Introduction to Personalized Returns in Ecommerce
The ecommerce sector has transformed the shopping experience of every customer. But, as it transcends shopping into the new era, it tries to carry the much appreciated and much-demanded qualities of the traditional shopping experience. While ecommerce has tried to have personalised notifications and tracking pages for the customers, they are used to display product recommendations that promote and upsell their products.
The personal touch drew customers to a particular store or brand, making the shopping experience easy and memorable. Personalised returns are the future of the post-purchase customer experience, as it allows you to engage with the customer at various stages and retain the customer for future purchases. The ecommerce returns process is often ignored, but it is an integral part of the ecommerce supply chain.
To enhance the customer experience and establish better communication between the brands and the customer, the brands typically use a branded tracking page with personalised recommendations and proactive notifications. More customers are more frequently concerned about their returns and refund status. The returns process is a new cross-selling channel that can reduce your losses due to the returns and increase your customer retention rate.
To understand why personalised returns are the future of post-purchase customer experience, let’s take a deep dive into the topic of post-purchase expertise of the customer and its importance.
1) What is Post-Purchase Customer Experience?
Post-purchase experience can be defined as the interactions and the experience the customer undergoes after purchasing your platform. As in the ecommerce sector, the product is not immediately handed over after the purchase. The time between the purchase and the final delivery becomes crucial for the customer to determine the quality and reliability of the platforms.
That is why ecommerce businesses focus on building various post-purchase customer experience features like branded tracking pages, proactive notifications, and a returns portal on their website. These post-purchase experiences are an excellent way to boost your customer retention rate. After the purchase has been made, the customers typically see a high engagement rate, especially with the tracking page and the delivery update notifications. The knowledge and the trust they feel after the order is delivered decide whether they will return to your platform for another purchase. This time period is also crucial for increasing your conversion rate and using cross-selling to improve your sales.
The Post-purchase customer experience in ecommerce is vital to the growth and survival of your business. Therefore, it becomes necessary to develop these features on your platform. Suppose you do not have the technical capabilities to build these features from scratch. In that case, you can always take the help of customer experience management software like ClickPost to provide these features to your customers.
The ecommerce returns process is the most exciting part of the post-purchase customer experience. Since the ecommerce shopping experience is carried out in the abstract world, returns are a vital part of the post-purchase customer experience. Seamless returns have drastically improved conversion rates and built a loyal returning customer base for your business. Therefore, the importance of personalised returns in ecommerce increases.
2) Why Personalized Returns are the Future of Post-Purchase Customer Experience?
When a customer returns a product, you may also lose the customer. If the customer's return experience is not seamless and pleasant, the customer is likely to disregard the choice of your platform for future purchases. Furthermore, the ecommerce returns process can be a gold mine of consumer behaviour of data if the customers are engaged at the right contact points.
The returns process can help you engage with the customer at crucial points in the purchase journey, which allow you to collect invaluable feedback on the product and the experience. The personalised Returns experience is also a great tool to encourage post-purchase customer engagement on your platform. Since the customer and the businesses are already at the inconvenience of returning the product, it is best to make the customer feel welcomed and looked after during the returns process.
You can send personalised communications and notifications about the status of their returns to encourage them to reengage with your platform. A branded return tracking page with personalised recommendations can increase engagement and encourage the customer to make another purchase. In providing such experiences, a loyalty program on your platform can go a long way. It allows you to funnel most of the customer purchases towards your platform. In return, you have to ensure that the customer is taken care of and that the customer's entire shopping and the post-purchase experience was seamless and personalised.
3) How can you include personalised returns in the post-purchase customer experience in ecommerce?
Now that we have understood the importance of personalised returns, it is crucial to understand the limitations you can offer leniency and personalisation in your returns experience. One of the critical steps to providing a personalised post-purchase customer experience in ecommerce is to include a loyalty program with exclusive benefits on your platform. Your loyalty program can consist of the following benefits for customers:
3.1) Lenient Returns Policy
One of the easiest ways to improve the post-purchase customer experience for your loyal customers is to offer a lenient returns policy for your longstanding and loyalty program customers. You can extend the returns windows and be lenient in the quality check process for your loyal customers.
3.2) Personalised Returns Communication
You can take the help of customer experience management software to provide personalised communication to your customers during the returns process. This can include a branded return tracking page, proactive, customised notifications, and much more. This allows you to add a personal touch to the returns experience. Since personalised returns are the future of post-purchase customer experience, it will enable you to have a progressive platform with unique features.
3.3) Better Returns Experience
You can provide free returns pickup and remove the shipping charges for returns with the help of your 3PL partners. You can also include a personalised returns window and hassle-free return request and approval process for your loyal customers to improve your customer retention rate and build a loyal customer base.
4) Why should you include Personalized Returns in your customer experience?
It is usually said that the customer experience is the key to a successful ecommerce business. Every ecommerce business has two primary costs when they make a sale – the cost of delivery, including the cost of product/service, and the cost to acquire the customer. Customer acquisition costs are the most significant financial factors that impact the growth and profitability of the company.
Therefore, it becomes important for an ecommerce company to hold on to the acquired customer. In case the acquired customer does not like the product or the service or receives a damaged shipment, there is a high chance that you may lose that customer. To avoid that, a personalised returns experience catering to the customer's needs can have a considerable impact on the customer retention rate. At the same time, if you provide hassle-free returns to your loyal customers, you add a lifetime customer to your consumer base. Therefore, personalised returns are the future of post-purchase customer experience in ecommerce as it allows the businesses to tackle some of the critical issues that have a significant impact on their bottom line.
Most ecommerce businesses struggle with providing a hassle-free and seamless returns experience. This experience is a part of the post-purchase customer experience in ecommerce. The quality of this experience essentially dictates the quality of your services and ecommerce platform. The returns feature allows businesses to overcome the barrier of trust with the customers while they purchase. An easy-to-understand returns policy can encourage customers to buy more on your platform as they have the security of returning it.
Every ecommerce business struggles with the issue of high acquisition costs, especially in this era of continuously evolving technology trends. Therefore, if an acquired customer or purchase is lost, it becomes important for businesses to optimise their processes to avoid this. The entire personalised returns post-purchase customer experience is an excellent way to understand and analyse the needs of the customers and their feedback on your products and services. Since the customer engagement is typically high in the process, you can use this opportunity to reengage the customer with your platform.
But, to do so, you will need to personalise the returns experience according to the customer's needs. Doing so will allow you to maximise conversions from existing engagements and encourage visitors on the platform to make further purchases. The ability to unlock this new potential is why personalised returns are the future of post-purchase customer experience.
6) FAQs about Personalized Returns in Post-Purchase Customer Experience
6.1) What is the best way to provide personalised returns in the post-purchase experience?
One of the best ways to provide personalised returns on your platform is to start a loyalty program. You can give this free to your longstanding customers or charge a fee according to your convenience and costs to provide this experience.
6.2) What is the best way to handle personalised returns in ecommerce?
Providing a personalised returns feature on your platform can pose a technological challenge. You can save on these costs and efforts by partnering with customer experience management software like ClickPost, which provides these services and other fulfilment assistance services in their service suite.