ARTICLE

7 Best Practices for eCommerce Thank You Pages

By the time customers make their way to your “thank you” page, you’ve already built up enough credibility to convince them to order, and you must have done something right price-wise and presentation-wise to get them to click “buy now.”

Things are going great, but there’s no reason to stop with making a sale.

Customers who make a purchase and land on your thank you page are the most valuable visitors on your site. They pulled out their credit card and gave you some of their money. This means a few things:

  1. They’re part of the customer group that’s interested in your products.
  2. They trusted you enough to purchase from your site.
  3. There’s a pretty good chance they’d be willing to make another purchase if you present a compelling enough offer.

With those points in mind, the post-purchase thank you page, i.e. receipt page, is a great time to capitalize on the transaction that just took place, not just to say “au revoir” to your new customers.

This post presents seven ways you can get more mileage out of your thank you page.

Best Practice #1: Provide Social Sharing Buttons

The first thing you can consider is to provide social sharing buttons on your thank you page.

Sharing buttons encourage your new customers to show off what they just purchased to their friends and family members. It’s at a time when they’re excited about the purchase they just made, which means there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in sharing about what they just bought.

The benefit of placing share buttons and getting customers to share from your thank you page is that every additional share is a free advertising opportunity. It costs money every time someone visits your site from a Facebook or Google ad, but visitors from social shares are free. Thus, each time someone shares about the product they just purchased, you get free exposure and free traffic.

One company who does a good job with their thank you page is Warby Parker, an eCommerce store whose email series we highlighted just last week. Their thank you page does a great job of enticing new customers to share about their order, and even makes it easy for customers to review the wording they’ll use before sharing on Twitter, Facebook, or Email.

Here’s a screenshot to give you a better idea about how they use their valuable thank you page real estate. Take note of the custom-made text box that allows people to compose the message they’re about to share.

Warby Parker Thank You Page

Best Practice #2: Offer Social Follow Buttons

The next thing you can consider is offering social follow buttons on your thank you page. In this scenario, instead of providing buttons to encourage social sharing, you offer buttons that will encourage people to follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, or any other social network.

The benefit of offering these buttons on your thank you page is that, once again, you’re taking advantage of the valuable traffic you’re receiving after customers make a purchase. You know that people who visit this page are interested in what you have to offer, which makes it a great time to convert them into a social follower in order to build up your social profiles.

So when should you provide sharing buttons, and when should you offer follow buttons?

The answer isn’t as easy as it might seem, and it depends on your business. For your site, do you consider a new Facebook fan or a new Twitter follower to be of more value so you can stay in touch with customers, or do you value social shares and immediate traffic opportunities more highly?

It depends on your business and which one of these options you value the most. Another possibility is to do both, but you don’t to make the mistake of cluttering your thank you page and giving your customers too many options to consider, something we’ll talk about more in the bonus tip at the end of this post.

The Target thank you page below shows how you can use a thank you page to generate more social media followers by offering social follow buttons. However, we recommend making these buttons more prominent and more enticing if you really want to generate more followers.

Target Thank You Page

Best Practice #3: Ask a Survey Question

The next idea you can consider is whether or not to ask a survey question on your thank you page.

Some people like to ask customers how they found out about their site as part of the order process, but this potentially can provide another piece of friction and another hurdle between making a purchase and not making a purchase.

However, instead of asking how people found out about you on an order form, you can ask people the same question on a thank you page. You could also ask them questions like:

  1. What’s the #1 factor that convinced you to make your purchase today?
  2. What could we do to improve our checkout process and make it easier for you to place an order in the future?

Questions like these provide valuable customer information but may not be questions you want to ask pre-purchase. But once someone does make a purchase, you can learn a lot about what convinced them to buy in order to improve your website and generate more sales in the future.

Best Practice #4: Use a Referral Program

Something else you can consider using is a referral program to generate more free word-of-mouth marketing. Dropbox, for example, used a referral program to massively grow their customer base in a short amount of time.

You might not realize it, but this is something even eCommerce sites can use. Soma, for example, offers a referral program to encourage their customers to share about their sleek-looking water filters. For each successful referral, customers can earn free refill filters for their Soma.

