Post Purchase Behavior: Key Factor For Long Term Growth

Article last updated on August 16, 2021
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One of the most important aspects of the eCommerce business is post-purchase behavior. 

Let me explain why this is the case.

Have you ever wondered what happens to your customers after they buy something? What are their thoughts, feelings and actions?

It’s worth knowing this because every business, relies on customer satisfaction for its success.

If your customers are not satisfied and thrilled to buy again from you, you won’t be in business for long. This is simply a fact.

In this blog post, I will discuss essential steps that eCommerce business owners need to take in order to improve their post-purchase behaviors and increase revenue.

What Is Post-purchase Behavior

Post purchase behavior is the way a customer thinks, feels, and acts after they have bought something.

DTC (direct-to-consumer) business owners need to take care of their customers post-purchase in order for DTC to grow and increase customer lifetime value.

We can simply divide the result of post purchase into two categories:

  • Satisfied customers
  • Dissatisfied customers

Consumer satisfaction is the key to DTC success. Consumer satisfaction can be measured through customer surveys or feedback on DTC’s social media pages, for example.

But realistically, the best measurement is seeing if customers are returning and buying more from you.

Dissatisfied consumers are not loyal because they don’t feel appreciated and are more likely to share DTC’s shortcomings with other potential buyers.

It is necessary for DTC owners to understand the post-purchase behavior in order to address customer needs appropriately.

The most common post-purchase behaviors include: sharing their experience on social media or rating it online, asking for a refund or just not buying from the business again.

Consumer decision process towards post purchase

Consumer decision process should be considered to successfully engage with post-purchase customers.

eCommerce business owners need to understand where the customer is standing at the moment of ecommerce purchase and what can be done to improve their experience.

The consumer decision process is made of conversion funnel that has four main stages:

  • Awareness, where a customer becomes aware of eCommerce and decides it might be worth exploring more;
  • Interest, when they start researching business/product online and decide whether this might be the right eCommerce shop to buy from;
  • Desire, when they start looking at eCommerce’s products and deciding which ones are best for them;
  • Action, where eCommerce consumers finally make a decision on what product to purchase.

The post-purchase stage starts after Action, and it is critical because this is when customers need attention and DTC owners should use post-purchase marketing to give that attention.

Your customers will have a post-purchase anxiety period which DTC and eCommerce owners should pay attention to or risk losing them as a customer.

Post-purchase anxiety is characterized by increased expectations, regret, and fear of making the wrong decision.

This period lasts from 30 minutes up to five days post purchase and you as a business owner need to meet those heightened expectations during this time frame in order for your business to stay in the customer’s mind.

There are two main ways you can can do this:

  • Educating customers about your products or services
  • Offering them complimentary products that are related to what they have purchased

Post-purchase communication is vital for DTC success because it will lead to eCommerce customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to loyalty.

So, all in all, post purchase behavior can be split into 3 distinct categories:

  1. Post-purchase satisfaction – This is where the customer receives exactly what they want or their experience meets expectations. They will most likely return to make a second purchase and may even spread positive word of mouth about your business through reviews, social media or recommendations to friends.
  2. Post-purchase regret – This is the result of a poor customer experience, be it an inferior product, late delivery or out of stock item. Customers will most likely leave negative reviews on sites such as Google.
  3. Post-purchase ambivalence – This category is where customers fall into a gray area. They have no feelings of regret or satisfaction and are likely to take no further action with regard to your brand.

Why Post Purchase Marketing Must Not Be Ignored

The post purchase marketing when it is done right is a gold mine for eCommerce.

Increased revenue, increased CLV and improved conversion rates are just a few of the benefits of retaining customers after the purchase.

In addition to that, 39% of post-purchase shoppers indicate they spend more than double than non-post purchases on items from the same store over a 6-month period.

It’s not all about conversions though, retention goes hand in hand with customer satisfaction and when you take member surveys, members will tell you how much more they appreciate being contacted after their purchase to show continued consideration and concern for their happiness.

Post-purchase ecommerce not only makes customers happy (by giving them their new products as soon as possible) but it also leads to a happy business.

With so many benefits derived from post purchase, one might ask why more ecommerce businesses don’t do it properly or at all?

The answer is simple: they don’t know how.

DTC and eCommerce businesses rely on new customers, but customer satisfaction and post-purchase marketing can make the difference between a hard to forget ecommerce experience or one that customers will never want to repeat.

The post-purchase phase is the time when customer satisfaction matters most and if you ignore this stage of customer experience, then your revenue will decrease as a consequence.

You can optimize the conversion funnel before the customer makes a purchase, but you only have a fraction of time to make an impression on your customer and their purchase decision.

