Onepilot News

February 29, 2024

The Importance of the Post-Purchase Experience in 2024

The Importance of the Post-Purchase Experience in 2024

The Importance of the Post-Purchase Experience in 2024

Woolman, Europe's premier Shopify Plus agency for brands, has collaborated with over 400 different brands and retailers throughout the years. Working closely with their key customers provides a clear understanding of global scale trends. This year, there's a strong emphasis on enhancing the understanding of customer relationships and utilising all available data to improve customer experience.

Global uncertainty and inflation have been reducing profits for brands, especially in Europe. The less stable market environment compels brands to improve their service to existing customers and discover innovative methods for acquiring new, valuable customers. Many brands have neglected the post-purchase journey and customer retention.

So, what should brands do differently this year?

Mikko Rekola, Chief Evangelist at Woolman, responds:
"Brands operating on Shopify are actually quite fortunate in terms of data. Shopify's checkout system is state-of-the-art, ensuring all data is unified. By default, Shopify collects so many data points that it often surprises even our enterprise-level customers. This data can be further enriched with loyalty, reviews, and marketing automation data."

Shopify POS offers an omnichannel perspective for brands aiming to oversee a more holistic customer journey. In 2024, Shopify rebranded its entire physical offering as Shopify Retail. This change provides leverage, but data alone is not valuable unless it is processed and analysed correctly. This was one of the primary reasons Woolman launched the Ellis D2C data operating system back in 2022.

Woolman assists its customers in succeeding with data and focuses their attention on the right issues. Regarding retention, 8 out of 10 brands have significant improvements to make. These improvements typically involve a clearer focus on customers with high lifetime value or identifying new customer segments that, with the right actions, can become far more valuable.

Rekola highlights that many brands are missing crucial opportunities with important customer journey touchpoints during and after checkout. Customer success tickets, returns, and product replacements are actually great opportunities to increase customer retention and add exceptional customer experience value. If utilised correctly, they can provide an additional boost to the entire business and even aid in word-of-mouth customer acquisition. In the best-case scenarios, these practices can directly increase customer lifetime value estimation and positively change the brand perception.


Turning Returns into Sales Opportunities

While a lot has been said about the importance of loyalty and retention, the reality is little has been improved in the past years. Without a positive view of the current economic landscape, brands are forced to rethink their strategy which cannot be made merely of acquisition efforts but instead, as pointed out previously, an efficient balance between innovative methods to acquire new customers paired with exceptional post-purchase experiences to retain these.

Despite the fact we are all aware that allocating the largest portion of the budget to acquisition efforts is unsustainable, still, the post-purchase in general and return processes in particular, keep on being neglected.

Why is it so?

The reality is, returns represent one of the most painful aspects brands have to face. However, as much as companies adopt all the efforts to reduce them, they are and will continue to be inevitable. Therefore, to keep on navigating through this adverse landscape, brands should not miss the opportunity to leverage returns to ensure an exceptional post-purchase experience to increase their customer lifetime value.

In an e-commerce environment where customers are offered a variety of options that best meet their needs to complete a purchase as fast as possible, still getting a refund, exchange or credit back in their hands takes weeks (if not more). Moreover, complex return procedures further worsen this issue, leading to a decline in repeat purchases.

In stark contrast with this current widespread scenario, brands that select Reveni offer a customer-centric approach by both putting the money back in the shoppers’ hands in seconds with instant refunds and exchanging items in a small number of days rather than weeks with the instant exchange option, without worrying about potential fraudulent returns as Reveni assumes the risks and costs associated with these.

Online brands should start to fundamentally shift their mindset towards returns and look at them not only as an unfortunate inevitability but more as an opportunity to open up new revenue streams and therefore more sales. Implementing refunds and exchanges instantaneously, significantly enhances the overall perception of a brand: offering a flexible and smooth return policy leads to a premium post-purchase experience for an online shopper; a satisfied online shopper would result in that client not only repurchasing more frequently and more confidently but also, as stated by Rekola, can lead to a higher acquisition rate through word of mouth. And, during times when attracting new customers is increasingly costly, organic growth should not be underestimated.

Looking ahead to 2024, investing in innovative post-purchase experiences will be paramount to ensure long-term success for brands operating in the digital space.


The Power of Service: Enhancing Post-Purchase Interactions

In today's competitive digital landscape, the significance of the post-purchase experience cannot be overstated. As brands navigate challenges brought on by global uncertainty and inflation, focusing on customer retention becomes a strategic imperative.

A pivotal element of the post-purchase experience is the effectiveness of customer service. Brands must invest in comprehensive customer support that goes beyond addressing issues. Efficient handling of customer success tickets, returns, and product replacements can turn potential problems into opportunities to showcase exceptional service, leading to increased retention and positive word-of-mouth.

In the fast-paced world of e-commerce, real-time problem resolution is essential. Recognizing this, Onepilot stands at the forefront, offering e-merchants a simple and flexible tech-enabled outsourced customer care solution. Our comprehensive service is designed to handle all or part of their tickets, utilising native and locally based agents across all channels and providing 24/7 support.

Brands should embrace personalization and proactive engagement to further elevate the post-purchase journey. Imagine you contact your pet food company and our heroes are asking about their pets by name? This level of attention and care goes beyond transactional relationships, fostering a deep connection and loyalty. By leveraging the wealth of data available, we empower brands to tailor communications, promotions, and recommendations to individual customer preferences, creating a truly unique and satisfying experience.

Building trust is fundamental to long-term success. Brands need to establish transparency in their processes, especially during returns. Reveni's assumption of risks and costs associated with potential fraudulent returns demonstrates a commitment to trust-building. Transparent and fair return policies, coupled with seamless processes, contribute to a positive brand perception and strengthen long-term relationships with customers. Their solution combined to our customer support is the winning combo to a happy and loyal customer.

As we look ahead to 2024, brands operating in the digital space must recognize that investing in post-purchase experiences is not just a choice but a necessity. Balancing acquisition efforts with a focus on customer retention, efficient problem resolution, personalization, and trust-building will be key to sustained success. Brands that prioritise the post-purchase journey as much as the initial transaction are poised to thrive in an environment where customer satisfaction and loyalty are paramount. In conclusion, the future of e-commerce success lies in the hands of those who understand and prioritise the significance of the post-purchase experience.

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