Once customers have purchased from you online, they have made a clear investment in your brand, and are likely to feel positive – so what can you do with that positivity?

From social media to search engine optimisation, online retailers are investing heavily in attracting more customers and improving customer experience to increase sales.

However, there is an underlying problem with the way that most online retailers approach optimisation. By focusing solely on the customer journey up to the point of purchase, many retailers are leaving money on the table and missing opportunities to dramatically increase brand loyalty, visibility and sales.

A typical online customer purchase journey includes:

● visits the store
● adds products to the cart
● pays for the purchase
● completes the check out
● order confirmed.

For many retailers, each stage/page is split tested and optimised, except for the post checkout phase – the order confirmation page. By making a purchase, the customer
has given the retailer a vote of confidence and is likely to be feeling positive about the brand, but many retailers fail to capitalise on this opportunity.

Following the launch of Owned it – a marketing platform that helps retailers to increase revenue and conversions – we set about researching and benchmarking how 30 of the
top online retailers in the UK are using the last stage of the buying process – the order confirmation. The full study is available here: http://lp.ownedit.com/Leaving_Money_On_The_Table.html

Our study reveals what retailers are doing to harness post-purchase positivity and what opportunities are being missed. The results are surprising – while some of the biggest brands are using the order confirmation page to increase reach or to make special offers, the vast majority ignore the opportunities on this page.

As more retailers boost their online efforts, the value added at each possible interaction with a consumer should be maximised. Like a voucher offered after payment in a bricks and mortar store, the order confirmation page of an online store provides retailers with an opportunity to connect with customers and encourage them to return. But it doesn’t end there; this online exit point can be used to run additional marketing and social campaigns.

Word of mouth – both on and offline – is still high on the list of how people hear about products and services. By encouraging buyers to share news of their latest purchases across social networks, retailers can capitalise on the value of social proof in buying decisions. Unfortunately, the immediate post-purchase opportunities are under-utilised by the majority of retailers, and this can have significant implications in terms of additional revenue generation.

We analysed various aspects of the order confirmation page such as presence of social media elements, incentives for customers, ability to refer products and length of the order confirmation page.

Top performers in post-purchase incentivisation

The top performing retailers were: Amazon, Marks & Spencer, New Look and House of Fraser.

Compared to others, these retailers have optimised order confirmation pages that offer a combination of prominent social media elements, incentives and/or the ability for customers to refer their purchases via various channels such as social networks and emails.

Some 53% of retailers had social media buttons on the order confirmation page. However, only 13% displayed the buttons prominently, while the remainder of retailers hid the buttons below the fold and often in black and white.

Incentives to continue shopping varied, with 7% of retailers offering money off or cash back vouchers, ranging from £10 cash back to 15% off future purchases; while other incentives included: free business cards and 30% for new customers shopping in-store.

2013 is promising to be another exciting year for e-commerce – predicted to reach £87 billion in the UK, 12% higher than the 2012 total. But the battle for customers will become fiercer as retailers strive to engage customers in the social media wars.

Savvy retailers will start to use more of their online “real estate” to encourage sales and fans, and will incorporate more elements of social media in their marketing activities. Building an engaged community, however, can be difficult and requires a significant investment of time and resource.

This is where the much forgotten order confirmation page offers an exciting opportunity to incentivise customers to return, while also providing the possibility to share product choices within their social circles in return for an incentive.

As retailers enhance order confirmation pages, they will also strive to understand the return on investment each social media channel or incentive brings. They will also endeavour to understand who their key advocates are and how to incentivise them to shop and share more.

Retailers should take these minimum steps to optimise their order confirmation page:

● Add social media buttons
● Offer social product sharing
● Track any sharing or social media follows instigated from the page
● Offer a combination of immediate and longer term incentives
● Identify key brand advocates to encourage social conversations
● Optimise campaigns for different products/customers
● Consolidate information into one screen

About Owned it
Owned it platform allows retailers of any size to create a variety of marketing, referral, social and customer engagement campaigns on the go on different channels such as webpages, landing pages, emails and newsletters.

Supported by sophisticated analytics data, Owned it helps retailers to optimise campaigns, measure results and deliver incentives for campaigns from an easy-to-use interface.

Already working with retailers in over 30 countries, Owned it platform is being used to build, test and optimise marketing campaigns that lead to greater conversions and growing social media fan bases.
To start a free trial and for more information, please visit: https://www.ownedit.com/

Manoj Krishnapillai Owned it
Manoj Krishnapillai
is an entrepreneur at heart and as a student, he was instrumental in founding MobME, one of the most recognised young telecom start-ups in India and was recognised as India’s top ten start-ups to watch by The Wall Street Journal. He co-founded Owned it in 2011 to help online retailers increase referrals, revenue and conversions through the company’s marketing platform.

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