Perhaps the biggest drawback of online shopping is the time gap between purchasing and playing with goods. Retailers need to do everything they can to make this after-sales period informative to build crucial customer loyalty.
At Episerver, we recently tested today’s digital highstreet by surveying 1,000 consumers about their attitudes and personal experiences before benchmarking these findings against the performance of the UK’s top 25 retailers. The after-sales period is a crucial time for retailers to show customers they are going the extra mile and to ensure they come back to the site for future purchases. However, the average score in this area was only 65%, so where can retailers improve?
Falling short on SMS
Our research demonstrates that communication is very important to online shoppers, and most retailers hit the mark by providing an email notification of purchase. However, one in three failed to keep their customers up to speed when it came to providing a simple email notification of dispatch. The most common area where retailers were falling down is in providing SMS updates along the delivery journey, with only one in five providing an SMS alert at any stage.
The good news for retailers is that implementing a few basic automated processes, such as email or SMS notifications, which are simple to provide but hugely valuable to the customer, can elevate an after-sales experience from good to outstanding.
Who does it best?
Apple, Topshop, River Island and Boots all scored a healthy 85% by providing online order tracking, email notifications, SMS alerts and delivering orders in good time.
So what can we learn?
The average overall score for after-sales service of 65% indicates that there is plenty of room for improvement, even among some of the UK’s top retailers. We’ve put together five top tips that will help retailers offer an exceptional browsing experience:
Many of these features are easy to implement and, considering how crucial an enjoyable after-sales experience is in generating return business, retailers should be taking steps to improve the customer experience beyond the transaction. To download the full report, click here.
*this blogpost was orginially published on Econsultancy in January 2013