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Retail Fulfilment, Partner Content How Focusing On The Post Purchase Experience Can Help Drive Customer Retention

February 14, 2019   By: Dana von der Heide

Did you know the typical business loses up to 15 percent of their customers each year?

Naturally, there’s a pressing need to acquiring new customers to replace the ones that ‘leak’ out. This is a sound growth strategy, especially when you’re looking for your first customers. However, for more established businesses, customer acquisition is only half of the equation.

Have you thought about how you can keep your customers delighted for the long run so they stay with you?

Consider these findings from the mobile commerce company Shopgate:

  • Acquiring new customers is more expensive than keeping returning customers: On average, it costs 7 times as much to win a new customer than to keep an existing customer
  • Regular customers buy more than new ones: You need to get 7 first-time buyers to match the sales volume of a regular, returning customer
  • Investing in customer loyalty is more profitable than just investing in acquisition alone: Increasing your customer retention by just 5% can increase profits by 25-95%
  • Repeat customers make just 8% of site traffic, but account for 40% of total sales

 

Even more shocking: for every 100 visitors to an online store, just two actually make a purchase on average. Yet, 78% of the retail industry’s marketing budget is spent on acquiring this type of traffic.

It’s time to look beyond pure customer acquisition

The trend is clear. Beyond acquiring customers, merchants need to focus on customer retention and creating customer lifetime value. It’s not only cheaper but also much more effective.

It’s time to examine the entirety of the customer journey, including the post-purchase customer experience to drive customer retention.

What is the post-purchase customer experience?

It’s everything that happens after the customer checks out online to when the product arrives safely; including how the delivery is fulfilled and communicated to your customers.

Naturally, after your customer completes an order, they will be eager to receive their parcel. While waiting, they seek reassurance that their goods are on the way and there are no hiccups in the delivery journey. In other scenarios, they are pressed for time and anxiously awaiting their parcel and on-time delivery.

Yet, monitoring the delivery process after checkout can be one of the most frustrating and confusing parts of their online shopping today.

For many consumers, tracking a parcel means copying and pasting a long tracking ID, being directed to third-party sites or navigating complex websites to get an update on their order after checkout. Not being able to find the information they need or unclear information on the website then triggers more work for your customer service teams on phone and email – a cost that could be avoided.

Ultimately, customers want to receive their orders with the least amount of hassle. With more consumers expecting a guaranteed delivery date or the flexibility to choose delivery time slots, clear and proactive communication after checkout can transform an ordinary customer experience to a delightful one.

Hence, retailers who take the time to enhance the post-purchase experience will outperform their competitors by providing a professional and seamless experience for their customers. Ultimately, post-purchase customer experience is a key driver behind the decision to shop again

43% of consumers say they are likely to never shop with a retailer following a negative delivery experience. Furthermore, 45% of consumers have abandoned a cart on an eCommerce website because the delivery options were unsatisfactory.

Even more importantly – up to 93% of consumers also expect to be updated frequently on the delivery process, with 40% of online shoppers say they check an item’s order status at least once a day.

What can you do in response? Start with these two steps:

Choose the right logistics partners

Remember, if the customer ordered online but has not received their purchase, their journey is not complete.

Brand impressions are made and reinforced in the last mile. How long a carrier takes to deliver an order to a customer’s doorstep and how service staff from carriers conduct themselves during the delivery influences how your customers regard your brand.

Simultaneously, the demand for speedy delivery is growing. In a survey by same-day delivery company Drop-off, they found one-third of respondents feel frustrated when same-day delivery isn’t offered by retailers. Likewise, 47% said they have paid extra for same-day or next-day delivery.

Clearly, the delivery experience plays a significant role in customer experience. Regardless of how well you attract customers, you need to pay attention to the last mile to ensure a fantastic customer experience throughout the entire process.

Choosing the right carriers for your business is the first and most important step to optimizing the post-purchase experience.

The right logistics partners can:

  • Eliminate inefficiencies in the shipment and order fulfilment process
  • Allow you to give more accurate delivery deadlines to your customers, manage their expectations and cut down on customer service inquiries
  • Delight your customers during the delivery itself
  • Engage your customers with professional customer service
  • Provide your flexibility in peak seasons and give you a broad reach of services

 

Do you know how your carrier partners are performing?

Engage customers with personalised communication within their post-purchase experience

Beyond logistics, the second prong of an excellent post-purchase experience is branded, personalised post-purchase content. Differentiate yourself by offering a personalised experience and keep your customers updated with their deliveries after checkout using post-purchase emails. Here’s why:

Post-purchase emails are engaging: Did you know these types of emails see a 217% higher open rate, over 500% click rate and a 90% higher revenue per recipient than your average email campaign? In comparison, the average open rate of an e-commerce email newsletter is 15% and click rate a measly 3%.

Your customers expect to receive post-purchase emails: Customers look forward to seeing tracking updates. They will open (and click) on well-crafted emails that contain information they need to know – where their order is. Use the valuable opportunity to get your customers to engage with your brand with this high-performing additional contact point.

Your personalisation efforts shouldn’t stop there. Avoid sending your customers away to external tracking pages. Ensure there’s brand consistency between your website and your own tracking page to keep customers interacting with your brand. Also consider customising the output to their language setting, providing personalised product recommendations and educational content to keep customers excited about their purchase and by extension, your brand.

Make your post-purchase experience a priority in 2019

It’s important to enhance your shopfront and spend money on marketing to attract customers.

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

If customer retention is an area you’ll like to focus on in 2019, think about the post-purchase customer experience. Just because the customer has bought something from you and checked out doesn’t mean the end of the journey for them. Rather, it’s the beginning of a long-term customer relationship and an opportunity for savvy retailers to deepen customer’s relationships and enhance loyalty for their brand.

Be intentional about your customer journey. Give them the stellar post-purchase experience they want, so they can keep coming back to you. For more examples of how to optimise your post-purchase experience or how branded tracking assets can supercharge your marketing efforts or retain your customers, Parcel Perform prepared a series of sample post-purchase emails for you to see how an ideal branded tracking experience looks like. Click here to get them delivered to your inbox!

 

About the Author

Dana is the Founder and Chief Commercial Officer of Parcel Perform, an innovative global tracking management solution that supports e-commerce merchants & enterprises in managing the complexities of e-commerce logistics and fulfilment.

 

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