A customer just ordered from your e-commerce store. You’re on cloud nine, and why wouldn’t you be – you just converted a prospect into a customer. But as exciting as getting orders is, you can’t rest on your laurels just yet.
This is only the third stage of a buyer’s journey (shown below). You are now no longer accommodating a prospect looking for a solution, you are now dealing with a consumer who is looking to get value from your brand and products.
What happens after a purchase is just as important to the bottom line as the initial purchase. Data from Salesforce shows that 80% of customers say the experience provided by a company is as important as the products and services they sell. Meanwhile, 57% of customers said they stopped buying from a company because of a competitor who delivered a better experience.
And yet, most e-commerce businesses are reluctant to invest in or even properly understand the post-purchase experience.
So, what exactly is the post-purchase experience (PPX)?
To define it simply, it’s how you treat a customer after they have made a purchase from your e-commerce store – the journey that commences right after checkout.
A lot goes into designing a post-purchase experience that will convert skeptical buyers into raving fans. How do you think Amazon took over the marketplace landscape? From super-slick fulfillment to timely feedback requests, simple returns, and refunds, they’ve nailed many aspects of the buying journey – at least when it comes to a marketplace-based shopping experience.
Components of a winning post-purchase experience
Now that you know what the term “post-purchase experience” entails, here’s a look at some typical touchpoints of a post-purchase experience:
- Fast, on-time delivery (such as through Ohi’s 2-hour, same-day, and next-day delivery options)
- Real-time order tracking & updates that are on-brand
- Product care tips and optimal usage suggestions
- Simple returns & refunds process
- Post-purchase feedback
- Value-adding upsells and cross-sells
- Sustainable e-commerce fulfillment
A great after-sale experience will encourage retention, increase sales, and improve your brand’s reputation.
A few good reasons why your e-commerce business needs to optimize post-purchase customer experience
In the words of Kristen LaFrance, the head of Shopify’s Resilient Retail series:
“In e-commerce, you don’t have the same face-to-face sales interaction that you would in a retail setting, so you have to take care of some of those steps post-purchase when you finally have a direct line of communication with the customer.”
Optimizing the post-purchase experience can therefore be an excellent customer retention strategy, and it doesn’t require brands to spend a king’s ransom to do so either. And with better first-party customer data, direct-to-consumer (DTC/D2C) brands should have a competitive edge here, because understanding customers better is the key to optimizing the post-purchase experience.
Optimizing the post-purchase experience will increase customer retention, improve AOV and repeat purchase rate.
Once your e-commerce business is relatively well-optimized, your top priority shifts to retaining customers.
Repeat customers are, after all, the holy grail of your e-commerce business, and a well-optimized post-purchase experience will help increase the average order value (AOV), reduce customer churn, and increase customer lifetime value (CLV), which all ultimately dictate your bottom line.
This is why Ohi focuses on amplifying the e-commerce post-purchase experiences for its partner brands. By enabling ultra fast delivery (including sub 2hr) and on-brand, customizable post-purchase communications, Ohi helps brands deliver a positive and powerful post-purchase experience that keeps customers coming back for more.
The impact? Ohi brand partners see significant ROI, including an average 28% increase in conversion and up to 120% higher repeat purchase rates.
It’s how you foster brand loyalty!
To build long-term brand loyalty, emphasize how your customers will benefit from sticking with your brand. Setting up a memorable post-purchase experience will help you influence how your customer thinks, and most importantly, how they feel about their purchase and their relationship with your brand.
When you deliver exceptional post-purchase experiences, existing customers develop loyalty toward your brand.
Part of the reason for enhanced loyalty is that these positive customer experiences can help foster an emotional connection, which studies have found capable of driving as much as a 306% higher LTV for your online business.
An optimized post-purchase customer experience also leads to higher customer advocacy.
According to Nielson, 92% of customers said they trust the product recommendations provided by their family and friends.
When you offer care and support even after they have purchased from you, you give them a reason to stick with your company.
A positive post-experience results in happier customers, higher retention, better reviews, and more positive word of mouth for your company. Make absolutely sure your brand is doing everything in its power to provide the best PPX on the market and drive as many potential consumers through the entire customer lifecycle, from the minute they encounter your brand to the point where they are self-propelled advocates for your brand and your products.
What helps people, helps business – Leo Burnett (American advertising executive)
Post-purchase experience is not limited to a post-purchase “thank you” email. And going beyond just an email is the difference between standing out and fading out in the customer’s memory. You have to push the envelope – expand your idea of what a memorable post-purchase customer experience truly entails: from checkout and order updates to fast delivery and delightful unboxing experience, to post-purchase offers and beyond.
At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.