Av Trimble smartdelivery | Article | April 10, 2019

How Important Are the Post-Purchase Logistic Activities & Their Impact on Customer Satisfaction

According to this study, businesses lose $1.6 trillion a year to customers who leave them. Yet less than a third of operations managers and business executives consider customer retention as a priority. As a result, many eCommerce and retail businesses fail to optimize their post-purchase logistics activities such as delivery, tracking, and returns. A bad delivery, tracking, or returns experience could affect the way a customer sees your brand, resulting in the loss of future business or loss of the customer. That’s why it’s important for you to identify each element of the post-purchase logistics chain and create an optimized logistics solution. Before we delve into the details, here’s what constitutes post-purchase logistics activities.

What constitutes post-purchase logistics activities

In the past, optimized pre-purchase logistics and user experience may have been enough to drive new purchases. But in today’s world, you have to entice customers by focusing on every part of the eCommerce shopping experience, until delivery, tracking, and returns. So, what segment of the eCommerce shopping experience qualifies as post-purchase logistics? Here’s a list of the processes that makeup post-purchase logistics.

  • How customers can track shipping and delivery – information provided to customers and the accuracy of the tracking system used
  • How quickly customers receive deliveries – the speed and smoothness of the delivery process
  • The condition of delivered items – how intact and properly-packaged delivered items are
  • The experience of initiating and completing a return – how easy it is to return and receive refunds/credits

Why is post-purchase logistics important

Many fast-growing eCommerce platforms rely on fulfillment tools to optimize the post-purchase experience and manage customer satisfaction. Good fulfillment services usually manage everything from packing to pickup and delivery, shipping, and returns. For many customers ensuring the smooth functioning of the above-mentioned processes increases customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value. As an operations manager, the aforementioned Key Performance Indicators are of utmost importance. Here’s a short list of reasons why post-purchase logistics is important.

  • In the past, post-purchase logistics was not considered a part of customer service. But today, post-purchase logistics activities form an important part of the customer experience.
  • Bad post-logistics experiences can cause a drop in future sales generated from the same customers. It can also reduce the lifetime value of your customers.
  • The time between the purchase and delivery of a product creates anticipation in customers. The best brands are aware of how to manage this anticipating by allowing customers to track delivery and provide feedback.

Some eCommerce giants, such as Amazon, promise same-day delivery to improve customer experience. Acts such as these impact customer experience and expectations. It also drives-up the possibility of receiving more orders from the same customers and their friends.

How post-purchase logistics impacts customer satisfaction

The University of La Verne, California has proved that post-purchase logistics affects customer satisfaction. The study found that post-purchase logistics such as shipping and tracking affect how customers view brands. Customer service is a critical factor in shopping decision-making. Your returns service could potentially be the most important factor. If you want to earn your customers’ favor, make it easy for them to return products that don’t meet expectations. The same factors that affect your delivery experience also affect post-purchase logistics. The quicker your returns and refunds happen, the happier your customers are likely to be. Further, your customer service affects future orders by the same customers.

If you want to expand your eCommerce business, you have to pay attention to post-purchase logistics at some point. Analyze your last mile delivery system and ensure routing optimization. You can enable better customer service by optimizing your delivery system. Choose the right logistics solution. Allow your customers to track and trace all orders and returns. Spend some time understanding and optimizing your customer experience.

Every year, many eCommerce businesses lose billions to bad customer service. If you want to keep your customers long-term, analyze and optimize your customer experience. This post describes why post-purchase logistics is important and how you can optimize it.