Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the growth of ecommerce retail has accelerated five-fold. Global ecommerce sales are expected to hit $4.9 trillion in 2021 and are only expected to continue growing in the coming years.
While this is certainly an opportunity for online businesses to boom, retailers must also keep in mind the challenges that come along. With the growth of ecommerce, one can naturally expect the number of order deliveries to sky-rocket as well.
But success all comes down to this one question: Do you provide frictionless and memorable customer experiences, from product discovery to purchase, and order delivery to returns?
The reality is that meeting the ever-rising expectations of today's consumers is hard, particularly when you know you are just one bad experience away from losing a hard-earned customer to your competition.
Today’s customers are no longer settling for a brand that merely meets their expectations, they want brands that exceed them. If you’re looking forward to doing that, you must not just focus on the pre-purchase but also the post-purchase customer experience as well.
However, if you’re just like most businesses out there, you might be unwillingly neglecting your post-purchase phase, which by the way, accounts for 50% of the overall order experience your customers have with your brand.
This often leads to a big post-purchase CX gap and can have far more consequences on your business.
The big post-purchase customer experience gap (and its impact on your customers)
As happy as your shoppers can be after they’ve hit the ‘buy’ button, the next phase of their journey is overshadowed by acute anxiety. After all, they just purchased something that they really need or want from their favorite brand and are hoping to get their hands on the product as soon as they can.
This heightened sense of anxiety created by the lack of visibility during shipping, accompanied by lack of effective customer communication is what the retail pundits call, ‘the big post-purchase customer experience gap', which can hurt your customers in more ways than one.
Delivery delays are inevitable - Around 10% of all shipments are prone to delivery issues.
Zero tolerance towards delivery failures - 1-in-3 customers stop shopping with you after just one bad delivery incident.
Lack of accountability and visibility from shipping carriers - Shipping carriers neither take accountability for delivery issues nor have the true visibility to resolve them beforehand. This leads to a brutal reality where your customers hold you accountable instead.
Low customer satisfaction - When your customers are frequently affected by delivery issues, your CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) scores start dropping and hit a low of 30%.
Customer support teams overloaded with shipping/delivery-related queries - Up to 40% of the support tickets created are shipping and delivery related.
Lost opportunity to monetize tracking moments - Your customers track their orders 4-6 times post-purchase. This is a lost opportunity to run relevant product recommendations, sales campaigns, or simply a discount coupon to increase repeat revenue from customers.
The aforementioned points evidently bring to light the existing gap in the post-purchase phase of your customer journey and its negative impact on your business.
That said, you must focus on closing the post-purchase customer experience gap because not only can it help you avoid said issues, closing the gap can also help your business in many other ways.
Why fix the post-purchase CX gap?
Strengthen customer relationships - 80% Open rates on personalized shipping e-mail and SMS notifications.
Reduce customer service costs - 75% reduction in delivery-related support queries
Increase brand awareness and loyalty - Up to 30% increase in customer delight and brand recall
Boost customer satisfaction and repeat purchase rates - 25% lift in repeat purchase rates
Motivate prospects to make their purchase - 92% of customers will buy from a brand that offers easy returns
Offering a stellar post-purchase customer experience helps you stand out from your competitors and to build relationships with your customers that improve your satisfaction metrics and revenue.
Let’s take a look at how to provide your customers with a seamless post-purchase journey and enjoy success.
How to optimize your customers’ post-purchase experience.
1. Proactively resolve delivery issues and mitigate customer frustration
Delivery issues, such as delays, are the main cause of frustration for customers in the post-purchase phase. What frustrates them further is retailers merely watching their angst instead of taking steps to mitigate it.
While being reactive to delivery issues may help, the best way to handle delivery issues would be to be proactive and resolve them even before they happen.
You can take pre-emptive action with the help of real-time visibility into your shipments in transit and flag parcels that are prone to face a delay or suspected lost, etc, and communicate it with your customer beforehand and take necessary steps to resolve them.
Even if the issue goes unresolved, your customers will appreciate your effort to provide them with a great post-purchase experience, and their frustration is mitigated.
2. Over-communicate with your customers regarding their order details and reduce customer anxiety
Once you’ve resolved your customers’ frustrations, the next step is to make sure that events that lead to their frustration never occur.
When your customers are in anticipation of their orders, their experience can always lead to disappointments. Therefore, keep in the loop of their orders so they don’t have to wonder when their order will arrive or where it is.
