What is Post-Purchase Experience?
The post-purchase experience is a crucial aspect of the customer lifecycle for businesses. It includes all the interactions and touchpoints after a customer has made a purchase.
The post-purchase experience is important because it can greatly impact customer satisfaction, increase customer loyalty, and the overall success of your business.
You may come across the term post-purchase experience as "post-purchase journey," "customer post-purchase experience,” or "PPX" in some areas.
Why is Post-Purchase Important for Ecommerce
You can consider improving the post-purchase experience in ecommerce as a strategic investment in the longevity and success of your business.
Why it matters so much is as follows:
- Customer retention: Keeping customers satisfied after their purchase encourages them to return. It's a cost-effective strategy - acquiring new customers can be more expensive than retaining existing ones.
- Brand loyalty: A positive post-purchase experience helps build trust. Customers who trust a brand are likelier to become loyal and repeat buyers.
- Word-of-mouth: Happy customers are your best advertisers. If they're pleased with how they were treated after the purchase, they will likely tell their friends and family.
- Feedback for improvement: Post-purchase interactions provide valuable feedback that can be used to enhance products and services.
- Problem resolution: Sometimes, issues may arise after a purchase, such as shipping delays or product defects. Resolving these problems promptly can turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one.
- Upselling and cross-selling opportunities: After someone makes a purchase, you've got a great opportunity to introduce them to other products or services.
10 Best Post-Purchase Experience Examples for Ecommerce
1. Provide Real-Time Order Tracking & Estimated Delivery Date
According to WeSupply, more than 85% of customers expect to see estimated delivery dates at checkout.
That's why today we add this super important strategy to ensure a good post-purchase experience in any online store:
- Choose a good tracking service: If you use Shopify or WooCommerce, they have their own tools. Or you can find other great apps like AfterShip or ShipStation.
- Inform your customers immediately: Send them an email or text message with a tracking link as soon as their order ships.
- Be accurate with dates: Try to give a delivery date as accurately as possible.
- Ensure easy access to information: You can put a tracking link on your website, like Ulta Beauty, so customers don't have to review all the emails.
- Provide help and support: Good communication can make a big difference.
2. Have a Convenient Return and Exchange Policy
A refund policy is like a rulebook created by a business. It explains when and how customers can return things they bought and get their money back.
It can be used as an incentive for the pre-purchase process, and it is assurance for your customers' post-purchase experience.
A survey revealed that 63% of U.S. consumers are more likely to shop online with free returns, 25% might shop more with this option, and 13% are unaffected by return policies.
Also, you can locate your refund policy on the navigation menu by including a link or in the footer and checkout page.
Here are the return policies of some well-known brands and how they incorporate them into their websites:
📌 Nordstrom: We can access Nordstrom's policy from the footer, and here is what they offer:
- In-Store Returns: Refunds are processed in 3-5 business days.
- Mail Returns: Processing in 10-14 days; refunds in 3-5 days.
📌 Zara: We can access Zara's policy from the footer, and here is what they offer:
- Online Purchase: 30 days from your order's shipment date.
- In-Store Purchase: 30 days from the purchase date.
📌 Allbirds: The return policy of Allbirds, a Shopify store, is also accessible from the footer like the others, let's see what it contains:
- Footwear: 30-day trial period for returns or exchanges, even if worn.
- Apparel: 30 days for returns/exchanges; labels must be intact.
- Socks and Undies: 30 days, packaging must be unopened.
3. Send Personalized Emails
Emails will be your savior when it comes to the post-purchase experience.
The examples below will show you how you can use many different strategies via email:
💌 Order Confirmation and Details:
According to Chamaileon, order confirmation emails have the highest open rate among other email types, with a 65% open rate.
That's why you should offer your customers all the information they want to find.
Hoama's email example shows how you can convey order confirmation to the customer in the simplest way:
- Bold text clearly states the order's shipment.
- It lists the order and tracking numbers.
- A prominent button enables order tracking.
- It details the items and prices purchased.
- Suggests visiting the store for more shopping.
💌 Shipping Updates:
After the order, things might not always proceed as planned. This is normal but should be addressed right away.
Cometeer's email example shows how you can send shipping updates to the customer:
- Stated the purpose of the email upfront – in this case, a shipping update.
- Issues such as delay were addressed directly and honestly.
- Customer is assured of the quality and safety of the product.
- Added a direct way for customers to access support if needed.
- They thanked the customer for maintaining a positive relationship.
💌 Product Care and Usage Tips:
You can send post-purchase emails with personalized tips on how to use and care for their purchased products.
Let's see what Away used in their email to increase post-purchase experience:
- Clearly explains a key feature of the product (the ejectable battery) and its usage.
- Includes visuals demonstrating how to use the battery feature.
