This is the second article of a two-part series on how to acquire and keep your customers for the long haul. In this series, we explore why focusing on the post-purchase experience is crucial to improve customer retention and drive customer lifetime value.

Part 1 of the series can be found here.

In our previous article, we highlighted why instead of focusing on customer acquisition, there is great value in focusing on customer retention instead.

We also introduced Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) as a metric to use in order to accurately track the net profit you earn from each customer, why CLV is a stronger metric to focus on beyond pure customer acquisition and how to calculate it.

In this article, we will cover a key factor in how customers evaluate the experience with your store and give some recommendations on how to improve that component for your store.

Start With Optimising The Post-Purchase Experience

If optimising customer experience is an exciting opportunity for your store, where exactly would you start?

In the land of rising customer expectations, their post-purchase experience of your customers can make or break the relationship with your brand.

For example, a painless installation of products and timely delivery are just as important as product reliability and product design for customers.

Yet, a 2017 report by CMO Council shows 60 percent of consumer survey participants rate their post-purchase experiences with manufacturers as underwhelming. Additionally, 56 percent of consumers were disappointed with service from retailers and eCommerce sites.

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But, don’t be disheartened. Your brand can set itself apart from your competitors if you can differentiate yourself.

What is the Post-Purchase Experience?

The post-purchase experience includes everything that happens after your customer checks out and pays for their order. You need to also think about how the delivery of their orders is processed, communicated to the customer and fulfilled.

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Differentiating your brand at the post-purchase level is a big opportunity for you.

You need to also think about how the delivery of their orders is processed, communicated to the customer and fulfilled

5 Data-Driven Reasons Why You Need To Get The Post-Purchase Experience Right For Your Store.

The post-purchase experience determines whether your customer will shop with you again

In the 2016 MetaPack State of eCommerce Delivery Report, 43% of consumers say they are likely to never shop with a retailer following a negative delivery experience. Furthermore, an astounding 45% of consumers have abandoned a cart on an eCommerce website because the delivery options was unsatisfactory.

Customers want personalised experiences

A study by Salesforce revealed 52% of consumers and 65% of business buyers are likely to switch brands if their shopping experience is not personalised to them

Consumers expect to be updated frequently on the delivery process

93% of shoppers expect to receive proactive shipment and delivery updates Furthermore, 40% of online shoppers say they check an item’s order status at least once a day, with slightly more than 10% checking multiple times a day.

Consumers mostly rely on email tracking, with a rising number using text alerts

The 2016 State of Online Shoppers Study shows three-fourths of online shoppers rely on tracking numbers shared through email to get order updates and track their packages. Furthermore, a growing number of shoppers want to check delivery status via text-message alerts.

Stories of negative customer experiences spread far and wide

Frustrated online shoppers spread their dissatisfaction through word-of-mouth to friends and family.

Some also take to social media to air their discontent.

Remember – It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.Furthermore, news of negative customer experiences reaches twice as many ears as praise for a good customer experience.

3 Things Retailers Can Do To Respond To Customer’s Demands

If customers are looking for all this in their online shopping experience, what can retailers do?

Retailers need to take control of the post-purchase experience to provide transparency, convenience and multiple delivery options to the customer. Ultimately, those who listen to customers and take an active role in ensuring a great experience at this last, critical stage will stand out.

This can be narrowed down to Convey’s 3 C’s to meet shoppers delivery demands.

Commitment: If you make a delivery date promise to your customer, make sure you honour it

Communication: Proactively communicate to your customers about their delivery status and any changes or exceptions that occur during the delivery

Control: Take control to resolve shipping issues and give delivery and pick-up options to your customers

Here’s what you can do to improve the post-purchase experience and overall customer experience.

#1: Choose The Right Logistics Partners

As we’ve outlined earlier, if the customer has not received their purchase, the customer experience is not complete.

Your choice of logistics service providers has a critical impact on your customer’s post-purchase experience.

Consider this:

When a carrier delivers something from your company to a customer’s home, your customer sees the carrier as an extension of the brand he or she purchased from.

Often, these delivery partners are the last people your customers interact with, not your customer service support staff or your brand’s website.

Hence, no matter how well you attract customers, you need to optimise the last mile delivery to deliver a holistic customer experience and keep your customers wanting to come back.

Therefore, you need to choose the right carriers for your business. The right logistics partners can:

  • Streamline your logistics operations
  • Eliminate inefficiencies in the shipment and order fulfilment process
  • Delight your customers when handing over the parcels

If your customers have an amazing post-purchase experience with you, they’ll be more likely to shop with you again.

Do you know how your carrier partners are performing?

#2: Engage Customers With Personalised Content

In a customer world demanding customisation and personalisation, creating a personalised experience is critical.

Did you know that customers are more receptive to your marketing messages after a purchase?

In their study on email marketing, Experian reports that open rates of personalised post-purchase emails (e-receipts and confirmed opt-ins) were nearly double that of regular promotional material.

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This is an amazing opportunity that you should not miss out on!

With up to 50% of consumers feeling buyer’s remorse after a purchase, post-purchase communication is critical to ease their worries and delight them after they’ve made their decision.

On top of that, ensure there’s branding consistency between your website and your own tracking page.

Instead of sending them to generic carrier tracking pages, we recommend to keep customers interacting with your brand by building your own tracking page after checkout.

Within your own branded tracking page, you can set up your own personalised offers for your customers, giving them more customised opportunities to interact with your shop.

Bonus points if your tracking page is provided in your customer’s local language. It’s been proven that 75% of shoppers are more likely to purchase products with information in their native language.

Localisation of your content is especially important if you do business in regions where English isn’t their first language such as Southeast Asia.

#3: Set up the customer’s next purchase and continue their relationship with you

Once a customer has purchased something, there is no guarantee that they will buy something from you again.

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You need to work for it.

You need to present them with opportunities to say yes.

One method is to present related products (personalised to the customer’s recent purchases), also known as cross-selling.

Amazon especially is a master of cross-selling and upselling with personalised recommendations in their emails to existing customers in their e-receipts:

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When you click on a product listing, Amazon also upsells you by showing you bundle options or more expensive alternatives.

Clearly, these strategies work.

Where appropriate, you can apply these cross-selling and upselling concepts to your tracking page and other marketing messages to ensure your customers continue interacting with your brand.

Keep Your Bucket Overflowing: Customer Acquisition and Customer Retention Work Hand-in-Hand

As an eCommerce merchant, you have many competing priorities.

It’s important to get your shopfront looking amazing to attract customers

It’s important to spend money on marketing to acquire customers

However, think about what happens to your customers after they enter their credit card details and checkout. Are they being provided the best, personalised experience they can have?

Once you have both customer acquisition and retention strategies in place, you can get a overflowing bucket of happy, returning customers to your store!

If you keep your customers happy, they will gladly buy more of your products and services and instead of a leaking bucket you will have an overflowing one.

Do you need help with plugging the holes in your webshop bucket? Our team of Parcel Perform experts knows what it takes to deliver an awesome post-purchase experience for your customers so your bucket can overflow! Hit us up for a consultation on-the-house or get started with our free Bronze package here!

Joshua is responsible for Parcel Perform’s marketing efforts. He is passionate about technology, reading and continuous learning