E-commerce represents a tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs to launch their brand. Logically, many are storming this new Eldorado to grow their business. The result is an increasingly saturated sector, in which it is difficult to carve out a niche for yourself, and especially to keep it. This is where the post-purchase experience comes into play…
To ensure their sustainability and profitability, brands tend to focus on generating new sales. But in reality, their work has only just begun! It is by maintaining contact, and multiplying touchpoints with your post-purchase customers that you can ensure that they become loyal supporters.
Today, due to the saturation of the e-commerce market, consumer loyalty is no longer based on the price or quality of a product. What deeply connects them to one brand rather than another is the experience it offers them. If you fail to meet their demands, your customers will leave you.
To avoid unwanted disruption, Bigblue shares its checklist for nurturing your post-purchase experience. Discover the processes and solutions that will help you deliver a consistent experience across all your sales channels!
The post-purchase experience: a key factor in customer satisfaction
Many brands spend a lot of time and money on designing their e-commerce platform or integrating the latest technology to wow their customers.
However, these elements are not as critical to the customer experience as many companies think. Consumers expect the site they are about to order from to work perfectly and continuously. So they don't even pay attention to this aspect of their experience anymore, unless it's malfunctioning.
Their only requirement is that the design of the website or application is modern and user-friendly. And that the automation tools facilitate their shopping experience. But these things don't matter if your brand can't deliver their product quickly and in the least restrictive way possible...
The speed, convenience, availability and friendliness of your customer service is what determines the quality of your post-purchase experience. Each of these factors will have an impact of more than 70% on consumer satisfaction. One more reason to give them special importance!
Exceeding customer expectations to boost business results
When your brand meets or exceeds the expectations of its customers, there are undeniable business benefits. In particular, a greater capacity to retain existing customers, but also to increase the amount of their average basket.
The customer experience has thus become the new battleground for e-commerce players. This is precisely because in a saturated market, acquiring new customers is becoming increasingly complex and expensive. In its report on the future of customer experience, PwC found that one in three customers will stop buying from a brand they like after one bad experience. 92% will completely cut ties with a company after two or three negative interactions.
Another very important figure to remember is that 86% of customers say that the post-purchase experience is fundamental to their decision to buy from the same brand again.
The loyalty loop
Your goal in building customer loyalty, and therefore the sustainability of your brand, is to activate the loyalty loop. After all, a satisfied customer will spend 67% more than a new customer placing their first order.
Why is this? Simply because the main effect of the loyalty loop is to shorten the buying journey. For a new customer, there are 4 stages in the buying journey:
- Initial consideration ;
- Active evaluation;
- Researching potential purchases;
- Conclusion (purchase).
A customer who has already purchased from your brand will tend to simplify or even skip the active evaluation stage. This allows you to boost your conversion rate, and increase the amount of your average cart.
But to activate the loyalty loop, your brand must take care of its post-purchase experience. Once the order has been placed, the consumer will look at how you continue to meet their expectations, to determine whether they will order from your site again.
For example, over 60% of facial care customers conduct post-purchase research online. To retain them, companies need only take advantage of this great contact opportunity to strengthen the customer relationship.
The objective and subjective approach to the post-purchase experience
To justify the investment you are about to make in your post-purchase experience, you can take two complementary approaches.
- The objective approach: Lifetime Value (LTV). The objective approach: Lifetime Value (LTV), as figures show that brands that keep their customers happy for 100 days will keep them loyal for the next 5 years. Investing in your customer experience can potentially double your revenue in just 36 months!
- The subjective approach. It makes sense that the attention you pay to your customers' satisfaction, even after they have placed their order, will make them feel valued and that their needs are being heard. These efforts have a tangible impact, which you can measure in ROI. But above all, they will allow you to build a lasting relationship with your customers, arousing their emotions and generating positive memories.
The Bigblue checklist for a 5-stars post-purchase experience
Now that we have deciphered the importance of your post-purchase experience, let's move on to the practical tips for improving it.
Here are all the ingredients you need to include in your customer experience to make sure it works!
