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Is Your Ecommerce Site's Post-Purchase Experience Turning Customers Off?

You work hard to get your e-commerce site visitors to browse your website, fill their shopping carts and check out. But your work isn't done when a customer clicks "Place Order." In fact, the most important part of an e-commerce sale is just beginning. The way you handle the post-purchase experience can make or break your e-commerce business’s reputation with customers.

What do online shoppers love (and hate) about the post-purchase process — and how does your business measure up? A recent survey by Narvar asked shoppers what makes them loyal to online retailers. Here are the five things they care about most.

1. Time is of the essence

What really matters to online shoppers? On-time delivery is paramount — 72 percent of respondents (and 79 percent of those under 30) say this is the number-one thing that makes them loyal to an e-commerce website. In fact, 60 percent of shoppers want an accurate delivery date when they place their order.

2. Fix your mistakes

If something goes wrong with in order, don't try to hide it. More than half of consumers (51 percent) say they want to be notified if a problem arises, such as a product going out of stock or a delayed shipment. What's more, such mishaps can be a golden opportunity to earn shopper loyalty. The top reason consumers would choose one e-commerce retailer over another is if the company resends a product that was lost or damaged during shipping and expedites it.

3. Returns happen

In the early days of e-commerce, many consumers were nervous about buying online — what if they didn't like the product? Today, shoppers know returns are just part of the online shopping process. They expect to be able to return a product bought online as easily as they can return one purchased in-store, and 7 in 10 consumers are more likely to be loyal to e-commerce sites that make it easy to return or exchange items. What constitutes "easy"? For 65 percent of shoppers (and 73 percent of frequent online shoppers), it’s being able to print a label and ship the item back. In addition, 65 percent want to get a full refund, without charges for return shipping costs or "restocking fees."

4. Show some emotion

Online shoppers care about getting personalized product recommendations and tips on how to use products better. But they care far more about feeling valued. Sixty-one percent of shoppers say the number-one thing that would make them more satisfied with their online purchases is "a simple thank-you." That’s easy, isn’t it?

5. Personalized communication

How should you communicate that thank-you? Apparently, email is still the gold standard for e-commerce communication. A whopping 94 percent of respondents say they like to receive communications from e-commerce retailers by email, 22 percent say SMS text messaging, and 2 percent say Facebook Messenger (respondents could choose more than one method). While email still reigns supreme, the survey notes that younger shoppers are more open to alternate methods of communication. Be sure to offer a variety of options to suit everyone’s tastes.