Following Up on Orders

By Eva Alsis

The facts are clear: keeping customers is easier and cheaper than finding new ones. However, this is easier said than done. Many ecommerce website owners find that many customers will buy a product and then simply forget about them. There are several ways to prevent this, and today we will talk about one that is the easiest and most effective: following up on orders with an email. Here are a few things that should be included in your follow up emails.

  1. Confirmation of the order. This follow up email should be sent immediately after the order is made. This should include what they ordered, how much it cost, and approximate shipping times. You also may want to take this opportunity to suggest other products and also to reiterate your return and exchange policies. 
  2. A request for feedback. After the order has been delivered, another email should be sent to the customer thanking them for their purchase and asking if everything went as expected. Many customers will respond to these emails and give you a valuable honest opinion. This gives you a chance to rectify problems, which can lead to increased loyalty, but it also allows you to deal with problems before they have a chance to alienate more customers. Most important, it opens up lines of communication.
  3. Incentive to shop again. Here is your chance to woo them back and turn them from a one-time visitor to a loyal repeat shopper. Offer a discount code or another special deal. This will give the customer incentive to come back to your ecommerce website and give them a reason to save the email. 
  4. Suggested products. I know I suggested upselling in your confirmation email, but it should also be a part of all follow up emails. You already have a good idea of what the customer is looking for, so use that information to your advantage and offer them products that they probably are intending to buy already. Many customers are not annoyed by upselling if it is offered under the guise of helpful suggestions.
  5. Branding. Your brand should be integral part of all of your ecommerce website communications, but especially follow up emails. Remember, you are trying to make your business stand out and be memorable to customers. Include your logo design and also use a tone that is compatible with the brand that you are trying to present. Don’t be afraid to use humor or even be silly if you have a brand that supports it and a customer base who will appreciate the effort. You can also build your brand by inviting customers to interact with your business on social networking websites.

Your follow up emails will play a major part in whether customers choose to shop at your ecommerce website again. They will also provide feedback and help to build your brand. If you are not sending follow up emails with a wide range of information, you are missing out on a valuable opportunity to build your business.