1. Facilitate post-purchase communication
After checking out, your customers will have many questions that your brand needs to make sure it answers. The challenge is to make the information they need readily available.
This will not only allow you to meet and anticipate their expectations, but it will also save your support team a lot of time, as consumers won't have to turn to them for answers.
According to Zendesk, 91% of your customers would use an online FAQ if it were available and adapted to their needs. So make sure you take care of this page on your website (which is also an excellent SEO tool). And make it more visible in your post-purchase experience (by adding a link in the order confirmation or follow-up email, for example).
2. Offer self-service tracking
Did you know that the "My Account" page in your customer area generates 64% of the return traffic to your site?
To optimise it even more, you just need to enrich your post-purchase experience by adding the features your customers need. In particular, you can add an order tracking tool, which they can use on a self-service basis.
Once they have placed an order, consumers feel the need to track it. Yet 56% of e-commerce sites do not merge post-purchase tracking into their website.
Seize this opportunity to stand out from your competitors, and enrich your customer area with a powerful tracking tool that will reassure them while facilitating the receipt of their package!
You can also take advantage of this page (and the traction it generates) to mention :
- Information about the order (name and characteristics of the product, price and quantity ordered);
- The status of the order and the date on which it was confirmed;
- Information about the shipment and receipt of the products;
- Tips on how to use or maintain your product (as Veja does with its sneakers);
- The announcement of your next collection, or complementary products that could generate cross- or up-selling opportunities).
The French brand OMA&ME provides its customers the most accurate delivery experience ever thanks to Bigblue’s Tracking Page. A unique interface where customers can track their orders in real time.
3. Send a follow-up email with recommendations and discounts
Speaking of upselling, another opportunity to build customer loyalty and drive purchase intent comes in the form of your follow-up mailing. Order follow-up (or confirmation) emails have the highest click-through, open and conversion rates. On average 70%, compared to less than 20% for other emails!
Given that 75% of customers are likely to buy products based on personalised recommendations, it would be a shame not to take advantage of this extra touchpoint to recommend your products to them. 1 in 4 customers will click on a recommended product when they are following their order.
Therefore, consider presenting additional products in the order tracking email. Just make sure (based on the purchase history) that it is not an item that the customer has already returned. Even better: give them a discount to encourage them to buy from your brand again.
4. Take care of your post-purchase experience to activate word of mouth
An optimised post-purchase customer experience will also encourage your customers to become true ambassadors of your brand. Indeed, 92% of consumers say they trust product recommendations from family and friends!
By ensuring that you respond to, and even anticipate, your customers' needs once they have placed their order, you give them a good reason to buy again. But also to share their experience within their network and therefore to vouch for your brand...
A good way to boost this dynamic is simply to encourage your customers to "sponsor" their friends and family in exchange for a promotional code. This is what the Spanish brand Alohas does with success.
5. Do not underestimate the importance of customer support
Your customer support is an indispensable part of the post-purchase experience. It therefore has a considerable impact on the satisfaction of your customers. So focus on their pain points, making sure your after-sales service is available and responsive, especially when it comes to managing returns.
There are many reasons why your customers may want to return or exchange an item. If you're in the fashion business, they are even more likely to do so (between 15% and 20%). But when it comes to returns, human beings still provide the best service. To avoid time-consuming exchanges with your support, consider simplifying your returns policy. And once again, make it accessible and understandable, especially via your FAQ.
By facilitating returns directly from our portal, Bigblue has reduced support tickets for From Future by 20%. That's a 30% time saving for their operations team.
6. Measuring customer satisfaction to continuously improve the post-purchase experience
It's one thing to keep your customers happy. But it's another to ensure that they are actually satisfied with your post-purchase experience! In fact, only 1 out of 26 dissatisfied customers really complains.
So think about giving your customers a voice and offer them the opportunity to share their feedback with you. This is very valuable data for improving what needs to be improved. And to evolve your post-purchase experience in line with the naturally changing needs of consumers.
At Bigblue, your customers' satisfaction is our priority. That's why 94.3% of our shoppers are satisfied with their experience. Discover our tools to improve your post-purchase experience and get your brand off the ground!