Why Brands and Retailers Should Upgrade the Post-Purchase Experience

Share this:

Most sellers focus on what it takes to get a shopper to make a purchase. Fewer have dedicated ample resources to determining how to ensure satisfaction after the fact.

Aaron Schwartz, President at Loop, thinks that’s a vital mistake. Schwartz connected with Street Fight to explain why.

Why should brands and retailers pay more attention to the post-purchase experience?

96% of consumers review retailers’ return policies before making an online purchase. And the majority of consumers have stopped purchasing from a particular retailer after a bad return experience. Additionally, 36% of shoppers have stopped purchasing from a particular retailer because other retailers offer better returns experiences. 

It’s no longer a part of the customer journey that can be ignored. With a seamless returns experience, you’ll increase revenue retention, increase upsell value, and increase customer happiness — which leads to loyalty and repeat customers. 

Why do you think the post-purchase experience doesn’t get enough attention?

Many brands see returns as a perpetual cost center — where shoppers buy a product, find an issue, and return for a refund. On the surface, it may seem like you’re giving up potential profits by committing to hassle-free returns and free return shipping – but you’re actually doing the opposite. You’re transforming returns into a profit center. 

With the right tools in place, the post-purchase experience can be optimized to incentivize exchanges and create better shopping experiences, leading to happier customers who come back to shop again and again.

What does recent Loop survey data indicate about what consumers would value in a post-purchase experience?

One of the most important things that consumers value is their time and effort when making returns. Brands need to do everything in their power to make the process as easy as possible. Many shoppers end up eating the cost of unwanted products rather than suffer through a confusing or time-intensive return process, resulting in them abandoning your brand in the future. 

If you want to ensure customer loyalty, make it easy for shoppers to return unwanted products and exchange for items they’ll love. We’ve seen this work with thousands of Shopify brands.

Additionally, environmental impact is another growing consideration that we’re seeing customers value more and more. Over half of consumers care about the environmental impact of returns “somewhat” or “a lot” — and only 20% of consumers don’t consider them at all. So, along with free returns and exchanges, providing post-purchase incentives and environmentally conscious return options can boost customer retention. This is a trend we anticipate consumers will continue to care more and more about.

How can brands and retailers fulfill consumers’ expectations? What processes and technologies do they need?

Consumers expect ease and options. The post-purchase experience is about much more than returns. Consumers are looking at retailers’ return and exchange policies to gauge how much they care about their customers, so you need to put your customers at the center of your return and exchange policy to avoid sending them running in the opposite direction (or to a competitor’s website). You can do this by offering first-time buyers incentives to make another purchase, like discounts on future items or an unlimited return window.

Brands need a self-service, automated experience where shoppers can initiate and process returns on their own without needing to wait for customer support. By using an automated returns management software like Loop, you’ll be able to cut down on customer support hours and automate the entire returns and exchange workflow while incentivizing customers to exchange products rather than sending them back for a refund. By incentivizing exchanges, the customer now has a second chance to buy something they love. 

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]