E-Commerce Post-Purchase CX Playbook For The Up-And-Coming Holiday Season7 min read

The Post-purchase CX Mandate

Knowing what’s coming and staying ahead of delivery and return-related issues is key to perfecting post-purchase.

However, e-commerce post-purchase issues are nothing out of the ordinary, especially during times like the Holiday Season. The impact they bring is catastrophic — wrecking customer experience, straining customer support teams, and ultimately threatening profit margins.

Regardless of who the shipping partner is, a leading carrier or a 3PL, some hard truths that you deal with are. 

E-commerce post-purchase is a missed opportunity in the current state

The ‘post-purchase customer experience (CX)’ is an integral but often overlooked function in any e-commerce business. When done right, it has the potential to ensure your customers have a hassle-free ‘order delivery’ and ‘return’ experience. In the long run, this can help you boost customer loyalty, efficiency, as well as profits.

That said, let’s see why post-purchase is a huge missed opportunity for most businesses out there.

  • Up to 20% of shipments face issues such as late delivery, attempted-failed delivery, lost or damaged in transit
  • 30% of customer support team’s time and effort is wasted handling repetitive delivery and return related inquiries
  • 12% of revenue is lost because businesses don’t encourage repeat purchases during order and return tracking moments
  • 35% of all products purchased online are returned

The link between Post-Purchase CX and Customer Loyalty

As mentioned earlier, post-purchase CX has everything to do with what happens after the customer makes a purchase. 

To make things more familiar, shipping updates, order tracking, or in some cases returns and exchanges. Either way, this is the last thing your customers are going to remember about their experience with your brand. Therefore, you have to ensure that it stays memorable. 

Remember, a positive post-purchase experience can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, while a negative post-purchase experience can lead to customer churn.

78% of shoppers won’t buy from the brand again after just ONE bad delivery or return experience.

Now, one might ask: On whom does the onus of perfecting the post-purchase CX really fall? 

The answer is: on everyonefrom marketing to sales, to operations and customer service. By bringing all business functions together and working towards excelling in both, your post-purchase customer experience and operations at every stage of the process is vital.

To help you provide a great post-purchase experience and reap its benefits, we have developed a playbook covering everything you need to know about creating an e-commerce post-purchase strategy that will improve the customer experience and boost customer retention this Holiday Season and beyond.

6 Post-purchase Plays to Dominate Customer Experience During the Holiday Season

1. Enabling real-time tracking and delivery alerts

real-time tracking

With unprecedented visibility into the status of their order in transit, you can stay in the know of all your packages at any given moment. This also gives you the ability to gain real-time alerts and be able to identify potential issues, such as delays much ahead of the customer. 

You can leverage this data to proactively address problems, such as offering solutions or even just informing customers. 

Such actions can ensure that customers’ frustration levels are significantly reduced and as a result, there is a positive brand perception.

2. Engaging in regular and personalized order status notifications

Regular order information

Even when things are going perfectly, you can keep your customers engaged with order updates and personalized conversations by making use of the customer and order information in your hand. 

Send email and SMS shipping notifications at every stage of the post-purchase package journey, i.e., delivery and return status events such as in-transit, delivered, and returned, etc, to keep customers informed at all times. This makes them less prone to getting anxious regarding their parcels, reduces the volume of WISMO inquiries, and allows support teams to focus on more complex customer issues.

Such personalized conversations also let the customers know that you are committed to delivering them a positive post-purchase experience which leads to increased customer satisfaction.

3. Leveraging memorable tracking experiences

Branded Tracking Page

An extension of real-time tracking and proactive order communication is making use of a “branded” tracking page that is hosted on your website, from where your customers can track their orders whenever they want to. 

Apart from tracking details, your tracking page can also include additional content such as an on-brand website design (color, font, etc), a complete order summary to let customers if they’ve entered the correct details, delivery satisfaction ratings to collect customer feedback, easy returns initiation and reaching out to customer support to provide hassle-free experiences, and so on. 

The best part, you can add elements such as sale announcements and personalized product recommendations to ensure an increase in cross-selling. All of this helps in reinforcing your brand identity, leaving a lasting experience, improving your brand reputation, and ultimately driving more sales. 

4. Enhancing packaging and unboxing experience

Eco-friendly packaging options

Receiving their orders might be the moment your customers have been expecting since they hit that ‘buy’ button. Make that moment etched into their memories with the right packaging and unboxing techniques. 

Packaging plays a much bigger role than just covering your product. Firstly, a great-looking package creates a positive first impression, setting the stage for a great post-purchase experience. Following these are the branded elements that reinforce identity, good quality that ensures lower chances of damage and frustration, and sustainable materials used to improve brand image. 

Following packaging, there comes the relatively new trend of unwrapping/ unboxing experience being capitalized by e-commerce brands. Ensure customers share their unboxing videos on social media as user-generated content to create larger brand awareness and attract new customers.  

5. Handling returns and exchanges effectively

Easy returns initiation with Returns Experience Management

Your efforts to provide a positive post-purchase experience do not end with the delivery being made, as there are always chances of your customers returning their purchase. 

But remember, customers don’t always look forward to returning their purchases — so, don’t make the experience frustrating for them. Keep things as seamless as you can via easy and quick returns, multiple return options (exchanges and store credits), clear returns policy, transparent return status communications, etc. 

When handled effectively, returns can be an opportunity to demonstrate customer-centricity, resolve issues efficiently, build trust and loyalty, and enhance customer satisfaction and brand reputation.

6. Encouraging reviews and ratings

Customer feedback to act on brand experience

A great post-purchase experience is one that is constantly evolving. So, give room for it to grow and fasten the process by encouraging your customers to provide feedback on the post-purchase experience that they received. 

You can start by making it easier for customers to leave their feedback — probably in the order delivered/ returned email or on the order tracking page, once the progress is completed. In case there’s a review and a place where you don’t want them leaving one, try to reach out to them at the earliest and offer a solution that they expect in order to change the emotion of the feedback from negative to positive. You can also take a step ahead and reward customers via incentives for their feedback to ensure that they leave more and spread good word-of-mouth. 

By resolving their negative comments or displaying their positive review on your website or social media, you are conveying that their feedback matters and as a result builds strong customer relationships. Either way, reviews and ratings from customers provide an opportunity to make regular improvements and reach a wider audience.

How LateShipment.com Can Help Power your Post-purchase Success

LateShipment.com is the ultimate all-in-one post-purchase success platform for e-commerce retailers, D2C brands, and businesses shipping small parcels, regardless of their size or shipping volume.

Our Post-Purchase Success platform includes:

  • Delivery Experience Management (DEM): To build memorable order delivery experiences and boost recurring revenue during order tracking moments.
  • Returns Experience Management (REM): To make returns hassle-free with flexible return options and smart automations to help retain revenue.
  • Parcel Audit and Shipping Refunds: To save big on shipping costs through automated shipping refunds and drive supply-chain optimization with in-depth shipping analytics and insights.

Also, LateShipment.com seamlessly integrates with 600+ Shipping Carriers and Business Tools that include E-commerce platforms, Order Management Systems, Helpdesks, and Marketing Automation tools to help you drive post-purchase experiences and shipping cost savings at scale.