eCommerce Strategy Quick Hacks UX-CX

How to thank your online buyers? – An ultimate strategy

Nov 4, 2019 8 min read

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How to thank your online buyers? – An ultimate strategy

Reading Time: 8 minutes

“WOW” is not a word, it is a feeling that your buyers are looking for. When we exceed their expectations, the obvious response is wow.

When we are dealing with millennials and Generation Z, we have to be quick, efficient, and nice. We can name current online buyers as a 5-second generation. The moment your products/services are delivered, your customers judge and create a perception about your brand within 5 seconds.

They don’t spend time on detailed analysis, so it’s your responsibility to make the first impression right and maintain it for longer years.

If we consider customers’ journeys with your brand, expressing gratitude is an important part of it. And when you add tangibles (physical evidence) to it, that would be super cool.

Let me help with this. Most of the eCommerce businesses are doing it but like just another store. Let us see what we can add to it to make it memorable.

What is the customer appreciation strategy?

The definition – A customer appreciation strategy is a step-by-step process that includes everything from analyzing customer mindset, planning the way to appreciate your customers to thanking your customers the right way at the right moment.

Applying this strategy was never mandatory, and it will never be. But, if you’re looking to stand out from your competitors and make an unforgettable impression, you need customer appreciation strategy. 

This will add a little work for your team and some cost, but it would be worth spending.

Why thank your customers?

More than making an impression, a customer appreciation strategy can do a lot of things. Here they are,

Customers feel valued
No doubts about that! When you do something special for someone you care about, they feel valued; they feel special. And, that feeling of being valued work more effectively to remember your brand for years.

Remember, Starbucks writes names on their coffee mugs which makes the customer feel special. They thanks while delivering a coffee with your name (with the smile for sure).

Customer Appreciation Strategy by Starbucks

It can increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
One of the core benefits of customer appreciation strategy is to increase the customer lifetime value. And, for an eCommerce business, boosting CLV is the ultimate target.

Your customers feel valued, and they would love to feel this every time they shop. And hence, you are bound to get more repeat business and referrals from them.

More referral business
Your customer appreciation strategy helps you get more conversions and ultimately repeat business. When your customers continuously buy your products, they will refer them to their family and friends. Undoubtedly, more referral business is what you can aim at.

You win customer loyalty
To get more such WOW feeling, your customers choose you over your competitors. That’s what customer loyalty is all about. You appreciate your customers, and they keep falling for your products every time.

It boosts brand awareness
With a strong base of loyal customers, your brand recall becomes powerful. Even your potential customers are more likely to choose your online store to experience what your customers are feeling at the moment.

Customers provide you with good reviews
Happy and loyal customers provide reviews much faster than one-time buyers. That WOW feeling inspires your customers to write reviews, share feedback on social media, and tell people how you made them feel special. 

So, here is another top benefit to consider having a customer appreciation strategy.

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Things you need to prepare before you start thanking your customers

Now let us prepare for thanking your customers. Follow the below steps,

1. Decide whom you would thank

You have multiple categories of customers buying your products. Yes, that’s true. You’ve seven types of customers to thank-

  1. Need-based customers – customers who know what they need to buy and don’t require any assistance in making a purchase decision
  2. Loyal customers – customers who consistently come to you to purchase your products and they bring referral and repeat business
  3. Discount customers – customers who wait for products to arrive at a discounted rate and never buy a product at full price
  4. Impulsive customers – customers who purchase products when they feel right at a particular moment and are influenced by the recommendations provided by you
  5. Potential customers – people who have not yet bought your products but a little convincing and assistance can help them make a purchase and become a customer
  6. New customers – customers who just bought your products or services and that too for the first time
  7. Wandering customers – customers who are not looking for any specific products and they are at your store for mostly window shopping

Based on each of these types of customers, you need to build a separate customer appreciation strategy, if you have a limited budget. And, the eCommerce brands who have larger budgets can create different thanking strategies for each of their customers.

For creating different strategies, you would need a massive amount of data to analyze. This analysis helps you decide which thanking notes to send what type of customers.

2. Plan the method – how would you thank your customers

Thanking your customers come with a cost and hence, it becomes mandatory to plan it well in advance. Based on the customers you would want to thank, decide on the following things-

1. How you’re going to reach them

  • Through email
  • Sending in their respective orders
  • Tagging them on social media
  • Some other creative way

Choosing the right platform becomes essential to thank your customers the right way.

2. How you’re going to thank them

The ways you choose to thank your customers will make a long-lasting impact. So, what you will do to provide such experience needs to be planned well and even needs to be documented.

We’re going to discuss the ways in the later section of this customer appreciation guide.

3. How you’re going to measure its effectiveness

Whenever you invest in some process, you need to measure its results to ensure you’re doing it the right way.

Here are the multiple ways to measure customer appreciation ROI-

  • Increased number of repeat customers
  • A higher number of social media shoutouts related to customer appreciation strategy
  • Increased usage of coupon codes sent as thank-you materials
  • More purchases taking place during birthdays/anniversaries
  • The increased buzz among people for the ways you thank your customers

There are direct or indirect KPIs working to boost your brand revenues. Keep a close eye on them and measure their effectiveness accurately.

4. Who and what all will be involved in the entire thanking process

For every process or strategy, you need a combination of tools and teams to execute it the best way.

