The post-purchase phase of the customer experience is a crucial point in the consumer decision journey; an important point of influence for future buying decisions with a brand.
We know that one bad experience is enough to prevent a shopper returning, not only that but customers tell more people about a negative experience than a positive one. Research shows that acquiring a new customer costs 5 times more than retaining one and just a 5 % increase in customer retention rates can increase profits by anywhere from 25 to 95 per cent.
But are retailers giving this side of the customer journey enough attention? There are a number of ways to enhance this phase of the customer experience to create a competitive advantage. Here are 5 practical strategies to add value to the post-purchase experience.
1. Boost Trust with Tracking.
79 % of shoppers consider it important to receive communication and information about the status of their delivery. And 65% want to be able to track the entire delivery journey. Keeping customers informed is a great way to boost trust.
For retailers, offering Tracking via your own website keeps the consumer within your sphere of influence, you can present them with personalised, relevant offers and brand messaging and prevent them going to a third-party app to track their package.
Having the ability to monitor all delivery events and become aware when there are exceptions is vitally important for a retailer. For instance, you can notify a customer when a delivery problem occurs, this gives you the opportunity to inform the customer of the alternative solution, extend an apology and offer them a discount or freebie. This is where customer service excellence comes in.
2. Deliver Reliability.
Delivery is one of the last touchpoints between you and your customer, reliable and efficient delivery contributes substantially to customer satisfaction and retention. Customers consider reliability to be just as important as speed, if not more so when it comes to delivery.
Delivery is the main source of favourable online reviews as an exceptional delivery experience ranks much higher in the mind of the shopper than the initial conversion. And
77% of negative online reviews stem from bad delivery experiences, online reviews are a deciding factor for shoppers when purchasing, so this is a crucial area to focus on.
Customers expect the highest level of service and a late or failed delivery is not acceptable in this customer-centric era. 79% of consumers say on-time delivery would contribute to their decision to become a repeat customer. Research shows 54% of shoppers would spend more with retailers that have excellent reviews and can spend up to 22% more.
3. Packaging your brand.
Beyond the last mile, the last touchpoint you have with your customer is the opening of the package. This part of the journey is often overlooked by retailers but can, in fact, provide a fresh opportunity for developing brand reputation by creating an experience that lasts in the mind the customer.
Enhancing the post-purchase experience with packaging can be done in a combination of ways. For instance, making use of eco-friendly secondary packaging can showcase your sustainability credentials and in this era, shoppers are more likely to shop with environmentally responsible brands over less sustainable ones.
Beautifully customised and branded packaging is an effective marketing tool with people more likely to show these to friends, family and social media and is not as expensive as you might think in the world of digital printing. The unboxing trend on social media and on Youtube has become more widespread and has the potential to offer a post-sale marketing tactic to generate further sales.
4. Freeing up the Returns process.
3 in 5 people would not shop with a retailer again after a difficult returns experience. Shoppers wish to have a clear understanding of the returns policy before they buy, this is because it’s common to buy multiple products with the intention of returning a portion. They need returning items to be a simple process with clear instructions.
A whopping 88% of shoppers say returning the item for free is their top priority when it comes to returns. And 76% say a speedy refund is after a return is a must. Customers are more likely to shop again with retailers with a free and seamless returns process.
The returns process can make or break a brands reputation and as such retailers should consider looking at returns as an opportunity for brand loyalty and customer retention.
5. Continued engagement and Customer Service.
We’ve already mentioned delivery, tracking and returns, it’s essential that your customers remain informed throughout every stage of the customer journey so they are not in the dark, this communication helps builds trust. Customer support should span across the whole customer journey from interest, to retention and upselling.
Continued engagement with your customer after the purchase is vital. Retailers shouldn’t assume that a customer will re-enter the purchase funnel on their own. Following up with relevant product recommendations and offers as well as branded content to bring value like ‘how to’ videos will keep the customer engaged and nudge them back to your website.
Empowering shoppers to be able to contact support through various channels, phone, social media, email, or through live chat ensures that you’re accessible and reduces frustration on behalf of the consumer.
Customers will make purchase decisions based on their post-purchase support experiences, so making this a frictionless experience is indisputable.
In a survey, 40% of respondents said that post-purchase experiences make up the most memorable aspect of the overall brand experience. For retailers that want to inspire loyalty and consistent sales, they should assume that positive customer experience should happen before, during, and after the purchase.
Brands should pay attention and respond to their customer reviews and appraise each stage of post-purchase experience. Investing in strategies to continue to improve and leave a positive lasting impression in the minds of customers is a genuine opportunity for customer loyalty and retention.
Laura Roche Marketing Executive, Scurri
Laura Roche is a Marketing Executive at Scurri, managing social media and content marketing. Laura shares breaking news in the eCommerce space with our readers as well as sharing insights across the delivery and logistics landscape.