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How to win your customers: The best post-purchase experience

Versha Kamwal
January 10, 2021
7
mins read

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The ecommerce era is defined by convenience and conversions. For online businesses, the ultimate goal is to increase conversions by redefining convenience for customers. The buyer journey does not end after making a purchase. In fact, it triggers the final stage of the buyer journey —the post-purchase experience.

Customers spend the longest time in the post-purchase phase of the buyer journey. They are just anxiously waiting in anticipation of their order. This makes it one of the most critical phases of the journey —which most ecommerce stores struggle with.

What is a post-purchase experience?

In simple terms, the post-purchase experience is how you treat a customer after making a purchase from you. This customer engagement after the conversion is the final phase of the buying journey. It includes activities like asking for feedback or suggestions and handling returns or exchange.

Why do online retailers need to care about the post-purchase experience?

Creates brand differentiation

Ecommerce is a highly competitive environment. Customers have a plethora of options when it comes to purchasing products online. This makes brand differentiation critical and challenging for online sellers. Therefore, the post-purchase experience becomes a key factor in determining which brand's products a customer would buy.

Triggers a repurchase

A great post-purchase experience can act as a trigger and lure customers into making a repurchase. Here, the McKinsey Loyalty Loop comes into play. It is a customer behavioural model that outlines the entire buyer journey, including the four phases: initial consideration; active evaluation or research for potential purchases; closure, i.e. the moment of purchase; and the post-purchase experience.

McKinsey Loyalty Loop
McKinsey Loyalty Loop

In addition, delivering a great post-purchase experience comes with the following benefits:

  1. Increases customer retention
    Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition. It costs 5 to 25 times more money to acquire new customers. While acquiring new customers is necessary for growth, sellers should also improve the post-purchase experience to reduce customer churn.
Research shows that increasing customer retention by just 5% can boost profits by 25% to 95%.

  1. Builds customer loyalty and trust
    Loyal customers spend more on products and recommend products to friends and family. But building customer trust is not easy. Only 12% of customers believe it when a brand says it 'puts the customer first'. Customers take time to trust brands. But delivering a great post-purchase experience enables brands to build trust and loyalty.
  2. Drives positive reviews
    84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. To attract more customers, retailers need to provide better products and services to gain positive reviews from existing customers. It will enable prospective customers to trust your brand.
  3. Gives insights into customer satisfaction
    By keeping customers in the loop and continuing the conversation after purchase, retail brands can gain valuable insights and feedback. Brands can use this feedback from customers to improve the quality of the product and services they offer to achieve customer satisfaction.

10 ways to provide the best post-purchase experience

  1. Provide a straightforward return, refund, and exchange policy
    Sellers should focus on providing easy returns, exchanges, and refunds to instill trust and confidence in customers' minds. You can do that by framing an ideal policy that benefits you and the customers—be it returns or exchanges. For refunds, you can give multiple options for reimbursements like source account, or in-store credits.

Outdoor voices' easy Return & Exchange process
Outdoor voices, an apparel brand provides an easy process for returns, exchanges and refunds.

2. Provide order tracking
Customers like to know where their order is and when it will be delivered to them. Retailers can provide real-time order tracking and updates to let the customer know where their order is. It can relieve any stress or anxiety customers may face with their order. This kind of stress-free delivery experience helps retailers to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Myntra's easy real-time order tracking
Myntra provides easy real-time order tracking to serve its customers better

3. Greet customers with a personalised message
After customers make a purchase, sent them a personalised message like a thank you note. Such messages can create a positive impression in the minds of customers.

Crate & Barrel's thank you note
Crate & Barrel expresses gratitude to its customers with a thank you note after order confirmation

4. Deliver a great unboxing experience
By delivering products in custom packages and including inserts like promo codes, referral offers, and freebies, you can delight your customers. This type of unboxing experience creates a lasting impression, which can go a long way to create happy and loyal customers.

Burst Oral Care's unboxing experience
Burst Oral Care, an oral care company, places its toothbrush beautifully to provide a great unboxing experience

5. Ask for feedback
Online shoppers rely on product feedback to make purchase decisions. To get detailed feedback, you need to ask for it after a few days or sometimes months from purchase, so the customers get quality time to use the product. If the customers like the product after usage and are excited about the purchase, they might be delighted to share the experience when you reach out for a review.

