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Elevating the eCommerce Post-Purchase Experience With Personalization

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Personalized experiences allow shoppers to experience a personal touch with their orders, either for themselves or for a gift recipient.
man and daughter opening up a brown box package with a teddy bear inside

Ecommerce retailers often focus on providing a personalized shopping experience on their digital channels before and during the customer journey. But what about post-purchase? Personalized experiences allow shoppers to experience a personal touch with their orders, either for themselves or for a gift recipient. They experience the care and joy of unboxing an order that feels meant just for them. The holidays are a key time for gift-giving, and retailers that elevate the post-purchase experience with personalization offer something other than just another routine eCommerce order delivery. But how can eCommerce brands make the customer experience that much more delightful? 

We see smaller eCommerce stores, such as those on Etsy or eBay, curate a highly personalized experience with hand-written notes, specialized packaging, coupons, and gift-wrapping. These retailers are known for their personalized customer experiences. Easy enough for small boutique shops to do, right? What about when you need to scale to thousands of orders per day like Amazon and Target? 

Expanding eCommerce Personalization 

The big box pre-purchase online shopping experience has become increasingly personalized. Memberships and rewards programs ensure retailers have customer details, and omnichannel customer relationship management tools make it easier to synthesize customer habits, preferences, searches, purchases, and product recommendations. Real-time communication and notifications keeps shoppers aware of their ongoing relationship with the brand and their order statuses. 

When customer data flows through a solid, unified, and integrated omnichannel order management system, all the dots connect, and the customer experience feels seamless and coherent. 

Brands are getting really good at personalizing the pre-shopping experience. But more often than not, once the order is placed and tracking information transmitted, the customer ends up receiving their order in just another brown box with (hopefully!) eco-friendly packaging materials. Kind of like the warehouse just packed it up, tossed it on a truck, and the carrier delivered it to the porch. Suddenly, the highly personalized experience feels anything but. 

Yes, there are orders where customers truly just want their order to show up, undamaged, and to be accurate. But brands are missing out on an opportunity to keep that personalized shopping experience going, rather than having it drop off with a plain brown box on the doorstep. 

What’s at Stake with a Plain Brown Box Delivery Strategy? 

It’s not the color of the box, by the way. Think of it like this. Your customer feels known, seen, understood, supported, helped by your brand during their shopping experience. All of these feelings foster customer loyalty. As humans, we like to feel cared for and known. These positive feelings are missing from the standard brown box delivery process. In fact, order delivery is typically a forgettable experience. With the exception of brand logos, one brown box doesn’t look or feel much different than another. It could be any brand delivering the product to the customer. And that is what is at stake. 
When the personalization strategy drops off after purchase, your brand becomes forgettable. You want to be memorable, and nothing is more memorable in a digital world than the human touch. 

So far, we’ve referenced traditional doorstep order fulfillment. But store fulfillment can feel just as impersonal if it’s just another hurried employee handing the order across the counter in-store or at the curbside. For the most part, it’s akin to interacting with the carrier delivery driver. A quick hello and thank you. 

Benefits of Personalizing the Shipping & Delivery Experience 

What are the benefits of personalizing the post-purchase experience? 

  1. It generates a full-cycle of customer satisfaction. The brand experience feels complete and holistic, and customers will be more likely to feel more loyal. Being delighted makes humans want to continue the experience that led to delight — which means returning shoppers. 

  1. It makes your brand memorable. Customers live out the adage that they may not remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel. 

  1. It creates more opportunities for influencer marketing campaigns. A personalized unboxing event is something that can be easily shared on social media. 

  1. Personalized unboxing experiences may lead to increased sales and shopping cart sizes. 

Personalizing the Shipping & Delivery Experience 

What makes a post-purchase order delivery feel personalized? Human connection and a little bit of tender loving care. 

At Radial, our value-added services include the following ways of making the unboxing experience personalized and delightful: 

  • High-touch gifting. This may include gift messaging with hand-written notes, to custom wrapping and custom packaging solutions for one-of-a-kind experiences. 

  • Kitting, bundling, and merchandise preparation. We customize this process with programs for pre-kit, bundle, kit-on-the-fly, and gift with purchases. And, when products need to flow from channel to channel, Radial can tag, hang, and bag them to be shipped to wholesale, marketplace, or retail channels. 

  • Order personalization. This allows retailers to offer personalization options with each customized order. 

Retailers that do not have the staff or infrastructure to implement personalization in the unboxing experience at scale, often partner with a third-party logistics company like Radial to provide these added-value services. 

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