When running an online store today, whether it’s a small company or an international business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day activities of creating/sourcing your products, writing articles for your blog, responding to emails, packing/shipping orders, and working on your marketing strategy.
These are all very important, but be careful that you’re not forgetting to say thank you to your customers. They are, after all, absolutely crucial to your ecommerce success!
Keep reading to discover the benefits of showing customers your appreciation and the top 7 ways to thank them for their business.
Reasons to thank your customers
The simple act of thanking customers for their purchases can go a long way in helping to secure their future business. It helps show the people who shop from your store that you value them and that you’re grateful for their support and their decision to buy your products.
Although showing your customers appreciation requires the use of your resources, including time, effort, and money, you should think of this action as an investment in your business. There are multiple benefits that thanking your customers will bring to your online store.
Here are several of the most significant perks, all of which can assist in boosting brand awareness, customer lifetime value, and sales!
Builds customer loyalty
As you may have already discovered, finding new shoppers for your ecommerce website can be tricky. It can also get expensive! In fact, according to Invesp, businesses will spend five times as much money attracting new customers as they will keeping current customers.
For this reason, it makes sense to do whatever you can to retain those people who have already purchased from your online store. Thanking shoppers can help to increase the loyalty that they feel toward your brand, which in turn tends to lead to more purchases from them in the future.
Furthermore, loyal customers will often be more willing to spend more money per purchase.
Remember that you only get one opportunity to make a great first impression with your customers. Showing them appreciation after they purchase your products can assist in creating a positive image of their experience with your business.
Increases customer satisfaction
These days, consumers have loads of options when it comes to online stores from which to choose. Unless you’ve got a super-niche product for sale, you’re bound to have some competition from other e-merchants on the internet.
Consider your own experiences with shopping online and think about the times when you’ve felt appreciated by brands…and those times when you didn’t.
For the latter case, it’s quite possible that you didn’t have a negative experience, but there was nothing special about it. However, the former situation probably brightened your day and made you more confident about purchasing from that particular business.
Happy customers who are satisfied with not just your products but also their experience with your business are more likely to continue to support your company and order from you again. In addition, there’s a greater chance that these satisfied shoppers will tell their friends and family about your online store—that’s free positive publicity for you!
In fact, HubSpot describes a study by Motista that found that customers who’ve developed an emotional relationship with a brand have a lifetime value that’s 306% higher. Furthermore, although the average rate for recommending a company is 45%, this percentage increases to 71% for customers who are emotionally invested.
Boosts customer engagement
When you thank customers, they see that you value them and view them as more than dollar signs. This in turn encourages them to engage more with your business. Showing these shoppers that their business is important to you may help them to feel more invested in your brand.
This increased engagement may bring on not only an increase in sales of your products for your online store but also more interactions on your social media networks and your blog. Customers who get the sense that they’re appreciated will enjoy engaging with and being part of your community.
Furthermore, an increase in customer engagement can also mean more feedback as to how to transform your business from good to great. Whether it’s a comment about an order the shopper received, your website design, or your customer service, any extra information you’re able to obtain is beneficial to improving your ecommerce venture!
Helps spread positive word-of-mouth
Especially important when you’re just starting out in the world of ecommerce and have only recently launched your online store, getting a positive buzz going about your brand is pure gold. However, if you’re limited in resources, financial or otherwise, it can be difficult to get the word out about your website and successfully reach your target audience.
For this reason, it’s crucial that you thank your current customers and make them feel appreciated. Shoppers who have a great experience with you are more likely to recommend your store to friends and family, both online and offline. Why is this so important?
Well, according to Invesp, word-of-mouth marketing tends to earn brands five times more than paid-media methods. This source also states that there’s a 90% greater chance that consumers will trust and buy from brands that are recommended to them by their friends.
The small act of thanking shoppers for their purchases can therefore help boost your referral rate and attract new customers to your online store!
How to thank your customers
Now that you see why it’s a good idea to demonstrate to your customers that you appreciate them, you may be wondering the best way to go about doing so. Don’t stress too much over this part. The most important thing is to be sincere in your gratitude and create a connection with customers when you thank them.
