9 Post-Purchase Experience Strategies to Drive Customer Loyalty

9 Post-Purchase Experience Strategies to Drive Customer Loyalty

The post-purchase experience is a crucial window of time that starts the moment after a customer checks out and completes a transaction on your ecommerce store. Clicking “buy” is not a finish line in the customer relationship: It’s the beginning of the next leg in the customer journey, from first-time shopper to (hopefully) loyal customer.

With the right tactics and strategies, ecommerce businesses create post-purchase experiences that proactively support these new buyers, strengthen the relationship, and nudge them to return to the store.

Follow these nine strategies to make your brand’s post-purchase experience more customer-centric and profitable.

9 post-purchase experience strategies for ecommerce stores

We define the post-purchase experience as any and all touchpoints a customer has with a brand from the moment the shopper completes checkout until they start using your product. Building a powerful post-purchase experience that creates long-lasting customer loyalty takes finesse because a lot of small pieces make up the customer experience.

Here are nine strategies for how to encourage better post-purchase behavior among your customers. 

📚Recommended reading: 20 Ecommerce Customer Service Best Practices to Help You Level Up

1) Figure out notable touchpoints on your customers’ journey

There are a lot of best practices when it comes to encouraging repeat business, but often brands jump right into tactics and overlook the overall journey. 

“My biggest piece of advice,” says Bri Christiano, Director of Customer Support at Gorgias, “is to really understand the customer journey for your business. Which touchpoints are going to drive the most revenue?” 

The first step is to consider the outcomes you want from the post-purchase experience. Most likely, those outcomes include: 

  • Reducing churn
  • Convincing shoppers to upgrade to a subscription 
  • Getting people to refer their friends 
  • Cross-selling or upselling 

Then, as you set up touchpoints like email campaigns or SMS messages, think about the different moments where your shoppers will be most engaged post-purchase. 

Ideally, you’ll catch them while they're already interacting or thinking about you. You don't want to try to talk to them randomly when they're probably not thinking about you or their experience. The more personalized you can make the experience, the better. That means segmenting emails based on a customer’s profile wherever possible. 

“My biggest piece of advice is to really understand the customer journey for your business. Which touchpoints are going to drive the most revenue?”

— Bri Christiano, Head of Customer Support at Gorgias 

Keep in mind that the flows will look different over time to a first-time purchaser than to someone who's been a customer for a year. 

When you should do this 

As you’re starting to optimize the post-purchase experience for your brand, this is the first step to take. 

How to get started  

First, map out your customers’ journey. You can use anything, from a tool like Miro to a whiteboard. We recommend this article on customer journey mapping in retail from Delighted.

The customer journey mapped.
Source: Delighted

Then, take a look at the emails you're sending today and start with the small elements. How often are shoppers opening those emails? Why do you think they're not opening them? Maybe you have the wrong subject line, or perhaps you’re sending emails on the wrong day.

Then, consider how your customers behave and think about some small tweaks you can make. Be sure you’re looking at your current metrics like email open and click rates or CSAT scores as you’re doing this audit. 

2) Offer a great unboxing experience

Shoppers already look forward to receiving packages in the mail. But sending eye-catching, fun packaging that people actually want to keep makes your brand stand out. It also sparks joy by turning the simple task of unboxing into an enjoyable, surprising experience. 

For example, stationery shop Ohh Deer and its subscription brand Papergang send creative and recyclable packaging to their customers. The boxes and packaging are so loved that fans post unboxing videos on YouTube. 

A great unboxing experience.
Source: Ohh Deer 

📚Recommended reading: Ohh Deer uses Gorgias Chat to provide excellent CX & generate revenue by $12,500/quarter

When you should do this 

Now is a great time to start! The sooner you create fun and interesting packaging, the sooner your customers can start enjoying it. 

How to set this up 

Use a tool like Arka or Fantastapack to create custom boxes for your brand. If you don’t have design skills yourself, hire a freelance designer to work on the design for you. 

3) Set up and launch post-purchase email campaigns

Sending detailed and personalized post-purchase email campaigns is a major part of your overall email marketing and post-purchase strategies. This is how you’ll stay engaged with customers throughout their post-purchase journey. These campaigns also make up a key part of your marketing strategy as a business. 

