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The Best Practices for Improving the Post-Purchase Experience

The post-purchase experience is key to building customer loyalty. Learn the best practices to get it right.

Adebisi Adewusi
October 06 2019

Going AWOL on customers after they click “buy” is a fast way to lose their loyalty and earn a bad name for your business. Alternatively, your post-purchase experience can increase customer loyalty and give you an edge. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best practices for improving the post-purchase experience.

More from PostFunnel on purchase rates:
How to Win at Post-Purchase Marketing
Your Guide to Increasing Purchase Frequency
3 Helpful Questions to Ask eComm Customers Post-Purchase

Communicate

Consumers don’t want to be left in the dark after making a purchase. 83% of consumers say they expect regular updates about their purchases. The following tips will help you communicate with customers in a way that shows them they’re important to you.

Add Value: Add value via your post-purchase communications by sharing educational content such as how-to guides, UGC that shows how other consumers use the product, and product care tips. Send customers personalized recommendations, replenishment notifications, and deals to keep them excited about their purchases.

Keep Customers Informed: Give customers an accurate delivery date when they place an order and allow them to track delivery in real-time across multiple channels. If a package is undeliverable, damaged, or delayed, alert customers promptly and resend lost or damaged items with fast shipping.

Ask for Feedback: Carry out a post-purchase customer survey to gauge customer satisfaction on the product they purchased. Send your survey two to five days after delivery. When sending questionnaires, segment your audience based on their buying history and focus on a few essential questions that’ll provide the most actionable data. Approach customers with a conversational tone that compliments your brand and thank them for their participation by rewarding them with discounts.

Retail Pulse

Delivery

From a late Christmas gift to a new toy that missed a birthday, most consumers are familiar with bad delivery experiences, and 39% of them will never again shop with that online retailer. Beyond offering a range of delivery choices, here’s how you can improve this last-stop issue:

Hand Control Over to Customers: Today’s consumers expect to call the delivery shots. Avoid missed deliveries by allowing customers to select a convenient date/time slot for their delivery, and enable them to change their preferred delivery time or location on the go.

Deliver on Time: 79% of consumers say on-time delivery would contribute to their decision to become a repeat customer. This means you should work with multiple logistics partners, move inventory closer to consumers, and use multiple fulfillment locations in urban areas to avoid late deliveries. Keep costumers updated if there’s a delay or any other issue.

Be Respectful: The conduct of delivery drivers can make or break the experience. 57% of consumers say they’ve experienced unprofessionalism from a delivery person. Ensure your delivery partners have a track record of professionalism and a customer service training program for drivers.

Returns

Product returns have become an important part of today’s customer experience and strongly influence purchase decisions. 97% of consumers are likely to shop with a brand that delivers a positive return experience. While returns may seem like an expense, you can turn the return experience into a competitive advantage for your business with these strategies:

Flexible Return Policies: Give customers the ability to return goods at any time for any reason, allow Buy Online Return In-Store (BORIS) returns, and explore the idea of returning items without a receipt. Bed Bath & Beyond customers can return purchases without a receipt if the item was purchased within the last 365 days.

Make Things Simple: Save customers’ time and effort by including return labels in boxes or making them available on your website. Allow the use of alternative packing if original packaging is unavailable, offer a variety of return options including in-home pickup, and display return tracking links on your site. Keep your return policy short, simple, and easily understandable.

Refunds: Let consumers know how refunds are issued and the average time it takes to complete. Allow them to check the status of their refunds and consider giving a full refund rather than store credit.

Packaging

Amid changes in consumer preferences and the unboxing craze, packaging gives you a great opportunity to enhance the post-purchase experience and build customer loyalty.

Unboxing-Worthy Packaging: Create a well-designed unboxing experience by sending deliveries in branded boxes to elicit excitement. Lay out items thoughtfully, and include free samples to encourage cross-selling. Motivate customers to share their unboxing experience online by including your brand’s social media accounts and relevant hashtags.

Be Environmentally Friendly: Showcase your commitment to sustainability with eco-friendly packaging. Reduce waste by minimizing packaging and offering consumers the option of getting their purchases delivered in recyclable or biodegradable boxes. Display green credentials such as the FSC® logo on your delivery box to tie sustainability to your brand, and reward customers who opt to use eco-friendly packaging with a gift voucher or discounts.

Reflect Your Brand: 30% of consumers are likely to make a repeat purchase where custom designed packaging is a factor. Invest in high-quality custom packaging, choose colors, imagery, and fonts that reflect your brand’s personality, and make your logo visible. Create on-brand copy to create a rich and engaging experience, design your package with your audience’s visual preferences in mind, and ensure the functionality of your packaging.

Deliver an Omnichannel Experience

With consumers shopping whenever, wherever, and on any device, delivering an omnichannel experience is key to remaining relevant. Here are two ways you can use omnichannel strategies to improve the post-purchase experience.

Omnichannel Fulfillment: Your omnichannel fulfillment program should be based on customer expectations and focus on relevant metrics and KPIs such as profitability and satisfaction.

Omnichannel Support: Improve your post-purchase experience by offering omnichannel customer support. Hinge your omnichannel strategy on self-service, and offer a choice of assisted service channels based on customer preference. Create a smooth and effortless channel transition experience, and equip CS representatives with a 360-degree customer view along with the technology platforms to connect customer data from every business application. This will help representatives capture the essential context needed to resolve issues quickly and deliver a unified customer experience.

Don’t Say Goodbye After Customers Click Buy

The post-purchase phase of the buying journey presents you with the opportunity to build customer loyalty and leave a positive lasting impression. Create an emotional connection with consumers by sending them personalized thank you notes after a purchase. Break down any silos that exist between the supply chain and your marketing team. This will help you create a business environment that delivers an extraordinary post-purchase experience.

 

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Adebisi Adewusi

Adebisi Adewusi is a freelance B2B writer and a Huffington Post Contributor. When she’s not creating compelling content for businesses, you’ll find her capturing moments with her Nikon d600.

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