For example, post-purchase psychological tension is a good ecommerce communication tool.

When ecommerce businesses sell their ecommerce products, they need to be able to create ecommerce psychological tension that will make customers feel like they are missing out on something important.

This tension generates emotional reactions with your customers, but it benefits consumers and businesses because consumers are more likely to make purchases.

It results in eCommerce profit growth because customers are already interested in and ready to buy ecommerce products.

So, post purchase is important because it can reduce customer churn, increase the revenue generated per customer and offer products to broaden the options available for purchase.

Behavior of consumers and their level of motivation impacts customer satisfaction and business growth in general.

There are two levels of motivation that a consumer can have for post purchase: low or high.

Low motivation is when the customer isn’t very interested in eCommerce or product, they may not even be aware of business’s existence until after their purchase. DTC and eCommerce owners need to focus on marketing strategies that will be able to reach these customers quickly.

High motivation is when a customer has a strong interest in eCommerce or product. They want the product and may have been researching it for some time before making their purchase.

It’s more important to address high-motivated post-purchase behavior because eCommerce and DTC business owners will have a customer for life.

This is sometimes called a consumer fit, and it is the result of a great ecommerce customer experience.

Post-purchase marketing can help you identify your consumer fit and increase ecommerce sales by tailoring DTC products to their needs.

This makes ecommerce follow-through (post purchase) crucial for business success because it increases eCommerce profit, reduces churn rate and drives up eCommerce referral rates.

As it relates to low and high level of motivation, in modern psychology, people are categorized into three ecommerce customer personality types:

  • Hunter – recognizes some personal problems and searches for solutions that potentially you business offers
  • Explorer – is always open to change but doesn’t have a clear set of needs
  • Farmer – has firm expectations, knows what products they need

There are ecommerce product categories that attract different types of customers. Personalization can make an ecommerce business grow and achieve success.

  • If your products are relevant to the customer’s needs, they don’t need any additional information to be convinced into making a purchase.
  • If your products aren’t relevant or are of low quality, customers can’t be convinced in any way.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer loyalty is one of the most important and expensive things for every ecommerce business.

People are always happy to spend more when they know that a company cares about them, their opinion, and listens to what they have to say.

So, using post purchase strategies can make customers feel that you care enough to be there after the purchase has happened.

There is no better way to accomplish this than with post purchase communication that can be done in many ways, but the aim is to have satisfied customers.

You will be able to grow a base of committed customers when you involve your customers in conversation, i.e. have customer involvement.

You can do this by sharing information, giving users a voice and encouraging your customers to share their opinions.

So remember that post-purchase marketing is important for ecommerce businesses because it helps:

  • Improve customer loyalty
  • Reduce the churn rate
  • Increase revenue per customer
  • Expand the number of items sold in each purchase
  • Increase the number of customers who buy

Great consumer buyer behavior and customer buying process is the key to ecommerce success, because when you reach consumers, they will be involved.

Therefore, it is crucial for ecommerce businesses to use post purchase strategies by:

  • Tracking customer satisfaction
  • Having a strong and meaningful relationship with customers
  • Providing valuable content after sale that solves the needs of your customers, so they want to keep coming back

The post-purchase behavior can be influenced by marketing and ecommerce businesses need to make customer’s feel that they want more of their products.

It means that you need to provide them with a lot of value and make sure they see your brand as the solution for their problems.

This is usually done with post-purchase emails, but it can be done through various channels.

It is very important that your company has a clear statement of purpose in order to know what you are going to say and how to make customers interested in your brand.

The content should provide value, but it also needs to entertain them, so they do not feel like they have been forced into buying, and they are appreciated.

Another reason why post-purchase behavior is important to ecommerce businesses is that it allows you to find out:

  • What your customers really think about your products
  • What questions did they have after the purchase, so you can improve your website and customer service
  • How they feel about their experience with your ecommerce store
  • Who is your best customer and what are their preferences
  • How you can improve the beginning of the buying process

When you know who your customers are, it becomes a lot easier to have them come back because they have already had an experience with your brand.

Cognitive dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the term for the feeling of discomfort people have when they do not know what to think about something, so it is important that you eliminate all regrets after purchase.

It can be done by communicating with customers before and after they make a purchase to give them everything they need.

You should always encourage your clients to buy more from you and expand their possibilities, because this increases customer loyalty.

When purchasing from certain ecommerce stores, customers feel like they can trust this company and want to use it over and over again. They feel that this is the place where they can get everything they need.

This also happens when people might have a hard time finding what they need, but then finally find it in your store, and then they come back for more.

You should never underestimate the power of post purchase strategies.

