10 facts that show how important post-purchase is in ecommerce

Looking for ways to improve your customer experience? Then consider looking at what happens after a customer places an order.

The post-purchase experience encompasses everything that happens after a customer clicks “checkout”. That’s transactional emails, dispatch and delivery, tracking, customer service, product use, returns, and more. And it’s a highly valuable part of your overall customer experience when it comes to retention and loyalty.

Not convinced? Here are some facts that show the value of that post-purchase experience, and five ways you can easily improve yours. 

10 facts that show the value of post-purchase

#1 - While only 18% of retail leaders believe the post-purchase process can be significantly improved, a staggering 83% of consumers think there is room for improvement.


We all like to think we know what our customers want, right? Sometimes what we think and the reality can be very different! The majority of customers want a better post-purchase experience, and the brands who can provide that will come out on top. 

#2 - 90% of consumers say the post-purchase experience is just as important as the quality of the products 


How you treat your customers will influence how they feel about your brand, and in many cases this trumps product quality. No matter how great your product is, it’ll pale in significance if a customer feels like your experience isn’t up to their expectations. After all, there will be competitors out there who may be able to offer a better experience…! 

#3 - 70% of consumers said the ability to track orders was one of their top three considerations when buying a product online 


Knowing where your order is can be nerve wracking, especially if you’ve got a deadline. Think going on vacation and you’ve ordered a new suitcase, or it’s the holiday season and you’ve ordered gifts. The greater visibility you have, the happier you’ll be. And the same goes for your customers. 

#4 - 91% of consumers actively track their packages, 39% track them once a day, and 19% of Americans track their packages multiple times each day. 


Speaking of tracking, it isn’t something that customers just check when they get that first email then forget about. Many track their packages at least once a day! That’s why it’s so important to keep up communication with customers about where their order is. Whether that’s through the tracking tools you offer, more email communication, or SMS updates.

#5 - 92% of consumers surveyed said that they will buy again if product return process is easy 


Returns might feel like a pain as a merchant, but they’re even more so for your customers. After all, they didn’t want to order something, pay for it, and wait for it just to discover it doesn't quite suit their needs. Then they need to try and return it too! Making this process as simple and clear as possible is so important in building those positive relationships. Even if it’s a new customer, this streamlined process will go a long way and it might even make them try again in future. 

#6 - 86% of loyal customers will recommend the brand to their friends and family 


Nothing is more effective than a word-of-mouth recommendation. If a friend tells you that a brand is great, you’re more likely to believe them. Fostering loyalty with your customers takes time and effort, and much of this will come in that post-purchase experience. Loyalty programs, a solid delivery experience, great customer service, and proactive feedback are all invaluable tools you can use to do so.

#7 - 66% will write a positive online review after a good experience 


Getting reviews can seem difficult, but sometimes it really is as simple as just providing customers with a good experience. Products being up to expectations is just the beginning for customer satisfaction - couple that with a truly great customer experience and you’ll set your store up for more positive reviews.

#8 - 81% of customers say that they would make another purchase if they had a positive shopping experience 


Everything that goes into your customer experience is what goes into your customers’ purchasing decisions. When they go to make a future purchase, they’ll think about everything related to your experience - not just your products! Post-purchase is such a huge portion of that experience, and getting it right can be a huge boost for your business.

#9 - 61% would switch to a competitor after just one poor experience 


Want to keep your customers coming back for more? Then you need to find those friction points and fix them. Especially in post-purchase, there’s a lot that can go wrong. Unsatisfactory order communication, poor customer service, difficult returns process, and more can all lead to a poor experience. And your customers won’t hesitate to find a better option from a competitor. 

#10 - Repeat customer statistics reveal that returning loyal customers spend an average of 33% more per order as compared to others 


Retention is the key to continued success in ecommerce. The more returning customers you have, the better for your sales. Loyal customers spend more and are more likely to try new products compared to new ones. Having a retention strategy is just as important as an acquisition strategy, and of course retention comes post-purchase. 

