The final mile presents an opportunity to build trust in your brand. Get the communication experience between purchase and delivery right and you’ll leave a positive impact on consumers. Do it wrong and consumers will remember the negatives–68% of shoppers won’t return after a poor delivery experience, after all. By putting your brand front and center during post-purchase communication, you get to reap the benefits of increased brand exposure.
The Post-Purchase Communication Guide is a three-part series covering why and how brands leverage consumer attention after the sale to drive loyalty, retention, and even additional revenue. In this article, you’ll learn the basics of Post-Purchase Communication and how it builds relationships with your customers.
What is Post-Purchase Communication?
Post-Purchase Communication is any interaction your customers have with your brand after completing a purchase. This includes a range of engagements that can fall into the following categories:
- Purchase-related engagements, such as receipts, shipping confirmations, delivery scheduling, shipment tracking updates, package delivery notifications, and more. These can be distributed via email, SMS, chat, or in-app notification (if available).
- Brand and loyalty engagements, such as feedback requests and loyalty program updates.
- Customer support interactions, including emails, chats, calls, texts, or other engagements initiated by the consumer.
What are the benefits of Post-Purchase Communication?
“Effective post-purchase communications contribute to higher customer retention rates. It keeps the conversation going with your customers after they leave your store, strengthens the relationship with your brand, and helps inspire brand loyalty.”Alexandra Sheehan, Shopify
Post-Purchase Communication is more important to the customer’s experience than one might expect. Where else along the buyer’s journey are customers as engaged as they are when waiting for a delivery? UPS alone reports that it receives over 374 million online package tracking requests each day. Post-purchase may be only one part of the full experience, but it is the period when customers are watching most intently.
The Full Consumer Experience
Effective communication stifles post-purchase jitters. Be honest—how many times do you check the order status of the things you’ve ordered? The average shopper does so an average of 4.6 times. By taking an active approach to keeping customers informed, your brand has a prime opportunity to leave a lasting impression.
Post-purchase communications build strong relationships with customers
Communication is the foundation of every strong relationship. Lasting consumer relationships aren’t created by hitting the “buy” button. It’s the full journey that builds real trust. And that trust has value for brands—increasing customer retention by 5% leads to 25%+ increases in profit.
Effective communication after the sale helps reduce buyer’s remorse while building excitement. 69% of Americans say the internet is their top impulse buying source, so buyer’s remorse can creep in. Sending updates as the package moves towards its final mile can reassure buyers that something fun is headed their way. This is especially true of expensive purchases. The more someone spends, the more they expect real-time notifications.
Higher customer retention rates can also be attributed to post-purchase communication. The likelihood of completing a sale to a new customer is around 5-20%. For an existing customer, that number skyrockets to 60-70%. If your messages help build relationships, your brand has a lot to gain.
Post-purchase communications reduce “Where is my order?” (WISMO) calls
Proactive outreach as items get closer to your buyer keeps people from having to ask the question that we all know is on their mind: Where is my order?
If a poor post-purchase communication strategy contributes to a negative experience, your brand may lose out on loyalty. There are customer service operations costs too, as each WISMO call costs an average of $5 to resolve. Scale that with your parcel volume (check out this handy WISMO calculator for assistance) and those resolution expenses can really add up. Clearly, it’s important to do what you can to reduce WISMO inquiries.
Post-purchase communications reduce WISMO calls in two ways:
- Tracking updates proactively tell customers their order status. There’s no question to ask if the answer is already in your email or texts! Notifying your customers of important status updates eliminates pressure points that lead to WISMO calls.
- Predictive updates help manage expectations before issues arise. This is the next-level of post-purchase communication. Brands and retailers can use technology to identify shipping and delivery issues before they occur. This is especially relevant for time-sensitive deliveries, like food, flowers, or other perishables. Notifying the customers of imminent delays before they happen can help stop the frustration of checking the porch all day, and the ultimate connection with customer service to get more information.
Post-purchase communications jumpstart the next sale
Does the product have accessories or attachments? Are there other items customers often purchase after buying certain things? If your orders are repeatable, do you make the next purchase easier by including links in your delivery email?
Splendid Spoon, a meal delivery company, does a great job of this. To start, the urgency and complexity of fresh food delivery makes communication throughout the shipping process imperative. But with every hunger-inducing communication, they include a look at other available meals. Perhaps you see something you might like to try for lunch next week?
Post-purchase communications deliver on promises
Your outreach and messages after the sale are one part of your overall delivery experience. If your goal is to delight customers while also gaining efficiency in the last mile, post-purchase communication should absolutely be part of your Delivery Experience Management (DEM) strategy.
An expected delivery date is a promise. Keeping your customers in the loop through the delivery journey shows how you’re delivering more than just a package. And even if issues arise, open communication can reset expectations as needed, so the trust still exists. Post-purchase communication is the piece of the puzzle that helps your customers know you’re working to give them the best experience possible.
Post-purchase communications drive loyalty and sales
Post-purchase communication is a great way to take advantage of heightened consumer attention and excitement to build lasting relationships that drive real value. Your brand can do more than just check the boxes. Providing a fantastic and memorable delivery experience can set your brand and products apart.
What does it take to put together a great post-purchase communication strategy? Check out part 2 of the Post-Purchase Communication Guide to learn the six guiding principles of communication along the post purchase journey. Or skip to part 3 if you’re ready to start building your post-purchase engagement process right away.
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