Post purchase experience ‘new frontier’ for online retailers

Post purchase experience ‘new frontier’ for online retailers

Online retailers need to be more focused on the post purchase experience of their consumers in a bid to convert one-time shoppers into loyal customers, it has been claimed.

According to an article by The Harvard Business Review, online retailers should care more about the experience consumers receive once their purchase is made, and remember that the end purchase is by no means the end of the journey for the consumer.

While previously little was made of the ‘experience gap’ between purchase and receiving the product, it is now a key moment in which to forge a relationship with the buyer.

According to Amit Sharma, “Focusing on the post-purchase experience is the next frontier for online retailers. Previously, retailers handed off the customer experience to a third party, like FedEx or UPS, which focused on delivery.”

Indeed, focusing on a customer’s entire journey is highlighted as the new way of creating an ongoing relationship – which is a good thing, with only 16 percent of companies currently said to be focused on customer retention despite it ‘costing at least five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.’

Sharma continues, “Now, retailers are extending the customer hand-holding post-purchase with beautiful branded interfaces, delivery visibility, and personalized content. By streamlining customers’ paths to purchase and bringing them back directly into the loyalty loop, brands can convert one-time shoppers into lifelong brand advocates.”

US beauty retail giant Sephora has been heralded for its successful consumer relationship, whether online, instore or on mobile. Online makeup tutorials, branded delivery tracking pages with deals and educational content running alongside and an integrated returns solution are all just some of the features that puts the trail blazer ahead of the pack.

In order to create this post purchase experience retailers are encouraged to engage a four pronged attack; continue the conversation, provide shoppers with relevant personalized information, transform a bad customer experience into an amazing experience and create an organizational environment that supports a great post-purchase experience. Applying these strategies is said to create a lifelong consumer/brand relationship.