As your business starts to scale, using a third-party logistics (3PL) provider can be a game-changer in your post-purchase strategy. This is exciting as you now have access to a lot more resources and expertise than you did when you were managing every single step of the logistical operations on your own. Now, you finally have time to look at the other half of the post-purchase strategy that you didn’t have time for.
That other half is post-purchase customer communication. This is what will take your customer service from good to great. Together, 3PLs and post-purchase solutions form a powerful combo that can streamline your business operations and leave a lasting impression on your customers.
3 specific reasons why post-purchase engagement is merely the beginning of customer loyalty:
The average shopper has a lot of questions after they make a purchase. Where is my order? When will it arrive? What if I need to return it? By automating customer communication and keeping shoppers informed at every stage of the shipping process, you can focus on other aspects of your business like marketing and product development, while still providing an excellent customer experience.
Let's look at a practical example. As your e-commerce store continues to grow and starts processing larger and larger volumes of orders every day. While the complicated logistics of actually getting the orders out the door is well-taken care of by your 3PL provider, keeping track of every single order and manually sending updates to each customer still falls on your shoulders. But with a post-purchase solution, you can automate these communications so that your customers always know what's going on with their orders.
Gaining control over your post-purchase communications is also a great opportunity to build a strong brand identity. The best post-purchase solutions allow businesses to customize their shipment notifications and tracking pages with their own logo, color scheme, and branding elements. This way, your customers will see your brand every time they track their order - and they'll associate your brand with a positive, hassle-free experience.
Imagine a customer who orders a product that they’re excited to receive. The second the order has been placed, they’re combing through websites and emails to determine when it might arrive. If the retailer had a good post-purchase solution, the customer would already have been given an AI-estimated delivery date calculated by their location. They’d also have a beautifully branded confirmation email that lists all the info they need, with a link to their personalized shipment tracking page as a part of the retailer’s website domain.
Research shows that shoppers will consult this tracking page at least 3 times per order, while shipping notification emails achieve up to a 90% open rate. It’s easy to see the value of so many brand engagements, especially when the experience is positive and reassuring. Contrast that with a plain-text email containing a tracking code and a link to a courier website, and the value shines all the brighter.
Accurate and reliable shipping data is like gold dust. Ask most fulfillment teams at e-commerce retailers, and they’ll be happy to explain how notoriously tricky (although their language may be slightly more NSFW) it is to extract and analyze carrier data. With good post-purchase solutions, that data falls into your lap.
Let's say you want to know how long it takes for your orders to be delivered on average. The analytics from your post-purchase platform can tell you exactly that. And it’s up to you how you’d like to break it down. Shipping destination? Carrier? Shipping status? You name it, you can find it.
But with great data comes great responsibility. The insights revealed by these analytics will prompt significant strategic decisions. Shipping taking too long to certain places? Consider a different carrier. Slower shipping because of bulky items? Advise and reassure anxious customers. Cheaper carriers outperforming more expensive ones? Stop wasting money.
Once your logistics decisions are made based on real-world numbers, you’ll wonder how you ever decided anything before.
A 3PL and a post-purchase solution represent two sides of the same coin. Many e-commerce businesses overlook the post-purchase engagement and often see “ordered” as the end of the line. AfterShip believes in the opposite, where returns are the new beginning of a potential sale and the key to repeated sales. It's all about giving your customers a positive, hassle-free experience, end to end.
AfterShip is a post-purchase platform used by Gymshark, KylieSkin, and eBay. It offers branded shipment tracking, notifications, returns and exchanges, that drive more sales and a better customer experience. The real-time shipment tracking and notifications help companies increase revenue and build brand loyalty. AfterShip's network of 1000+ global couriers makes it a perfect solution for multi-national organizations.