Commerce Trends

Post-Purchase Behavior: The key to repeat purchases

Want more repeat purchases? Post-purchase behavior is key. Ecommerce brands take note: inspiring customers to action post-purchase drives sales skyward.

Ever wonder about the post-purchase behavior of consumers? If you're running an ecommerce brand, you should be.

Why? Because influencing post-purchase behavior leads to repeat purchases. Satisfied customers buy more. Dissatisfied customers buy less & sometimes post negative feedback about your products or brand.

The data speaks for itself: brands are now spending more on customer experience than ever before. It's not even close - 46% compared to 21% on pricing & 34% on product development.

Not convinced? What if I told you 61% of retailers say customer retention is their biggest hurdle? And that an increase of 5% in customer loyalty can boost profits by up 100% per customer?

The opportunity is clear: win hearts during the after-purchase journey, and you'll win customers for life. If you want to learn more about how to do that, you're in the right place. This article will give you the tools needed to boost the ultimate post-purchase behavior - repeat purchases. Let's go!

What is post-purchase behavior?

If you search around online, you might find several flow charts and graphics trying to pinpoint what exactly post-purchase behavior is. But this can actually be really simple.

After a customer makes a purchase, there are things we want them to do, and things we don't want.

Post-purchase behaviors we want:

Repeat purchases, Positive reviews, Customer evangelists

Post-purchase behaviors we don't want:

Product refunds, Negative reviews, One-off purchases

No need to hide behind textbooks to get to the bottom of this. Before we jump into our repeat purchase tips, let's get some definitions out of the way.

Post-purchase behavior definition

Post-purchase behavior is defined as:

The way a person thinks, feels, and acts after they make a purchase.

We're focusing on influencing the action of repeat purchases, but that doesn't mean we can ignore thoughts & feelings.

A general assumption: if people feel good, they think about why. When customer satisfaction is high, we can remind them to take positive actions to help our brands.

Post-purchase behavior process

Let's break this down a bit further.

After a customer makes a purchase, they enter the post-purchase evaluation stage. If you've been following the Loop blog at all, you'll know this is the stage where lifelong customers are earned.

During this stage, customers decide whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied. There's really a lot that can go wrong - for example:

At the very least, we want to prevent post-purchase dissonance - a type of cognitive dissonance in which customers are generally unhappy with your brand despite potentially enjoying your products.

How do we do that? By focusing on the post-purchase experience. But we can do a lot more than just prevent dissatisfaction. Done right, customer experience can build loyalty, word of mouth, and increase the likelihood of repeat purchases.

The importance of post-purchase behavior

There are many implications of post-purchase behavior. Brands need to think hard about the customer experience if they want to win customers for life.

We've talked at length about Joey Coleman, the customer experience mystic behind the book Never Lose a Customer Again. When writing the book, Joey found that 20-70% of customers leave a brand within 100 days.

Understanding post-purchase behavior is the first step towards bringing that number down. Imagine if you could win customers for life? Joey found that keeping customers happy for 100 days meant they would become loyal customers for the next FIVE YEARS.

Simply put, you want to influence customers in the time period after they buy something. We were lucky enough to get Joey on our podcast, have a listen for some powerful tips.

What are the possible outcomes of post-purchase behavior?

Whatever a customer does after making a purchase... it will fall into the following categories:

  • Positive behaviors

  • Negative behaviors

The post-purchase journey can be analyzed to death, but it all comes down to creating a positive customer experience. Essentially that means two things:

  1. Suggest & incentivize actions you want:

    repeat purchases, written reviews, social engagement.

  2. Predict problems customers may face:

    product returns, product questions, shipping concerns.

By encouraging desired behaviors and preventing undesirable ones, brands can begin to see huge results. There are a growing number of software solutions that can help you dominate this space, including our own: Loop returns.

Post-purchase behavior marketing

Post-purchase decisions in consumer behavior can be influenced. Marketing is one of the best ways to make that happen. Marketing aims to capture attention when customers are evaluating alternative options. This is an ongoing process - it doesn't stop post-purchase!

Here are a few ideas:

With a platform like Klaviyo (which has a Loop integration):

Ecommerce companies can use email to huge success. According to this article on the Klaviyo blog, post-purchase emails have an open rate & click rate of 217% & 500% higher respectively.

With a platform like Loop (full disclosure, that's us):

Brands can create a returns experience that makes life easier for customers and service teams alike. By making the returns process a breeze, customers are never locked into a final purchase decision.

With a platform like Yotpo:

Online stores can create loyalty programs designed to encourage desired customer behaviors. By doing this, we can keep customer attention, giving you more opportunities to engage with them for repeat purchases.

What platforms are in your ecommerce deck? If you're thinking about plugging into Loop Returns, check out our integrations page.

Post-purchase behavior examples to drive repeat purchases

Of all the post-purchase behaviors we can hope to influence, repeat purchases of your product or service are the holy grail. Here are a couple of examples for inspiration.

Example 1: The loyalty push

Here's something we talked about in a recent article all about post-purchase experience examples.

If you want a framework for repeat purchases, look no further than the Chubbies loyalty program. This program is so locked in, customers earn points before they spend a single dollar!

Points are awarded for doing all kinds of things, for example:

  • Creating an account

  • Making repeat purchases

  • Following social media accounts

It doesn't get much better than this if you want to push repeat purchases! Chubbies has managed to turn shopping into a game. The rules of the game? Perform all the post-purchase behaviors that benefit all parties involved.

Read More: 5 best post-purchase software solutions

Example 2: The returns process of champions

If you want to encourage repeat purchases, don't shy away from returns.

As everybody who has ever bought something knows, sometimes it doesn't work out. You don't need to be a consumer buying behavior expert to figure this one out - wrong size, wrong style - it happens.

In that case, your customer is holding a product they don't want. The best thing to do in this situation is to encourage exchanges. Seems counter-intuitive, but if you use software like Loop Returns to make returns & exchanges easy, we've found customer make repeat purchases up to 46% more often.

With Loop exchanges can happen via the Shop Now feature. Customers visit the returns portal and choose to do an exchange. From there, they are taken to the online store for an experience just like shopping. Customers can exchange one item and buy more at the same time!

Loop also has a feature called instant exchanges to sweeten the deal. Using IX, customers can put input their credit card as collateral for the return and have their new items shipped immediately. In other words, they don't need to return their old items before their new ones are shipped out!

Learn More: How Chubbies increased customer lifetime value by 100% with Loop

Wrapping up

The online information search is never-ending. But influencing customers when you have their attention post-purchase is one way to skip your message to the front of the line.

If you are able to influence customer behavior after purchase, the gains could be legendary. Start small - but definitely start now.

And if you are a Shopify brand looking to take control of your returns process, look no further than Loop. Our team is standing by - just book a demo and we'll be happy to show you what Loop can do for your business. We strongly believe there isn't a Shopify brand that can't profit from returns.

Get in touch and let's do this!

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