Post purchase 101

How to give your customers the best post-purchase experience

The post-purchase experience is probably one of the most underrated parts of building a successful eCommerce business. Sure, sales are great, but engaging and communicating with customers AFTER they purchase means that they are more likely to keep coming back.

Your post-purchase campaign should be efficient, personal and keep customers up to date on their packages automatically. Otherwise, you run the risk of being just another online brand.

This article will show you exactly what the post-purchase experience is, why it is important to your revenue, and examples of how you can start implementing it into your sales process.

What is the post-purchase experience?

The eCommerce post-purchase experience is everything that happens AFTER someone has bought something from you.

Many brands spend a lot of time pushing for the sale (ecommerce is about making money after all!). However, the way you interact with customers after they have given you money is crucial.

The post-purchase experience includes any:

  • Messages
  • Updates
  • Customer service interactions
  • Order fulfilment
  • Packaging and unboxing
  • Engagement on social media

Successful, fast-scaling brands know that all of these things are important in improving the customer buying experience.

Importance of post-purchase experience in the eCommerce space

Good post-purchase experiences lead to higher sales. It’s that simple. Your customer experience is what will make you stand out from your competition (even if you’re selling similar products).

You probably know that acquiring a new customer is more expensive than retaining one. But did you know that the average cost of acquiring a new customer is going up as well? It is up nearly 60% from 2016. Among those existing customers, you can expect the average order value to increase over time.

Nurturing your existing customers is more important than ever, and the post-purchase experience is a huge part of improving the customer experience.

Problems with post-purchase experience today

One of the biggest issues with post-purchase strategies is that a lot of ecommerce brands focus more on marketing.

When it comes to scaling a profitable business, building customer loyalty is one of the most important things you can do – and post-purchase strategies can build it in the background.

Some of the post-purchase problems that fulfilment and shipping efficiency can fix are:

  • Issues around “where is my parcel?” enquiries – a solid post-purchase system means that customers will get automatic updates
  • Return customers – building post-purchase experiences will help build customer loyalty and repeat purchasers
  • Manually generating and printing shipping labels – automating labels and shipping means that you can keep up with demand as it grows and get products out to customers faster

And that’s just the beginning!

Tips to give your customers the best post-purchase experience

Now that you know what a post-purchase experience is and why it’s so important, it’s time to put it into action! Below are 6 ideas to improve your post-purchase strategy.

1. Personalise customer delivery experience

Personalisation strategies aren’t just for your marketing. You can incorporate it into your delivery systems as well.

77% of customers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalised customer experience.

For shipping and post-purchase, this could look like

  • Writing personal thank you cards for each order
  • Sending post-purchase emails with similar products
  • Giving discounts to loyal customers based on what they’re bought
  • Using first name tags in all communications

Use delivery as a chance to engage with your customers while you are top of mind.

2. Create an online community for your customers

An online community is your secret weapon for increasing sales.

Social media isn’t just for marketing! It gives customers a chance to share user generated content. Not only does this allow them to tag you and interact with your brand, it is also incredible social proof for other people who are thinking of purchasing.

If you have efficient shipping and branded packaging, people are much more likely to share their post-purchase experience online.

3. Omnichannel customer support

Omnichannel systems mean that customers can purchase and interact with your business seamlessly both online and offline. Having omnichannel customer support means that they can get customer service support whether they email, phone, or DM you on Instagram.

Automating your fulfilment will reduce these kinds of inquiries, improving the post-purchase experience even more.

For example, sustainable fashion brand Bhumi Organic Cotton had a brick and mortar store as well as online sales. By automating their shipping notifications, they reduced parcel location inquiries by 50%. Omnichannel is not just about being available on every channel- it’s about putting your customer at the centre and making their purchasing experience as simple as possible.

4. How-to use guides or demos

Including simple how-to guides or demos means that customers will get the most out of your product. If your goal is to solve a problem and keep customers happy, this step is a must! For example, in the confirmation emails you could include links to videos, or put a QR code on your packaging so they can follow along when it arrives.

5. Offer loyalty programs

Customers in effective loyalty programs are 80% more likely to choose you over competitors and twice as likely to recommend you to their friends and family. As part of the post-purchase campaign, you could:

  • Show them their updated loyalty points
  • Send out personalised email campaigns with similar products
  • Give them surprise freebies or access codes to exclusive products/experiences
  • Encourage them to interact with your community on social media when they unbox their product
  • Create an affiliate program so they are rewarded for sharing your brand with friends and family

The post-purchase period is the perfect time to remind customers why you’re so thankful to have them in your community!

6. Good refund and returns policy

Your returns and refund policies are an important part of the post-purchase experience. Up to 84% of customers will not go back to an online store after a bad returns experience.

Make sure that you have this written clearly on your website, confirmation emails and even product descriptions. This will take the friction out of purchasing online. Using a fulfilment center can make returns even easier as they can often negotiate better shipping rates with couriers on your behalf.

Case study of a good post-purchase experience

If you want to build a high-quality brand, you need to build a high quality post-purchase experience. A perfect example of this is luxury lifestyle brand Coast.

Founded in 2003, the luxury outdoor beanbag, canvas luggage and textile retailer quickly realised they needed help with the final part of the selling process. Everything else they did was capable of automation. However when it came to fulfilment, their shipping processes slowed right down and became very manual and error ridden. That’s not the kind of process you want when your target customers are spending a lot of money!

The solution?

Instead of struggling along with terrible shipping and second-class customer service, they decided to use Starshipit. This let them integrate their ecommerce platform with their shipping and automate the fulfilment process.

“Starshipit has delivered enormous productivity gains while virtually eliminating errors, moreover, it allows us to deliver a first-class customer experience, which is essential when selling high-value goods”
— Alex Webster, Founder

Take home message

Your customers are the ones growing your business. Make sure you put effort into your post-purchase experience! By using an automatic fulfilment software like Starshipit, you can improve your post-purchase experience and streamline your shipping to ensure your customers are satisfied every single time they buy from you. Starshipit is the premium shipping software solution without the premium price tag.