Why Your Store Needs Pre and Post-Sales Support
Successful E-Commerce stores know that the sales process involves more than just the act of selling a product. At least, it should.
There is a period of time before a purchase is made in which the customer is getting to know the store and product, comparing features, and trying to make a decision. Similarly, there is a period of time after the purchase in which the customer is analyzing the process and making a judgment as to whether their experience was positive or negative.
These windows that take place before and after the purchase are referred to as the pre and post-sales windows. And just as you want to provide as much support and guidance possible during the sale, you should be giving the pre and post-sales windows the same amount of attention.
Both areas are equally important and can result in increased sales numbers, improved customer experiences, and greater customer satisfaction.
What is Pre-Sales Support?
Pre-sales support is the support and guidance given before a purchase is made. It primarily concentrates on answering customer enquiries about a product or service, providing information, and generally assisting with the decision-making process.
Ways to implement pre-sales support
To drive revenue in your business, it’s important to be proactive in your pre-sales support. For each channel where customers can engage with your brand, you need to be there to answer questions and provide advice. This includes your website, social media, email, and any other avenues where customers can connect with your brand and products.
Live Chat Feature
A live chat feature is a great way to provide shopping support. These allow customers to message your store about products and find answers. When people shop online, they’re unable to feel and really see the product. This raises questions, and a live chat feature is a great and efficient way to answer them!
Live chat features help customers connect with your brand on a personal level. Though they’re not walking into a store and meeting employees, they’re still being welcomed and getting their questions answered. This feature creates customer engagement and provides assistance with the decision-making process.
Social media is a great way to increase pre-sales support. Many customers find brands through social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, so it makes sense to use these to your advantage. There are a number of ways to implement these platforms.
Reply to comments
When you post content, respond to any client questions that pop up! You may see enquiries like “is this true to size?” or “does this go with xyz?” Responding to these questions helps show that you value customer service, and it can help the decision-making process both for that user and users who read the comments.
Engage in the DMs
Allow customers to contact you with enquiries via DM. For many users that frequent these apps, utilising DMs as a means for product questions is easiest. It pays to use this method to respond to questions and help customers.
Instagram has a useful “highlight” feature that can be great for sharing helpful information. Consider using this to include a quick at-a-glance question and answer section on your profile. You can include information about products, shipping times, and other questions that often pop up. It helps users get the information they need right away.
Insights and Converting Customers
Pre-sales support gives your company an opportunity to collect valuable data. When customers ask questions prior to purchase, it shows you exactly what they value and need to know.
This information can be useful to include on your website or in product listings to reduce the number of questions customers have. Plus, it helps you customize your content to specifically meet the questions of your consumers. Incorporate the information throughout your listings or simply drop a FAQ section where relevant.
The more information a customer can get from the start, the more likely they are to convert.
To take things a step further, customer questions can be utilised to set up auto-responses within your live chat feature. This can reduce the work on your business’s end of things and can help customers get responses faster.
If a customer is unsure whether they will purchase from your business, pre-sales support can promptly provide valuable information that has been previously gathered from user insights to re-spark the interest of the shopper.
What is Post-Sales Support?
Post-sales support nourishes the customer experience after a sale is made. It can involve anything from providing shipping updates and troubleshooting assistance to offering future discounts and requesting feedback.
A solid post-sales support practice can help create repeat and loyal customers. According to Shopify’s 2021 State of Shopify Report, “Loyal customers are 9x more likely to convert compared to a first-time shopper.”
This means your business should pay special attention to ways in which you can nourish the post-sales experience and remind customers how much you value them.
Ways to implement post-sales support
When it comes to long-term growth, repeat, loyal customers are invaluable. Post-sales support can be an effective way to help first-time buyers stick around. Here are some methods that you can implement after the sale is complete.
Shipping and Updates
In the past two years, it’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced frustrating shipping delays at one point or another. Between COVID, supply chain issues, and other things, shipping has been affected in multiple ways.
As an E-Commerce seller, it is your responsibility to provide updates to your customers. Sure, we can’t control what happens after the packages leave our hands, but we can update customers to the best of our ability.
Shipping updates and tracking are a great way to keep the customer in the loop and show them where their items are. If delays arise, let them know! Things happen, and keeping the customers informed is a great way to show them that you care.
One great way to strengthen the post-purchase window is to utilise high-quality packaging. Make opening your goods an experience! This makes purchasing from your store that much more exciting, and can even convince buyers to order again.
Be sure to package your products with care, and consider including fun inserts, thank you notes, stickers, or other on-brand items to elevate the experience. Include a card that tells shoppers where they can connect with you and get in touch regarding any questions they may have.
Unboxing is an opportunity for your brand to tell a story and encourage customer loyalty. It’s an element of post-sales support that should not be overlooked!
Limited Time Offers
Bring customers back around by offering a discount or promotion on their next purchase. You can do this via email or SMS message or by including it in the packaging. If a shopper was eyeing something else on your site, thanking them with this offer could be just the thing to convince them to buy. This method benefits your store while showing the customer that you value them too.
Product support is a crucial part of the post-sales support experience. It should be easy for customers to reach out with questions and seek help if they run into a problem with your product.
Provide this information by including a contact page on your website, an email address in your social media bio, or any other method that is relevant to your business. Consider including a little card inside packages with this information for convenience.
Thank You Messages
Customer appreciation is vital in maintaining loyal shoppers. Reassuring your customers through thank you messages shows them they’ve made the right choice investing in your business. It also reinforces your brand’s value. You can thank customers via email, SMS message, or package insert.
Finally, the post-sales window is a great time to request reviews. Not only does this provide valuable information, it also shows customers that you care and value their feedback. By listening to this feedback and acting on their recommendations, you ensure a more positive experience for your next customer.
It’s more important than ever to have a pre and post-sales system to support your customer. Whether that means integrating a live chat feature, actively engaging on social media, or introducing an elevated packaging experience, you’re benefitting your store!
What method will you be introducing first?
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