The Importance of Post-purchase Behavior for Growing eCommerce Brands

Updated: April 19, 2024


5 mins read

In your mind, where does the customer journey end?

A lot of thought and effort goes into acquiring customers, but what online retailers often forget is that the post-purchase phase is also a critical time for customer retention and growth. In fact, it's often said that the true measure of a company's success is not how many new customers it acquires, but how well it retains and grows its existing customer base.

In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of post-purchase behavior and equip you with the tools you need to keep your customers coming back for more.

What is post-purchase behavior?

Put simply, post-purchase behavior encompasses all the actions that customers take after making a purchase. This can include anything from visiting the website again to referring friends and family. (We've written a great deal about post-purchase evaluation, if you'd like to do a deeper dive.)

This behavior is an important consideration for online retailers, as it can have a significant impact on customer retention and growth. In fact, research has shown 86% of consumers agree that the post-purchase experience significantly impacts their decision to make repeat purchases.

There are a number of different factors that can influence the customer's experience after they've made a purchase, including the type of product or service they bought, the purchase process, and the brand's marketing and communications.

Let's take a closer look at each of these factors.

Product and service

What you sell can have a significant impact on a customer’s post-purchase behavior. For example, products that are considered to be discretionary (e.g., clothing, cosmetics, entertainment) are more likely to generate valuable post-purchase behavior insights than products that are considered to be necessary (e.g., groceries, utilities).

This is because discretionary products are seen as a form of self-expression, and customers are more likely to show off their new purchases or get feedback from friends and family. They might refer friends to the site, write product reviews, or post photos on social media.

Purchase process

Customers who have a positive experience with the purchase process may be more likely to do things like visit the website again, make another purchase or recommend the brand to friends and family.

In fact, 68% of consumers state that they're willing to pay up to 15% more for the product or service if they are assured of a great experience.

Brand's Marketing and Communications

You can also influence post-purchase behavior by how you communicate with your customers.

This is because effective marketing and communications create a positive perception of the brand, which leads customers to be more loyal and likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family.

Why is it important to understand post-purchase behavior?

Post-purchase behavior is a key predictor of customer loyalty and advocacy, so online retailers who understand and manage it effectively are more likely to achieve these outcomes.

Furthermore, understanding post-purchase behavior can help brands improve their marketing and communications, and create a more positive perception of the brand. This can lead to greater customer loyalty and positive reviews, which are very important for generating sales. 93% of consumers state that online reviews play a role in their purchasing decision.

How can I improve my customers’ post-purchase behavior?

Now that we've looked at some factors that can influence post-purchase behavior, let's take a closer look at how online retailers can use this information to grow their business.

There are a number of ways that online retailers can use post-purchase behavior to grow their business, including:

1. Focusing on customer retention

Increasing customer retention rates by 5% can increase profits by 25%.

Analyzing post-purchase behavior will give you insights into how to retain customers and keep them engaged with your brand. For example, if a customer has a negative experience after making a purchase, you can identify what went wrong, change your approach and mitigate that risk in the future.

2. Improving marketing and communications

Great companies can encourage customers to engage with your brand even after the purchase has been made. This could mean sending a follow-up email after purchase that thanks the customer and asks for feedback, or it could mean sending targeted marketing and communications to customers who have purchased a specific item.

Once you have an understanding of how your customers typically behave after purchase, you can tailor your marketing and communications to match their needs. This will help to create a positive perception of the brand and keep customers engaged.

3. Focusing on customer satisfaction

Analyzing post-purchase behavior can also highlight areas that you can improve. For example, if you notice that a large percentage of customers who purchase a certain product leave without making another purchase, you might want to look into what went wrong with that product and make the necessary changes.

Make post-purchase the best part of the customer experience

Having a better understanding of how your customers behave after they buy something will help you build a better customer experience. This could mean anything from improving your marketing and communications to focusing on customer satisfaction.

Most importantly, it's important to remember that the post-purchase experience should be the best part of the customer experience. By giving your customers visibility of their shipment, accurate delivery times, and timely notifications, you improve this experience. Not only do you keep customers happy, but you also increase the chances that they'll buy from you again.

Tools like AfterShip help your brand do this and so much more.

Are you ready to put those post-purchase behavior insights to work? Check out AfterShip to get started with improving your post-purchase experience today.

Updated: April 19, 2024

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