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Thought Leadership & Enablement
July 2, 2024

How to Create a Post-Purchase Survey That Gets Results

Learn how to design a post-purchase survey (and the common mistakes to avoid) so you can gather insights and optimize your customer journey.

Brittany Gulla
Director of Growth Marketing


  • Send out post-purchase surveys after customers make a purchase to gain insights into the customer experience.
  • This type of survey boosts loyalty and retention by making customers feel heard — and brands get to collect valuable first-party data that helps them optimize the customer journey.
  • To design a post-purchase survey, start with a goal in mind, and then write questions around that goal before you build and launch the survey.
  • Common mistakes include surveys that are too long, unskippable comment fields or “essay questions,” and using yes-or-no question formats that don’t provide much in the way of insights.

Just like humans have basic needs — stuff like food, water, and shelter — so too do ecommerce brands. For an online business, one of the biggest needs is customer data and customer feedback. 

So how do you get it?

Some brands overlook the most obvious answer: Just ask for it.

That’s what post-purchase surveys are all about. When you can create a great survey for customers to fill out after they’ve bought something, you’ll find that many will be happy to share their opinions. And that’s why we’re going to show you how to create surveys that get results.

What Is a Post-Purchase Survey?

Post purchase survey: entrepreneur looking at the camera

Ever gotten a request for feedback on a purchase after you’ve made that purchase? That’s what a post-purchase survey is. In ecommerce, this type of survey can come in a couple of different formats:

  • A pop-up or a page directly after checkout that surveys users on the checkout process or overall customer experience
  • An email that arrives after the purchase to ask customers about their satisfaction with the product or other aspects of their interactions with the brand

There are also several flavors of post-purchase surveys. Popular types include:

  • Net promoter score (NPS) surveys: These ask customers how likely they are to recommend a product, service, or business to friends and family members.
  • Product feedback surveys: This survey analyzes customer satisfaction with the product or service they’ve purchased.
  • Market fit surveys: Popular with SaaS and subscription-based services, these surveys ask customers how services can better fit their needs so that brands can adjust products, plans, and service packages accordingly.
  • Customer experience surveys: This survey often pops up right after checking out. Ecommerce brands use these to gather feedback on the checkout process or other aspects of the online shopping experience. 

Benefits of a Post-Purchase Survey

Post purchase survey: man using his phone

Both brands and their customers can get so much from post-purchase surveys. For starters, it’s a great way to increase customer loyalty — and anything you do to build loyalty will also help to build customer retention. The secret is in the psychology: When you ask customers for feedback, it gives them a chance to contribute and to feel heard. Ultimately, customers feel valued, which helps foster long-term relationships.

And for brands? Well, you get the benefit of happier, more loyal customers! But also, you get customer feedback, which is a gold mine of information that you can excavate for valuable insights into every aspect of the customer journey. Use that feedback to identify areas for improvement within your user experience, marketing efforts, customer support, or even with your product or service.

How to Create a Post-Purchase Survey

Post purchase survey: entrepreneur using a computer

Ready to get started with your own survey? You’ll be surprised how easy it is — especially considering the huge benefits you can enjoy. Just follow the steps below.

1. Define a Goal

In a perfect world, we’d all have unlimited time to spend on lengthy customer surveys that cover all the bases. However, here in reality, most customers have limited time and patience. If a survey looks like it’ll take too much time, even the most loyal customers will click away, no matter how much they may want to offer feedback.

That’s why your post-purchase survey needs to be designed with a concrete goal in mind. Rather than asking lots of questions about all kinds of things, keep the focus narrow so that customers can answer just a few quick questions on a particular topic. Here are some ideas:

  • Ask questions about the checkout process to identify hitches that could be degrading the purchase experience or turning customers away.
  • Get feedback on your product or service to make improvements to your offerings, packages, or pricing strategy.
  • Request information that can help you create a more personalized experience for repeat customers (like what type of animals they own if you sell pet supplies, for example, or what types of sports they play if you’re a sporting goods brand). 
  • See where you can optimize your marketing campaigns by asking about where people heard of your product or brand.
  • Do audience research by asking why customers chose your brand, why they picked it over other options, the impact it will have in their lives, and so on.

2. Consider Incentivizing

It’s not uncommon for people to skip over post-purchase surveys and feedback forms, even when they’re short and simple. And, despite the above advice to keep your survey short, there may be times when you want to make a longer one. Whether your survey is short or long, if you want actionable insights, the goal is to increase response rates as much as possible.

That’s why you can consider incentivizing your survey. Ideally, the goal should be to provide value to customers through highly engaging experiences. After all, discounts and offers will affect your bottom line.

However, once in a while, customers may need just a little extra motivation to take time out of their busy day to offer their thoughts. That’s when incentives can be useful — and there are lots of ways to offer them. Try discounts, free shipping offers, or product trials or samples, for example.

Loyalty programs are another great way to incentivize your surveys. Offer points that respondents can use toward money-off future purchases (or other types of loyalty rewards) in exchange for survey responses — especially if it’s a longer one.

In fact, both loyalty programs and discounts number among the top reasons why people keep coming back for more. Research shows that 55% of adults worldwide rate loyalty programs as the top way to get them to come back, while 54% rated exclusive discounts as an important motivator that encourages them to return for more. 

