We hear all about what needs to happen to entice customers through the checkout. But we hear a lot less about the touchpoints that matter once an order has been placed.
The post-purchase experience encompasses everything that happens once a customer has placed their order, from receiving that order confirmation email to a parcel landing on their doorstep - and everything in between.
Yet this final stage of the customer experience is frequently neglected in ecommerce, with brands turning their attention (and spending) towards securing conversions from first-time shoppers. But by turning this often poorly-executed cost center into a revenue-driving retention channel, merchants can build a thriving base of repeat customers who are eager for their next shopping experience with your brand.
We’re going to explore what makes the post-purchase stage so integral to building customer loyalty, and how the Malomo + Ryder E-commerce By Whiplash partnership can help refine every stage of the experience.
Why is the post-purchase experience important?
For many online retailers, the most important part of the ecommerce shopping journey is when the customer clicks ‘buy now’. Once the conversion is secured, what happens afterward is of little interest. Because if you got the sale, nothing else matters, right?
Wrong. The post-purchase experience is arguably the most important stage in the customer lifecycle - perhaps even more important than the shopping journey itself. Why? Because it’s not the first impression in ecommerce that leads to lasting brand loyalty; it’s the last.
Here are some other reasons why a positive post-purchase experience is vital in ecommerce:
Seamless shipping and delivery promote loyalty
Consumer expectations in ecommerce for fast shipping and delivery are continuing to grow. This has made ecommerce fulfillment one of the biggest criteria for judging a brand’s suitability as a reliable vendor. If you want to turn first-time buyers into long-term supporters of your brand, your shipping and fulfillment strategy must showcase your commitment to providing a positive customer experience.
What does this look like in practice?
- Fulfilling orders the same day they’re placed
- Offering multiple delivery options
- Free shipping availability
- Memorable, personalized delivery experiences
- Hassle-free exchange and returns process
Of course, all of the above is challenging to achieve if your business is fulfilling orders independently. In-house fulfillment keeps overheads low when a brand first launches, but it’s very difficult to scale effectively as order volumes rise. Partnering with a reliable 3PL that offers end-to-end order fulfillment services enables your business to prioritize the post-purchase experience while freeing up time to focus on other parts of your retail operation.
Customers want to be kept in the loop
When a customer places an order, the last thing they want to receive in return is radio silence.
Shoppers are going to have a bunch of questions after they’ve hit ‘purchase’, such as:
- Has my order been shipped?
- When is my order going to arrive?
- How will I know when my order is out for delivery?
- Am I going to be contacted if there is a delivery delay?
If these questions go unanswered, this can lead to a serious build-up of delivery anxiety. In addition to your customer service team being snowed under by endless ‘Where Is My Order?’ (WISMO) requests, this anxiety hurts the post-purchase experience.
As the brand they’re purchasing from, it’s your job to guide them through the shipping and delivery process as seamlessly as possible. This is where order updates via emails and tracking pages are one of your best tools to build rapport with customers.
Best of all, notifications related to orders and shipping receive some of the highest engagement rates. With customers checking order tracking an average of 4.6 times per order, this is a valuable touchpoint that promotes trust in your brand.
Building brand awareness
A customer doesn’t become brand loyal because you’ve secured a single purchase from them. In fact, it takes 37% of customers an average of 5 purchases to consider themselves ‘brand loyal’. So, what can you do to increase the odds of repeat purchases?
While merchants put considerable resources into brand awareness during the pre-purchase stage, this is often neglected once customers are past the checkout. Consistent branding in your post-purchase communications is the key to building familiarity with your customers, which in turn leads to more sales. Every single shipment should accomplish the goal of bringing customers closer to your business, whether that’s through memorable unboxing experiences or a personalized out-for-delivery notification.
The challenge: How to manage the post-purchase experience from end to end
The hardest part of the post-purchase experience? It kicks off just as your brand no longer has full control over customer orders. Once a purchase has been made, the customer experience passes into the hands of a variety of third parties - the 3PL that fulfills the order, the shipping carrier, the delivery driver - the list goes on. This is why it’s so important for brands to make sure they’re working with trustworthy partners who enhance the post-purchase experience on your behalf.
Enter: Malomo and Ryder E-commerce by Whiplash.
Malomo + Ryder E-commerce By Whiplash: Seamless CX management
Thanks to the power of Malomo’s partnership with Ryder E-commerce By Whiplash, brands can effectively manage both sides of the post-purchase experience.
While Malomo’s solution focuses on reducing customer support tickets through personalized tracking pages and proactive notifications, Ryder E-commerce By Whiplash supports brands up to the moment an order is shipped by coordinating seamless omnichannel order fulfillment and inventory management. This pairing enables brands to provide unmatched customer satisfaction at every stage of the post-purchase experience and promote lasting customer loyalty.
Find out more about the Malomo + Ryder E-commerce By Whiplash partnership here.