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Shopify post-purchase guide: Keeping customers in the loop


Written by Starshipit

You’ve done it. Your eCommerce store is up and running using Shopify, and the orders are coming in and going out daily. So, what’s next?

While there are several things you can do to simplify your eCommerce solutions and reduce cart abandonment, we think your attention is probably best focused on the post-purchase experience.

You need to put a strategy in place early for everything that happens after a customer clicks “Buy Now”, and that includes putting a shipping notification system, returns process and support team in place.

In this article, we’re going to explore the area of post-purchase in more detail and provide you with some actionable tips for keeping customers in the loop.

The limits of Shopify Shipping

Shopify has long been a useful platform for retailers, allowing them to create and customise online stores quickly and with very little effort. It’s always been particularly useful for beginners too, with several tools that require little investment to master.

If you started your eCommerce business using Shopify, then chances are you’re using Shopify Shipping. If you’re not familiar with this service, it essentially lets you connect your Shopify account with Shopify’s shipping providers. That way, you can buy and print labels directly from Shopify and display calculated rates to your customers.

It’s basic, but it’s often a good tool for very small businesses to start shipping, before they adopt a more robust and .

Retailers will often outgrow Shopify Shipping when they need to start thinking more seriously about the rates they provide to customers and how their shipping tools work with the other parts of their business.

Shopify Shipping can also be quite limiting when retailers want to provide better post-purchase experiences for their customers.

Why you need to focus on post-purchase

The post-purchase experience stretches across your customer buying journey, starting before a customer even places an order and ending after they’ve received their package.

According to a study from Accenture, just 17 percent of customers believe that companies care about the post-purchase experience.

When your post purchase experience is inadequate, the resulting dissatisfaction could mean customers are less likely to return to your store the next time they need to buy a product. Worse, such experiences could lead to poor reviews – influencing other prospective customers.

Did you know that acquiring new customers can cost a business up to 16 times more than selling to existing customers? Or that repeat customers have a much higher average order value (AOV) and often spend 67 percent more than first-time buyers?

All of this goes to show that for most eCommerce retailers, there’s a need to focus on the post-purchase experience. You can do a lot to shore up your post-purchase experience by keeping customers in the loop. In this next section, we’ll explore how.

Note: We’ve written a dedicated article on how you can improve your overall post-purchase strategy, which you can read here.

The best ways to keep customers in the loop

1. Provide shipping notifications for each stage of the journey

The last thing a customer wants after placing an order is to be left in the dark as to where it is. This is where shipping notifications have a part to play in keeping customers informed after they’ve made a purchase.

With their permission, you should provide SMS and email notifications as a product passes through each stage of the delivery process. For example, when it leaves your warehouse, when it reaches the processing centre and when it’s out for delivery.

You can adjust the mix of channels, but your customers will feel at ease simply knowing where their order is. When you add your own branding to these notifications you have yet another touchpoint to build brand loyalty.

Free and friendly five star support is only an email or phone call away.

2. Put omni-channel customer support in place

View the entire delivery experience through the eyes of your customer. Is it easy for them to access information about their order when they want it? Are they receiving details at the right time? What’s missing from your delivery experience?

This is what’s known as an omni-channel approach – viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer and then tailoring your experience so it’s consistent across all channels.

Starting with a survey can be a good way to gauge how your customers feel about your delivery experience.

3. Create a simple returns process

At least 30 percent of all products ordered online now get returned, compared to 8.89 percent with traditional brick and mortar stores. For retailers, this means they need to ensure their returns experience is seamless and easy, or risk losing customers.

When you get the returns process right, you’re showing your customers that you’re in control of every step of the journey andencourage them to return to buy again.

Start by increasing the number of return options for your customers, including self-service. You should also make your returns policy as visible as possible, even before they reach the checkout.

Use Shopify? Consider shipping automation to handle post-purchase

If you want to deliver a post-purchase experience that customers will remember, you might want to consider a shipping automation tool – like Starshipit.

Starshipit integrates directly with Shopify and your courier services, giving you one place where you can manage shipments and everything that happens post-purchase. For example, you can:

  • Set up shipping notifications and tracking pages using your branding.
  • Simplify the returns process for customers.
  • Use the rules engine to offer couriers based on delivery address.

You’ll likely find that a shipping automation platform will also make your entire shipping operation more efficient in general, as well as giving you access to a host of other useful features:

  • Automatically generate shipping labels and send them straight to a thermal printer.
  • Correct invalid addresses automatically, ensuring customers get their orders on the first attempt.
  • Bring your own, pre-negotiated courier rates without anyone clipping the ticket.

Wrap-up and next steps

Managing everything to do with the post-purchase experience can often seem daunting for retailers, especially when time is such a valuable commodity. But, with a powerful shipping automation platform, you can easily create a great post-purchase experience for your customers without adding to your workload. Find out how today with a 30-day free trial of Starshipit.

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