Even better: If you’re considering incentivizing via a loyalty program, Jebbit can make it super easy for you. For one thing, you can use Jebbit’s survey tools and templates to design a great post-purchase survey. And for another, Jebbit integrates with Yotpo so that you can create an Earning Rule within Yotpo that triggers and awards points when respondents complete the survey.

3. Create Your Survey Questions

When it comes to post-purchase survey questions, there are a lot of ways you can approach them. Write out specific questions with your goal in mind (for example, questions about your product or questions about the checkout experience if you want to learn more about these aspects of the user experience). 

While you’re at it, don’t hesitate to experiment with different question types. These can include:

  • Multiple-choice questions
  • Numbered ratings
  • Open-ended questions

In general, fewer open-ended questions are better since it’s easier for people to check boxes or tick radio buttons to answer the other types of questions. However, you should definitely include at least one comment section where people can optionally leave their thoughts, if desired.

You can also turn your post-purchase survey into a chance to collect zero-party data or other types of customer data. Here are some ideas:

  • If you offer guest checkout, you may not have customers’ emails or phone numbers for SMS and email marketing. This is an opportunity to gather data and encourage repeat purchases by including a space to enter this information in exchange for exclusive promotions.
  • It’s always a good idea to ask the “How did you hear about us?” question — especially among new customers. This will show you where people are finding you (e.g., social media, word of mouth, search engines, or elsewhere). 
  • Use this as a chance to get your net promoter score (NPS). This is a simple question that asks, “How likely are you to recommend us to your friends, family, or colleagues?” It uses a one through 10 number scale with nines and 10s being your promoters.

4. Design and Build Your Survey

Creating a post-purchase survey using Jebbit's survey templates

There are lots of options when it comes to designing your survey. Create a page that pops up after the order confirmation page, send a link out via SMS, or send them out as part of a post-purchase email that people can fill out at their leisure. Whichever method you choose, here are some best practices to follow during the design process:

  • If your survey has more than four or five quick questions, consider sending it out as an email or SMS since people may not have a free moment after checkout to answer a lot of questions.
  • Likewise, keep post-checkout surveys short and sweet. These are best when you want fresh impressions about something the user just experienced, like the shopping checkout process.
  • Rather than building a survey from scratch, use a platform like Jebbit, which gives you survey templates, a no-code Experience Builder, and integrations with popular CRM and data software. You’ll be able to build surveys faster, make it easier to optimize them, and streamline the data collection process.
  • Use your branding throughout the survey’s design. Logos, colors, fonts, and even the voice that you use to write the questions should all be reflective of your brand’s style.
  • After you’ve collected post-purchase feedback, direct users to a simple thank-you page. This is a chance to make customers feel valued — and if you’re offering rewards, discounts, or other incentives, it’s also a good time to give out codes or display the rewards earned.

5. Launch and Optimize Your Survey

Creating an email link for a post-purchase survey using Jebbit

Once the design phase is done, it’s time to go live. But that doesn’t mean you’re finished with the survey. There’s always room for optimization, so keep an eye on things as time goes on. You can always make tweaks — like removing a couple of questions, using more engaging language, or adding an incentive — to boost response rates if you’d like more feedback.

Jebbit's post-purchase survey dashboard

Similarly, keep track of the data as it comes in. Is the information useful and relevant to the goals you established at the start of the survey process? If not, you can adjust questions to better align with the things you most want to learn.

Avoid These 3 Mistakes With Post-Purchase Surveys

It’s hard to go wrong with a post-purchase survey—but there are a few pitfalls to avoid. Check them out below to make sure your survey doesn’t make any of these mistakes.

Mistake #1: Making Surveys Too Long or Complex

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Keep it short and simple. Post-purchase surveys can just be one question if you want super high response rates on one particular aspect of the customer experience. Aim for three to five as a maximum unless you’re planning to offer serious rewards in exchange.

Mistake #2: Requiring Answers to Open Response Questions

If you include space for people to leave comments, make it optional. While many are happy to answer multiple-choice or number-scale questions, not everyone will have thoughts to type out. Some will — and you’ll have created a space for them to do so — but most of the rest of your customers are likely to click away from the survey overall instead of coming up with something to type. And you know what that means when a customer abandons the survey: Less data to work with!

Mistake #3: Using Yes-or-No Questions

While yes-or-no questions are easy to answer, they don’t give you much in the way of actionable insights. For example, you could ask, “Did you enjoy your recent purchase?” A yes or a no here doesn’t tell you a whole lot. For example, “yes” could mean, “Yes, it was fine,” or “Yes, I am SO HAPPY!!!” In this example, it’s far better to use something like a one-through-10 number scale to get a more precise idea of the customer’s sentiment.

Make Survey Design Simple With Jebbit

There are so many advantages to a simple post-purchase survey that it doesn’t make sense not to create one. It’s easy to do, too. Define a goal that states what you want to learn or what pain points you’d like to identify, then design a short set of questions to match. You can incentivize if you want — and that may boost your response rates. Most importantly, you need a tool that makes it easy for you to design, launch, and collect data.

That’s where Jebbit can help. With our no-code Experience Builder, you can get a custom-branded survey up and running fast. To discover how it works, schedule a strategy call with an Experience Expert!

Brittany Gulla
Director of Growth Marketing

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