Need More Customers? Better Keep Your Existing Ones (Part 2)
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 improving customer retention and driving customer lifetime value.
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 optimizing customer experience is an exciting opportunity for your store, where exactly would you start?
In the land of rising customer expectations, the 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 that 60% 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.
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.
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 were unsatisfactory.
Customers want personalized experiences
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 honor 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.
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 fulfillment 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.
#2: Engage Customers With Personalised Content
In a customer world demanding customization and personalization, creating a personalized 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 personalized post-purchase emails (e-receipts and confirmed opt-ins) were nearly double that of regular promotional material.
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 keeping 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 personalized offers for your customers, giving them more customized 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.
Localization 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.Y ou need to work for it.
You need to present them with opportunities to say yes.
One method is to present related products (personalized to the customer’s recent purchases), also known as cross-selling.
Amazon especially is a master of cross-selling and upselling with personalized recommendations in their emails to existing customers in their e-receipts:
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, personalized experience they can have?
Once you have both customer acquisition and retention strategies in place, you can get an 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.
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