How to Master Post Purchase Experience as a Brand or Marketplace
The post purchase phase is an emotional part of the online shopping experience. This is the stage of a sale where consumers lose control and visibility over what happens next. So, they are eager to know where their parcel has reached. The waiting period from the moment they click buy until they receive their purchase increases anticipation and excitement, and this is something you can capitalize on with through parcel tracking capabilities.
- According to a Global E-commerce Consumer Research Report , nearly 70% of consumers expect order tracking when buying products online.
- In the same survey, 56% say it is a top consideration when ordering luxury items.
- Another report says, 82% of respondents claim the importance of end-to-end tracking is significantly higher when buying internationally.
As you can see, consumers prioritize order tracking and visibility to a great degree. In the event of limited parcel tracking information or non-proactive updates, consumers may reconsider buying from your brand or marketplace again.So, what do customers want to know from tracking insights? They want insights on:
- Estimated arrival times
- Current locations
- Shipment history and movement
- When an item leaves a store, warehouse or distribution center
- Return tracking details (as refunds depend on this)
While this is great information to share, you like most brands and marketplaces may be outsourcing your delivery. So, managing the post purchase experience can get complicated.
But if you hold off on sharing parcel tracking details through your sales channels, you may be pushing customers away.
2. What’s Derailing Your Customer’s Post Purchase Experience
As mentioned, the post-purchase period is the time when customer excitement is at its peak and the desire to know where their orders have reached is also immense.However, poor parcel tracking has the power to turn this highly anticipated journey into a frustrating and disappointing ordeal as it can cause a mix of the following consequences:
- Difficulty managing WISMO queries
The overwhelming number of “where is my order” queries from customers often adds pressure on your customer success teams. Finding the information customers need takes time. And with many consumers asking the same question, errors and miscommunication are guaranteed outcomes, frustrating consumers. The sheer volume of WISMO queries can cause your team to delay answering other queries, leading to unhappy customers.
- Increased customer churn and decreased revenue
When customers make a purchase, they expect reliable and accurate parcel tracking. If the tracking information is inadequate or inconsistent, it fails to meet their expectations. A lack of reliable tracking updates and holistic post purchase experience lowers their trust and loyalty toward your brand.
- Damaged reputation and low CSAT score
Frustration, anxiousness, or inconvenience caused by insufficient delivery updates fuel negative reviews and ratings on marketplaces and online stores. These reactions are damaging to your reputation as they raise doubts about your business’s reliability and competence.
- Increase in order cancellations
Customers value transparency and clear communication throughout the order fulfillment process. If customers feel left in the dark about the status of their orders, they may opt to cancel out of dissatisfaction with the overall experience. If tracking problems persist despite multiple inquiries or attempts to resolve the issue, customers may consider the brand inefficient, which erodes trust and prompts cancellations.
- No visibility on exceptional situations
In the event of unexpected situations or instances where parcels go missing, get damaged, or are destroyed in exceptional scenarios, visibility of these situations is essential. No visibility in such instances can impact end consumer experiences and your revenue. For example, if a package is delayed, customers may need to change their plans accordingly. But, poor parcel tracking systems that do not provide visibility on exceptional situations make it challenging for customers to anticipate or plan for such contingencies.
Lionel Berthe, Head of Asia-Pacific, Asendia says, “We had different parcel tracking software. One of the challenges we experienced was depending on the clients we had multiple sources of information. Without our single main source of information we had trouble absorbing multiple tracking events and extracting the information we wanted.”
- Dependence on manual order tracking
Without a proper parcel tracking system in place, you become reliant on manual tracking processes. Tracking a parcel’s location takes longer in this case as there is continuous back and forth between your brand and delivery partners. Another hurdle your customers face is the continuous need to contact you for tracking updates. This is frustrating and incredibly inconvenient.
- Confusion caused by different data exchange formats from multiple carriers
If your business works with multiple carriers that use different tracking platforms or systems, customers may need to navigate through various interfaces to track their orders. Each platform may have its own user interface, features, and terminology, making it challenging for customers to track their packages consistently. This fragmentation can result in confusion and frustration. Moreover, you miss out on the potential to generate additional revenue through a guaranteed sale.
- Restrictions in scaling up business
Poor parcel tracking may cause you to spend more manual efforts, resources, and time to address tracking-related inquiries or issues. These situations will hamper your revenue and growth in the market.
3. You’re Sabotaging the Post Purchase Experience by Accepting the Flaws in Your Tracking Mechanism
By now, it’s quite clear that the post purchase experience plays a critical role in shaping customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, by overlooking flaws in your parcel tracking, you are significantly impacting customer experience. Like you, many brands and marketplaces fall into the trap of accepting the flaws in their parcel tracking software, unaware of the detrimental effects these can have on customers. Here are some of the challenges that need immediate rectification:
a. Lack of visibility
Customers may not receive enough updates about the status of their orders, such as shipping and delivery times, which can cause confusion and disappointment. Customers rely on accurate tracking information to plan their schedules and make necessary arrangements for receiving their orders. Without visibility into the estimated delivery time or updates on any delays, customers may struggle to plan accordingly.
b. Delayed and inaccurate status updates
Delays or errors in order status updates can lead to frustrated customers. It can be especially challenging to map the correct status of each order when different carriers provide conflicting information. Lags in system updates, inconsistent data synchronization, and conflicting information from different carriers are the main causes of this challenge.So, a negative experience will more than likely have the reverse effect on a customer which will lead to little or no repeat customers.
c. Multiple tracking numbers
When orders contain multiple items with different tracking numbers, it can be difficult to keep track of all the updates and ensure that they are accurate. Customers may need to track multiple shipments simultaneously, leading to increased complexity and potential confusion. As a brand or marketplace, this fragmentation can make it difficult for you to consolidate the tracking data and provide customers with a centralized and comprehensive view of their entire order’s progress.
