When you’re an online retailer, your post-purchase customer experience begins as soon as someone buys from you. It includes everything from what the shipping experience is like for the customer to how you connect with them once their product arrives.
The post-purchase experience is important for loyalty, and with that in mind, the following are six things every business should know.
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1. Prioritize the Post-Purchase Experience
A company's post-purchase experience refers to how it treats its customers after they have bought a product or service.
Your existing customers are one of your most important assets, but they’re often ignored in favor of putting more attention on getting new customers. It’s much more cost-effective to convince your existing customers to be repeat buyers than it is to get a new customer altogether. You need a reliable customer base to be a successful business.
The post-purchase lifecycle is what lets your brand create an ongoing relationship with your customers. According to research, for 40% of consumers, the post-purchase experience makes their overall brand experience more memorable. The customer journey doesn’t end at the sale, and this has to be remembered.
Keep in mind that research shows that compared to just five years ago, the costs of getting a new customer have gone up by as much as 60%. There is so much work and energy involved in finding new customers. However, existing customers are anywhere from 60-70% more likely to make a repeat purchase, while a new customer is only 5-20% likely to make an initial purchase.
2. Embrace Technology
A big part of improving your post-purchase experience relies on using and embracing technology that gives you insight into your customers and their experience. A seamless experience will also be possible with this technology.
One example is having an account page created for customers. The account page is responsible for around 64% of returning traffic, yet many retailers ignore it.
Make the customer account pages a place for self-service where a customer can maintain a high level of visibility into the status of their purchases. Customers need and want to track their purchases often.
The account page needs to be user-friendly, and it should be a bridge between the customer’s purchase and post-purchase experience and journey.
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3. Simplify Returns and Refunds
Let your customer know early on in their journey what your return and refund process is like. You want to do everything in your power to inform your customers about whether or not they can return their products or exchange them.
Your return and refund policy should not only be something you make customers well-aware of, but it should be as simple as you can possibly make it. Create a step-by-step guide for returns and what the refund process is like.
Your customers should be able to follow your guide easily. They should also get an update when they initiate a return.
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4. Maintain Communication
After someone buys from you, you should just be starting your relationship with them. You want to re-engage customers with emails and SMS. Update them throughout each step of your shipping process. You can also use advanced analytics to figure out the channel your customers prefer for interacting with your brand.
You can send detailed information about the product or service they purchased, a link to your tracking page, a customer care number, or any other relevant details. Let them know you’re there to help them whenever they need it.
5. Get Feedback About Your Customers’ Post-Purchase Experience
It’s important to get customer insight whenever you can, including about your post-purchase experience. You want to take time out regularly to ask your customers about how happy they are with their purchase experience, as well as their experience with delivery and, if relevant, returns or exchanges.
The insight is going to help you learn more about your delivery service and perhaps make better choices here since delivery issues can be a major pain point for customers.
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6. Say Thank You
Finally, sometimes, the simplest things are the most effective in the post-purchase process. With that in mind, stop focusing primarily on upselling. Instead, focus on showing appreciation for the purchase your customers already made.
Have a thank you page rather than a page that seems directly related to upselling. Your thank you page is originally a way to confirm a customer’s order went through, but you can make it a lot more than that.
To tell them to thank you, maybe you make them a special offer, for example, or even something complimentary that could improve their experience and overall level of satisfaction.