Post-Transaction Online Marketing is Very Effective—Study Shows


Many e-commerce store owners have been making extra dollars from the product offerings or services being directed to shoppers who have just made their purchase. No less than 40 percent of online consumers will fall prey to another marketing offer being presented to them after they have completed their sales transaction, according to the results of a study undertaken by researchers from Penn State University.

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Researchers Jens Grossklags and Alan Nochenson found out that at least 40 percent of online shoppers who made a purchase were enticed to buy an additional product or service–even if the extra item or service failed to offer extra value. In the study, 550 participants were each given $1.50. The money was intended for buying and downloading a song that costs 99 cents from an online store. Participants were told they can keep the remaining money after buying the 99-cent music file. The post-transaction webpage then announced a 50-cent “service” that promised safe delivery of the music file. A poll conducted after the experiment showed that around 50 percent of the participants thought that either the follow-up safe-delivery offer was connected to the online store or they could not tell which company was associated with it.

Post-transaction marketing schemes also typically ask for buyers to sign up in order to receive another offer or to go to an affiliate marketer’s sales page. This common marketing tactic remains highly effective because a vast number of online shoppers believe that the new offer is part of their just-completed sales transaction. This bodes well for digital marketers who are savvy enough to capitalize on post-transaction upselling and cross-selling.

The Penn State University researchers, who presented the results of their study on June 9, 2014 at the European Conference on Information Systems, also noted the impact of pre-populating form fields with the customer’s known data such as the name and email address. Aside from improving user experience, ensuring pre-populated text boxes when making post-transaction offers can trick shoppers into believing that they are still within the confines of the initial sales transaction and are thus more likely to purchase.
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