Subscription-based businesses are always looking for ways to boost loyalty and ensure their long-term success. Not only are loyal customers less likely to churn by their very nature, but they’re more likely to have higher average order values and provide feedback that can be used to make key product and service improvements. If you’re looking to increase subscription loyalty, you should know that one of the most effective things you can do is to improve your post-purchase experience.
Improving your post-purchase experience requires thoughtfully planned engagement tactics designed to meet customer expectations every step of the way. This could include…
Another important aspect of improving your post-purchase experience is providing customers with a secure, intuitive customer portal to manage their account, as well as any orders or returns.
By investing in a strong post-purchase experience, can drive subscription loyalty by meeting shopper expectations for their purchasing journey. With thoughtful planning and engaging tactics tailored to each shopper’s needs, you can establish yourself as a reliable partner that stands out among the competition. To help you drive subscription loyalty in your business, here are five ways you can start enhancing your post-purchase experience.
Offering personalized service to shoppers is an essential part of creating a positive post-purchase experience for subscription-based brands. Therefore, make sure you send personalized emails as part of your post-purchase experience. These emails should go beyond addressing shoppers by their real name—they should offer custom advice, promotions, or recommendations tailored to each shoppers’ purchase history or profile.
(For example, Sonos uses personalized post-purchase emails to provide shoppers with helpful product tips related to their purchase history.)
By layering personalization into your post-purchase experience, you can create a sense of connection and engagement that shoppers are more likely to remember. More importantly, when people receive personalized offers or messages they feel more valued and appreciated. Those positive sentiments make subscription loyalty much stronger in the long term.
Ensure customers have easy access to their account information through a secure, intuitive customer portal. From a post-purchase perspective, this online customer portal should make it easy to do a number of things from pausing or updating orders, to initiating a return or checking refund status. When customers can easily take control of their own accounts, orders, and returns, they feel more confident in your brand which fuels subscription loyalty.
(To better understand the role online portals play in securing customer trust, consider Tropic Feel. Because their customers don’t need to deal with an off-brand or offline return portal, “shoppers feel safe and secure inside the Tropic Feel experience” which increases loyalty.)
Keep customers informed before, during, and after purchase using automated, proactive notifications that explain order status in detail. Proactive communication is essential to the success of any subscription-based business because a subscription by its very nature is supposed to be consistent and uninterrupted.
By proactively communicating throughout the purchasing journey, your brand can ensure that subscribers are aware of when their order is being processed, shipped, and delivered. Moreover, you can ensure subscribers get all the relevant product information they need before they receive their purchase. This is especially valuable for subscriptions related to medication or medical devices.
Finally, proactive post-purchase communication improves the customer experience, which cultivates trust and strengthens loyalty.
One of the most overlooked aspects of the post-purchase journey is that it affords brands the chance to collect invaluable feedback regarding what customers think about your products and your service. In other words, the post-purchase journey is a great opportunity to find out what you need to improve to keep your subscribers happy.
Making use of customer feedback collected during the post-purchase process is a great way for subscription-based businesses to create an even more tailored and enjoyable experience for customers long term. By understanding what subscribers like (and don’t like) about their subscription, your business can make product-related and operation-related adjustments that reduce churn.
(Learn how GameStop used the post-purchase experience to increase subscriber loyalty.)
For example, if you notice that customers often mention the same flaw or missing feature from a specific product when initiating a return, you can use this feedback to reshape your product roadmap and prioritize correction of the mistake.
Another beneficial use of customer feedback is gaining insights into customer behavior and preferences. By looking at the types of suggestions and comments customers are making, businesses can identify patterns in how they are using their subscriptions as well as their overall preferences when it comes to products or services. This information can then be used to develop marketing campaigns tailored specifically to different segments within the customer base or inform changes in pricing structure.
In addition, analyzing customer feedback can help businesses identify areas for growth opportunities or potential new products or services that could be offered based on what customers are looking for. By monitoring questions and requests coming from customers regularly, businesses can stay on top of emerging trends in their industry and take advantage of them before competitors do.
Subscribers like to know you appreciate their business, so recognize them throughout the post-purchase experience with exclusive deals, discounts, or special offers when they renew their subscription. Gestures like this that demonstrate your appreciation are an important part of driving subscription loyalty.
In addition to continuing to spend with your business, loyal subscribers are more likely to refer your products to their friends and family, an extremely valuable fact when you consider there’s no better marketing than word-of-mouth.
Another great way to show appreciation is by recognizing loyal subscribers publicly via social media or in-app notifications (with their permission, of course). This helps create a sense of belonging and connection that encourages customers to keep coming back.
In conclusion, strong post-purchase experiences are essential for subscription businesses to drive loyalty and increase sales.
Loyal customers are more likely to renew their subscriptions, making it important for businesses to recognize their customers by offering exclusive deals and discounts, providing personalized customer support, or even something as simple as sending out annual “thank you” cards.
By investing in some of the post purchase offerings referenced in this blog, you can ensure your subscription-based business enjoys higher retention rates and increased revenue over time.
Currently the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Narvar, helping 1300+ of the world's most-admired brands—including Sephora, Levi's, and L'Oréal—take their post-purchase experiences to new heights. Born and raised in San Francisco, but I've lived all over the world. Previous residences include Seattle, Denver, Santa Monica, Kinsale (Ireland), and Wellington (New Zealand). Writer by trade, football player by passion, and tall by genetic lottery.