because they are that much more likely to be opened, right?
Well, guess what? Your thank you page gets a 100% open rate! So naturally, the logical conclusion is to use it to up-sell to your customers as well.
Of course, we don't want to bombard our customers with promotions and hard sells right after they completed a purchase. It is also a great opportunity to re-connect with them and re-engage them with your brand in other ways.
3. Rewarding customers for purchase
Customer loyalty is really the moving force behind the idea of using your thank you page- we want loyal customers, who will buy more then once and generate high revenue for us.
But what is a better way to inspire loyalty, than to practice it ourselves? If we want loyal customers, we have to show them loyalty right back.
Most e-commerce stores offer discounts and deals for first time purchase, just to get the customer's foot in the door. But what about rewarding our existing, loyal customers, for their purchase?
The thank you page is a wonderful place to do just that. You could offer a special sale or discount, points in your loyalty system or even a cashback for the sale that the customer just placed.
Whatever it is, saying thank you is nice, but rewarding the customer with a "prize" is the perfect way to show your appreciation and increase their desire to engage with your store again.
Not using your thank you page as a customer retention tool is not just a missed opportunity, it's leaving money on the table. It's a great way to take your revenue to the next level and make your customers engaged and happy.
That being said, it's important not to over-sell and make your customers feels pressured on your thank you page.
The key principal here is: balance. Sometimes less is more, and you should make sure you get to know your niche and customers well enough, that you have a good idea just how many promotions you can get away with on your thank you page.