The holiday season means new customers, including some who weren’t familiar with your brand and products before. While your Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) acquisition strategies have paid off — you’ve attracted these new shoppers and convinced them to make a purchase — the harder part might lie in turning them into loyal, yearlong customers.

Repeat customers are what any business should strive for. According to Harvard Business Review, it’s five to 25 times cheaper to retain an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. “Return customers tend to buy more from a company over time,” explains Bain & Company. “As they do, your operating costs to serve them decline. What’s more, return customers refer others to your company.”

Touchpoints After Purchasing

The buyer’s journey doesn’t end once they click Buy. The after-purchase sequence of events can do wonders to keep your brand top of mind.

Simple touchpoints such as the thank you page, order confirmation email, and shipping confirmation build excitement and anticipation of receiving your products. These can be customized and personalized, offering links to helpful articles, photos of new products, invitations to participate in online events, exclusive offers, or discounts on future orders. When customers finally make another purchase, they might do an inbox search to see if they’ve missed any past offers. 

The Unboxing Experience

Your packaging is another terrific opportunity to deliver a memorable experience to customers at home. Unique boxes and wrapping materials can help you stand out. Consider including freebies like samples, stickers, magnets, and postcards, which could also include more discount codes.

In the absence of a physical retail location, the package is part of the experience. According to market researcher Ipsos, 72% of Americans agree that packaging design influences their purchase decisions. Unboxing videos have millions of views on YouTube, so packaging can even be a form of viral marketing. Keep this in mind when thinking of ways to optimize your business!

72% of Americans agree that packaging design influences their purchase decisions

Incentivize Exchanges Over Refunds

No ecommerce company enjoys having to process returns, much less refunds. However, returns don’t have to mean refunds: you can offer store credit or product exchanges, incentivizing them for bonus credit, loyalty points, or free return shipping, among other options. 

Unlike refunds, exchanges aren’t negative or a loss; the customer receives another item, and you retain the value of the purchase as well as the customer relationship. Make the exchange process easy for the customer, and they’ll remember. 

Be sure to combine the previous two strategies — confirmation and shipping emails, plus unique packaging — when processing exchanges.

Final Thoughts

Ecommerce companies are normally focused on customer acquisition and the online shopping experience. However, the post-purchase and exchange or returns experience is equally important in converting one-time shoppers into yearlong customers.

Want to learn more about upgrading your business? Hawke Media is an award-winning digital marketing consultancy and full-service agency founded on the idea that every modern business needs a CMO-level expert to lead digital marketing efforts. Our comprehensive à la carte menu of services and month-to-month contracts mean you get only what you need, when you need it. Get a free consultation here.