That being said, here are a few simple steps you can take today to successfully show your appreciation of the people who shop on your ecommerce website.
Decide which of your customers you’re going to thank
If you have a new online store and are trying to grow your business, it’s a great idea to thank every single one of your customers after each order due to the aforementioned benefits. However, the larger your business gets, the more difficult it may become to do this, especially if you’re managing your ecommerce website on your own.
You might eventually need to limit which customers you’re going to invest your resources into thanking. How you opt to do this is going to depend on the individual needs and goals of your business.
For instance, you may choose to thank repeat customers after they’ve made at least two purchases on your online store or perhaps those who’ve made purchases over a certain amount of money.
Another option would be to show your appreciation to shoppers on special occasions such as their birthdays or to those customers who are subscribed to your customer loyalty program by writing them a thoughtful message accompanied by a discount code.
Determine your budget
Though thanking customers will come at some expense, don’t think that you won’t be able to effectively show people your appreciation for their support if your financial resources are limited. You may just need to get a little more creative!
Yep, it’s possible for brands to delight their customers even with a small budget if it’s done in a way that feels authentic to those shoppers.
Nevertheless, it’s still helpful to decide how much you want to spend in your efforts to thank customers to see what you can realistically expect to accomplish and prevent you from completely depleting your funds after your first 20 customers.
Create an easy-to-follow procedure
While thanking your customers can be an enjoyable experience, keep in mind that it’s something that you may need to do quite often, depending on which shoppers you’ve decided to thank.
It’s essential that you’re consistent in your methods so that some customers don’t feel slighted or less important than others. This is all-the-more crucial if you have a team of people who are going to be handling this activity for you.
Ways to show customers your appreciation
Ready to begin showing your customers how much you appreciate having them around? There are all kinds of routes to take when it comes to thanking customers, but to help get you started, here are 7 methods with which you can’t go wrong!
1. Send a post-purchase email
This is pretty much a must for any online store, regardless if it’s only recently launched or has been around for a decade. Sending customers a thank-you email after they’ve bought something from your site doesn’t require too much effort on your end and won’t eat up your budget.
Make this action even simpler for yourself by automating it. Note that when you build your online store with WiziShop, creating and sending automated emails couldn’t be easier with our Auto-Mail Booster!
Keep in mind that even if you’re using a template and automating your post-purchase thank-you emails to customers, there are still things you can do to add a personalized touch to these messages.
First, be sure to include the customer’s name in the greeting rather than saying “Dear customer” or “Hello shopper.” Next, thank the shopper early on in the email and keep the note short in length. It’s best to get to the point quickly so that the reader isn’t left wondering the purpose of the message.
In addition, try to humanize the email as much as possible, and avoid language that makes it seem like the message was generated by a bot.
Finally, don’t get too “salesy” or promotional in your email. A thoughtfully crafted message that makes the customer feel appreciated can be more powerful for encouraging future purchases than an in-your-face request to check out the rest of your product line!
2. Include a handwritten note with the order
To take your customer appreciation to the next level, I suggest adding a note or card that you write yourself to your shoppers’ orders. Yes, this is a bit more of a time-consuming task, but it can go a long way with making customers feel valued and giving them the warm fuzzies!
Consider that while shoppers experience human interaction when visiting brick-and-mortar stores, there’s much less of this happening with online shopping. Furthermore, people just don’t send handwritten notes like they used to—including them in shoppers’ packages can be an unexpected surprise that makes customers smile.
Don’t stress if your handwriting is less than perfect. As long as you write legibly, the intention behind it is likely to count far more with the receiver!
Besides the tips mentioned above for post-purchase emails, there are numerous ways to make your handwritten notes to customers extra special. For example, you might think about writing on branded stationery to help your thank-you cards stand out and keep your brand fresh in the customer’s mind.
In addition, think about personalizing the note to the specific customer and what they purchased. Don’t get creepy, though. Adding a simple statement such as “I really hope that you enjoy [name of product]. It’s one of our most popular items this year!” will do.