This may be harder to track for other eCommerce stores, but referral programs can be put in place where customers receive special offers or free products for successful referrals. This kind of program can even be tied to social sharing on a thank you page to incentivize sharing and to get even more people to tell their friends about the product they just purchased.

Soma Thank You Page

Best Practice #5: Ask Customers to Sign Up for Your Newsletter

If you haven’t asked customers yet to sign up for your newsletter before they make it to your thank you page, or if they just haven’t signed up yet for one reason or another, the thank you page is a great time to get them to sign up.

Why? Because newsletters are awesome. Any marketer worth his salt will tell you that email addresses are more valuable than Twitter followers or Facebook fans. With social media, followers may or may not see your posts, but with email, nearly 100% of recipients will see your message and decide whether or not to take action.

So if customers haven’t signed up for your newsletter by the time they make a purchase, asking them to do so on the thank you page is a great way to gain a long-term customer.

One thing to keep in mind is to remember to mention the benefit of signing up for your newsletter. Instead of saying, “Sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch,” you should say something more along the lines of, “Sign up to receive exclusive offers and special discounts.” The latter gives people a reason to sign up; the former doesn’t.

Best Practice #6: Offer a Coupon

Another way you can take advantage of the traffic that makes it to your thank you page is to offer a coupon in order to encourage customers to make an additional purchase. The coupon could be connected to related products, like accessories, as a way to encourage people to spend more while they’re already in a spending mood.

This tactic may work better for some industries than others, but it’s definitely something you can consider for your site. You can also tie a limited amount of time to the offer in order encourage people to take action. The coupon can have a timer that makes it good for only the next hour, or it can be a coupon that’s good for the next thirty days and gets mailed to the customer.

Either way, offering a coupon or a discount on the thank you page is another way to get more out of the customers that make it that far, but you probably shouldn’t expect too many conversions from this tactic. Some people may make an additional purchase, but the majority of people will be done with their transaction and ready to move on. Finding a way to stay in touch with customers, like getting them to sign up for your email updates is probably a better use of valuable thank you page space.

Best Practice #7: Present Helpful Resources

Something else you can consider adding to your thank you page are helpful resources. These can be Youtube videos explaining how to use a product, or blog posts that provide more in-depth information for people to learn more about the item they just ordered.

One thing that’s been learned from the current state of the internet is that people like to use Google and Youtube to learn more about whatever they’re interested in. People read (and share) blog posts to learn more about any and every topic, and they also watch Youtube to learn how to do everything from how to knit a scarf to how to catch more fish.

This is a phenomena you can take care of by offering video or written resources from your thank you page, especially if you have a technical product that requires people to learn more about how to use it.

Another possibility is to record a thank you video of your staff personally thanking people for their order. This would be personal and unique and would help your business to stand out.

Bonus Tip: Don’t Ask for too Much at Once

A bonus tip to remember is not to ask for too much on your thank you page.

All seven of these ideas may sound great, but if you do too much on one page, you’ll likely overwhelm visitors and discourage them from making a decision. As a matter of fact, there was a study done about selling different numbers of jams that showed offering too many decreased the number of times people end up making a purchase. (You can read more about that here.)

So if you want to spruce up your thank you page and take advantage of the valuable traffic you get there, remember to only implement one of these best practices or two at most in order to make sure that people take at least one valuable action on your thank you page.

You may also want to consider consolidating everything onto a single page. There’s a chance people will scroll to find more information, but it’s more likely they’ll take a quick glance at your landing page and then decide whether or not to take action. If you consolidate everything above the fold, there’s a better chance you’ll get the conversion you’re looking for (although you’re always welcome to test this theory and then to leave a comment to share your results).

And last but not least, your thank you page is a prime opportunity to be memorable. A unique thank you video followed by a call to action asking people to share the page may do more for you than a standard page that asks people to follow the company on Twitter and sign up for a newsletter. Try to do something to wow your customers and stand out from the crowd. You never know what might work if you think outside the box and do something different than what everyone’s seen before.

We hope this post helps to give you some ideas about how you can get more out of your thank you page than a simple “thanks for stopping by” before sending your customers on their way.

Your turn: What have you found works or doesn’t work for eCommerce thank you pages? Do you have any results or tips you’d like to share?