Customers are the ones who determine the success of a business. When it comes to ecommerce, customers hate being left in the dark regarding their order status. This can prove to be a potential threat and loss to your ecommerce business!
Engaging with your customers at regular intervals of the order delivery lifecycle can save you from multiple WISMO (where is my order) calls, a negative customer experience, and a ruined brand reputation.
In this blog, you’ll learn what is post-purchase experience, what are post-purchase notifications, why are post-purchase notifications important for a great customer experience, the post-purchase notifications you must send to enhance the customer experience, and how Eshopbox elevates the customer experience with post-purchase notifications.
The post-purchase experience includes everything that happens after checkout. It simply defines how ecommerce brands treat their customers after they make a purchase. From order processing to order fulfilment and customer communication, these are valuable opportunities to engage with your customers and enhance the entire shopping experience.
Now, let's shed some light on customer communication that often goes underestimated. Notifications give customers the complete visibility of their orders, take the anxiety out of the online shopping experience and elevate the customer experience altogether.
Post-purchase notifications are the emails and SMS that inform or notify customers about their order status. This can also include any other communication from an ecommerce brand that they've ever purchased from.
In the highly competitive ecommerce environment, customers have a plethora of options while shopping online. This makes brand differentiation critical and challenging for ecommerce brands wherein post-purchase experience becomes a crucial factor in determining which brand's product a customer would choose to buy. Most importantly, a great post-purchase experience triggers a repurchase from customers and turning them into loyal customers.
Here are some compelling reasons why you need to get the post-purchase experience right:
82% of consumers state that it’s important for ecommerce brands to proactively communicate every order fulfilment and delivery stage.
83% of customers want an estimated date of delivery of their orders and want to receive their order with as little hassle as possible from ecommerce brands.
A positive post-purchase experience reduces customer churn and increases the customer lifetime value (CLTV). These loyal customers give positive reviews on product listings or social media channels and enable prospective customers to trust your brand.
Here are the ten critical events (touchpoints) in the ecommerce order fulfilment journey that ecommerce businesses can leverage to engage with their customers.
As soon as you receive an order from customers, you must acknowledge it with an automated email or SMS notifying the customers that their order is confirmed.
Let's take an example, during checkout, the payment is debited from the customer’s account. But due to a technical glitch, the transaction is still not successful. In such situation, you need to eliminate any stress and build customer’s confidence in the online purchase. For that, you must notify your customer that their order has been placed and you’ve started the order processing.
You can trigger an automatic notification via email or SMS when the customer order is marked “shipped", i.e. when the order is picked up from the fulfilment centre by the shipping carrier. This is the most anticipated shipping status that customers want to know about. To send the shipping notification at the earliest, you must ensure fast order processing so that orders are shipped out as quickly as possible. You can also provide a realistic estimated delivery date of delivery and ensure that an order is shipped accordingly.
However, you can also include the estimated delivery date on the product page itself according to the customer pin code—before a customer places an order. Most importantly, you can provide real-time order tracking to set a clear expectation with your customers.
As soon as the order is assigned to a delivery executive for delivery, push an "out for delivery" notification. This will truly spark joy for your customers who are eagerly waiting for their orders. You can also provide the contact information of the delivery partner so that your customers can coordinate with them in case of any concern.
When the delivery process goes smooth and the customer order is delivered, you can trigger a notification about the successful order delivery. Most importantly, you can confirm if the recipient has received the order. You can also make additions to this notification by suggesting similar products, sharing product care tips and how-to guides, asking for feedback about the delivery process.
Customers can cancel their online orders due to any reason. In such scenarios, you must notify them that you've received the cancellation request and stopped the fulfillment process for that particular order. You can also ask them about the reason for order cancellation and assure them about the quick refund if they've already paid for that order.
If the customer order is experiencing any kind of issue which can cause delay, you must send a proactive notification to inform your customers. Even if you can't do anything about the delay, at least being honest with your customers will bring you some appreciation.
Furthermore, to instil customer trust, you can include an apology message and ensure them that you’re trying your best to deliver the customer order as soon as possible.
Sometimes, order delivery fails due to the absence of the customer to receive their order. For instance, orders are out for delivery, but the customers are not available at their residence. In such scenarios of shipping exceptions, you should start by informing the customer that a delivery attempt was made, but you were not available to receive the order. Most importantly, you can get in touch with the customers about the next delivery attempt after confirming their availability.
Despite state-of-the-art tracking systems and secure packaging, customer orders can still end up being lost or damaged in transit. And the first thing that you must do is notify your customers. While assuring to locate the package or sending out a replacement, you must take full responsibility and resolve the issue at the earliest!
If customers initiate a return request, you should send them a notification acknowledging the request and inform them about the return process. You can include the expected condition of returned products, the method of reimbursement, any additional fees associated with returns, and more.
You can also inform your customers about the return pickup and the status of the refund after performing quality checks on the returned product.
However, your focus must be on minimising your return rate. But if they are out of your control, you must build customer trust by ensuring a hassle-free returns process.
There are times when customers return the product but want a replacement instead of a refund. You can inform the customers that you’ve received the exchange request and provide them with details of return pick up and the delivery of the exchange product. Here you have to send all the notifications that you would normally send for an order, i.e. confirmed, shipped, out for delivery, and delivered.
Eshopbox's customer portal is a secure page that enables you to deliver great post purchase experience at ease. With this self-service portal you can customise your outbound notifications. This means, you can send notifications to your customers related to orders, returns, and refunds via email or SMS or both as per your preference.
Customers will be notified at each stage of their order lifecycle— from placing the order until it is delivered to their doorstep. You simply have to select the below-mentioned scenarios where you wish to send a notification to your customers.
Customers will be notified for each stage of the refund lifecycle— when a customer places the return request to the point when the refund is initiated. You just need to select the below-mentioned scenarios where you wish to send a notification to your customers. Moreover, your customers can place their return request seeking a refund on customer portal itself.
Customers will be notified for each stage of the exchange lifecycle— when a customer places the return request to the point when the exchange is approved. You just have to select the below-mentioned scenarios where you wish to send a notification to your customers. Moreover, your customers can place their return request asking for exchange on customer portal itself.
If you want an excellent foundation to build a dedicated customer base in the long run, you must capitalise on the customer experience with post-purchase notifications. It is an opportunity to leave a positive impression that will make your customers keep coming back for repeat purchases and these brand advocates will help you tap into more conversions. So by engaging with your customers while paying attention to their needs and focusing on fulfilling them, you can sweep them off their feet with world-class customer experience!