📚Recommended reading: 16 Useful Email Templates for Your Customer Service Teams

Order confirmation emails

Let shoppers know that you’ve got their order and you’re working on it to give them peace of mind that their payment went through and that it’s coming soon. You can set up various order status updates in your ecommerce platform (like Shopify). 

Post purchase, before an order ships

Before a customer’s order ships, you have the opportunity to upsell customers and add that item to the same shipping box. Not only are you driving additional sales here, but from a cost perspective (especially if you offer free shipping) it helps you out as a business. 

For example, maybe a customer signed up to get notified when an out-of-stock item comes back in. Now that it's in stock again, you can send that item out with whatever that customer already purchased. 

You can use a Shopify app like AfterSell to upsell customers after checkout.


When an order ships 

Send a shipping confirmation email and offer order tracking so that shoppers can stay up to date with the whereabouts of their package. 

You can also use a tool like AfterShip to automate real-time tracking updates.

After an order gets delivered

A good rule of thumb is to trigger different emails based on the delivery status. But within a few days, under the assumption that someone needs a few days to check out the new product. 

Check in to ask questions like:

  • How is your order
  • Did you have any feedback for us?
  • Was it the right size? 

To nudge them to purchase a refill or subscribe 

If you sell a physical product like soap, vitamins, or soda, customers will likely run out of them within a set amount of time. If you can figure out what that average amount of time is, you can trigger an email reminding them to refill or sign up for a subscription. 

For example, Method soaps are all built around the eco-friendly principle of refilling, keeping waste to a minimum (and as it happens, strongly pushing repeat purchase decisions and driving up customer lifetime value). 

The company sends replenishment emails that nudge customers to purchase those refills, often with a special, time-limited discount attached.

When a free trial is about to run out 

Some brands, like curiosities retailer Uncommon Goods, offer a paid subscription program with benefits like free shipping, donations to non-profit partners on your behalf, and members-only emails. 

Its program comes with a two-week free trial. Near the end of that free trial, the brand sends out an email with the subject line, “Reasons to stick with Uncommon Perks.” The email lists the different benefits of the program. If you have a program like this, consider a similar email campaign. 

A loyalty membership program.
Source: Uncommon Goods

Add-on sales and product recommendations

Do you sell other items that would enhance the customer’s experience with what they already bought? They might not have seen the need before (in an upsell or cross-sell attempt), but now with the product in hand, they may be ready to buy.

Loyalty program invites

If you have a loyalty program and the first-time customer hasn’t joined it yet, now could be a great time to pull them in.

A tool like LoyaltyLion will come in handy here.

How to set this up 

If your ecommerce site is built on Shopify, BigCommerce, or Adobe Commerce, check out the links below for how to set up different email notifications powered by automation. 

4) Deliver important how-to and use case content

If the product you’re selling requires some setup or assembly or has features that go beyond the basics, one form of post-purchase communication you’ll want to focus on is tutorial-style content. You want to show customers how to use or set up their new product so they get the maximum benefit from it.

Explain the importance of content that can show customers how to properly use or set up your product or even creative alternative ways to do things with your product — both because this is helpful for customers and because this effortless experience tends to reduce returns and lead to loyal customers who make repeat purchases.

For example, D2C ecommerce retailer Bug Bite Thing offers one primary product: a plastic suction contraption that reduces the severity of stings and bites, including from mosquitoes. Unless you’ve used their exact product, you’ve probably never seen anything similar. The company sends an excellent tutorial email to all customers and features clear instructions with custom GIFs that show exactly what to do with the thing.


Tutorial videos, use cases, explainers, or links to FAQs can be helpful while the customer is waiting for the item to arrive or as the customer is learning about the item. 

When you should do this 

Send out tutorial information after the item ships and before the item gets delivered. 

If you're not getting a lot of traction on email, or you want to make sure that customers see your setup guide, include an insert with a QR code that links to a setup video or blog post on your website. 

This is another good lever for physical, good ecommerce brands to have a touch point in the actual physical product that they’re sending since not everyone opens their emails. 

How to set this up 

Share product-specific how-to content via links to your Help Center to find set-up and troubleshooting information for their new product. 

For example, Brümate created a handy Help Center with help from Gorgias that customers can visit to get all of the information they need.  

