After the consumer clicks “buy,” your business is still on the hook to deliver a hassle-free post-purchase experience or risks losing repeat customers. In fact, 47 percent of online shoppers have chosen not to order from a retailer again because of a lack of visibility into a package’s delivery status. And, two out of three consumers will shop more with a retailer that offers a hassle-free returns policy.
From package tracking to affordable returns and delivery solutions, the post-purchase customer experience hinges on the shape of your shipping. Successful businesses are finding ways to compete on shipping in order to keep customers coming back for more.
Here are some of our top tips and tricks using shipping to improve the customer experience.
The Post-purchase Experience Starts with Improving your Shipping Costs
Especially now that free shipping is expected, it’s important to make sure you’re using cost-effective shipping options to meet your bottom line.
Unfortunately, 68 percent of business owners consider shipping costs to be their biggest operational challenge, according to our State of Shipping report. But, it doesn’t have to be an obstacle in the post-purchase process.
The best shipping strategies are proactive. Review the current shipping rate charts to make sure you understand the prices before you buy. Be sure to look at your monthly invoices or package archives to identify your most popular packages and routes to see if there’s any way you can be saving money. Some ways to save include optimizing the packaging you use or comparing with other shipping services. Finally, consider shipping software that allows you to compare rates before clicking “purchase”.
Maximize the Benefits of Shipping and Order Confirmation Emails
Did you know that shipping confirmation emails are opened 1.5 times on average? It’s the easiest way to engage with customers right after purchase.
When you do send these emails, include a link to the order tracking page, since emails with links have two times the click rate than confirmation emails without them.
And consider including your brand name in the subject line, since that has a 7 percent increase in unique open rates compared to emails without it.
Smart retailers will also include logos and other relevant opportunities when they email the tracking information in order to continue the experience and build brand loyalty. For example, click-to-open rates are 16 percent higher for confirmation emails that include invitations to join loyalty programs.
Shipping confirmation emails are some of the most popular communications between a business and consumer. Test the above tips for yourself to see if they boost your post-purchase customer engagement.
Offer Peace of Mind with Seamless E-commerce Returns
Don’t fear your return policy. In fact, since 66 percent of shoppers look at a retailer’s returns policy before purchasing, you can’t hide from it anymore.
Make sure to include your return policy in a prominent location on your website. You want to ensure potential customers can easily find it, so they feel comfortable making the purchase.
You also need to determine how you’ll charge for returns, if at all. Customers who received free shipping on returns increased their purchases over the next two years by 58 to 357 percent.
While free returns may not be in the cards for everyone, consider offering an expedited shipping service, like USPS Priority Mail, to deliver your packages. Then, provide a slower service, like USPS First Class Package Service, to affordably return unwanted items.
Shippo now allows users to purchase return labels for packages where the outbound label is generated outside of Shippo. What that means is even if you generate an outbound label through your eBay account, for example, you can still create a return label through Shippo.
Come Say “Hi” at ShopTalk
We’ll be at ShopTalk from March 18-21 next week, sharing tips to improve online retailers’ post-purchase shipping experience. We’d love to meet up to help improve your shipping strategy and bring in repeat customers.
Shipping is instrumental in shaping the post-purchase experience for customers. In an era where the customer experience lasts well beyond that final click, it’s important for businesses to spend a few extra minutes getting their shipping right or risk missing out on easy ways to get those repeat customers.
For more e-commerce business shipping advice, check out our recent post highlighting three shipping policy examples for retailers.
Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.