Written by Sofia Newcombe
Failing to get the post-purchase experience right could be killing your business. While landing the initial sale is undeniably essential, it’s what you do after that really has an impact on your brand and long-term prospects.
Post purchase is also quite a broad term, with people defining it in different ways. For clarity, we define post purchase as simply the final stage of the buying journey. There are only two possible customer outcomes here too; they’ll either be happy or unhappy. Make sure you give your customers the former.
And the best way to ensure success in the post purchase phase? The 5 C’s. Allow us to introduce the 5 C’s of post purchase – your keys to creating happy, loyal customers who will buy from you time and again!
It’s important to never fall into the trap of thinking all your customers want the same thing. This may sound obvious when you consider the variety of products you may sell, but all too often businesses assume their customers will be happy with the shipping options provided to them.
Customers demand choice when it comes to shipping options, not only choice of price but choice of speed. Some people are willing to pay more simply to receive a product sooner. To complicate things even further, some customers may have different needs each time they return to your store. It's your job to cater to these changing preferences.
Closely tied to choice is convenience – not just for how and where your customers purchase your products, but also at checkout, during delivery and the way they receive it.
In-store pickup is just one example of a customer-focused post purchase option that can benefit your business too. From the customer’s point of view, they can head into a local store to pick up an order instead of waiting for it to be delivered. For you, you can keep freight costs down and improve inventory turnover.
Keep in mind that your delivery experience will always reflect on your brand, even if you’re not in direct control over your couriers. This is why it’s important to always have a good understanding how your couriers are performing. Are they getting your packages to your customers on time? Are they meeting all the terms of their SLAs? One bad delivery can usually be forgiven, but a string of them could end up damaging your reputation.
When was the last time you audited the communications you send out to your customers once they’ve placed an order? For most businesses, post purchase communication means sending out the default email set from their shipping platform – or even the default emails from their courier!
If you want to transform your post purchase experience immediately, then update your communications. By customising your shipping notifications emails, introducing SMS updates and creating beautiful branded tracking pages, you’ll end up with happier customers who’ll be less likely to fire off a “where’s my package” query to your support team.
There’s only so much you can do with the default emails going out from your courier, so this is where you may want to consider using a shipping platform like Starshipit. With Starshipit, you can customise everything about your post purchase communications, including the look and feel of your emails and SMS messages and when they go out. You can also create branded tracking pages which give you an opportunity to cross sell, ask for feedback, point customers to your social pages and more.
Couriers are obviously essential to the post purchase journey. After all, you can’t expect to be delivering orders yourself! But there’s a lot that goes into ensuring your couriers don’t become a liability.
You need the right mix of couriers if you want to run your business effectively. No, you can’t just rely on one courier if you want to scale your business. A multi-courier strategy is essential. When you’ve got a good mix of couriers, you can:
Pay attention to your courier SLAs, too. When you keep up with the timeframes couriers are working with, you can pass this information along to your customers so they’re kept informed of any delays.
It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking of customers as “customers” only until they’ve paid and left the checkout. Customers keep thinking of themselves as “customers” right up until they receive their item, use their item and love their item. Let’s break down how you can inject cheer into your post-purchase experience.
For one, throughout the delivery process, keep them informed of where their item is and when they’re likely to receive it. Communication that an item has been delivered is also important.
The moment of unboxing is a great place to set your offering apart from the competition. With sustainability high in the minds of many consumers, consider using recycled packaging and compostable packing peanuts if required. A custom note, card or small freebie included in the box can also make your customers feel special.
Then, get creative with the follow-up. Consider creating simple email sets after a customer receives a product. Ask for a review, or point them to similar products they may also like.
And, in the event of a return, make the process as simple and painless as possible. We all order products we don’t like, and you never want a customer to feel like they’re stuck with something they don’t want or doesn’t work.
And that’s the 5 C’s of post purchase! We covered a lot of the basics, so we hope you learned something that you can add to your own post purchase experience.
If you’re looking to improve your experience even more, consider the benefits of a shipping automation platform like Starshipit. As we touched on throughout the article, Starshipit is a great way to put many of our suggestions into effect, including adding more couriers. You can also create shipping notifications and branded tracking pages – and automate the process of sending them out.
Try Starshipit free for 30 days. It plugs right into the platforms you already depend on every day, and our friendly, local support team are on hand to help you through every stage of the setup process.