Tips for taking an online sale from a simple receipt to a loyal customer

Receipts with a twist

We tend to take receipts for granted. As a business, we churn them out to our paying customers without much thought — certainly without considering them catalysts for developing a loyal customer. As purchasers, we save them, only taking a second glance at a receipt that asks us to take a customer service survey.

Now imagine a receipt with a twist. One with a cross-sell or upsell. Maybe one that that offers a discount on the next purchase of the same or a complementary product. Or a receipt with an incentive to sign up for your newsletter.

Think of it this way: People don’t trash receipts. They are kept safely most of the time. And often people return to them for one reason or another. What better way to make recurring sales than to have your receipt a reason motivate your customers to return for another purchase?

A few ways to get more mileage from your receipts

Upsells & cross-sells

On many online stores, you will see these listed as “Customers who bought this item also bought XYZ.” Or it might simply be an accessory that enhances the initial purchase. You are helping your customer here because you are saving her the time of returning to buy something she knows she will be needing.

And yet, she might still put it off.

If these incentives were offered on the receipts, not only are they friendly reminders of other related products the customer may want, but because your customers usually save their receipts, they can easily find them.

And double incentive if you have offered a sweet discount.

Coupons

Customers love coupons. Think of the times in the way past that buyers eagerly clipped them out of newspapers. Most eCommerce plugins have the ability to create coupons with a wide variety of discounts.

The key here is to give the customer an incentive to use the coupon.

 

That can be done with a storewide discount or by using the upsell or cross-sells mentioned above.

Why do coupons work so great? There might be an item your customer needs, but not right now. With an added incentive of a discount, they may quickly change their minds. Having it on the receipt and giving them a bit of flex time with the expiration code might be all they need to become a return, and hopefully, a regular, customer.

List building

Any online store puts a lot of energy into list building. Time is spent strategically placing signups or even pop-ups. Done correctly, they can be a gold mine. Done the wrong way will only lead to massive customer frustration.

If they have left your site without opting into your list, you are pretty much left out in the cold. Adding an incentive to them to give you their email, such as a discount, via your receipt gives your customers yet another chance to opt in.

Thank you redirects

Once someone makes that final click for payment, where do they go? A simple thank-you for placing your order? An opportunity to contact you if they have questions about their order?

Well, consider this: a powerful landing page based on what they purchased could help you with upsells with your returning customers.

How does this all play into your receipt program? Well, not everyone is going to snag your deal on their first visit to the thank-you landing page. But if you include that link on your receipt, it’s just another subtle reminder to come back and complete the purchase.

Take advantage of those receipts

One of the huge advantages of online receipts over the ones you get in brick-and-mortar shops is the ability to make links into easy-to-click hyperlinks. How many times have you found a URL on your printed receipt and carefully typed it in only to have to do it two or three times because you made a typo? Your online store receipt solves that problem.

Loyal Customer Via Receiptful

Some WordPress eCommerce plugins allow you to customize your receipts. Others just give you a simple text link. There are other options out there you may also want to check out, like Receiptful, that help you create inventive, robust receipts that will catch your customers’ eyes.

Whatever route you decide to go, don’t neglect the power of your receipts.


Also published on Medium.

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