A help center knowledge base.
Source: BrüMate

5) Provide a simple returns and exchanges portal

Having to return an item is already frustrating on its own. So if your brand complicates the returns process further, it will discourage people from shopping with you again. 

Instead, start by listing your refund policy clearly on your website. Then, create an easy, self-service return portal where folks can easily initiate a return or exchange. 

How to set this up 

Loop Returns is one of the best tools for ecommerce returns management, and it integrates with Help Desks like Gorgias

For example, jewelry shop Jaxxon uses Loop to facilitate an easy returns process and push exchanges over returns

A simple returns and exchanges portal.

6) Follow up a purchase with rewards, referral, and loyalty programs

If you have a loyalty program, the post-purchase timeframe is the perfect time to plug it. You’ll get your brand back in front of eyeballs while impressions are still fresh, and if you can get them to sign up now, you’ll turn more existing customers into long-term fans.

If you don’t have a loyalty program, consider starting one. eMarketer found that 58.7% of internet users indicated loyalty points or rewards as one of the aspects of retail shopping they valued most.

Loyalty program or not, you can also send discounts, incentives, or rewards during this period, sweetening the pot for a second purchase and producing an even better post-purchase customer experience.

Loyalty programs are ubiquitous these days, from the loyalty punch card (or app-based version) at your local coffee shop to paid VIP programs like what Uncommon Goods offers with Uncommon Perks.

When you should do this 

If someone has ordered from you multiple times or filled out a CSAT or NPS survey that scored high, it’s a great time to invite them to join your loyalty program. 

“You're catching that person at a point where they're feeling really energized about the brand,” says Bri. 

How to set this up 

LoyaltyLion is a great tool that makes setting up a loyalty program a breeze. It also integrates with Help Desks like Gorgias, so your support team can keep an eye on how your loyalty members are doing.  

Growave is another great tool that can help you manage referral programs to bring new shoppers to your store and improve conversion rates thanks to social proof — or in other words, turning more browsers into buyers because their friends vouch for your brand.


7) Provide plenty of opportunities for feedback (and ask directly)

According to Bright Local’s Consumer Review Survey, 94% of consumers are more likely to use a business because of positive reviews. 

“You're catching that person at a point where they're feeling really energized about the brand”

— Bri Christiano, Director of Support at Gorgias 

The more feedback you get, the more you can act on it, which can improve the customer experience and lead to more positive reviews. 

When you should do this 

Request customer feedback a few days after a product gets delivered to see if they liked it. This can be in the form of a quick NPS survey or a request for a public product review on your website. And once you get those reviews, spread them far and wide! We love how prominently Loop Earplugs features customer reviews:

Customer reviews to improve conversion rate.
Source: Loop Earplugs

After a support interaction, you can send out a CSAT (customer satisfaction) survey to collect feedback about the support experience. 

📚Recommended reading: How to collect and implement customer feedback from your helpdesk.

How to set this up 

A customer service platform like Gorgias can help you automate sending these surveys after every single interaction:

Automatically send customer satisfaction surveys.

You can solicit feedback and reviews with automated email campaigns, chatbots, human chat agents, or an SMS campaign.

Review tools like Yotpo can also help. If you use a Help Desk like Gorgias, Yotpo integrates with it to make it easy to collect feedback and respond to negative or positive reviews easily. 

8) Invite customers to join your brand communities

If your brand has any official online communities, the post-purchase period is the perfect time to invite customers to join. Doing so can build up greater customer loyalty by building a sense of connection. 

If customers are engaged in a community, they're more likely to stay longer, both in the community and as customers. Communities also can help people answer questions or solve problems. 

Nearly half of businesses that had online communities saw between 10 and 25% savings in customer support costs. Customers got their answers from communities instead.

For example, Instant Pot is a well-known consumer brand that has leveraged the power of online communities to grow its brand. It has a large, active official Facebook group, and it’s active on other social spaces too. Additionally, the brand has managed to get its product mentioned on all sorts of mommy blogs, cooking and recipe sites, and more.

Instant Pot's customer community on Facebook.
Source: Instant Pot on Facebook

When you should do this 

After a purchase, send an email or drip series that invites customers to follow you on social media or join your community. Consider offering an incentive within that, like 15% off their next order. 

How to set this up 

Online communities can take shape on social media or on community or collaboration platforms like Slack and Discord. Choose whichever platform makes the most sense for your business. You can leverage your brand’s community to foster greater customer relationships and raise customer lifetime values.

