According to a recent study, 44% of eCommerce businesses plan to invest more in customer satisfaction, engagement, and retention. It is unsurprising given the fact that from traditional brick and mortar stores to mom and pop stores, the pandemic is pushing retail to break new frontiers. If brands do not have an effective strategy to retain customers, no matter how novel the acquisition strategy is, they will never be able to plug the leaky funnel.
While brands optimize their customer’s onsite journey to the hilt, once past the checkout, there is radio-silence. The order-fulfillment process is the most trying period for an online shopper. Their anxiety is palpable. Yet brands do very little to calm their buyers’ paranoia.
Order-status messages are conventionally shared by shipping couriers. However, they have an appalling 90% open rate. This means if merchants are not engaging with customers they are missing out on a huge opportunity. But how will you transform transactional information into a repeat purchase channel?
Why order-status emails are central to the post-purchase strategy?
Order status emails are messages that are shared with online customers about the order-location. It can range from “Thanks for placing the order” to “Yay your order is here. Order status emails are also a way to calm the anxiety of online shoppers. The trickiest part of online shopping is waiting for the order. The only way to close the gap is through frequent communications with shoppers.
A vast majority of retailers relinquish the responsibility of sharing order-status updates to their shipping partners. As logical as it seems, they lose control over the entire order-fulfillment journey. Almost 84 percent of consumers expressed that they won’t come back to a brand even after one bad delivery experience.
And since retailers have no idea about the package location, responding to a barrage of “where is my order” queries becomes challenging. It also results in cutting a sorry face to your customers.
Taking control of the shipping notification is the only way to deliver a superior experience to your shoppers.
In this article, we will learn how to add multiple functionalities to order-status updates to make your brand stick in your customer’s minds.
Ways to spruce up your order-status emails
- Real-time shipment information
Customers want real-time information on their order-location. And they want it from you. It is impossible to manually track shipments and share relevant updates with your customers.
The best way to share the real-time order-information is through automated shipment notification emails. These are event-based notifications that are shared with your customers for specific delivery exceptions or transit activity.
For example: when a package is delayed, your customer can be warned even before they realize it. Or if a package is suspected to be lost, a replacement can be dispatched immediately.
Here’s a list of shipping events for which notification can be shared with your customer:
- Shipping label generated
- Shipment dispatched
- Shipment has reached the distribution facility
- Shipment delay
- Shipment in transit
- Package is out of delivery
- Failed delivery attempt
- Shipment lost
- Shipment returned
The idea is not to spam your customer’s email inbox with frequent updates. But stay on top of the various transitions in the shipments’ journey and trigger alerts based on critical events.
- Add product recommendation
An order status message typically contains the order number, tracking number, and shipment status. So that leaves a lot of space to add your brand’s “Bought together frequently” or “Bestsellers”. Product recommendations can also be added dynamically based on the historical purchasing decisions of the customer. This will take your personalization to whole another level.
The visual appeal of the new collection could persuade your customers to indulge more. The impact of product recommendations must be evaluated. An important metric to factor in would be the click-through rate. Click-through rate signifies the purchase made from recommendations. Another important metric to measure is the AOV. An increase in average order value is another indicator of the efficacy of up-sell and cross-sell campaigns.
- Include social shares buttons
User-generated content is known to exponentially boost loyalty. Gently encourage your customer to share their purchase online. Social shares act as positive reinforcements to buyers. They also are a great way to turn customers into brand ambassadors. Encouraging customers to share their purchases is a form of brand endorsement. Leverage into human behavior of imitating peers.
As more customers share their purchases in their network the more is the interest that is generated around your product. According to a study, 30% of buyers are likely to buy from a brand when their friends post their purchases on a social media channel. Make sure to include the social share button on your notifications.
- Pitch for a premium membership
Make them a part of your tribe. Community building is key to creating a brand following. Building communities is not just about feeling connected. When driven by a cause that your customers deeply care about, it lends a purpose. Millennials follow brands that take a strong stance to support social causes.
Showcase through photos or videos the awe-inspiring activities that your community indulges in. Slip an exclusive invite to join your tribe along with the order-status message.
Additionally, subscription eCommerce is a fast-growing trend. Subscription eCommerce ensures that you receive sustainable revenue month after month. It is a sure-fire way of driving repeat purchases from customers consistently. Moreover, it enhances the marketing opportunities to upsell.
Within your order-status email, toss in an effective pitch for customers to subscribe to your products. Make sure to include a special discount to nudge them to recurringly use your product.
- Collect feedback
Delivery feedback is a concrete measure of your customers’ delivery experience. What better channel to ask for the feedback than in the successful-order delivery announcement email. The right time to tap into what your customers really think about your brand is when they receive their product. Delivery is one of the most crucial aspects of the eCommerce brand experience.
Customers rarely take the effort to provide feedback on their own. Especially if it is a positive one. There is no better way to understand your shortcomings than drawing them out. Moreover, it also offers them an opportunity to voice their opinion and feel heard. From a brand impression point of view, this little gesture can demonstrate that you care.
As for shipping, it can make or break your brand’s customer experience. Order-delivery is the most challenging aspect of eCommerce. In order to match your customers’ expectations, you need to satisfy their need for instant gratification. You cannot wing it with a 2-day delivery when your customers are expecting orders on the same-day, Drawing out as many responses possible about delivery can help you design a superior experience.
What does a perfect order-status message look like?
A typical order status message will encompass order-delivery details in a bold and concise manner. In addition to the estimated date of delivery, it would be interesting to depict what their current order location is. You may then add promotional information to entice the customer with an additional sales offer.
Let’s take a look at this sample order status email. Notice how the estimated date of delivery along with the shipment journey is clearly specified at the top in bold. On hover, the details of the journey that your order takes unfolds.
Also note, the subtle nudge to rate the shipping experience. Alongside your new sales promo and best sellers that act as eye-candy. Now, remember to get the frequency right. Do not ambush them with new product launches on every order-status message. Include the recommendations sparingly. This will add value to your offer.
Customer engagement is the watchword to thrive for eCommerce businesses. Acquisition channels like Facebook Ads are reaching a point of minimum returns. Moreover, as demonstrated by the pandemic and recent political upheavals, these channels are highly volatile.
The only way that brands can command a consistent revenue stream is by directly engaging with existing customers. Additionally, customer lifetime value and customer retention improve with an increase in customer engagement. But customer engagement is a two-way street. It is imperative that your brand copy appeals to your customer in a manner that encourages action. More importantly, it should demonstrate how deeply you care for your customers throughout their journey with your brand.
A seamless brand experience, from checkout to order delivery should be the singular goal for eCommerce brands in the post-pandemic era.
ShippingChimp empowers eCommerce businesses with tools to offer seamless post-purchase experience. With ShippingChimp, eCommerce businesses can take control of the shipping experience by offering real-time shipment tracking and exception visibility to customers. Brands can leverage automation to personalize the entire order-delivery experience and delight their customers with an Amazon-esque delivery experience.