Streamline Post-purchase Operations for Enhanced CX

Streamline Post-purchase Operations for Enhanced CX

Nearly 40% of retailers fail to meet their advertised delivery times, indicating a gap between customer expectations and actual service delivery. How do retailers overcome the loopholes in their post-purchase customer service?

How do brands fare at keeping customer experience promises? As the ecommerce industry rapidly evolves, the difference between leading and lagging increasingly hinges on the quality of customer experience, particularly delivered during post-purchase. From order confirmation to requesting a return, every touchpoint is a battleground that decides customer loyalty’s success or failure. 

parcelLab and Salesupply, Europe’s ecommerce customer service and logistics fulfilment providers, analysed the UK‘s top 100 online shops to determine their contact option transparencies, at what times and through which channels customer service is available, and how quickly the UK‘s largest online retailers respond to customer enquiries.

What is the impact of post-purchase experiences on customer loyalty? 

Unveiling the survey results, Tobi Buxhoidt, CEO at parcelLab, said, “Nearly 40% of retailers fail to meet their advertised delivery times, indicating a gap between customer expectations and actual service delivery. Reliable delivery is a critical factor in customer satisfaction and retention, and the report reveals that a significant number of retailers are not achieving this.”

The report further revealed varied response times across various channels, including Whatsapp, social media, emails, chat and telephonic calls. Around 50% of the online shops tested took more than five minutes to answer customer calls. The average response time was 8:23 minutes.

Whereas one retailer in the test was unavailable on the phone for general enquiries and only responded to customers with order-related questions. Another retailer hung up without a word after two minutes on hold. 

Substantial gap between highlighted and offered return policies 

While an encouraging 72% of retailers offer free returns, a substantial gap exists as nearly 30% do not, potentially deterring customers seeking flexible return policies. This inconsistency highlights a crucial area for operational improvement, suggesting enhanced logistics strategies are needed. 

Sustainability challenges continue to exist 

Another concerning finding revealed that 58% of shipping packaging still incorporates plastic, emphasising the need for a shift towards more sustainable practices. This affects the environment and responds to the increasing consumer preference for environmentally friendly business practices.

Other key findings of the report include: 

  • Around 50% of the retailers do not provide clear delivery time information on product pages.
  • Meanwhile, 55% of the link tracking to the carrier, but nearly half lack enhanced tracking visibility.
  • Only 20% charge for delivery, impacting competitiveness and over 80% offer express delivery at an average cost of £6.93.
  • Almost 66% of retailers use chatbots, showing a shift towards automated customer service solutions.

How to streamline post-purchase operations for enhanced CX? 

The above-mentioned gaps in post-purchase operations prompt retailers to implement more customer-focused practices and improve transparency in their communication strategies. This calls for the retail industry to enhance delivery reliability, integrate effective human interactions with technological solutions, and adopt sustainable packaging options.

Possible solutions to enhance post-purchase operations: 

  • Switching to pre-populated text modules to respond to standard enquiries is a step to reduce average response time. 
  • Reevaluating the delivery charges, considering their competitive impact, and exploring ways to offer free or more affordable delivery options.
  • Providing clear and accurate delivery time information on product pages, fostering customer decision-making.
  • Implementing robust logistics and fulfilment processes ensures delivery times are met, aligning customer expectations with actual service.
  • Utilising chatbots efficiently while balancing automated and personalised service to meet diverse customer needs at scale. 

For instance, Scurri recently integrated UK-based HelloDone’s conversational AI solutions to instantly answer post-purchase customer queries on digital messaging channels. This integration is enabling retailers and brands to automate responses to customer queries in real-time via AI-powered chatbots. As a result, retailers can immediately resolve customer needs at scale. 

By closing gaps in post-purchase operations and embracing customer-centric practices, retailers can build stronger customer loyalty. This requires a commitment to improving delivery reliability, blending human interaction with advanced technology, and adopting sustainable packaging solutions. Ultimately, the brands that succeed will be those that consistently fulfil their customer experience promises and foster long-term trust and satisfaction.