Nov 14 2012

Grow Customer Lifetime Value with Your Order Success Page

A good order success page increases lifetime customer value and provides you with loyal customers who evangelize your store and bring you new clientele. It’s often overlooked, but we’ve found that giving your order success page the same kind of attention you give to the rest of your site goes a long way towards turning a one-time customer into a patron for life.

You and Your Customer: A Budding Romance

A user session on an eCommerce store is like a romantic date. You spend hours getting to know each other, you decide that you like one another, and then one of you decides to click the other’s Finalize Order button. It’s almost sweet. Now, imagine you and your customer in the moment right after the blissful checkout experience. Picture the customer’s arm gently wrapped around the curves of your checkout button while you delicately process their payment method. In that moment, does it really seem appropriate to stand up and shout in a cold, robotic voice, “Order Received!” and run out the door? No way. It would be way too awkward next time you saw them at Starbucks.

Think about it. If you want the customer to purchase again, you need to leave them with warm fuzzies so that they think of you next time they want to purchase. Unfortunately, the last image they have of you is whatever vanilla, cookie-cutter order success page was on your site when you first set it up.

Building a good order success page for your site begins by thinking about the two most important aspects of your site, your products and your customers. If you sell fun products, your order success page should entertain your customer. If your store sells expensive items, congratulate your customer on making such a big decision. If you sell small items, then be more casual with the customer. Either way, putting more personal content reassures them that they made the right decision.

Email Marketing: The Follow Up

You’ve probably heard about post-purchase experience engineering, which typically begins with a confirmation email sent after the purchase. Some people think this is more important than an order success page. Those people are called email marketers.

Order Confirmation Email - designing an order success page

Sending that email is necessary for building a relationship with your customers. Think of it as a phone call or text the next day saying, “Thanks, I had a good time.” It affirms that all that weird stuff the two of you did last night was actually a good decision, and you are not some con artist who just swindled them.

However, if we stick with this dating metaphor the whole way through (which I intend to), then what does a nice follow-up matter if you were cold the last time they interacted with you? Any gap in the romantic spell breaches your relationship with the customer. If the images and copy on your order success page are cold and unbranded, you are making it easier for your customers stop believing.

Your order success page and confirmation email should be tied together. A simple way is to have consistent messaging. A creative way might be to tell your customers about the confirmation email. You could mention a special surprise, and when they open the email, it’s free shipping on their next order of $50 or more. Or, if you’re a smaller company and free shipping isn’t your thing, you can send something free that entertains them. If you sell apparel, send them a lookbook. If you sell tractor equipment, send them a video of a tractor pull. If you sell camping equipment, send them a targeted email with a review of some campsites in their region.

Star-Crossed Promotion

Cross promotions are an opportunity to show your customers something new while building up the next sale. Think of it like setting up a second date. You’ll want to offer something they’ll be interested in. “Hey, since you just bought our signature titanium cocktail shaker, we thought you might like this stirring spoon made of vibranium. Or, how about these sleek cocktail swords made from brushed adamantium?” That example would only work if you were selling cocktail accessories in the Marvel universe, but you get the picture.

Taking the time to set up a cross promotion may sound time consuming, but eCommerce platforms like Magento make it simple and even give you options. You can go through a list of products and checkbox each item you want to include as an upsell for the titanium cocktail shaker, or you can use filters to sift through the catalog for items with certain attributes. Either way, the time put in should drive up your lifetime customer value.

*Learn more about cross promotion with Magento*

Make it “Facebook Official”

So they bought from you. You know that they like you. Now let them manifest that lubby-dubby wonderfulness into some social media love. As the kids say, “It’s not official unless it’s Facebook official.” On your order success page, you can ask them to like your Facebook page or, better yet, share their purchase.

Social media on order success pages

A good example of a company that integrates social media into their order success page is Fandango. They do so by letting you share your ticket purchase on Facebook and Twitter. For example, I just bought tickets on Fandango, and on the order success page, I clicked “share my purchase on Facebook.” I can already hear my friends saying, “Matt is going to see the new Twilight movie at 7:15 tonight? Let’s buy tickets so we can go make fun of him!”