You can win loyalty from customers by implementing customer retention programs, sending them all kinds of offers and discounts to get them coming back.

So that’s why cognitive dissonance is one of the most important reasons why companies need to provide value to customers by staying in touch after a sale.

When a customer regrets their purchase, they will eventually lose interest and look for alternatives.

Post-purchase behavior allows you to eliminate these negative feelings, build relationships with your excellent customers, and position yourself as a trusted brand that they will come back for.

How do you avoid post-purchase dissonance?

  • Avoid overselling. It’s fine to advertise that something is popular or sold out, but it’s also good to make sure that there is enough stock available for your customers to make a purchase.
  • Offer an easy return policy. Don’t make customers jump through hoops to get their money back if they are unhappy with the product.
  • Allow customers to select from different payment options. This will make your brand more accessible and increase the chance of purchases from new customers who have never shopped with you before.
  • Make the buying process as easy and quick as possible. If customers have to register for an account and create a password, that’s just one more thing they will forget when the time comes to make their purchase, which can be frustrating if it means taking extra steps before checking out.

If you’re having trouble with post-purchase dissonance, you may also want to consider using reviews as a way to get in touch with your customers, particularly if it’s something that impacts their first experience with your business.

For example: If an item they ordered is out of stock, and you have not been in contact or given them any updates on when you will be restocking, they may feel like the sale has been forgotten about.

This may result in bad reviews or email complaints, which can lead to further problems within your business and impact the overall customer experience.

However, if you do have a review system in place, they will be able to leave feedback which you can respond to by saying as soon as the item is available again it will be shipped immediately or offering a discount on their next purchase.

Consumer trends and ecommerce customer behaviors have a big impact on the ecommerce business.

Consumers buy in different buying cycles.

That’s why we need to watch for consumer reaction and our consumer base where they are most active.

We need to relate consumer trends and what they like the most in order to increase our post purchase result.

You can do consumer research by yourself, or you can have a marketing strategy that is actionable and custom tailored for your business.

One thing is certain, you don’t want frustrated customers and do not follow customer trends blindly.

The most important thing for DTC business is customer retention strategies and previous satisfaction because it leads to long-term growth and success.

Steps To Increase Revenue Using Post Purchase Behaviors

There are many strategies that can be used to increase revenue from post-purchase behaviors. Here are 11 essential steps for DTC and eCommerce businesses in order to correct their post purchase behaviors and increase revenue:

  1. How to guides are a fantastic way to showcase your product and introduce your other products which can increase post purchase revenue. Make your how-to guide work harder for you with a little creativity and product placement.
    • First, consider which products can be used in conjunction with the desired task being discussed.
    • Next, add them to the content as needed so that customers who have purchased these items will find it easy to put their new purchase to use right away while highlighting other relevant inventory on this site!
    • How-to videos are an excellent way of showcasing your products and introducing others, which is sure to increase post purchase revenue. For example: “As many people know by now, we sell furniture but not just any old kind – our pieces are eco-friendly wood too!”
    • Finally, when someone goes through one of your how-to guides, they will see additional benefits and be prone to purchase again from you.
  2. Follow up and offer exclusive promotions to customers in order to encourage loyalty. Email with recommendations can go a long way. Reward them with points that are redeemable for future purchases if they refer friends, buy more products from you etc. This is also known as rewards-based marketing, which has been shown to increase customer satisfaction and post purchase behavior rates significantly over time.
  3. Be active on social media platforms where your customers are. If it’s TikTok, you must be there. If it’s Instagram, go there, so customers can follow you and after making their first purchase instead of leaving immediately like all other DTC sites do once the transaction is complete.
  4. Create a content marketing machine that is regularly updated with fresh and interesting content in order to keep customers engaged post-purchase. Utilize SEO keywords, write conversational copy about your products, introduce yourself as the DTC or eCommerce business owner etc. This will not only make customers feel like they know you better, but it will also show them how much effort you put into making their experience enjoyable on all levels (ease of purchase, pleasant delivery time and follow up).
  5. Offer discounts for UGC (User Generated Content) – Businesses are now asking customers for feedback through user generated content by posting pictures of themselves using an item that they sell. This is being done, so these individuals will feel more comfortable sharing photos of themselves online because they were given something in return first instead of just taking it without permission from other people’s lives than profit off the person later when others see how great it looks!
  6. Offer incentives to customers who opt-in on email lists with your business (either automatically or by making it an option at checkout). This will give them the opportunity to get exclusive offers, VIP invitations, discounts and promotions that are only available through this channel.
  7. Send out reminders before packages have been delivered in order to make sure your buyers remember your post purchase. You may want to send these via text messages or emails according to their preference of communication type – even if they opted-out from our mailing list earlier!
  8. Create targeted campaigns on Facebook that are specific towards customer behavior patterns within certain demographics such as gender, age, occupation and interests to reach customers.
  9. Offer a customer service phone number that customers can contact if they have any issues with their purchase such as damaged or missing items, late delivery etc. This will increase the level of post-purchase satisfaction among customers, which is highly valuable for businesses since loyalty leads to more revenue over time.
  10. Create surveys after the first transaction to ask customers about their experience on certain aspects of your ecommerce business such as speed of shipping, ease of checkout process or quality of goods received (with permission). Your own survey results are invaluable because you’ll be able to see what the most important things for your clients are but also know how much attention other online retailers need in these areas.
  11. Offer a free product for every new customer they refer – you can offer a free product for every new customer the customer refers to their store and vice versa. This is an excellent way of encouraging post-purchase behavior on both sides, and generating goodwill between your ecommerce businesses.

