It’s never too early to think about the holidays. For many brands, the holidays are the busiest time of the year. The holiday cheer and increased spending across the world bring in more revenue and, of course, more challenges, mishaps, and potential headaches for E-Commerce brands. To ensure a cheerful, smooth holiday season, planning ahead is critical! With higher customer spending comes higher customer expectations. Finding yourself flat-footed during the holidays not only frustrates you and your customers but also reflects poorly on your brand’s image. Luckily, post-purchase notifications are a simple but effective tool your team can utilize to give customers peace of mind for this year’s holidays and the ones to follow.
One of the major disadvantages of E-Commerce is the lack of available opportunities to communicate with the customer. Unlike traditional retail stores, brands offering their products online do not always have the option to quickly answer customer questions, address concerns, etc. Post-purchase notifications offer a solution that both your team and customers will appreciate.
To help visualize the value of post-purchase notifications, imagine a common scenario your brand may have to face during the holidays. A customer purchases a product from your brand’s website in hopes of gifting their child a thoughtful gift for the holidays. However, a shipping mishap then delays the customer’s order. The customer does not find out because of no post-purchase notifications/company oversight, so the customer calls your customer service team the following week frustrated and angry.
We all know how that call likely went. More importantly, a customer who trusted your brand to deliver (literally and figuratively) before the holiday season had their trust broken by an easily preventable problem: lack of transparency. In addition, unnecessary customer calls or emails like in the example above take up your customer service team’s time, preventing them from working on more immediate concerns. Avoid this with more post-purchase transparency. Transparency on the product pages is great, but a customer should have transparency throughout the entire shopping experience—including post-purchase. In other words, the shopping experience ends when the customer receives their goods and is satisfied. Notifications help ensure your customer is in the loop about any potential or actual delays, allowing them to adjust as needed and build trust with your brand.
A business cannot just “wing it” during the holidays. Planning ahead is necessary for success. But this does not only bode true for E-Commerce brands, customers need to plan ahead as well. Oftentimes, during the holidays, plans need to be improvised. Allowing your customers to receive post-purchase notifications provides your customers an opportunity to adjust if a delivery delay occurs. In addition, post-purchase notifications provide customers with peace of mind when a delivery delay does not occur.
Customer service teams often have increased traffic from and responsibility to their customers during the holidays. As a result, a well-oiled customer service machine during the holidays requires the minimization of unnecessary tasks. Although each customer reaching out to your customer service team should be treated attentively, many concerns likely could be resolved prior to a customer service call/email. Take, for example, “where is my order (WISMO)” inquiries. Customers who reach out about the status of their order most likely could’ve had their questions answered by an automated post-purchase notification. Reducing WISMO calls/emails for your customer service team allows them to operate more efficiently, meaning more attention to inquiries that need immediate attention.
Employing post-purchase notifications during the holidays, which benefits both your customers and the customer service team, increases the opportunity for your brand to secure customer trust and loyalty during a critical shopping period. Brands that are unprepared for the holidays, unwilling to adjust logistically and technologically, and not able to meet expectations will lose to brands that are prepared, ready to adjust, and able to meet expectations. That means paying attention to the not-so-obvious—including post-purchase notifications.
Using post-purchase notifications can also help you drive customers back to your website for more purchases at a later time. Leaving a coupon, or highlighting a current or an upcoming sale, incentivizes customers to become repeat customers. Since customers with previous satisfactory experiences will likely capitalize on such opportunities, using post-purchase notifications to cement customer loyalty and increase revenue warrants serious attention from E-Commerce brands.
Combined with shipping cutoff times, you can further increase revenue. Displaying estimated delivery dates and corresponding shipping cutoff times encourage customers to make a purchase by a certain time to receive their product by the desired date. During the holidays, customers may be in a rush, sometimes ordering products only a few days before the desired delivery date. By displaying shipping cutoff times, customers will know when they need to place an order and if premium shipping is needed. The combination of post-purchase notifications and shipping cutoff times work in tandem to provide transparency to customers, ease the pressure on your customer service team, and increase revenue for your business.
With the holiday season coming closer and closer, FenixCommerce aims to make the season easier for E-Commerce brands by increasing conversions, reducing WISMO inquiries, and driving customers to become repeat customers. Post-purchase notifications and shipping cutoff times are not the core focus of FenixCommerce, however, we know that paying attention to the little things that customers expect and appreciate separates the good from the great. FenixCommerce’s software, in addition to its core services, includes the ability to send personalized post-purchase notifications as well as display personalized shipping cutoff times. Contact FenixCommerce today to find out how to plan ahead and stay ahead during the holiday season.