Avari Blog

Post-Purchase Receipts: The “Chocolate Bar at the Checkout” Philosophy

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 2, 2018 / by Jake Stott

Use Transactional Emails to Grow Your Revenue

We all send them, we all open them, but are we making the most of our post-purchase receipts? How good would it be if 1 in 20, or even 1 in 50 people actually bought a second item right away?

I’ll show you how to grow your e-commerce revenue by taking only 10 minutes to update one transactional email. Yes, only 10 minutes. 

Imagine this: you're shopping at the supermarket, and your goal is to eat healthy, so you avoid junk food and only fill your basket with fruits and vegetables. Then you get to the checkout, and without thinking, you pick up that Snickers Duo* and add it to your basket.

What’s happened? I thought you were being healthy! You just made an impulse purchase, which is another way of saying that the supermarket was successful in passively upselling you.

In 1952, an economist by the name of Hawkins Stern published a little-known paper entitled “The Significance of Impulse Buying Today,” where he described a phenomenon known as suggestion impulse buying. This occurs “when a shopper sees a product for the first time and visualizes a need for it.”

Supermarkets have been using this technique of strategically placed items for decades, so why not apply it to the world of e-commerce? The best way to do this is to take Post-Purchase Receipts and add Personalized Product Recommendations to them.

Let’s take a look at what makes these kinds of transactional emails ideal for turning customers into repeat buyers:

  • Engaged recipients — email recipients have just performed an action that triggered a transactional email. They’re expecting to hear from you. In this case, they just made a purchase, and they’re expecting to get a receipt.

  • High rate of opensEasy SMTP found that receipt emails see an average open rate of 114.4% (meaning some customers open it more than once), as compared to 14.4% for bulk email.

  • Highly effective for upselling and cross-selling productsExperian’s Q1 2013 Quarterly Benchmark Study shared that enhanced receipts generate up to a 600% increase in clicks, a 125% increase in transactions, and a 360% increase in revenue per email.

In short, customers are expecting your email, they are more likely to open it, and they will be more convinced to buy again if you include the right stuff, aka algorithmically relevant product recommendations, or Dynamic Content 2.0.

Wondering what else you should include in these emails?

Great confirmation emails show the store’s name and address; the recipient’s name and order number; the cost, quantity, and description of each item; the shipping charges and taxes; the shipping address and method; and a link to online status tracking of the order. The inclusion of all of these things lets the buyer know you’re taking care of the order, thus reducing “post-purchase anxiety” sometimes experienced by shoppers online.

Here’s an example of what that might look like:

Enhance Post-Purchase Receipts with Personalized Product Recommendations

In the above, we optimized the order confirmation by adding predictive product recommendations. This means that the recommendations use data gathered from the customers’ on-site browsing and purchase data. This data is then matched with other customers who purchased similar products and shopped in similar ways, so that the recommendation is highly relevant and much more likely to convert!

If you look closely, the products at the bottom of the email don’t even have a call to action included. This is because they speak for themselves. By inserting recommended products similar to what was purchased or what your customers have been browsing, you’ll gently push them toward the next buy. Plus, by encouraging a second purchase right away, you’re getting more out of your marketing budget, and serving your customers better at the same time.

The best part? This can be achieved in 10 minutes by simply adding one snippet of HTML to your email template. This dynamic content block knows exactly what individualized content (or type of chocolate bar) to deliver to each person, and you never have to touch it again!

The Round Up

If you’ve ever been caught out by that chocolate bar, then you know how this could be a great addition to your receipt emails! To get started making the most of your emails, contact me today and follow @Jake_Stott on Twitter for more tips.

Jake and the Chocolate Bar

*Snickers Duo is my personal preference; simply substitute this with the chocolate bar most likely to tempt you.

Topics: Dynamic Content, Transactional Email

Jake Stott

Written by Jake Stott

Jake is the Brand Relationship Manager at AVARI, where he specializes in helping brands boost their email marketing efforts. He’s British, loves marketing strategy and travel, has a pet ostrich, and is a sponsored Club Mate Athlete.