Online Sales Follow-Up

It is easier and cheaper to get an existing customer to buy again than to find a new one, so read this article for handy tips on making the most of your online shopping cart systems to follow up your customers.

Repeat business provides much needed cashflow that allows you to invest in advertising and marketing to win new business. Your current customers know you, like your products, and have the right budget available to invest, so it should be easy to sell to them again. However, not every customer comes back to buy again. The days right after your customer makes their first purchase are critical in getting them to become a repeat purchaser.  Getting it right during this all important post purchase period can be the difference between gaining a loyal advocate of your business and never seeing them again.

  1. Do your best to make sure everything runs smoothly – check systems work yourself every time you add a new product, for example.
  2. If you have a cross selling or upselling system, make sure it works well and only offers people appropriate products.
  3. On ordering, offer people the chance to opt in or out of further communications and to choose topics. Respect their choices.
  4. Once someone has placed an order, send them a confirmation right away. It’s simple to do this with most online shopping carts, and will remind them they have made a good choice and can rely on you to deliver their order.
  5. Decide how often you should stay in touch through the order process to reassure your customer without annoying them. The cart you choose should have options to allow you to indicate when your customer’s order has been dispatched.
  6. Breaking a promise is something that can break a relationship. If a customer places an order and your online store says the product is in stock, make sure that you have the item. If you offer 24 hour delivery, pick, pack and post the product promptly. Keeping your promise this time will ensure that your customer trusts you enough to order again, and recommend you to others.
  7. You might choose a delivery company that allows online tracking too which will reassure your customer.
  8. If there are problems all is not lost: use the situation to show just how proficient your business is at putting things right, a swift personal response and a gesture of goodwill can turn a bad situation into one where the customer even tells all their friends about what great customer service they’ve experienced.
  9. If your customer has opted in to receive communications from you, stay in touch on a regular basis. There are a range of recommendations for how frequently you should send out newsletters or emails, but regular communication is vital. People like to know when to expect your next message.

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