9) Build an omnichannel support strategy to engage customers post-purchase

Many successful brands have moved to an omnichannel support strategy, one that’s customer-centric and delivers consistent help across all avenues where a customer might reach you. Helpdesks make omnichannel more feasible, as do back-end ecommerce platforms and systems that can sync experiences across all channels.

Omnichannel customer service.

Social listening (tracking brand mentions and customer feedback) and customer support play an elevated role here. The goal is to ensure that no matter where your already-paying customers are, you can hear them and respond to their conversations.

When you should do this 

In terms of availability, you don’t need to be available 24/7, but you should always post your hours or automate a response to let customers know when they’ll hear back. 

In terms of proactive outreach, as with any post-purchase communication, think about the user experience and what timing makes the most sense for that user and your product. 

You might send an email thanking a customer for a positive review or send a text message once a product gets delivered. For example, pajama shop Printfresh sends a personalized text message to see if customers liked their purchase or need support a few days after it’s been delivered. 

Post-purchase SMS message.
Source: Printfresh

How to set this up 

A centralized help desk like Gorgias makes setting up and maintaining an omnichannel support experience easy for you and your customer support team. 

These tools pull in customer information from different locations like social media, SMS, email, your ecommerce platform (like Shopify or BigCommerce), and other ecommerce tools (like Yotpo and Klaviyo) into one central place, so you can see any and all interactions with a customer from within their profile. 

Display customer information in Gorgias.

Why the post-purchase experience is important

The post-purchase experience is a crucial time for customer relationship building: it affects customer retention and can set you apart from your competition. Creating a positive post-purchase experience has many benefits, including reducing customer confusion, nurturing customers to make repeat purchases, and reducing support tickets. 

1) Reduce customer confusion

As a brand, you can make the customer experience smoother and eliminate guesswork for shoppers. Offer information proactively so customers don’t have to panic and wonder whether: 

  • They ordered the right item to the right address
  • The product will arrive on time
  • They can return the product if they don’t love it

This is the primary benefit of a solid post-purchase experience because customers won’t return to a store that left them confused, frustrated, and sending a hundred questions to customer support. 

Like it or not, giant ecommerce brands like Amazon have trained customers to expect lots of information automatically, and keeping pace is in your brand’s best interest. 

2)  Nurture the customer to win repeat purchases

According to our research, repeat customers generate 300% more revenue than first-time customers do. And with the rising costs of acquisition, especially via paid advertising, this is crucial for your business. 

Repeat customers generate 300% more revenue than first-time customers.

A smooth customer service experience, plus follow-up marketing, promotions, self-service resources, and other value-adds (like a customer community) help turn first-time shoppers into loyal customers. 

3) Reduce the number of questions your customers ask support 

While fielding questions from customers isn’t a bad thing, forcing new customers to write to your support team for basic information creates a more high-effort experience

Those high-effort experiences can ruin relationships. The Effortless Experience found that 96% of these customers lose their loyalty to customers after putting in high levels of effort to get help. 

96% of high-effort customer experiences drive customer disloyalty.
Source: The Effortless Experience

Plus, your team probably has more important conversations to get to. If you spend all day answering WISMO tickets, you won’t have time to offer product recommendations, update your Help Center, or experiment with new chat campaigns

Your post-purchase flow provides a great opportunity to proactively answer customer questions without having to wait for a live person on the other end. You can also create self-service resources like FAQ pages and knowledge bases that share pertinent policies (like return policies or shipping times). 

Building the best post-purchase experience starts with Gorgias

While a post-purchase experience entails more than just customer support and helpdesk services, you can’t build a top-quality post-purchase experience without these crucial functions.

Gorgias is the world’s best helpdesk and customer service platform for ecommerce businesses. It was built specifically for ecommerce and has the features, integrations, and flexibility you need to create the best possible post-purchase experience.

Learn more about how Gorgias helps ecommerce brands streamline support, improve CX, and drive revenue in the video below:

See more about what Gorgias can do and sign up for free today!

Frequently asked questions

How do you set up a post-purchase email?
What are the types of post-purchase emails to send?
When should you request customer feedback?
What are other ways to reach out to customers besides email?
Jordan Miller
The customer service platform built for ecommerce brands

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