Best practices for post-purchase tracking and communications

March 30, 2023

Recently, we sat down with Kerry Duff, our Track Product Manager, to discuss some of the ways retailers are using post-purchase tracking and comms to really change the game, when it comes to customer delivery experience. Kerry works with some of the most exciting and dominant retailers in the market, so the conversation included great insight into innovative best practices being adopted right now.

Plain and simply, it was a really interesting conversation. So, we decided to chop it up and share it with you.

Without further ado, here’s a collection of actions and insights that anyone working in delivery, customer experience and post-purchase should know.

Happy path and unhappy path

One of the most effective ways we see retailers look at the post-purchase journey is like this:

  • Happy path
  • Unhappy path

Pretty self-explanatory, but it boils down to a delivery experience that goes to plan, and a delivery experience that doesn’t.

A lot of retailers put all their emphasis on the happy path, which ideally is some variation of…

Dispatched > in transit > out for delivery > delivered

But, as we all know, that’s not always the way it goes.

While it’s important to make sure that happy path customers receive their delivery status comms, it’s when the parcel deviates from the ideal path that it’s most important to keep customers in the loop.

Unfortunately, we see all too often that the unhappy path is when communication fails. Retailers, and carriers, often have weaker or delayed unhappy path communications. And when the customer doesn’t know what’s going on, that’s when they’ll give you a call – at your own expense. It’s unfair to send your customer into a communication black hole, especially when something isn’t going as expected. That’s the main driver of dissatisfaction and lost loyalty in the post-purchase experience.

Of course, the reverse is also true.

By being proactive and upfront about the unhappy path, retailers can reduce the impact to the customer when things don’t go to plan. This is the best way to turn a bad situation into a good outcome, with a customer that feels looked after.

In fact, 87% of consumers would trust a brand more if they had communicated the status of the delivery more effectively.

Proactively reducing WISMO

We’ve touched on it in the section above, and the video of Kerry covers it nicely, but the power to reduce those costly WISMO calls really is in your hands. This is how retailers are stopping budget leaking through the contact centre; through high wait times, long resolution times and dropping NPS.

Kerry, in this clip, highlights a few of the ways that retailers are getting on top of those WISMO calls (and reducing WISMO by 63%, in the case of musicMagpie…). It’s easy to do, if you’re spotting those exceptions early enough and if your comms and tracking allows the customer to self-serve their WISMO queries. And doing exactly that is becoming best practice in the market.

Branding builds loyalty

A consistent, branded journey is absolutely critical. We’re seeing that it’s top of the priority list for most retailers that we speak to, as building brand affinity and loyalty is directly tied to bolstering the bottom line. Making customers know you, love you, and think about you for their next purchase is the only way to survive a recessionary environment like this.

So, that means it’s all about keeping customers immersed in your brand. From start, to finish.

And it’s not just the comms and the tracking page. You can leave your mark on every piece of copy and creative that your customer sees – a truly memorable experience when the battle of share of wallet comes down to who can stand out from the crowd.

Upsell opportunities

With an engaged audience, you make sure you’re capitalising on every possible point of conversion. This is especially true when it comes to tailoring the journey for different customer groups, where many retailers are choosing to show specific item categories, promos or discounts in the high-traffic tracking and comms slots (for example, giving VIP customers the opportunity to browse more luxury items, or offering discounted socks to customers who have just bought shoes).

We’ve seen that branding your post-purchase journey means you have full control over the content, copy and creative. Of course, that means that you’ve got a captured audience for your promotions, offers and upsells.

Here’s why.

Plus, you can ensure your seasonal promos or campaigns are consistent throughout the full journey – pre-purchase to post-purchase.

Kerry shares how this looks in practice, and what she recommends to Sorted customers.

Dashboard dependency

If you’re dependent on your delivery experience dashboard in 2023… you’re doing it right.

Having a single source of all delivery status info gives unparalleled advantage to your teams.

And it’s not just about the insight that you go looking for, it’s the insight that finds you.

Here’s an example of how quick response to emerging issues can have a positive impact on your customer experience.

What do you think?

Hopefully, you’ve found this useful. We’re always looking to share knowledge, best practice and expertise with any retail buffs who find delivery and post-purchase as interesting as we do.

If you want to hear more from Kerry and our team on how to make practical changes to your post-purchase journey (with results), click the link below to get in touch.