To finish, it’s always nice to sign off with a real name, whether that’s yours or that of somebody else from your team, such as “Best wishes, Kathleen.” This helps to add even more of a human touch to your note.
However, if you’re uncomfortable with this idea, you can alternatively use a “team” approach, which also offers a friendly feel:
- “Thanks again, Your friends at Violet’s Treasure Trove”
- “Kind regards, The Roving Adventurer team”
- “Until the next time, The crew at Bruce’s Blooms”
3. Gift customers with free items
Everybody loves getting stuff for free. Adding a little something extra to the order at no additional cost to the customer is an excellent way to show your appreciation.
Furthermore, you can also use free samples to tempt shoppers into making future purchases. While consumers will generally be happy to receive anything complimentary with their orders, it’s best to be strategic about this.
Take a look at what the customer has purchased in the past and what their current order consists of. This can help you to choose a free gift that will best suit their wants and needs, increasing the chances that they’ll decide to buy the full-size product later!
Consider sending out the occasional survey as well to get customer feedback and determine if these free gifts are applicable to them or if there’s a way that you could improve upon this gesture.
4. Add special inserts to packages
Another avenue to say “thank you” to your customers is to include various inserts in their orders. These items can be informative, fun, or both such as with how-to instructions, recipe ideas, stickers, business cards, etc.
The unboxing experience is one of the best parts of online shopping. It’s always nice to get something in the mail, and opening the box can feel like you’re unwrapping a present (even if you’ve paid for it yourself!). Adding little extras like a cool insert to the package can help further delight customers after they receive their orders.
Take these fun stickers that beauty brand Glossier includes in customers’ orders, for example.
Source: Glossier Instagram
What’s more, including package inserts is super cost effective! They probably won’t add much weight, so they shouldn’t make your orders any more expensive to ship.
5. Record a personalized thank-you video
Want to show your customers your appreciation in a way that’s sure to add even more of a wow factor? Video is the way to go. Not just any video, though…a carefully created video in which you thank the customer personally!
Yes, videos do require more effort to create, but done well, they demonstrate that your brand cares about your customers enough to take the time to make them a video to say thanks.
While it’s probably not going to be feasible for you to create a thank-you video every time somebody makes a purchase from your online store, consider sending them for new customers’ first orders as a special way to welcome them.
You could alternatively opt to create them just for special occasions like holidays, anniversaries of customers’ first purchases, or after shoppers have made a certain number of purchases.
6. Reward customers with discounts
Show your loyal customers your gratitude by gifting them with special discounts from time to time. This action has lots of room for flexibility, as you can opt to send them discounts via email after their purchases or include them as physical inserts, such as a card with a discount code, in their packages.
In addition, you may choose to feature buy-one-get-one-free sales, percentage discounts (e.g.,15% off your next order), or offers which allow the shopper to buy one product and get a free trial-sized item.
However, be careful not to offer discounts to customers too frequently, as they might come to expect them and wait until they arrive to make any future purchases!
7. Give customers shout-outs on your website or social media
Shining the spotlight on your loyal shoppers via user-generated content (UGC) is beneficial for your business and your customers alike. Sharing UGC on your website or social media networks can increase awareness of your brand, grow your audience, improve your SEO, and much more.
Source: Wayfair Instagram
Customers generally really appreciate you sharing their content, as it demonstrates that your brand values their opinions and sees them as integral to the business. What’s more, when you share their posts on Instagram for instance, it can give them more exposure and help them to grow their own audience.
As you’ll have noticed by now, you really have your pick of ways to thank shoppers and show that your company appreciates them! The methods that are going to work best for you will depend on the unique goals, budget, and needs of your ecommerce business.
Nevertheless, it all comes down to being grateful for the people who choose to shop with your online store and showing that gratitude naturally. No matter how you decide to thank your customers, be sure to do it in a way that feels right to you.
Customers will be able to spot inauthenticity a mile away—a small, sincere act tends to go much further than a grand, over-the-top gesture that seems fake or screams of desperation.
What are your favorite ways to say “thank you” to your customers? Have you already received feedback about certain methods working especially well for your company? Let us know in the comments below!