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Nearly 80% of Consumers Won’t Buy Again After a Bad Post-Purchase Experience

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What is a bad post-purchase experience and how can eCommerce brands improve it?
woman on phone giving two star rating on a purchase

Retailers and consumers are disconnected when it comes to expectations around the post-purchase experience, and this is costing retailers. eMarketer reports that 83% of consumers think the post-purchase experience could be improved, but only 18% of retail leaders believe that. Further, 79% of consumers report that they may not purchase again from a brand after a poor post-purchase experience. The question is: what is a bad post-purchase experience and how can eCommerce brands improve it? 

The post-purchase experience is everything that happens after a consumer clicks buy. This consists of payment processing, order status and shipping notifications, rewards, delivery, unboxing, customer feedback, reviews, returns, and customer care. At every point along this journey, there are opportunities for things to go awry and for brands to leave a lasting positive impression that deepens loyalty.  

But despite 93% of consumers saying the post-purchase experience is important, brands often do not invest as heavily in this phase as they do in the pre-purchase experience. For example, only 15% of video content by brands in North America are for post-purchase consumers.  

Shipping Weighs in Heavily 

One of the most important components of this phase is shipping. In fact, 90% of eCommerce consumers report that shipping accounts for at least half of their total online experience. Further, 71% of online shoppers have contacted customer service in the last year because of shipping or delivery issues and 51% said they are likely to leave a negative review if these issues are not satisfactorily resolved.  

It makes sense that the shipping and delivery experience is so important to the customer experience – this is where they receive the products they ordered. When things go right, all is well. But when things go wrong, if the item is incorrect, damaged, or unsuitable, it’s disappointing. It also begins a cycle of effort that consumers must make to remedy the situation. Either they contact customer service or initiate a return. If the mistake is too grave, they may express their feelings on social media before the brand has any opportunity to correct the issue. A lot is at stake.  

In addition to shipping and delivery, consumers report that not having loyalty points applied or being targeted by ads for items they’ve already purchased also negatively impacts the post-purchase experience. 

Brands Can Improve These 7 Things 

At Radial, we’re devoted to helping eCommerce retailers deliver on their promises in the post-purchase experience. We partner with businesses to help them identify and implement tailored practices in payment processing, fraud prevention, sustainable packaging, unboxing strategies, shipping, delivery, transportation management, reverse logistics, and customer care. If you’re wondering how you can improve your post-purchase experience, here are 7 ways to do so.  

  1. Ensure a seamless payment and fraud prevention process. Once a consumer clicks buy, the post-purchase journey begins. A smooth payment process, fast authorizations, and mitigated false declines are important to a positive experience.  
  1. Communicate order status and shipping updates in real-time. Consumers track their purchases often and want to be informed of any potential delays. Proactively communicate to continually manage expectations.  
  1. Use sustainable packaging engineered to minimize waste. Consumers care about this – not only from an environmental perspective, but also because they must deal with the packaging once it’s in their hands.  
  1. Create a delightful, personalized unboxing experience with value-added content, and make sure it is a “shareable” moment worthy of potential influencers.  
  1. Offer as generous a return policy as you can. We know that many retailers are putting constraints on returns (and for many this has been detrimental to sales); if you must do so, be as generous as possible and offer alternatives for consumers to obtain free returns.  
  1. Make contacting customer care hassle-free. By the time a consumer contacts customer care, they’ve exhausted self-service options and are in need of a resolution and an emotional turnaround experience. Customer care needs to be seamless, friendly, and empowered to resolve issues on first customer contact.  
  1. Tune your automation to ensure that reward points are applied immediately and that customers are not retargeted by marketing for products they’ve already purchased.  

The eCommerce post-purchase experience is where loyalty is kept or lost. Be sure you are investing in continual improvements. Need help? Radial is here for your eCommerce brand. 

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Radial can help with post-purchase experiences.