There is a reason Apu’s catch cry of “Thank you. Come again.” amuses us so. It is parodying an end of business transaction phrase that we hear – with good reason – most every day.

It is important to thank a customer. It is important to make them feel valued after they have given you their money. It is part of what will make them come back.

Of course when you’re buying online it is usually a more complex affair than picking up beef jerky at Apu’s Kwiki-Mart. On-line transactions come with a number of complexities that simply aren’t present over the counter – Are my credit card details going to be safe? How long does delivery take? Who do I contact if I have a problem with my order? When a visitor considers making a purchase on-line they will need a level of confidence they may not require for other in-person transactions.

A smart website will build this confidence over the course of the visitor’s journey by offering appropriate point of action assurances, links to support information and appropriate calls to action. A smarter website will go one better and reinforce this confidence building even after the transaction is complete. A customer who walks away from an on-line transaction feeling their needs were looked after throughout the entirety of the transaction is a customer who is more likely to give you repeat business. “Thank you. Please come again.” no longer cuts it.

Play Asia is one of those delightfully niche specialty stores that the net is practically built for. Video games imported from Asia are their specialty and they have built a very strong brand within their target audience.

I have been a loyal customer of Play Asia for a number of years thanks to excellent customer service and diverse product offering. From a Persuasion Architect’s perspective they are notable for one specific reason – their confirmation page.

Is this the perfect confirmation page? No, far from it. However it does do one thing that most confirmation pages neglect – it works to build customer confidence post sale.

Look at the questions that the confirmation presents for the visitor. These are the exact kind of questions that may still be lingering in the visitor’s head. Options to access this information should be made available prior to the purchase but their presence here helps first time purchasers feel informed and looked after.

Your confirmation page is the last chance you get to leave a good impression with many of your visitors. A good confirmation page contributes to the visitor’s final assessment of their buying experience with your business and in turn increases the likelihood of their repeat business or recommending you to others.

To reap the benefits of a solid confirmation page – as with all positive conversion improvements – simply think from the perspective of your visitor. What would you want to see after the sale has been completed? The following tips are not applicable only to traditional purchases. Newsletter sign-ups, registrations… any major action where a confirmation page is going to be involved will benefit from the following:

  • Thank your visitor
    This is a no-brainer. They have just taken an action on your site that you wanted them to. Thanking them is the very least you can do. And I mean that – The VERY least. Don’t stop there.
  • Confirm their action
    Remind the visitor of what they have achieved on the site. This is especially important on traditional shopping cart sites where multiple items may be purchased. The visitor will want to ensure that nothing has been forgotten during the process.
  • Set Expectations
    Few things are worse for a customer post sale than hunting to find out what happens next. Let the visitor know how long it will be before their order is shipped. Give them an estimate of how long it will take. If it is a lead generation form, let the visitor know when you will be in contact and if they need to do anything prior to that time such as have answers to certain questions. If it is a newsletter let the visitor know when the next one will be delivered and how often they can expect to receive it.
  • Show them where to get further information
    Let visitors know where they can go to get further information on items such as delivery and checking order status if appropriate.
  • Keep them on the site
    While it is never wise to stop your visitor from leaving your site when they are ready that doesn’t mean you can’t tempt them to stay. Consider what else your site might have to offer the visitor even after they have made their purchase. Do you have a product newsletter the visitor might like to subscribe to? Is there a blog attached to your site that visitors might find of interest? Are you able to present some other products related to the original order the visitor may not have considered during their visit? The more value you can give the visitor the more likely they will make you their first stop for future purchases. In the latter example they may even be tempted to make more purchases before they leave.
  • Send an email
    Another no-brainer but If the action the visitor has taken is something they would like to have a record of such as an item purchase, don’t forget to send a confirmation email. The confirmation email should largely replicate the confirmation page except formatted appropriately for an email.