The customer is always right: New data reveals retailers are failing customers with post-purchase experiences
By Carmen Carey, CEO of Sorted
Recent customer analysis reveals that customers are diverting their attention away from physical stores and towards online alternatives.
This is a trend that has been exacerbated this July by poor weather, with the BBC reporting that ‘the number of people heading out to the shops fell for the first July in 14 years as the UK grappled with one of the wettest months on record.’
So, with more and more customers opting to get their goods delivered to them, the quality of the post-purchase experience must be excellent. Times are tough, and expectations are high. Customers want to pay affordable prices and receive a good experience. It all comes down to value, and the quality of the post-purchase experience has become a key factor when assessing value.
In fact, our recent survey found that while only 18% of retail leaders believe the post-purchase process can be significantly improved, a staggering 83% of consumers think there is room for improvement. There’s clearly a disparity between consumer expectations and retail leader perceptions regarding the post-purchase experience.
The survey also found that 93% of consumers consider the post-purchase experience to be important. However, only 40% of retailers believe that the post-purchase experience is fully optimised, indicating that retailers need to invest more into their delivery experiences to fully meet growing consumer expectations in an increasingly competitive landscape.
Making a difference
Of particular concern is the impact of a poor delivery experience. Seventy-nine percent of consumers admit they would be deterred from purchasing from a brand again if they encountered a subpar post-purchase experience. This might be a shock to some, but it is an all-too-frequent occurrence. Retailers must prioritise and enhance delivery experiences.
This is important because poor post-purchase experience can deter customers in the long-term, making it near impossible to win back business. It also increases the likelihood that customers will start shopping with retailers that can provide a positive post-purchase experience. This was echoed in the survey, with 60% of retail leaders (who have invested in improving the post-purchase experience) reporting that they’ve seen an increase in sales and revenue.
The bottom line
‘The customer is always right’ continues to prevail, and rightly so. Customer loyalty is hard to get, but very easy to lose, especially with bad post-purchase experiences. It simply cannot be ignored – the risks are too high. Especially when revenue and reputation is on the line.
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