Content Marketing Idea

Some ideas for creating content marketing plans that can be implemented post purchase include videos relevant to the purchased product on the site.

This can increase conversion rates and company lifetime value, as well as provide information customers need about how to use or maintain their purchase.

Use the FAQ page to your advantage

Whether you’re selling a niche product or something more mainstream, there’s no better way to boost your sales than by educating and talking about the quality and benefits of the product.

FAQs are a great place for consumers confused about what they want to buy.

  • Talk about the benefits and how durable your product is. The best way to get more sales is by telling you what you have to offer, and why someone should buy it from you.
  • Mention that returning your products is free if there has been a problem with it. This will avoid customers in doubt about the quality or comfort of their purchase, but return if there have been problems they may not have anticipated beforehand.
  • Tag pictures with captions that give detailed information on size/comparison sizes, so customers can see before they buy instead of guessing by looking at pictures alone.

Common Questions About Post Purchase Behaviors

What is Post Purchase Dissonance?

Post purchase dissonance is the feeling of regret a customer experience after making a purchase.

This causes them to experience cognitive dissonance, which in turn can cause negative emotional states such as anxiety and anger – feelings that may not have occurred if they had never made the initial purchase.

What if the customer has changed their mind after they ordered the product?

If your customers find that they have changed their mind, you should still honor the sale.

You could send out a reminder email to them asking if this was intentional.

You can also offer them a further discount on the order or free shipping.

This will make sure your customer becomes a loyal repeat purchase in the future and that word continues to spread about your great business practices.

However, if they still do not reply, you may choose to accept this as a lost sale and move on.

Can ecommerce business afford to ignore post-purchase behavior?

It’s important that every customer feels satisfied with their transaction and comes away with the feeling they have received value for money.

If you can build this into your business model from the start, it will stand you in good stead for the future.

How do you know if your customers are satisfied?

The best way to find out what your customers are saying about your business is by engaging with them directly.

By making the extra effort and responding to comments, shares and retweets on social media, you will get direct feedback from those that have bought from you – allowing you to make changes where necessary.

Be blunt and seek product satisfaction feedback.

If you then see a decrease in negative feedback about your business, you can be sure that these changes are having the desired effect and having a positive impact.

Not only will this reduce the number of negatives, but it will also make people feel more valued as they become part of your customer community with their own opinion being heard.

Not only does this have a positive impact on your bottom line, but it is also great for building trust with potential customers, increasing the level of satisfaction and driving up the sales of repeat purchases.

Conclusion

In today’s age, your customers are more than just one-time-buyers. They’re an advocate for what you do and how it makes them feel every day!

By creating this connection through social media or email, they’ll be so invested in the brand that when someone compliments their outfit on Instagram – they might tell them about where to get it from…or if there is some sort of special promotion going on -they will share without hesitation (and with enthusiasm).

The goal should always be to build personal relationships instead of one-time transactions, because at the end of the day, people want to work with brands who make them feel valued.

Plus, word spreads quickly among friends and family members, which means even better exposure for everyone involved!

Loyalty is one of the most important factors in choosing a brand.

If you want to keep your customers coming back, get them to talk about how great it feels when they use your product or service!

Leverage their voices and make sure that everyone knows what people are saying on social media by engaging with them directly through comments, likes, shares and retweets.

This will not only help grow awareness of the company but also create an atmosphere where consumers feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves while enjoying all the things they love about your brand.

And that’s it! We know these are a lot of tasks to take on, but when you get down to the core message we hope to give – you will see that every one of them is going to generate further opportunities for growth in your ecommerce business and ultimately lead to happier customers.

Marko Matijasevic

Marko is performance-based growth strategist, focusing on business growth while maintaining a strong emphasis on authenticity in every individual he works with.

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