You only need to pick up the best ones. You need,

  • Creative writers to write an effective thank-you note (printed or handwritten)
  • Designers to make the thank-you notes look appealing
  • Tools that writers and designers would need in this process
  • For printed notes, outsource its printing or get a machine in-house based on the requirements (we prefer outsourcing)
  • People who need to be involved in spreading the thank-you materials- 
    • Resources who look after packing if the thank-you note needs to go within the delivery order
    • A team that would send the thank-you notes in the emails, social media channels, and more
  • Team of people to measure the performance of each type of thank-you notes (mostly the marketing team)
  • A manager who manages the end-to-end customer appreciation execution

Every strategy execution becomes successful with the right people.

5. How much time it would take

The accuracy of your customer appreciation strategy also depends on the time the entire execution takes. Run a trial to oversee how much time it would take and whether it can add to the profits in the long run or just to the expenses.

3. Set an appropriate budget

Like you can spend millions and millions to thank your customers that would WOW them. But, you need to set a budget that helps you cover this thanking process within the product purchase cost.

Luxury brands can afford to spend hundreds of dollars in beautiful packings and handwritten thank-you letters. But, if you’re a new eCommerce startup, it’s difficult to invest heavily in such an appreciation process. You need to find cost-effective ways to do that. 

What you can do is, brainstorm creative ideas to thank your customers which requires a little budget. Creating thank-you graphics and thanking your customers on social media or emailing them would feel special.

So, don’t just jump in, plan carefully on how to make an impact.

4. Create a detailed and documented process

Don’t forget to document the entire customer appreciation strategy. The resources involved in the customer appreciation strategy must be aware of what needs to be done and how.

Even they should know what the expected output for the same is. A documented process brings discipline and guaranteed results.

Now, let’s discuss the killer and powerful ways to thank your customers.

6 Powerful ways to thank your customers

1. Send a personalized thank-you note in selected orders with signature

One of the oldest yet highly effective ways to thank your customers is to send a personalized thank-you note. It is more useful for brands that are directly selling to customers. See the below example by marchtee.com where they put a note for the first-time buyer and in each pack, there is a pencil with the message “Do Good Work”.

March Tee Thank You Note

But, you can get all your thank-you notes printed in bulk to avoid individual printing costs. And, spare some blank spaces for your team to name those notes and sign personally to add a personal touch to their product.

Such personal touch builds your relationship becomes stronger with them.

2. Thank your customers on their birthdays/anniversaries

People feel valued when others wish them on their special days such as birthdays and anniversaries. Almost every small to large enterprise wishes its customers on their birthday.

But, you can thank your customers on their special days with some small surprises. Send them a thank you email with the highest discounts on the products lying in their cart or inviting them to explore the unexplored collection.

See how Swiggy make birthdays more special- 

Customer Appreciation Strategy by Swiggy

Such a birthday present added with a thank-you letter makes their days unforgettable.

3. Send a handwritten thank-you note

Handwritten thank-you notes are one of the most creative and influencing ways to thank your customers. They are not feasible for every eCommerce brand, but you can decide on which type of customers you would want to send these.

Also, how much effort you’ll take to make this happen. See how Buffer did for their Buffer Chat participants-

Customer Appreciation Strategy by Buffer

This is feasible only when you have limited customers to thank.

4. Send freebies or surprise gifts

Sending freebies or surprise gifts is one of the trending ways to thank your customers nowadays. 

Here are the things that you can send as freebies or surprise gifts as a token of thanking your customers for being such loyal to your brand-

  • The eCommerce brands can send an ebook/video tutorial highly curated based on the products ordered by the customer
  • A special pass for the year’s biggest sale
  • You can send product samples that you’re launching recently
  • Some tools or accessories or games for specific products
  • Goodies are also an excellent option to thank your customers
  • WOW-some stickers or badges can boost your brand recall techniques
  • And, much more…

Make sure you take advantage of this trend and make a secure place in your customers’ hearts.

5. Send coupons or vouchers for next purchase

One unique way to thank your customers is to send a thank-you note within the order to be delivered. This thank-you note must have a coupon code or voucher for your customers to make their next purchase with your eCommerce brand.

Some of the brands do cross-promotions. For example, while buying a pent or chinos, you get a coupon for booking a movie ticket at half rate. This is a very powerful method of affiliate marketing. 

With this, you’re increasing the chances of repeat business and an increase in loyal customers.

6. Thank your customers on social media

Today, customers keep a close eye on how you respond to your social media channels. A study by Bain & Company says that when companies engage with their customers on social media, the customers end up spending 20% to 40% more with such companies.

So, when you thank your customers on social media, your customers notice your brand and remembers you for life long. One benefit of thanking your customers on social media is that other people notice your brand and comes to you to get such experience.

Make sure you don’t disappoint them.

Plan your customer thanking strategy in the right way. There are two major reasons

1) Customers are the reasons for the survival of your business
2) You treat the world the way you want them to treat you

Customer appreciation/thanking strategy can be expensive if you not planned or done in the right direction. Hence, keep all the above points in mind and use any of these highly impactful thanking ways to impress your customers and improve your brand reputation. 

Vatsal Shah is a co-founder of Pragmatic Consultancy and DIMC and has transformed various IT, E-Commerce, Chemical, Retail, Service sector organizations for 15 years now. Vatsal has been invited as a speaker by WordCamp, Meet Magento, GTU, ETail India, AMA, GLS University, etc. As a business coach and mentor, he has influenced more than 48 organizations in India, China, the UK, Africa, and the USA and trained more than 4700 people. Vatsal is the most artistic personality at eComKeeda because he is an amazing singer, dancer, artist, gold medalist in the corporate writing, and so much more.