How do you best engage online shoppers, post-purchase?
Seen as the driver of online customer retention and loyalty, the post-purchase is often referred to as a critical and often neglected part of the e-commerce experience. But many see missed opportunities for engagement.
At a minimum, retailers should remediate delivery mishaps. With one bad experience often prompting a consumer to abandon a brand, retailers should have the ability to react to late deliveries and missing items, as well as return complications.
At the next level, customers want delivery assurances. Conditioned by Amazon Prime, this includes being able to track when their package shipped, where it is on its journey, and when it will arrive. Retailers can further allow shoppers to opt for text notifications on delivery status.
Beyond delivery, online buyers are said by some to be more open to receiving recommendations, deals and educational content while tracking and waiting for their packages.
In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Amit Sharma, founder and CEO of Narvar, which offers solutions for the post-purchase online experience, said buyers are especially open to engage if the information is customized. For instance, Birchbox, the online beauty subscription service, provides customers a video preview of what’s in their box. Levi’s promotes new products based on the buyer’s previous purchases.
Mr. Sharma told Women’s Wear Daily, “Successful retailers are those that focus on the supply chain as a place to engage customers rather than as a backend cost center.”
Talking to Forbes, Tim Ash, CEO of online conversion consulting firm SiteTuners, said that beyond cross-sell and up-sell offers, retailers could offer post-purchase buyers incentives for connecting on social media, offers to review products, or ask for e-mail sign-ups or testimonials.
However, retailers are challenged in managing the post-purchase experience due to their over-reliance on third-party delivery companies, too heavy a focus on new-customer acquisition, and a lack of coordination between supply chain, e-commerce and marketing teams.
- Online Retailers Should Care More About the Post-Purchase Experience – Harvard Business Review
- Wooing and Wowing Shoppers After They Hit the ‘Buy’ Button – Women’s Wear Daily (sub. required)
- The riddle of the post-purchase customer experience—and how to solve it – Retail Dive
- What CMOs Need To Know About Online Buyer Journeys – Forbes
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see a greater opportunity to engage and up-sell online post-purchase customers? Where are the biggest missed opportunities, post-click?