How to set up an e-commerce post-purchase survey in 7 steps

September 6, 2018 by David Peralta

Implementing a survey right after your customers make a purchase is an easy, non-intrusive way to help you boost your e-commerce sales.

You get to learn directly from your customers how to improve the buying experience and overcome potential objections.

In fact, it’s so valuable and simple to create that we recommend all our e-commerce customers create this survey before any other.

That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide: to help you create a simple, post-purchase survey in just a few minutes.

We’ll go over exactly what questions you should ask as well as where, when, and how to set it up.

WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD YOU ASK?

post-purchase survey - flow 1

Based on our experience, there are three questions to ask after a purchase that are most effective at uncovering conversion-boosting insights:

Question 1: How would you rate your overall experience?

post-purchase survey - question 1

The responses to this question give you a quantitative pulse of the buying experience that you can then measure over time.

You can also use the responses to track whether any changes you make in the experience lead to improvements or not. Plus, you end up with a metric you can then take and showcase to your team.

The question itself can be presented as a simple scale from 1-5:

Post 17 - 1-min

 

It’s a low-commitment question that gets your foot in the door to ask follow up questions.

 

🏆 Pro tip: If someone gives you a negative rating, you can use Hotjar’s Session Recordings to view the recording of that exact experience and see for yourself what went wrong.


Question 2a: What can we do to improve the experience?

post-purchase survey - question 2

Based on your customers’ response to Question 1, most survey tools allow you to give a tailored follow-up question. This is where you’ll get qualitative responses that show you how you can improve your customers’ buying experience.

So if your customer gave you a negative rating of 1-3 in Question 1, then follow up with:

“What can we do to improve the experience?”

Often, the responses to this question will help you discover quick fixes that can instantly boost your conversions, such as “I had to click the purchase button 3 times before it went through” or “the billing form wasn’t functioning properly.”

Question 2b: What did you love the most about the experience?

post-purchase survey - question 2b

If your customer gave you a positive rating of 4-5 in Question 1, then follow up with:

“What was it that you loved the most about the experience?”

The answers to this question will help you double down on what is working so that it’s a more prominent part of the experience.

Question 3: What almost stopped you from completing your purchase?

post-purchase survey - question 3

This question can help you uncover what barriers might be keeping other potential customers from buying.

The responses here might be less directly related to the experience (e.g. “the button wasn’t working”), and more along the lines of what potential objections almost kept your customers from buying.

For example:

 

1. A company selling medical products discovered that their customers were worried the package might have labeling showing what they bought. That wasn’t the case, but potential customers didn’t know that.


2. A computer repair service in Australia had a price that was so low their customers were worried they might have hidden fees. The reality was they didn’t, but it wasn’t stated anywhere on the site.

3. A small rental car company, which also had lower-than-usual prices, learned that their customers were skeptical their service was all a scam. So the company knew they had to double down on social proof and trust elements. 

 

Often, the insights that come from this question are totally unexpected curveballs that seem obvious in hindsight.

That’s what makes this question so valuable.

And the great thing is that fixing these barriers is often pretty straightforward, which can lead to quick (but significant) wins in your conversion rate.

 

🏆 Pro tip: Need help understanding your customers’ responses once they come in? Check out our post on how to analyze open-ended survey questions.

 

Where should you place the survey?

Ideally, it should show up on your post-purchase thank you page within seconds of the purchase being completed.

Since there are only 3 questions, we recommended a simple on-page survey that slides in from the bottom:

post-purchase survey - question 3

Should you offer a prize or incentive?

Because the survey is so in the moment and easy to answer, there’s no need to offer a prize or incentive.

It’s worth noting that you don’t need every customer to respond for you to get value out of this. Even a small percentage of responses is enough to uncover things you may not have been aware of.

And in our experience, you’d be surprised at how many people are willing to reply to this type of surveys.

So, how exactly do you set it up?

How do you set up the survey?