Bellroy asking for product feedback
Bellroy, an online accessories brand, asking for feedback after 30 days of purchase

6. Give product care tips
After customers receive the product, retailers can engage with customers by sharing product tips and "how-to" guides. These easy-to-understand tips and guides can drive customer satisfaction. You can also share product maintenance tips from time to time via email to customers. Moreover, effective communication at the right time will also help you resolve any issues or pain points the customers face while using your product.

Pact shares product care tips
Pact, a sustainable clothing brand, shares product tips after purchase to educate customers

7. Conduct surveys to understand your customers better
Conducting a survey helps you to understand if customers are satisfied with the products and service you offer. You can gain insights and work on areas that require improvement. Moreover, it also helps customers realise that their feedback and opinion matter.

Kate Spade rolls out surveys
Kate Spade rolls out surveys to get an insight into customer satisfaction and fuels with perks

8. Give out friendly reminders on special occasions
During customer surveys, retailers can ask for details like birthdays and anniversaries dates and use this data to give tailored recommendations for customers. A well thought out product recommendations on special occasions can make your customers happy.

Sephora sends birthday card and gift
Sephora, a beauty products company, sending customers a 'Happy Birthday' card and a gift during the next checkout

9. Nurture with ongoing offers and deals
One easy way to get back to existing customers and create loyalty is by providing ongoing offers and deals. Nurturing during the post-purchase phase keeps your brand name at the back of the customer's mind. When customers need a product you sell, they only turn to you, no matter what the competition provides.

Sketchers sends ongoing offers and deals
Sketchers, an online shoe and apparel brand, inviting existing customers by giving a 30% discount on their winter sale

10. Create referral programs for customers who provide maximum NPS
Customers who are happy and loyal are more likely to give high ratings on your Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey, and they are also more likely to write product reviews and share purchase experiences with peers, friends, and family. Retailers can create a unique referral program revolving around customers who provided a high NPS score to reach more prospective customers.

Zooshoo's referral program
Zooshoo invites its passionate customers to participate in their referral program

According to Hubspot Research, happy customers want to support the businesses they love. 90% of consumers are more likely to purchase more, and 93% were more likely to be repeat customers at companies with excellent customer service.

How can Eshopbox help improve the post-purchase experience?

With Eshopbox, you can deliver a great post-purchase experience for your customers by:

  1. Ensuring accurate order processing
    By leveraging next-gen technology for error-free automation and incorporating powerful workflows, Eshopbox maintains an order accuracy rate of 99.95%. The streamlined pick and pack process and intelligent packaging logic ensure that your customers get the right product in the best condition.
  2. Delivering quality products
    Eshopbox performs multiple quality checks for ensuring that only quality products are delivered to your customers. You can use the standard inspection criteria of Eshopbox or customise the inspection criteria according to your unique products like expiry dates, colour, product hygiene and so on.
  3. Providing lightning-fast fulfilment
    Eshopbox has a distributed network of fulfilment centres across India. You can use these to split your inventory for storing products closer to customers and reduce the transit time. Thus, allowing you to win your customers with 2-day and same-day delivery.
  4. Enabling real-time order tracking
    Eshopbox has a dedicated self-service portal so that your customers can track their orders whenever they want. Moreover, Eshopbox keeps your customers up-to-date with timely notifications via emails and text messages and proactively intimates customers in case of delays.
  5. Creating a memorable unboxing experience
    Eshopbox allows you to delight your customers with a great unboxing experience to foster your brand image. You can set flexible packaging rules to curate and manage personalised unboxing. For example, if you have a cosmetics brand, it is essential to differentiate your box from an ordinary box. It can be done through custom packaging with inserts like samples, gift cards, coupons, and more.
  6. Providing a hassle-free return process
    Eshopbox helps you offer a frictionless return process for your customers with an easy-to-use self-service portal to initiate and track returns. With Eshopbox, you can keep your customers updated at every step of the return journey —from aligning the pickup to intimating the customers about the return pickup.

Wrapping up

If you are looking for brand loyalists instead of one-time customers, you need to pay attention to what happens after the customer converts. The post-purchase phase is an opportunity to leave a positive impression that will keep your customers coming back. And these brand advocates will help you tap into more conversions. It will make an excellent foundation to build a dedicated customer base in the long run.

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