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Adii Pienaar

Now working on Receiptful. Co-Founder & ex-CEO of WooThemes. Author of Brandiing. New Dad. Ex-Rockstar.

Thank You For Your Purchase

"Thank you for your purchase."

How many times have you heard that from a vendor? Physical or digital?<...>

Or if you sell something, how many times have you actually thanked one of your customers for their purchase?

And I'm not talking about a digital, automated way of a computer firing of a follow-up e-mail to send some kind of generic thank you.

I'm talking about a single, unique interaction with another individual where you you thank them for their purchase: "Thank you for your purchase."

The other day I had ordered a new household item online.

The supplier had a complete catalog online and the browsing and buying process was all automated, digital and didn't require any manual intervention.

The only manual input that was needed was for me to actually transfer the relevant funds by wire transfer. So upon deciding on the item I wanted, I completed checkout, which in turn generated an invoice with wire instructions.

I wired the funds and e-mailed proof of payment to the e-mail address in question.

A couple of hours later, I got an e-mail back from the owner of the business acknowledging receipt, confirming the delivery details and thanking me for the purchase.

"Thank you for your purchase."

How did I know that this was indeed a human being that sent this and not a bot of sorts? Well, the e-mail looked like it was sent from quite an old version of Microsoft Outlook. :)

What this e-mail did though, was craft such a great experience for me. Here I was thankful that I could find a local supplier that had stock of the item I wanted and at a price that I was willing to pay.

In my mind, this was a quid pro quid kinda thing. I pay you the money and you give me the good you are selling.

But over and beyond that, I also got sincere gratitude.

In the weeks since, this interaction has continued to stick with me and I think I finally have an idea of why this made such an impression on me.

When I'm buying anything from somebody else, I'm essentially paying for two things: the product (or service) and the profit margin on top of that.

Obvious, right? We all know that.

The point though is that the vendor should be thankful, because part of the purchase price is going into his or her pocket.

This interaction and dynamic isn't really relevant to the buyer in this situation. As the buyer in the story I told you above, I didn't do anything to change the world; I merely transacted in a quid pro quid way.

But it's the vendor's appreciation that reminded me of what's ultimately important when you are running your own business: gratitude to have had the opportunity to do so.

I can remember with WooThemes, we'd have hundreds of purchases a day totalling millions of dollars every year. Somewhere along the way I lost the notion that hundreds of people were parting with their hard-earned cash (in $29 increments at times).

I started to feel like this. With reason, of course.

But I forgot to be grateful for having the opportunity to sell, to make customers pay and to build a business in that way.

"Thank you for your purchase."

Such simple words, but so incredibly representative of an entrepreneur's mindset.

Try it next time someone spends any money with you.

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