Is your e-commerce business making the most of post-sales opportunities? If not, you are missing a critical pathway to financial growth and operational improvement. The fact is, a satisfied customer who has already committed to your online store is one of the most promising leads you can have for new sales.

Data from SignalMind shows that the probability of an existing customer making a purchase on your site is between 60% and 80%, while a new buyer is only 5-20% likely to purchase. For small businesses in general, customer retention is far more cost-effective and valuable than acquisition. According to the National Law Review, it can cost five times more to get new customers than to keep old ones.

To boost engagement and keep buyers coming back for more, consider strategies in four separate operational areas: immediate communications, delivery, unboxing and following up. Here are some important tips across each segment:

Focus on powerful communications

Efforts to maximize the value of your sales should begin as soon as a purchase is completed. After-sales outreach should include an immediate message to your buyers thanking and encouraging them to return for additional purchases. Reassure customers that their order is being processed quickly and will be delivered promptly. Then, reiterate the delivery timeframe and provide clear contact information and directions.

Your first post-sale message is also an excellent opportunity to reinforce your brand image and messaging. Include language that defines your value proposition and brand characteristics, while motivating customers to stay engaged with your company into the future.

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Prioritize fast and efficient delivery

While your direct emails to customers send one kind of message, good delivery and multiple delivery options send another. Fast and efficient delivery, at the right price, tells your customers that you are committed to their satisfaction, and it urges them to come back for more.

When it comes to delivery, speed is at the top of the list of customers’ requirements. Research shows that 25% of customers will leave your online store before making any kind of purchase if you don’t ship in two days or less. Offer a next-day delivery option and provide convenience options if possible, including allowing customers to choose a delivery time slot or allowing them to have a package shipped to a neighbor or a parcel locker.

Consider whether and how you might offer free shipping. Jungle Scout reports that 66% of buyers expect free shipping with online purchases. That said, investigate providing free shipping on orders over a certain dollar amount, or determine if you can absorb the cost for all orders.

When developing your shipping policies and options, look at opportunities to incorporate international shipping. By working with a shipping partner that specializes in international, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that come with complex cross-border rules and regulations. Experienced global logistics experts like DHL Express can also advise you on how to inform customers about international shipping procedures and costs.

Consider the box – and the unboxing

Unboxing videos have become popular because they offer a window into the experience of making a big, unusual, or interesting purchase. For your business, this trend represents an opportunity to market and promote your brand as customers share their experiences on social media. But to take part, you will have to make packaging a priority, and turn every purchase into an interesting one.

Incorporate extra perks for customers, such as including a thank you note, a personal message, as well as some free samples and discount coupons if possible.

In addition, make sure your packaging is sustainable, as consumers increasingly expect progress on this front. In fact, 42% of online buyers say that sustainable packaging is a key factor for them in deciding whether to buy from a particular seller again.

Follow up with flair

Before and after a sale, make it simple for your customers to understand the returns and exchange process. Assuming they are happy with the purchase and keep their order, you need to incentivize them to return and buy once more. For example, send product recommendations based on past purchases or develop a plan for special promotions and discounts, and let your customers know what they will save.

To create a dialogue with customers, ask them for feedback and ratings input. Let them know you care about their opinions and that you act on them. The best way to keep people coming back is to make them feel invested in your company, happy with their purchases and deliveries, and excited about new possibilities.

What is your company doing to engage customers post-sale? Let us know on Twitter @DHLUS.

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