Don’t Forget: Customers are Still Customers Post-Purchase

Posted on January 10, 2019

It’s one of the easiest mistakes to make, but it can be fatal for your business if you make it. You can do everything right. You can develop an excellent website, an awesome brand, a killer social presence, and a fantastic conversion rate, and yet if you get this step wrong, you’ll lose customers at an unprecedented rate. Today we’ll be giving you some data that will remind you that customers are still customers following a purchase.

A recent study from Pitney Bowes revealed 61 percent of online consumers felt let down by their online shopping experience over the holiday season. That’s a 14 percent rise from 2017 and a 20 percent rise over the past two years. This could be due to difficult returns, delays in shipping, or a less than streamlined process, but regardless, these are real problems. The study also found that as a response to an undesirable post-purchase experience, 90 percent of e-commerce consumers will take action that can negatively impact a brand. Your brand can’t afford that. So what steps are necessary to make sure your post-purchase experience is a great one?

Free and fast returns are a great strategy. Fast (66 percent) and free (80 percent) were reported as the top criteria online shoppers consider when deciding where to buy. Additionally, 91 percent of consumers will leave a site altogether if those services aren’t available.

Delays in shipping may be out of your control, but quick shipping won’t hurt you by any means. Expectations are becoming so high, just 47 percent of consumers would describe free two-day shipping as fast. That may sound disheartening as those are Amazon levels of quickness, but you may not find your bottom line hurt. More than 60 percent of consumers see it as acceptable to require at least a $25 purchase in order to trigger free shipping. Keeping this in mind can potentially help increase your average sale pric.

It goes without saying that communication is your best friend here. Maybe you can’t guarantee two day shipping, but you can guarantee good customer service. Customers are more likely to respond well to consistent contact. You will not hurt your business by being good at customer service. 

Post-purchase is a crucial time for your business, and can make or break your business long term. By offering easy returns, quick shipping, or at the very least a great customer service experience, you can transform post-purchasers into lifetime pre-purchasers.