E-commerce for Brands

Post-Purchase Lift for Lifetime Value

The Post-Purchase System That Enhances Customer Lifetime Value

Kiril Kirilov is the co-founder of a Shopify app called Rush. The innovative e-commerce add-on automates the post-purchase communications that have become the new standard for online brands. Kiril came to speak with Nate Svoboda on E-Commerce with Coffee?! for an unforgettable discussion about the post-purchase e-commerce experience and how to optimize it to reduce returns and customer service inquiries, all while boosting customer lifetime value in a big way.

The post-purchase system that Kiril talks about reflects the very values that built direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands up the last few years. This system supports deeper relationships with customers, greater customer loyalty, and reduces operating costs for DTC brands at the same time.

Listen to the full episode or keep reading for a summary of Kiril’s savvy insights.

Rush: The Philosophy, Not the Sales Tactic

After a little bit of banter about caffeine (a staple of this e-commerce podcast), Kiril and Nate dive into the interview’s main topic.

Kiril comes right out, then, and explains why he is not on the show to sell Rush. The philosophy behind Rush gives him his enthusiastic insights, but the system of follow-up and post-purchase communications that he describes is not interdependent on using his app.

Over the course of the interview, Kiril does indeed describe how a post-purchase system answers a call that DTC brands have passively neglected. The simple system results in extraordinary gains with customer feedback that will doubtless surprise.

“You’re not selling to robots, you’re selling to human beings,” Kiril reminds us. He says to consider offering added giveaways or freebies to customers post-purchase to incentivize their participation in surveys, too.

It’s the 24-hour window immediately after a purchase when customers will give you the best information, Kiril says. And with a giveaway, they’ll be even more transparent.

By promoting post-purchase surveys, brands also sustain excitement for their products as customers wait for delivery. That waiting period can be painfully long with today’s logistical challenges, making this system even more valuable for brands and customers alike.

As far as logistics and consumer expectations go, those trends are here to stay.

How to Survey Customers

Post-purchase surveys are at the heart of Kiril’s system. It’s actually right after a purchase that you should survey customers because they represent a proven audience. Prioritize identifying their pain points in order to attract other people like them.

Ask new customers what gets them to trust a brand, too. Fascinating insights will come.

Kiril says that the two most important things he learned an e-commerce site must have to generate trust, according to those very surveys, are:

  1. A phone number on the site
  2. Superfast responses to email and SMS inquiries

These kinds of insights seem simple, but you can’t guess and assume you’ll get it right. Kiril describes himself as “the opposite” of his own “ideal client,” meaning he misses the mark on these kinds of details 99% of the time when he assumes.

Consumer Expectations in Today’s E-Commerce

After an online purchase, there are other essential communications that consumers expect, too. Remarkably, thousands of DTC brands are missing the mark by neglecting these.

The most essential post-purchase communication, Kiril says, is the “what to expect” email. This should include order information and a summary of contact information and details on what to expect before and after delivery, plus a link to any resources that answer common questions.

Nate then asks: “are these communication expectations of today’s consumers more a result of their organically changing expectations, or of how they use technology?” Kiril says, “both.” He points out that some of these surveys and communications are what a clerk at a department store regularly asked customers back in the day, too, and to an extent, this system is just catching e-commerce up with what consumers miss from traditional retail.

Even the most white-glove traditional retail, however, isn’t enough to cut it in today’s consumer environment. “Omnichannel is the name of the game,” Kiril says. Consumer loyalty strategies, too, are anchored in these post-purchase communications.

It’s not just leads that DTC brands should nurture.

Other Essential Post-Purchase Resources

One resource commonly viewed as a pre-purchase resource, but which has enormous post-purchase value, is a FAQ page. FAQs are often used to plug SEO words into a website but should instead be written to answer absolutely every post-purchase question you can think of.

Where is my order?

What’s the product sizing supposed to be?

How do I modify my order?

A brand should develop the most comprehensive FAQ possible and share it immediately with customers post-purchase. This resource will reduce customer service needs in a big way.

Kiril closes on the thought that, comprehensive though a FAQ can be, DTC brands still need a live person to answer certain customer inquiries. That same customer service representative can outbound to top customers to survey them as a VIP audience. This one-on-one attention will foster greater loyalty while providing brands invaluable feedback on how to reach more people like them.

Not sure how to kickstart this post-purchase system Kiril talks about? Start with picking the KPIs that really matter, then watch or listen to the full episode for even more from Kiril Kirilov.

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