Focus on Post-Purchase Experience to Improve Customer Satisfaction


User experience (UX) is a major consideration for e-commerce firms in an ever-increasing competitive environment. While you may be focusing on personalizing the purchasing experience for your customers and minimizing the number of actions they need to take to complete a purchase, you should remember that UX also depends on the post-purchase experience you provide for your customers.

According to a recent study by consumer marketing firm Narvar, how your customers perceive their post-purchase experience can make the difference between a one-time customer and a loyal one that keeps returning to your site to make a purchase. Narvar surveyed more than 1,000 customers who purchased something online during the past 12 months and found that 49% worried about their package being damaged in transit and 42% thought that their package would not be delivered within the promised timeframe.

The study found that on-time delivery was a crucial factor in developing a positive UX leading to long-term customer relationships. About 60% of the respondents to the survey stated they were more likely to make a purchase from an e-commerce firm that provided a definite date for delivering their purchase, while 72% said that receiving an item on the promised delivery date was the number-one reason for making future purchases from that retailer.

Narvar found that the second most important factor in building long-term relationships with customers was to simplify the returns process, with 70% of the respondents stating that an easy exchange or return process would make them more likely to become repeat customers.

The study also noted the impact that Amazon has had on other e-commerce firms, as consumers are now holding them to the higher standard that Amazon created. The “Amazon effect,” which allowed the company to expand its market share by offering fast, free shipping and easy returns, no longer applies to just Amazon. Consumers now expect other e-commerce firms to provide the same level of customer service and are more likely to remain loyal to firms that do.

Narvar found that age was a factor in determining how customers preferred post-delivery interaction with e-commerce firms. Customers between the ages of 18 and 29 preferred email communication but were more receptive than older customers to receiving communications by Facebook Messenger, the retailer’s app and SMS/texts.

When asked what post-purchase information would make them more satisfied with the retailer, 61% said that a thank you message mattered the most. Other factors mentioned were personalized recommendations, examples of how other customers were using the product and recommendations on how to use the product. Customers under the age of 30 were more interested in seeing how others were using the product (37%) than those who were aged 30 or older (21%).

While devoting resources to personalizing consumer experience does improve UX, the study made it clear that e-commerce firms can benefit most by devoting more resources to basics of post-purchase UX: ensuring that products arrive on time and undamaged, making returns easy, and thanking their customers for making a purchase.

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