Writing last August about the importance of the post-purchase experience, BRP Consulting SVP and practice lead Jeffrey Neville described retailers as creating a “moment of trust” when they regularly communicate order and shipping updates to consumers who would otherwise be left in the dark in the oft-ignored opportunity between purchase and package delivery.
“Customers who shop without a sense of risk will feel more comfortable making repeat purchases in the future,” Neville noted.
Retailers are beginning to realize the value of the post-purchase opportunity as a time to strengthen the customer relationship and brand moments typically outsourced to third-party shippers. As such, Pitney Bowes debuted its Consumer Connect self-service tool to help retailers and brands own the experience after the customer clicks the “buy” button. When people shop on e-commerce sites using Consumer Connect, they’ll be able to track their shipments, get notified of shipping alerts by SMS message and email, receive promotions relevant to their purchase history and interests, and easily start the returns process, if needed.
“Retail marketers spend a tremendous amount of time and money attracting consumers and getting them to click the ‘buy’ button, only to leave them in the hands of third-party shipping partners for tracking and notifications until the package is delivered,” said Lila Snyder, who serves as EVP and president of commerce services for Pitney Bowes. “This created the opportunity to introduce Consumer Connect—a self-service marketing tool to engage consumers during the critical post-purchase experience. For the first time, we are putting control of that experience fully in the hands of retail marketers.”
Consumer Connect comes with The Publisher, a content management system that retailers can use to quickly tailor their post-purchase messaging with their logo and branding, creating the potential to convert “tracking moments to merchandising moments,” Pitney Bowes said in a statement.
On average, a consumer will check a package’s tracking information eight times, Snyder noted. “In most cases, that experience is basic, boring and off-brand,” she said. “Consumer Connect addresses this issue, transforming shipment tracking into a dynamic extension of a retailer’s brand experience, ultimately driving more meaningful consumer engagement and new revenue opportunities.”
Retailers that enrich the post-purchase experience stand to gain greater customer loyalty, an important move, BRP said, because these customers are between five and 25 times less costly to convert and 80 percent more likely to buy again in the future.
“By crafting a post-purchase experience to minimize stress and maximize convenience, retailers make an investment in a sustained relationship with their customer,” BRP noted.