The opportunity for brands to find their voice in post-purchase
By Anthony Gavin, Regional Director EMEA, Narvar
Today, brands and retailers are grappling with rapid change – online shopping is growing more popular. Competition is heightening – especially with the new, customer-first digitally native players on the block – so differentiating has become essential. Most importantly, connecting the dots between offline and online to create seamless, convenient and engaging experiences for customers, wherever their shopping journey starts or ends, has become key.
Think about the last time you visited the store of a luxury brand. You were most likely greeted while browsing by a well-dressed, on-brand shop assistant, the shop likely had a signature scent, you were maybe even handed a glass of bubbly during your time there and offered help and advice. Such stores set the ‘tone’ of the brand. But how can brands and retailers, both luxury and high street, replicate this tone online? With the application of the right technologies they can…
Post-purchase communications – a missed opportunity for many brands and retailers
For quite some time the industry has separated online and offline shopping when, in fact, shopping today is fluid and continuous. There is no start or end to a customer’s path to purchase and beyond. Instead, it is made up of a number of touchpoints. In the post-purchase stage of the customer journey – that’s everything after the buy button and beyond – there are many of these touchpoints. Examples of these include the communication of an order shipped or updates of a possible delivery delay.
The key to capitalising on these moments is for brands and retailers to share branded, convenient, engaging updates themselves – rather than pass on last mile communication responsibility to third-party shipping carriers.
All too often customers of brands and retailers, not benefiting from using post-purchase technology, receive bland and confusing updates from shipping carriers. Not only are they littered with information they don’t need (when was the last time you needed to know how heavy your new trainers were?), they are also disengaging.
With no brand personality or tone in these updates, passing on communications to third-parties is a missed opportunity for the brand or retailer to connect with the customer on a ‘human level’ to build loyalty.
Stand out from the crowd
Online, many brands and retailers offer next-day or same-day delivery, so such offerings are no longer differentiators. What will really help brands and retailers stand out from the competition is beautiful experiences – this includes sharing branded, personalised communications throughout the shopping journey – updates that leave customers feeling valued.
"All too often customers of brands and retailers, not benefiting from using post-purchase technology, receive bland and confusing updates from shipping carriers"
Brands and retailers spend huge amounts on branding – why should they stop using it in this vital touchpoint and hand over to a third-party?
“Hey bae, your order is ready to collect,” “Yo sneakerhead, your kicks are on their way”, or “Afternoon, you parcel will be with you tomorrow between…” are all personalised, but different, delivery notification styles a brand or retailer could share with customers after their purchase. All have very different tones so choosing the right one for the brand or retailer is crucial to hitting the nail on the head and maximising the impact the communication has on building connection with customers.
Give customers what they want – the 4Cs
We know from our Hierarchy of Needs report that customers today want four things after they click the buy button – communication, choice, control and connection. When it comes to connection – as well as expecting direct and frequent communication throughout their buying journey, customers don’t feel ‘connected’ with brands and retailers because of the discounts and sales they offer.
We found 53% UK customers admit thoughtful and personal experiences are more important to them than discounts and coupons – emphasising the need for personalised post-purchase experiences that are in harmony with the brand or retailers’ ‘tone of voice’.
We know that 60% of customers are more likely to return to a brand or retailer that communicates with them directly after they have made a purchase, rather than being ‘catfished’ by third-party carriers who share delivery updates instead.
So, it’s clear, taking back control of post-purchase communications is key - but it doesn’t stop there. There’s a huge opportunity for brands and retailers to use technology that gives them the ‘you do you’ ability and communicate in a way that’s fitting with their brand – delivering convenient messages in quirky and engaging ways. And when they do – these brands will be those that stand out from the rest and build a base of fan-loyal customers who keep coming back.