Just like cross promotion, these integrations sound difficult, but are in fact quite easy. As of right now, there are over 140 social and marketing extensions on Magento Connect, and most of them are free. One in particular, Meanbee Promote/Share Order, is well worth an investigation.

Users are excited to be on the order success page. Social integration allows them to share that excitement with others.

Post-Purchase Review

We’ve all been there. It’s the next morning, and you’re looking over at your Order Success Page, wondering what the heck you were thinking. When you clicked Finalize Order, you thought the estimated shipping was only $2.95, but it turns out, it’s going to cost you $6.50. Meanwhile, the order success page is glaring at you and saying, “You told me your credit card was a Visa.”

review order information

In life, this is an uncomfortable moment, but with an order success page, it’s usually a moment that builds confidence. If all of the information is correct, which it almost always is, then your customer feels safe enough to move on (hopefully to social media or one of your cross promotions). You’ll want to include their billing and shipping address, which products they ordered, the quantity of each product, and the price of each product. You’ll also want to show them their chosen payment method, the total cost of merchandise, shipping costs, taxes, and the final total that will be charged to them.

Include Conversion Tracking Codes

Essentially, this is the eCommerce version of stalking. While not the best dating advice, I cannot recommend it more for eCommerce. With conversion tracking codes, you can track AdWords, affiliate networks, and comparative shopping engine feeds. Basically, conversion tracking codes are there to track where purchasers come from. So really, it’s reverse stalking. Customers are on your site learning all about your products and services, and you’ve low jacked their car to learn what road they took to get there. That’s not such a bad thing, is it?

To start tracking, you’ll need to know how to add the code on all of your pages, or you can have a Google Analytics Certified Partner – like Blue Acorn – place the code for you. If – for whatever reason – you’re not keen on Blue Acorn, there are plenty of other Google Analytics Certified Partners to choose from. Then again, most of them aren’t going to be Magento Gold Solutions Partner.

Provide Confidence in Your Brand

This might be the easiest thing to do. All it takes is a few well-placed links to the kind of information your customers might want post-purchase, like your warranties, return information, and your privacy policy. They’ll appreciate that you made it easy for them to find, and it will build confidence in their purchase. It’s a simple – yet reassuring – statement. It’s like saying, “I have a valid drivers license, and I don’t live with my parents.” Most people can appreciate that.

Tying It All Together

order success page

The order success page is a good time to establish a strong relationship with a customer who clearly already likes your store. To establish the strongest relationship possible, you should complement a well-branded and personal message with several other strategies.

Coupled with email marketing, you build a rapport with your customer. When you throw in cross promotion and your social media campaign, you connect to your customer and make it easier for them to make future purchases and share your offerings. By integrating tracking codes into your pages, you discover where you should be looking for new customers. Lastly, by allowing them to review the information they provided and learn more about your store’s policies, you inspire confidence in your brand. Together, these invaluable tools are guaranteed to bring you many happy eCommerce dates for years to come. If they don’t, just remember “It’s not you; it’s them.”

Matthew Rickerby

Head of Marketing

Matt began his career in ecommerce at Blue Acorn over seven years ago. His areas of expertise include persona development, account-based marketing, and content marketing. He has co-written speaking sessions for Bronto Summit, DIG South, GIANT, and Revolve, and received multiple awards for videography, blogging, and copywriting.


Andrew Bialecki
Dec 14 2012

Nice post.

Another type of messaging you might want to include is something that references whether it’s that customer’s first purchase or if they’ve hit some purchase milestone (e.g. they pass five purchases or $500 in total sales).

You can have a custom message — “Hey, thanks for being one of our very best customers” — or reward them with targeted offers to turn them into repeat customers refer their friends.

Matt Rickerby
Dec 17 2012

Thanks, Andrew. Excellent idea!

Your idea got me thinking about going a step beyond the order success page- stores could target those that hit purchase milestones with promotional gifts.

Look for an article in the near future about such a program versus your typical customer loyalty program.

Thanks again for your idea!

Rich Spaulding
Feb 03 2013

Hey Matt,

I got a chuckle when I saw the 50 shades of grey picture! Good stuff.

People should concentrate more on post purchase activities. I should have done more of these types of strategies prior to selling my website. I hope others learn from my mistake.


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