There are plenty of tools out there that can help you do this, such as Survey Monkey or Typeform, but we’ll be showing you how to do it using Hotjar—which works with most major e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, or Prestashop.

 

Setting up your post-purchase on-page survey in 5 minutes

There are two ways to survey your customers using Hotjar—you can use our Surveys tool to send a link to an external survey, or use our Polls tool to create an on-page survey.  

Since we want this survey to appear on-page, we’ll be using the Polls feature. After signing up for Hotjar (it's free!) and installing the script, you're ready to start. 

Step 1 - Create a new poll

  • Click on ‘Polls’ in the sidebar menu, then ‘New Poll’
post-purchase survey - new poll

 

Step 2 - Name your poll

We’ll call ours ‘Post-Purchase Survey’, but you can choose whatever name you like.

post-purchase survey - name


Step 3 - Set your survey to appear on your post-purchase page

  • Select which devices you’ll show the poll on
  • Show the poll on your thank you page by selecting the ‘on pages I specify’ option and writing your thank you page URL in the dedicated space

 

post-purchase survey - TY page

 

  • Select the percentage of visitors that will be shown this poll (we recommend 100% to get results quicker, but it’s up to you)

 

post 17 - step_3a-min

 

Step 4 - Add the questions

  • For Question 1:
    • Select a ‘1-5 Rating scale’ as the question type
    • Paste ‘How would you rate your overall experience?’ in the ‘Type your question here…’ field
    • Set the Low and High Score Labels

 

post-purchase survey - scale

  • For Question 2a:
    • Click ‘Add Question’
    • Select: ‘Long text answer’ as the question type
    • Enter ‘What can we do to improve the experience?’

 

Post 17 - Step_4b-min

  • For Question 2b:
    • Click ‘Add Question’
    • Select: ‘Long text answer’ as the question type
    • Enter ‘What did you love most about the experience?’

 

Post 17 - Step_4c-min

 

To set the logic that will send your customers to the right question:

  • Click the question logic button in the Question 1 box:

 

post 17 - step_4d-min

  • For ‘After this question is answered, go to:’ enter ‘Specific question based on answer’

 

post 17 - step_4e-min

 

    • Set the ‘Negatives’ and ‘Neutrals’ to go to: ‘Question: What can we do to improve the experience?’
    • Set the ‘’Positives’ to go to: ‘Question: What did you love the most about the experience?

 

post 17 - step_4f-min

 

  • For Question 3:
    • Click ‘Add Question’
    • Select: ‘Long text answer’ as the question type
    • Enter ‘What almost stopped you from completing your purchase?’

 

Post 17 - Step_4g-min

 

  • Personalize the thank you message

 

post 17 - step_4h-min

 

✏️NOTE: If you want to match a survey response to a Session Recording so that you can see the exact experience the customer had, make sure to check the box labeled ‘Ask respondents to give their consent to connect their feedback to data stored about them.’


Step 5 - Set the appearance

  • Set the language, position, background color (make sure to match your site’s color scheme), and theme

 

post 17 - step_5-min

Step 6 - Set the behavior to launch immediately after the page loads

 

post 17 - step_6a-min

 

Step 7 - Activate your poll!

  • Set the poll status to ‘Active’ and you’re all set!

 

post 17 - step_7-min

 

Final thoughts

If you don’t already have a post-purchase survey in place, stop what you’re doing and set one up right now. (Really, it only takes 5 minutes!)

Getting answers in the moment and as close to the experience as possible makes this type of survey more effective than a traditional, after-the-fact email survey (and it won’t get buried in your customers’ inbox).

Most importantly, the insights you’ll gain are some of the quickest wins you can have when it comes to increasing your sales and conversions.

create your own post purchase survey

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David Peralta

As Hotjar's Outreach Marketer, David is obsessed with helping others succeed by putting people first. He also loves a good walk in the Redwood grove near his home in Mendocino County, CA.

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