d. Integration with third-party carriers
Integrating the tracking systems of third-party carriers with your order tracking system can pose technical and logistical challenges, which may result in delays and errors. For example, integrating tracking systems from different carriers requires establishing compatibility between various data formats. Moreover, each of your carriers may have their own processes, infrastructure, and tracking mechanisms. Integrating these systems into a cohesive and seamless tracking experience can require significant effort and coordination.
e. Returns management inaccuracies
When customers initiate returns or exchanges, it is essential to ensure that the tracking information is accurately updated and that the correct items are being returned. If tracking information is not accurately updated or is delayed, customers may experience frustration and uncertainty regarding the status of their return and the resolution process.
f. Increased order status inquiries
Customers may need to contact the customer care team over emails or calls to inquire about the current location and delivery dates of their orders, which can be time-consuming and challenging to manage. Managing a high volume of order status inquiries requires allocating additional resources to handle the increased workload. In the event of an overload of inquiries, customers may experience delays or difficulties in reaching your customer care team, resulting in a negative perception of the company’s responsiveness.
g. Manual processes
When order tracking relies on manual processes, it can be labor-intensive and prone to errors, which can cause delays and increase the risk of customer complaints. Communication gaps can also occur between various stakeholders, including carriers, fulfillment centers, and customer support teams. And manual processes become increasingly challenging to manage as the volume of orders grows.
As your business grows the manual tracking process also becomes tedious. And without accurate tracking reports and communication, your scalability is limited. Sustainable order tracking practices are essential to boost your expansion and keep customers coming back.
h. Frustrated customers
Order tracking issues can frustrate customers, lead to negative reviews, lost revenue, and damage reputation. Customers who experience difficulties in tracking their orders may feel neglected, uninformed, or undervalued. This can erode their loyalty and make them more likely to switch to competitors who offer a smoother and more reliable post purchase experience.
4. Elevate Post Purchase Experience with Parcel Tracking Software
From your perspective as a brand or online marketplace, it can be pretty challenging to provide advanced order tracking information. Especially, if you take on this activity alone through manual processes.
Fortunately, you don’t need to go down this path.
You can master e-commerce parcel tracking with software solutions specifically adapted to offer a great post purchase experience and capitalize on the anticipation during this phase. Here’s why they are used by renowned digital marketplaces and brand webstores for seamless post purchase experiences:
a. Increase tracking visibility, reduce customer queries
With e-commerce parcel tracking technology, you can track parcels in real time, providing accurate and up-to-date information on the whereabouts of each package. This enables you to confidently answer customer inquiries about their orders, eliminating the frustration of not knowing the status of their deliveries. With a unified view of all parcels across multiple carriers, you can easily provide customers with timely updates about the movement of their packages. Providing this information promptly will reduce the frequency of “Where Is My Order?” (WISMO) queries significantly.
b. Engagement with customers in your brand’s style
Some advanced e-commerce parcel tracking software allow you to create customized tracking pages and emails that reflect your unique brand identity. This branded communication features your business logo, messaging, and colors, enabling a consistent and immersive customer experience.
By incorporating your branding into the tracking page, you can reinforce your brand image and create a sense of familiarity and trust with customers. This personalized touch enhances the overall post purchase experience and strengthens your customer relationships.A branded parcel tracking experience can offer marketing potential too. With a branded tracking URL, you have the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. A branded tracking page offers an ideal space for targeted marketing. You can also use this page to offer exclusive promotions and provide links to your social media platforms to generate an additional revenue stream.
c. Customers kept informed through customized notifications and alerts
The right parcel tracking software can allow you to set up customized notifications and alerts for your customers via email.
Advanced parcel tracking software will help you create notifications that are branded, white-labeled, and aligned with your visual identity.
Through these custom email notifications your customers can be updated on time regarding their parcel status, keeping them informed throughout the delivery period. Personalized notifications enhance communication, manage customer expectations, and contribute to a positive post purchase experience.
d. Elevated understanding of your delivery services
With valuable analytics and reporting features provided by parcel tracking software you can track key performance metrics, such as shipment status, carrier performance, notification analytics, and exception management. By monitoring these metrics, you gain insights into delivery performance, you can identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize post purchase experiences. Analytics also enable your business to gauge customer satisfaction, measure Net Promoter Score (NPS), and identify opportunities for enhancing the overall customer journey.
Today, Asendia uses a more robust parcel tracking system to help clients improve post purchase experiences.
Lionel Berthe, Head of Asia-Pacific, Asendia, says, “We have to follow 1 million parcels a week and each of those parcels have around 10 to 20 events that must be tracked. With a robust system, we have better tracking solutions to offer our customers, and they have better interactivity with the final customers – the shopper.”
The pathway to customer satisfaction and loyalty hinges on the post purchase experience— the factor that propels customers to share their purchase stories and ignite your business growth. Today, prioritizing the post purchase experience isn’t just an option; it’s an essential foundation. Not adopting the right e-commerce technologies to elevate this experience could result in the loss of substantial gains, whereas a strategic approach can unlock remarkable rewards.
In today’s online market, it’s vital for consumers to have trust in your ability to deliver their purchases. And, when delays occur, they expect authentic and reliable information from you. To meet these expectations and provide customers with what they want, accurate tracking data is essential. By leveraging parcel tracking technology, you can ensure transparency and effectively address any concerns related to order delivery.
Investing in the right technology not only enhances the post purchase experience but builds trust and loyalty among your customer base. It enables you to deliver a seamless and reliable service, leading to positive customer reviews and recommendations. By prioritizing the integration of advanced tracking solutions, you can optimize the post-purchase journey and strengthen your position in the competitive e-commerce landscape.
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