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3 ways to enhance the post-purchase customer journey

illustration of people in different positions around the letters ‘CX’ with the text ‘post-purchase customer journey’

Its common knowledge that retaining customers is far more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. Yet robust post-purchase strategies continue to be overlooked in the ecommerce sector. When 4 out of 5 consumers have switched brands due to poor experiences, you simply can’t afford to neglect your post-purchase communications.

The post-purchase phase is the conclusion of a customer’s buying journey, occurring after they’ve compared the available options and purchased a product. From the standpoint of customer retention, it carries a lot more significance than the pre-purchase stages – but experiences far less investment.

In this post, we’re going to explore the importance of the post-purchase journey and how your business can create a seamless, stress-free experience for customers.

Why the post-purchase customer journey matters

A merchant’s work isn’t finished when the purchase is complete. Why? Because this post-purchase phase is the best possible time to focus on building customer loyalty and retention.

Your customers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their orders, making them highly receptive to your brand’s communications. Yet this is exactly where many businesses halt their dialogue, meaning they miss out on valuable opportunities to strengthen their relationships with customers. 

If you make the effort to maximize touchpoints after a transaction, it’s far more likely that you will see first-time customers become repeat business.

Keep your customers in the loop with timely notifications

Your customer is going to have a range of queries immediately after a sale has taken place: When will my order arrive? How do I return an item if it isn’t right? Where can I make contact if a problem comes up? 

In the post-purchase phase, it’s your job to pre-empt their concerns and guide them through the delivery process as efficiently as possible. This is where email notifications become one of your best tools.

Notifications related to order and shipping notifications receive some of the highest email opening rates – as high as 107%! This makes them an especially effective form of post-purchase communication. Furthermore, they save you both money and time spent dealing with customer inquiries. 

You have the ability through the Whiplash platform to set up automatic notification emails for a variety of updates such as order shipments, tracking information, and return processes – and even a simple ‘thank you for ordering’ to show your appreciation (it’s the small touches which often count for the most!)

Improve the delivery experience with branded packaging

The way we conceptualize the post-purchase journey is still heavily influenced by brick and mortar experiences. Yet there’s a critical difference in ecommerce; the delay between purchasing and receiving a product. 

But fulfillment and shipping lead times don’t have to be a disadvantage. If you can turn the often-mundane moment of delivery into a memorable brand encounter, you’re far more likely to foster customer loyalty.

Branded packaging is one of the most effective post-purchase strategies. It makes a positive impression during one of the most important parts of the customer journey: Receiving the product.

According to Bouvier Kelly, over 50% of consumers say they would make more purchases from a brand that uses custom packaging, while 61% say that it makes them more excited about receiving their order. 

In short, product presentation can create a powerful incentive for your customer to purchase again.

If you’re considering investing in branded packaging, Whiplash is on hand to connect you with experienced partners who can create the perfect packaging strategy for your needs. Best of all, this can be integrated directly into the fulfillment process at our warehouse, which means minimum stress and hassle.

Offering a seamless returns process

It’s not unusual for customers to experience anxiety when purchasing online. The best solution to alleviate this? Offering hassle-free returns. This makes consumers much more likely to commit to purchasing in the first place, and also offers your business a valuable opportunity to build a stronger rapport with your customer during the post-purchase journey.

There are a variety of reasons why your customers may want to return items, so this shouldn’t be viewed as a reflection of your business. In fact, as many as 92% of consumers say they will buy from a brand again if the returns process is easy the first time around. 

By offering a streamlined solution to this frequent ecommerce situation, it helps to bolster perceptions of you as a convenient and trustworthy vendor.

As a busy merchant, it’s essential to have an efficient and proactive returns system. Using Whiplash’s customizable returns workflow, you have the option to include a returns link within your order confirmation emails, rather than your customer having to request it separately. This creates a much more streamlined system that gives your customer greater confidence in your operation.

The customer journey doesn’t end when the sale is completed. As they eagerly await the arrival of their order, your customers are ready and waiting for communication from you – which is a great chance to nurture both new and existing relationships.

This post-purchase stage offers your business some of the most valuable opportunities to engage your customers and build trust in your brand. In such a saturated marketplace, it’s vital that you leave them with a positive impression that outlasts the initial thrill of a new purchase.

As a key part of the fulfillment process, it’s in your best interest to make the post-purchase experience as smooth and cohesive as possible. By partnering with Whiplash, you have the flexibility to configure your entire strategy according to what works best for your business and your customers.

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