- Details about additional accessories (wall adapter and micro-USB cord) and where to find them in the product are provided.
- Mentions the inclusion of a booklet for further information.
💌 Product Reviews and Feedback Requests:
Encourage customers to leave reviews and feedback through personalized emails, making it easy with direct links and expressing gratitude for their input.
Here are the takeaways from Graza's inspiring email:
- The review requests subject line "We’d really love your feedback" expresses a genuine desire for the customer's opinion.
- The message is short and to the point, respecting the customer's time.
- The "Leave a Review" button is prominent and easy to find.
- Explains that the feedback is appreciated and helps others.
4. Offer Discounts on Future Purchases
Offering a discount for a future purchase is a thoughtful gesture that shows appreciation for the customer's initial choice to shop with you.
The discount you offer must balance being enticing for the customer and financially viable for your business.
- DoorDash Email Example: They offer a substantial 40% discount on future orders, creating a strong incentive for repeat purchases, and they employ urgency by specifying an expiration date for the offer.
- Popupsmart’s Popup Example: Popups provide a clear call to action at a moment when the customer is already engaged with your site.
With Popupsmart, you can add exactly the same or completely different popups directly to your site via drag and drop.
5. Develop Comprehensive Guides or Tutorials
Most of the time, we think that the customers know what we are doing and all the details of the products we present due to our familiarity.
But sometimes customers might be thinking, "I wish I knew how to make the most of this".
That's where how-to guides and demos come into play. They guide users, making their experience smoother and more enjoyable.
These materials may include:
- Pourri’s how it works section to walk customers through setting up, using, and troubleshooting your product.
- BioLite’s video to demonstrate how to use their product or service effectively visually.
The video is actually really good, with someone explaining to you how to use all the products, supported by videos of how the product is used in nature.
- Love Hair’s FAQs to help users find quick answers to their queries.
When you provide these resources, you're not just offering solutions; you're empowering your customers to make the most of what they've invested in.
6. Conduct Post-Purchase Surveys
Post-purchase surveys are invaluable because they capture the customer's immediate impressions and experiences with your product.
This feedback can highlight what's working well and identify areas for improvement. They can also measure customer satisfaction and predict repeat purchase behavior.
How to craft your survey?
- Limit your questions, as shorter surveys are more likely to be completed by customers.
- Send out the survey soon after the purchase while the experience is fresh.
- Encourage participation by offering a discount or entry into a giveaway.
Where to create your survey?
- Tools like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms, or Typeform are great for building customized surveys that can be seamlessly integrated into your website, emails, or other customer touchpoints.
- Popupsmart offers a direct approach by helping you create quick popup surveys that captivate users without disrupting their online experience.
You can benefit from this strategy in depth by visiting our blog “How to Obtain Customer Feedback? (15 Best Ways & Tips).”
7. Establish a Customer Loyalty Program
Another important strategy is creating loyalty programs for your customers.
You need to try forming emotional bonds with your customers; don’t see them only as your customers but as your friends shopping from your store.
As a part of loyalty programs, you can offer rewards and incentives by personalizing them for your customers.
Let's take a look at H&M's loyalty program together:
The benefits offered provide immediate value, such as a welcome discount and long-term perks like birthday treats and free shipping, which enhance customer loyalty.
This part of H&M's loyalty program enhances the post-purchase experience by clearly guiding customers through the reward process. It transforms a single purchase into the start of an ongoing relationship.
8. Ensure Accessible Customer Support
After a purchase, customers may have questions or concerns about a product.
How these are addressed can make the difference between a satisfied customer and a lost one.
Accessible support means providing help whenever and however the customer needs it.
Implementing accessible customer support requires a blend of the right tools and strategies to ensure that you're meeting customers' needs effectively.
Here's how to make it actionable:
- Utilize platforms such as Zendesk or Freshdesk to combine customer inquiries from multiple channels into a single accessible interface.
- Incorporate live chat options on your website with tools like LiveChatAI or Intercom to provide immediate assistance.
- Employ tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to monitor and respond to customer queries on social media platforms efficiently.
9. Create an Online Community for Customers
When customers feel like they belong to a community that understands and supports them, they're more likely to stick around and keep coming back.
That’s why you may consider creating a community for them to join!
You can start by creating a customer forum to provide a digital space for discussions, questions, and tips.
At this point, social media is a big weapon. You can create private social media groups for insider chats and Q&A sessions.
You can also consider hosting webinars. Always remember to reward active members, collect feedback from the community for improvement, stay engaged, and encourage engagement and sharing by asking for reviews, photos, and videos.
Building this community turns customers into loyal advocates, boosting your brand's reach and reputation.
Take Shopify as an example. Shopify has a community of over 900,000 Shopify merchants where users can access discussions, groups, and events.
