Personalisation is a concept that has, over the decades, permeated every facet of modern business, helping companies grow faster through better customer experience. From sales and marketing to product development, customer support and beyond, every department that invests in personalisation can expect to achieve better results.
Until now, you might have not considered that invoices have any room for personalisation, or that they were meant to be anything more than a document detailing the transaction between you and the customer. But that’s where you’d be wrong.
In fact, this could be an asset in improving the customer journey altogether. There are many reasons to weave personalisation into invoice creation and management, and to personalise the surrounding processes to make your invoices serve a higher purpose.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at why personalising your invoices is so important in today’s overly competitive e-commerce world, and how to do it right.
Building a memorable brand experience
The modern e-commerce market is more saturated and competitive than it has ever been.
Propelled forward ever since the e-commerce boom of the late 90s and reaching new, unprecedented heights during the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce continues to grow at a staggering rate.
This means that there are more opportunities for growth for everyone, but it also means that the competition is fiercer than ever. For one, there is an increasing need to adopt new technologies in order to keep pace with tech trends.
Shopify, for example, is a platform that’s always evolving, and now they’ve even integrated artificial intelligence into Shopify advanced search to help customers find exactly what they’re looking for, faster. But this also helps shop owners manage search functions in a way that maximises the customer's experience.
This is all to say that you need to keep up with the evolving trends in your niche, but also on your e-commerce platform. And the way you invoice is a big part of that.
Another crucial way companies can hope to stand out, and thus attract and retain customers, is by investing heavily in branding.
By branding your invoices, you make your brand more memorable, especially during the final stages of the purchase. The moment of transaction where people move on to different stores and sellers, but with good branding, you can stay top-of-mind and inspire them to come back.
Creating templates and testing different designs
When it comes to invoice design and branding, always remember that different options work better for different sellers and niches.
You need to create your own invoices that follow your brand’s style guide and are in line with your brand’s identity and values. Most importantly, the design of your invoices needs to align with your target demographic and their preferences.
It’s best to have several templates that you can test with your customers. You can use an invoice generator to personalise these invoices and switch out different style elements to quickly compare and contrast.
Do your best to make different invoice designs a part of your personalisation strategy. Your invoices can carry all the typical elements, such as your logo and colours, but they can differ in your choice of pictograms and some complementary graphics that make each new invoice more engaging.
Personalising the delivery methods
Are you delivering your invoices and purchase confirmations via email?
Good! This is an opportunity to expand your personalisation strategy and make this communication more interesting and engaging.
Email personalisation is a big part of email marketing in general, and it can be instrumental in making these confirmation emails serve a higher purpose. You can embed the invoice into the email body, and complement the design with your brand’s visuals, colours, as well as your tone of voice to create a more memorable experience.
An email is also a great delivery method when you want to add text to your invoice - without actually adding text to the invoice. In other words, the above-the-fold part and the outro of the email are prime real estate for some personalised messaging.
Pair a heartfelt message with a beautiful email design, and you’ll stand out from the competition.
Add a ‘notes and comments’ section
No matter how you’re delivering your invoices, as a part of the email body or as an attachment, there’s always a good reason to have a notes and comments section.
This is a great place to add text to your invoice while keeping the main design elements in place and the invoice nice and clean. Make sure that your designer pays close attention to the focus points of the invoice, and how the reader should scan the document.
In the notes and comments section, you can emphasise several different takeaways or even calls to action (CTAs). Depending on your goals, this section can serve different purposes.
Make sure to, however, thank the customer for their purchase, addressing them by their name and taking a moment to acknowledge how much they mean to your business. If you’re able to, include a discount link, which will automatically generate traffic for your other product pages.
You can also use this section to tell the customer about upcoming deals and promotions, or even to inspire them to join your loyalty program if they haven’t already.
Consider your brand voice
Finally, make sure to keep your voice consistent and never deviate from your brand’s personality.
Many e-commerce businesses make the common mistake of turning to basic ‘corporate’ lingo in their transaction documents, completely changing their brand voice and personality the moment the transaction is complete. Don’t make this mistake.
Also, if you’re operating internationally, make sure to localise your invoices to give them that personalised feel. Some of the best multilingual e-commerce projects focus not only on invoice translation, but on true localisation as well, where you adapt the invoice to the language and culture of your local demographics.
Make sure to personalise your invoices with your brand’s voice as well, using consistency as the key to enhancing the overall customer experience. Be approachable, be genuine and original, and let your invoice copy stand out.
This is how you personalise for success.
Over to you
Managing invoices is not just about making sure all the transaction details are correct. The purpose of the invoice can extend beyond conveying information and ensuring compliance. In fact, by paying close attention to the level of invoice personalisation, branding, and messaging, you can elevate your image and customer experience.
You can use your invoices to create a more engaging journey for your customers, all the while making your brand more memorable.
With some additional, personalised comments, for example, you can even send a short but impactful message that will inspire the customer to come back for more.
About the author:
Nikola Sekulic is a seasoned brand developer, writer, and storyteller. Over the last decade, he’s worked on various marketing, branding, and copywriting projects – crafting plans and strategies, writing creative online and offline content, and making ideas happen. When he is not working for clients around the world, he is exploring new topics and developing fresh ideas to turn into engaging stories for the online community.