As we get into the holiday season, people around the world will kick into their year-end shopping. Much of this shopping will take place online as eCommerce becomes even more widespread and common. As many people will tell you, the shopping experience has vastly improved over the years, where much effort has been put into thinking about the user experience. Where it all breaks down, is often after you click the buy button. From not knowing what comes next, to waiting indefinitely until your package shows up, these things all add to a negative customer experience. In today’s competitive markets where word of mouth is critically important, a bad experience is something you cannot afford to have happen to them.
So what do you do if you’re an eCommerce vendor?
First, you need to define what a complete post-purchase experience looks like
A great post-purchase experience helps the customer get from purchase to being a happy ambassador. It generally follows this flow: notifications, tracking, shipping, returns, and feedback. Let’s look at each of these and what you should be considering there.
People like to know that progress has been made on their purchase. As best practice, they should be notified at the following points:
- When the purchase is confirmed and payment is received
- When the purchased item is shipped out
- When the item has been received
If during those times, you can provide a time estimate for it to be complete all the better. That way, the customer can plan for the arrival of the purchase.
Allowing your customers to track the shipment is also tremendously helpful – it gives them a place to check progress on their purchase. This also has an operational advantage for you – having a place to check the status gives them one less reason to contact you about where their package is.
Shipping and Handling
From using a reputable shipping solution to paying attention to your packaging, shipping and handling undoubtedly plays and important part in the customer experience. If nothing else, it might be the first time the customer comes into contact with your brand in the physical world.
It is also important that your return policy is clear and easy to find on your website. This makes it clear that you are taking the customers interest at heart, and this will give you more leeway when it comes to unavoidable mistakes (like when goods are damaged during shipping).
Finally, it is also important for customers to be able to reach out to you with their feedback, whether it’s good or bad. If it’s good, fantastic, that’s a potential source of word-of-mouth marketing. If it isn’t, it is an opportunity to learn. It’s better than them going on their personal social channels to let the world know.