10. Pay Attention to the Packaging
No matter how good your product is, there is one last thing customers pay greater attention to: packaging. Don’t just take our word for it; check out the packaging statistics:
- A striking product packaging has piqued the interest of 81% of consumers, leading them to try something new.
- The visual appeal of product packaging has motivated 63% of consumers to repurchase a product.
- Changing the packaging has caused 52% of consumers to switch brands.
Since design and aesthetics are important for customers, offering your products with good-looking packaging is a must.
But not only the look, there are other things customers pay attention to when it comes to product packaging.
A 2022 survey in the United States on the effect of packaging on customer purchase behavior found that sustainable packaging is important to online shoppers, with one in four saying it influences their brand choice.
Yet, most shoppers still value finding coupons and discounts in their packages above all else.
When you offer good packaging, customers automatically think you care about them and their experience.
So, it’s a good way of optimizing post-purchase experience and inspiring customer loyalty.
What are the Post-Purchase Experience Metrics?
If you feel lost trying to understand the post-purchase experience of your customers, you can always rely on some metrics.
Here are some key post-purchase experience metrics that can help you assess and improve the post-purchase experience:
➢ Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): Do you ask your customers about their shopping experience? Well, you should.
For this, you can use CSAT, a simple survey that asks customers to rate their satisfaction with their recent purchase or interaction with your brand.
Usually, it is measured on a scale from 1 to 5 or 1 to 7, with higher scores indicating higher satisfaction.
➢ Net Promoter Score (NPS): NPS measures customer loyalty by asking a single question: "On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our product/service to a friend or colleague?"
Customers categories include Promoters (9-10), Passives (7-8), or Detractors (0-6). You can calculate NPS by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters.
➢ Customer Effort Score (CES): We have provided you with some ideas to make the shopping experience smoother, but how to measure this?
You can check out CES, which assesses how easy it is for customers to accomplish their goals. Customers rate their effort on a scale; in this case, lower scores indicate a better experience.
➢ Repeat Purchase Rate: How do you know if customers return for more?
To find the Repeat Purchase Rate, just divide the number of customers who made repeat purchases by the total number of customers and then multiply by 100.
This way, you’ll know how often customers return to make additional purchases after their initial one. The higher the repeat purchase rate, the better.
➢ Customer Retention Rate: With this metric, you can measure the percentage of customers who continue to do business with you over time.
➢ Churn Rate: Churn rate is the opposite of retention rate. It represents the percentage of customers who stop doing business with you within a specific time frame.
Lower churn rates are better for your business.
➢ Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): This metric helps you predict how much money a customer might spend throughout their entire time with your brand.
When CLV is high, it means customers are sticking around and loving what you offer.
➢ Product Return Rate: You might already guessed that if the return rate is high, the customer post-purchase experience is not very bright. So, the lower the product return rate, the better.
To calculate the Product Return Rate, just divide the number of returned products by the total number of products sold and then multiply the result by 100.
➢ Time to Reorder: To calculate the Time to Reorder, you just add up the time it took for all repeat purchases and then divide that by the number of repeat purchases.
This way, you measure the average time it takes for customers to place a reorder. If the reorder time is short, you are on the right track.
These metrics are not the only ones that you should be paying great attention to, but it can be said that they are the most important ones.
Using these metrics, you’ll have an understanding of the effectiveness of your post-purchase strategies.
In essence, the post-purchase phase isn't just an afterthought; it's an integral part of your ecommerce strategy.
Understanding the post-purchase experience is just as vital as the buying process itself.
We've walked you through straightforward strategies and metrics to make it crystal clear.
By implementing these insights, you'll have the tools to enhance and optimize your customers' post-purchase experience, ensuring your customers remain satisfied and loyal.
Happy customers mean a thriving business!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a Post Purchase Example?
A post-purchase example is what happens after a customer buys something.
For example, when a customer purchases a laptop online, the post-purchase experience includes receiving the product, setting it up, using it, getting help if needed, leaving reviews, and considering additional accessories or services.
It's all the experiences and interactions that come after the purchase.
2. What is Post Purchase vs. Pre-Purchase?
Pre-purchase is before you buy when deciding whether to make a purchase. Post-purchase is after you've bought something, involving using the product and sharing your experience.
3. What are the Stages of Post-Purchase?
After making a purchase, customers typically go through stages like:
- receiving the product
- using it
- seeking support if necessary
- leaving feedback or making additional purchases
These stages capture the customer's post-purchase journey.
Next to Read
- A Roadmap for Customer Journey Optimization with 7 Practices
- 17 E-commerce Personalization Examples
- 26 Best Checkout Pages to Enhance Shopping Experience
- 11 KPIs for Customer Retention: The Key to Customer Loyalty
- How to Increase Customer Lifetime Value- 12 Engaging Methods