You can do just that by regularly sending them post-purchase transactional notifications via emails and SMS across the order delivery lifecycle.
When your customers are regularly in the know of their orders, they will no longer bombard you with WISMO inquiries, Less inquiries mean delivery-related support tickets are reduced and your support team can tend to other important things like product-related queries.
3. Hyper-engage your customers post-purchase to delight them [and earn additional revenue]
Apart from sending post-purchase transactional notifications, you can also engage with your customers by making them track their orders in your customized order tracking pages.
Amplify your tracking pages by populating with branded elements such as design, colors, etc that align with the rest of your website and keep your customers in a complete branded experience.
You can earn additional revenue by utilizing the real-estate on your tracking pages to upsell/cross-sell relevant products and make them shop for their next order as they’re tracking their earlier one.
You can also consider making order tracking self-serve by adding a tracking widget on your website to provide a seamless order tracking experience. This can impress your customers and indeed delight them.
4. Get your customers’ feedback to improve your post-purchase delivery experience
Take the guesswork out of providing better post-purchase experiences for your customers.
Once your customers receive their orders, you can ask for their feedback to know how your shipping performance has fared and what they think of the post-purchase delivery experience you provided.
You can then use this information to make better delivery choices and shipping decisions to optimize their experience. This can help you earn fierce customer loyalty in return.
5. Make your returns process seamless and profitable
Many businesses leave out returns when taking measures to optimize their post-purchase experience. Don’t make that mistake.
Make your returns process seamless by
Having a clear-cut returns policy
Offering free and flexible returns
Making product returns as easy as shopping
The best way would be to make use of a returns management system that can make returns self-serve for your customers and enhance your customers’ returns experience with your brand. This creates an opportunity for you to push repeat sales and increase revenue.
Now that we understand how focusing on post-purchase experiences allows you to make the best possible impression on your customers, let me introduce you to an integration that will help you optimize your experience to the fullest and power post-purchase success.
LateShipment.com <> Linnworks
Like we mentioned before, the experience that today’s shoppers demand encompasses everything; from product discovery to checkout and whatever follows post-checkout.
To help businesses win more customers with memorable post-purchase experiences on their online stores, LateShipment.com has partnered with Linnworks. This plug-and-play integration has a host of benefits for businesses like yours:
1. Real-time Shipment Tracking and Proactive Delivery Issue Resolution - Stay on top of all order deliveries, particularly those facing delays
Multi-carrier, real-time shipment tracking
Foresee parcel delays, auto-trigger tickets
Proactively communicate to mitigate the negative impact of delivery issues
2. Timely and Personalized Shipping Notifications - Communicate effectively post-purchase and reduce WISMO inquiries & tickets
Automate shipping notifications via emails and SMS
Trigger notifications for 10 unique shipping events
Build shipping transactional emails that are both stunning and informational
3. Self-serve Order Lookup on Your Online Store - Make order tracking self-service & reduce delivery-related customer queries
Enable order tracking from within website or app
Multi-carrier tracking with “Track my order” widget
Auto-respond to order status requests from chat widgets
4. Branded Order Tracking Experiences - Drive post-purchase moments of delight and boost repeat purchases with customized order tracking pages.
Build brand consistent order tracking updates
Boost repeat purchases with product promotions and recommendations
Capture customer feedback with Delivery Satisfaction (DSAT) ratings
5. Shipping and delivery analytics - Get the intelligence you need to make shipping, cost and operationally efficient.
Delivery performance metrics across carriers, services, and geographies
Shipping spend insights to make critical cost-saving decisions and informed shipping choices
BONUS: Save up to 20% on your shipping costs with LateShipment.com’s Automated Parcel Audit and Shipping Refunds solution.
Every package shipped through leading carriers including FedEx, UPS, DHL, Royal Mail, or any other carrier, comes with a service guarantee also known as the Money Back Guarantee. By auditing your shipping invoice every month for 50+ service failures & billing errors such as Late deliveries, Lost & Damaged packages, and Incorrect surcharges, you can claim a 100% refund of shipping costs from your carrier towards such errors.
With this integration, take advantage of LateShipment.com’s Automated Parcel Audit and Shipping Refunds solution to automatically identify, file, and recover your shipping refunds effortlessly and save up to 20% on your shipping costs; without changing a thing about your shipping operations!