I made two really unique online purchases recently, and neither had anything to do with the actual online experience. In both cases it was what came with my item that really separated these retailers apart from the norm.
The first was a pair of shoes I bought from Piperlime. Instead of a crumpled up invoice and some coupons, all that was included was a nice envelope with three things in it: a neatly folded invoice, a thank you note, and a return label:
Here’s the thank you note:
Sure, most companies include a “Thank you for your purchase” line on your invoice (us included), but how much better is this? I also like the line “P.S. If your purchase isn’t absolutely perfect, see the instructions on your enclosed invoice for easy returns”.
The second purchase was a box of football cards from Dave and Adam’s Card World. They included a scratch-off card where you can win a gift certificate and a special letter because it was my first purchase:
The scratch-off was cool, but it was the letter that really caught my attention. Such a simple idea, yet such a nice touch for a first time customer to receive. It read (in part):
Thank you for placing your initial order with Dave and Adam’s Card World! We are happy to have the opportunity to show you why our selection and service are second to none! If there is ever anything that we can help you with, from looking for a product to any issues and/or questions you may have, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service Department at… Once again, thank you for choosing Dave and Adam’s Card World for your order. We look forward to assisting you with your card and memorabilia needs in the future!
These little details make such a difference and they barely cost anything. Both had enough of a positive impact on me to tell at least five people already, and then to write this post. Imagine the cumulative positive effect that can have on your business!
When it comes to what we include with our orders, we have a lot of work to do to get up to par with these two companies. Some of it will happen as we scale (for example, right now we couldn’t afford to include a return invoice with every order), but some of it could be done for no additional cost (like the letter). We currently spend about 20 cents per order on miscelaneous inserts like business cards and promo cards with coupon codes. The little tracking we’ve done has shown that they convert into future sales OK, but we really don’t have any rhyme or reason behind what we’re doing. I’d imagine that later this year sometime there will be an evaluation period where one of us devotes quite a bit of time towards researching, implementing, and analyzing results of all of the potential options out there. I’m sure we can strike a happy medium between cost and that ‘wow’ factor that the customer gets when opening our package (as opposed to looking at our throw-ins as junk and tossing them out without looking at them).
Not to go too far off on a tangent, but on a grander scale there are a lot of these types of projects creeping up on us (analyzing our shipping procedures for the most customer friendly and cost-effective option is one with a huge scope that comes to mind) . Unfortunately with Mike and I programming and George and Greg trying to hold everything else down while still pushing for more growth, they’ll likely have to wait…either until later this year or until our first employee. I don’t know if any business ever really gets there, but it sure will be fun when we can focus more on the fun little details like this that put you over the edge and less on getting the core stuff right. Then again, the core stuff is what keeps you in business, which is why it’s the core :). Had either of my orders arrived late or damaged or with the wrong products, I probably would have been less inclined to write a glowing post about them.