Order confirmation email

Checkout Process: eCommerce Guide

The order confirmation email reinforces the acknowledgment of transaction in the order confirmation page by providing the shopper with an automated receipt assuring them that their purchase was successful.

It finalises the transaction and builds up customer confidence by giving them the sense that something is happening.

Online shoppers now naturally expect to receive email confirmation, so the message should arrive promptly after they have completed their order, otherwise they could assume that something had gone wrong.

Amazon order confirmation email

An order confirmation email, such as Amazons, reassures customers and gives them proof of purchase.

The order confirmation email also has the added advantage over the confirmation page by providing the customer with an authentic electronic record of their purchase. This is particularly useful if the customer was unable to print off the confirmation page at the time of the transaction or if they lose their original paper copy – as all they then need to do is print off the confirmation email.

Keep confirmation emails simple

An order confirmation email should respect the customer’s time by organising the information so it that can be read as quickly and easily as possible.

As with the confirmation page, this means displaying the essential details of the order, which should include the following:

  • Your business address, company number and VAT number
  • Your customer’s name, delivery address, payment type and, depending on how your site is integrated with your secure payment gateway, the last 4 digits from their card number, e.g. MasterCard XXXX XXXX XXXX 6042
  • Date of transaction, product description, product reference and price
  • Delivery method and cost
  • Estimated date of arrival
  • VAT or sales tax
  • Total cost of order
  • Details of how the customer can contact you with any query about their order

Some customers may need yo use the email for their business records or to claim expenses, so make sure your confirmation message looks like a proper invoice or receipt.

Add value to your confirmation email

You could add more value to your order confirmation email by using it as an opportunity to show customers other products or services that they might be interested in. You could also tell them about your latest offers or even include a coupon, which they could use to claim a discount off their next purchase.

Many customers positively welcome the chance to give you feedback, so you may also consider inviting them to write an honest review.

Nevertheless, if you do decide to make additional use of your confirmation email, you need to strike the right balance by always making sure that the message sticks to its primary purpose of confirming the details of the order.

What you need to consider

A carefully crafted order confirmation email should cover most of the queries that customers are likely to have with their orders and help to reduce the number of calls to your customer service desk. Yet even more important is to make sure that your customers read that email in the first place.

This means implementing measures to reduce the chances of the message either being sent to the wrong email address or being mistaken for spam. For instance, you should:

Many consumers like to know how their order is progressing after they’ve made their purchase.

If you cannot provide a shipment tracking number within the transaction process, then it may be worth looking at an eCommerce solution that automatically sends a shipping confirmation email as soon as you instruct it that the package has been sent.