Many digitally native direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands assume their job ends as soon as a customer completes a purchase. The deed is done and now it’s time to let third-party carriers take the wheel, right? Not too fast—it’s actually high time to start prioritizing package tracking.
As it turns out, delivery people don’t give a darn about your brand and the experience your customers have during the post-purchase experience (PPX). So, even after pumping thousands of dollars into advertising and customer acquisition to build a seamless, engaging website that encourages customers to convert, there’s still a lot of work to do past the checkout.
Brands that simply skip the PPX and go right back to acquisition are missing out on a key element of successful direct-to-consumer strategy. So we’ll fill you in: The post-purchase experience is just as important as all the hoopla leading up to checkout. In fact, what happens after checkout might even be the most important part of the DTC customer experience.
Let’s discuss the importance of the post-purchase experience, the cost of a bad post-purchase experience, and four reasons why DTC brands need to put package tracking at the top of their priority list.
Pinpoint Your Post-purchase Experience
Before we dive into the benefits of giving a darn about package tracking, let’s pinpoint when the post-purchase experience happens for DTC brands. Let’s get back to basics. The customer journey is typically broken down into five stages: reach, acquire, nurture, retention, and advocacy.
The post-purchase experience begins as soon as a customer reaches the acquisition stage, meaning they’ve clicked their way through checkout and are eagerly awaiting their package. At this point, a customer still needs to be nurtured to keep them coming back for more, which is why every post-purchase interaction is so important.
The post-purchase experience involves every message, interaction, and experience the customer has as they move from the nurture stage and (fingers crossed) enter the retention and advocacy stages. This might include emails, SMS messages, the unboxing of their product, and customer service interactions.
Package Tracking and Your PPX
When customers have a great post-purchase experience, they’re far more likely to become a repeat customer. And in the best-case scenario, they’ll tell their friends and family about the brand, too. However, delivering an engaging and memorable PPX isn’t just hitting “send” on a thank you email or offering a discount code toward the next purchase.
There are a lot of moving parts within the post-purchase journey, like shipping and delivery, customer support, brand engagement and communication, issue resolution, and more. None of these facets can be perfected with a one-off email. After checkout, or post-purchase, people need to know they’re still cared for and supported by the brand they just gave money to. When doubt, distrust, or frustration start to settle in, it’s hard for DTC brands to maintain a positive reputation and repeat customers.
A smart DTC strategy should include real-time package tracking, stress-free shipping, and transparent post-purchase communication. When brands implement these strategies, amazing things happen. Here are some of the benefits of offering better DTC package tracking:
- Happier customers
- Higher customer retention
- Better customer reviews
- Increased customer trust
- Positive word-of-mouth
- Increased revenue
- Higher average order values
- Higher conversion rates
- Increased customer engagement
- Reduced customer support costs
- Enhanced visibility
The Cost of Cutting Tracking out of Your Strategy
Just as a great post-purchase experience drives business growth and increases customer loyalty, a bad post-purchase experience can wreak havoc on a DTC brand’s reputation. Despite so many pieces completing the PPX puzzle, it only takes one piece to go sour to ruin the whole experience. The difference between a good PPX and a not-so-good one is miniscule, so paying thoughtful attention to each part is critical.
One of these pieces, as we mentioned, is package tracking. For decades, package tracking has been a lackluster necessity that brands pay little attention. The experience has been swept under the rug by merchants, and consumers have grown accustomed to taking on tracking themselves. This often involves lots of clicking around, tracing steps, copying and pasting 20-character codes, not getting satisfactory answers, and reaching out to the nearest chatbot for support.
The brunt of the work has been on the customers, and that categorically bad experience falls squarely on the brand.
So, if this experience sucks so much and costs customers so much time and energy, why do they bother? Why don’t customers just trust that their stuff is on the way and stay satisfied with vague timelines and disparate communication? The labor of tracking packages has been worth it because, for good reason, that’s better than stewing in anxiety after forking over a bunch of money to a brand that has yet to earn their trust.
When customers don’t know where their package is, can’t get in touch with customer service, or receive a damaged package, they’ll be less likely to make a repeat purchase. Brands lose trust, credibility, and any shot at loyalty. And for merchants, it’s a well-known fact that it’s cheaper to retain a customer than acquire a new one.
Even worse, customers are three times more likely to tell their friends about a negative experience with a brand than a positive one. If they do have a negative experience, it takes 12 positive experiences to compensate for that one bad interaction. Ultimately, a negative post-purchase experience can drive away customers, increase acquisition costs, damage a brand’s reputation, and reduce profits.
Naturally, then, most brands want to avoid these outcomes. And fortunately, they can. All it takes is a proactive approach to customer service.
4 Reasons to Put Package Tracking First
Real-time package tracking is one of the best ways to improve the post-purchase experience, offering increased visibility and transparency for both customers and the brands they support. Rather than anxiously checking the porch every day, customers can be informed about their package status and confident about its safe arrival. They won’t have to waste time chasing down customer service for package updates. Instead, SMS messages, branded push notifications, and email updates do all that work for them.
Check out these four no-brainer reasons for prioritizing package tracking:
- Gain a competitive advantage.
Real-time packing tracking gives DTC brands a leg up against their competitors. By offering proactive customer service, they’ll retain customers and beat out similar brands in their industry.
- Meet ever-increasing customer expectations.
Today’s customers have ever-increasing demands when it comes to customer service and the post-purchase experience. Real-time package tracking is one of the best ways to meet those expectations and increase customer satisfaction.
- Get a major return on investment.
By reducing support tickets and increasing the number of return customers, brands can quickly see a serious return on investment. Are you sold yet?
- Optimize ecommerce operating budgets.
Real-time package tracking with Route is a cost-effective tactic that works with every major ecommerce platform. It reduces customer service costs and increases brand loyalty, meaning even a tight budget isn’t so stressful anymore.
Put Package Tracking First with Route Track
Route real-time package tracking is intuitive and straightforward. With out-of-the-box integrations for every major ecommerce platform, it’s just as easy for companies to implement as it is for customers to use.
With one simple install, any DTC brand reduce those “where’s my order?” questions, engage with shoppers well past checkout, and earn the trust that keeps repeat customer rates soaring.