When it comes to growing your Shopify store, customer experience is everything. From your store’s navigation to how you engage them on social media to which payment options you offer, crafting that perfect experience takes a lot of time and strategy. However there is one area of the customer experience that can slip under the radar - the post-purchase experience. It’s this time between the customer placing an order and the package arriving on their doorstep where there’s a potential for that carefully crafted customer experience to turn sour.
One of the biggest issues for customers in this post-purchase period is not knowing what’s going on with their order. Consumer expectations around shipping and fulfillment are extremely high thanks to the rise of super-quick shipping from the likes of Amazon. They want to know where their order is at all times. Thankfully there’s a very simple solution - real-time tracking. Real-time tracking is as it sounds - you’re giving the customer the ability to check in on their order status in real-time. That way, they can see if their order is still awaiting dispatch, if it has been shipped, and where it is once it’s en route. However real-time tracking isn’t just a handy little tool you can add to your store, there are also huge benefits to your customer retention and service.
The Post-Purchase Experience
The customer journey goes beyond the point they click “Checkout”, and so too do the friction points that can affect their brand perception. With so many different options available to consumers, customer experience becomes a major purchasing factor with 74% of consumers saying they’re at least somewhat likely to make a purchase based on brand experience alone. There’s often a great deal of emphasis placed on an easy Checkout experience for a customer, and then providing a meaningful unboxing experience. However that period of time between these two events is where a lot of issues arise.
So, how can you possibly control that period of time? After all, once that order leaves your warehouse it’s all up to the shipping partner, right? Well, there’s some truth in this. Yes, there is that third party element that you can’t control. If there are shipping delays or issues, that’s not your fault. However in the eyes of your customer, those issues become part of the experience of your shopping with your store. It might not seem fair necessarily, but that’s why it’s so important that you offer complete transparency on your end. You might not be able to control what happens when the order leaves your warehouse, but you can control how much information your customer has access to.
Real-time tracking then becomes a crucial part of the customer post-purchase experience. You’re offering them as much information as possible about where their order is and when they can expect to receive it. If there are delays, these can be clearly communicated and tracked so that even though there’s inconvenience to the customer they’re still not left wondering where their order is. This is especially important to your customers at key shopping periods, particularly the holidays at the end of year.
Increase Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
The customer experience is all about maximizing satisfaction with your store. It makes sense then that if you’ve got a plan for every other aspect of your store’s experience that you have a plan for that post-purchase period we spoke about above. Offering real-time tracking is an easy way to increase customer satisfaction by removing the uncertainty around what’s happening with their order, giving them peace of mind and more control over the situation. These satisfied customers often turn into loyal ones, which in turn boosts your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) with the probability of selling to loyal customers being 60-70% compared to 5-20% for new customers. They’re also 50% more likely to try a new product, and spend 31% more than a new customer, boosting your Average Order Value (AOV) for this audience.
Moreover, satisfied customers are more likely to recommend your store to their friends and family. Word-of-mouth recommendations are incredibly powerful when reaching new customers, with 81% of consumers saying they trust the recommendations of a friend or family member.
Reduce Customer Service Requests
Responding to customer service requests in a timely manner is an important part of any successful customer care strategy. However when your team is required to spend time on enquiries related to order status and shipping, it can slow down the customer service process. When it comes to issues with their order, 69% of customers will attempt to solve the problem themselves before turning to your customer service team. In this instance where we’re discussing order related issues, customers could utilize real-time tracking thereby solving their problem without the need to contact your team. The less order related enquiries coming in, the more time your team has for more complex enquiries or other tasks.
Circling back to how loyalty and satisfaction play into this topic, excellent customer service is important for customer loyalty as well as 78% of customers say that it will encourage them to buy from a brand again even after a mistake. This contrasted against 50% of consumers saying they’d switch brands completely after poor customer service only serves to emphasise the importance placed on your customer care strategy. Offering real-time tracking is all part of that customer care experience, so you can improve their perception of your customer service without a representative one-on-one speaking to a customer.