5 easy ways to improve your post-purchase experience 

#1 - Go beyond transactional emails 

Transactional emails are the base requirement when it comes to post-purchase communication. They’re functional and necessary, but they don’t always add much to the customer experience. So, consider how you could go beyond these standard emails in order to inform, engage, and connect with your customers as they await their order.

Add a couple of emails to that post-purchase automated flow that can help to enhance the customer experience while they wait:

  • Information about customer support, returns and exchanges, and how to get in touch with your team.
  • Offer product knowledge about the items in their order - if you have a large catalog, perhaps focus on helpful guides about the product category instead.
  • Get them in the know about your community - social media, loyalty programs, and user generated content.  

#2 - Offer more robust tracking tools

It’s clear that customers like to track their orders frequently, so given its importance to them it makes sense to improve your tracking experience. Many merchants rely on the tools provided by their chosen couriers, and customers are typically used to this. However, why settle when you could offer something better?

Apps like Order Lookup enable merchants to give their customers a real-time tracking portal that’s fully branded, contains all their order information, and more. Customers can see what’s happening with their order at all times, and you can even add notes. It feels like a small change, however it’s one which can make a big difference to retention. 

#3 - Make it easy to initiate a return

It’s inevitable that sometimes, a customer will want to return their order. Maybe a product just wasn’t suitable, maybe it didn’t arrive on time, or maybe they simply changed their mind. Of course as a merchant, you don’t want to think about returns - they can mean lost revenue and unhappy customers. However by making the process easy and clear, you’ll be more likely to retain those customers who had to return an order.

You can make this experience better by…

  • Adding returns and exchanges information to a clear position on your website’s navigation, e.g. footer sitemap.
  • Adding a summary of your returns policy to product pages, plus a link to how the process works.
  • Adding information about returns to transactional emails once a customer places an order.
  • Sending an extra email during the post-purchase process explaining returns and how to initiate one. 

These extra pieces of information will go a long way in providing your customers with a better service experience. 

#4 - Follow up for feedback

Customers want to know that you care about their experience, and the best way to show that is by asking them about it. Feedback demonstrates that brands take an active interest in the customer experience. And it’s useful for your team, as you can identify areas for improvement based on real customers. Customers are also open to helping you out with that feedback - 83% of consumers say they’ve completed a feedback survey for a brand in the last 12 months.

Feedback can come in a number of forms - surveys about specific aspects of their experience, simple rating scales, star ratings, review requests, and so on. You can choose the most appropriate method for the kind of feedback you want and segment based on audience or circumstance. For example, if you want to ask for feedback following a customer support interaction it may be better to keep it quick and easy by using a star rating with a comment box. However, maybe you want feedback about your loyalty program, so you may want to instead send a survey to a segment of your audience who frequently engages with that program. 

#5 - Promote loyalty programs

It’s safe to say that customers love a good loyalty program - in one survey, 83% of customers said loyalty programs influence their decision to buy again from a brand. It makes sense then to promote your loyalty program if you have one throughout the post-purchase experience. 

Promotion can be as simple as making loyalty programs part of the email flow that customers are part of when they place an order. If they’re a new customer, then you can tell them all the benefits of your program, how it works, and anything they may have already earned through that first purchase. If they’re an existing customer, it could be an update on how their latest order has affected their loyalty status, or a thank you if they’ve redeemed something from the program e.g. free shipping or a free item. 

If you don’t have a loyalty program, you could still reward customers. For example if they place an order over a certain value, then you can send them a surprise gift card to use on their next order. Or if they’re a new customer, you can offer them free shipping. 


When it comes to customer experience, post-purchase is critical. The value of a really great post-purchase experience from shipping to communication and more is important for the continued growth and success of your store. By finding ways both big and small to improve it, you can foster loyalty and keep customers coming back again and again.