2013 is promising to be another exciting year for e-commerce – predicted to reach £87 billion in the UK, 12% higher than the 2012 total. But the battle for customers will become fiercer as retailers strive to engage customers in the social media wars.

Savvy retailers will start to use more of their online “real estate” to encourage sales and fans, and will incorporate more elements of social media in their marketing activities. Building an engaged community, however, can be difficult and requires a significant investment of time and resource.

This is where the much forgotten order confirmation page offers an exciting opportunity to incentivise customers to return, while also providing the possibility to share product choices within their social circles in return for an incentive.

Up till now, retailers have often focused solely on the customer journey up to the point of purchase with a typical online customer purchase journey including:

  • visits the store
  • adds products to the cart
  • pays for the purchase
  • completes the check out
  • order confirmed

For many retailers, each of these stages is split tested and optimised, except for the post checkout phase – the order confirmation page. By making a purchase, the customer has given the retailer a vote of confidence and is likely to be feeling positive about the brand, but many retailers fail to capitalise on this opportunity.

Owned it, a marketing platform that helps online retailers increase conversions and social referrals, recently published a report – Leaving money on the table – lost opportunities at the Order Confirmation Page – analysing 30 top online retailers and their attempts to increase conversions and social media engagement from the order confirmation page. We’ve taken the top eight tips from the report on how to optimise the order confirmation page:

1. Develop a strategy to increase social conversations and fan/follower base – understand how and why your customers are engaging on social media. Identify your highest performing advocates on social media by placing traceable incentives on the order confirmation page.  Use these engaged followers to drive more sales by incentivising them to share product details.

2. When running social media campaigns across multiple networks, identify the platforms that bring the best returns and that meet your objectives. From our experience Facebook is the top performer for fashion, clothing and accessories whereas Twitter generates more sales for gadgets and digital products.

3. Ensure that the social media elements are positioned well and are large enough to be noticed. Proactively ask your customers to engage in social actions such as “like your page” and “share your products”.

4. Increase low engagement rates by using the order confirmation page as a springboard for social. Include product share buttons for multiple social networks including Facebook and Twitter as well as encouraging sharing via email.

5. Design and test different layouts of product sharing campaigns, for example, slider, popups, or animated creative.

6. Offer incentives to significantly increase the social actions taken by customers – understand that the ROI varies significantly for different sectors and for different social networks. The performance of a social network for referrals is heavily influenced by the products as well as the audience the retailer targets.

7. Use incentives to create brand awareness, increase revenue or create communities around the brand. Tie the incentives to an action to be taken. In our experience if incentives are tied to a specific action, for example, a social action, then the redemption rate of that incentive is much higher compared to just giving away discounts.

8. Tailor and test incentives according to the product purchased. Incentives can be tied into wider marketing campaigns such as new product launches or special occasions, including Mother’s Day or Christmas. Immediate offers are a better way to cross sell related products. In some instances non-monetary incentives such as free shipping are more enticing compared to the monetary benefits.

As retailers enhance order confirmation pages, they will also strive to understand the return on investment each social media channel or incentive brings. They will also endeavour to understand who their key advocates are and how to incentivise them to shop and share more, so ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and increased loyalty.

Manoj Krishnapillai

Manoj Krishnapillai


Manoj Krishnapillai is Co-Founder of Owned it.