A Guide to the Post-Purchase Process: How to Evaluate Customer Behavior

Get a new sale and you’re fed for a day. Get repeat customers and you’re fed for life. But how do you increase customer retention? And how does the post-purchase process fit into it?

To keep customers coming back for more, you should focus on two overlooked aspects of ecommerce—post-purchase evaluation and post-purchase behavior. 

Learn what post-purchase evaluation and post-purchase behavior are and how you can leverage them to increase customer retention.

Partner with Route for a 92% rate of customer satisfaction during the post-purchase experience

What is post-purchase evaluation?

Post-purchase evaluation is when a customer assesses if a purchase met, exceeded, or failed to meet expectations. As soon as the customer hits the buy button, their post-purchase evaluation of both the product and the retailer begins. 

What is post-purchase behavior?

Post-purchase behavior refers to the actions the customer takes after a purchase. It could be desirable or undesirable behavior for your business, depending how positive their post-purchase evaluation was. Post-purchase behavior includes actions like:

  • Writing a review
  • Posting on social media
  • Repeat purchases
  • Requesting a refund
  • Sharing word-of-mouth recommendations

Why post-purchase evaluation is the key to creating one-time or repeat customers

Converting customers and securing a one-time purchase is one thing, but repeat customers are where the real money is at. That’s why you need every post-purchase evaluation to be positive every time.

Over 4 out of 5 consumers say they would leave a brand they’re loyal to after three or fewer instances of poor customer service. When you consider that most customer service in ecommerce happens post-purchase—whether that’s answering “where is my order?” (WISMO) queries or handling the returns process—it’s obvious that you need to make sure this stage of your customer journey is flawless.

Otherwise, those repeat customers? You won’t see ‘em.

So, what creates a successful post-purchase evaluation?

Two main factors create a positive post-purchase evaluation: the quality of the product and the post-purchase experience.

The product

Customers might feel your product doesn’t match the description on the website, or that it isn’t worth the money they paid for it. If so, they’re likely to experience post-purchase dissonance, which is when a customer buys a product but it doesn’t live up to their expectations.

Their post-purchase behavior will then be negative reviews, poor word-of-mouth, and refund requests. So make sure your product descriptions and pricing match the products you’re selling.

The post-purchase experience

The post-purchase experience offers even more scope for a negative customer evaluation due to package anxiety. Committing to a purchase decision, especially a costly one, creates uncertainty around:

  • How you deliver the product
  • When you deliver the product
  • If the product will arrive damaged
  • The returns policy
  • How easy that returns process will be
  • If the product will be stolen

If you’re looking for a way to improve post-purchase evaluations, partner with a  service like Route. The Route app reduces package anxiety with real-time, visual package tracking. Route also builds customer trust by enabling customers to pay for package protection at checkout (more on this later!).

How to optimize the post-purchase process to create a positive customer experience

A better post-purchase process means higher consumer satisfaction and more positive post-purchase behavior. Nail the experience after checkout and customers are more likely to repurchase. They’re also more likely to post positive reviews and suggest your store to friends.

Offer shipping protection

As hard as you try to avoid it, your customers will occasionally have a package get lost, damaged, or stolen. What matters is how you help them fix it.

Invest in a post-purchase experience platform that offers reliable but affordable  package protection. Route offers buyer protection for a small fee at checkout, covering product loss, theft, and damage. That small but powerful add-on can increase purchase intent by up to 50%.

If something goes wrong, Route makes issue resolution easy for your customers with AI-assisted approvals and a dedicated support team.

Route’s issue resolution app on a mobile device
Route’s package protection has a 92% customer satisfaction rate.

Forget paying for a boilerplate insurance policy. Use Route technology to customize buyer protection to fit your customers and business model.

Provide real-time package tracking

Customers want up-to-date information on their orders so provide them with packaging tracking technology.

Route’s mobile app boosts delivery visibility with real-time tracking across all devices. Plus you can include your store’s logo on the tracking map to strengthen your brand presence.

Give regular multichannel updates on the shipping process

If you’re getting too many WISMO queries and post-purchase emails the best thing you can do is send proactive shipping notifications. This’ll cut back on support tickets and result in more positive post-purchase evaluations.

To help you keep customers in the know, look for a platform like Route that offers three different touch points via email, push notifications, and SMS. These notifications provide information on the shipping delivery status, estimated delivery date, and tracking history.

Leverage analytics to measure engagement throughout the post-purchase process

If you’re not measuring the success of your post-purchase process how do you expect to improve it? Pull together as much data about average delivery times, product refund rates, and the number of lost packages as possible. This will give you a sense of how things are going and how you can improve customer loyalty metrics.

On the Route dashboard, you have detailed shipping and returns analytics at your fingertips. Use this data to improve the post-purchase experience and increase customer retention.

Route’s analytics dashboard showing post-purchase data.
 Route’s platform gives detailed analytics on claims as well as shipping data

Send feedback surveys

Understand customers’ post-purchase evaluation process from the best source available—the customers themselves. Proactively contacting customers also gives you a chance to fix things if something went wrong. As a result, you’re less likely to see negative post-purchase behavior like bad reviews. 

You can use post-purchase emails to embed a survey link and get feedback. Popular survey tools include:

Offer customer loyalty discounts

High-performing loyalty programs can increase revenue from customers who redeem points by 15-25% per year. So promote a customer loyalty program with product discounts or redeemable points. That will increase your repeat customer rate and create life-long customers.

Create the perfect post-purchase experience with Route

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the post-purchase experience… but we’ll try it anyway. If something goes wrong with a customer’s package they’re far less likely to buy from you again.

If you want to improve the post-purchase experience, look for a platform like Route that can:

  • Give your customers access to real-time package tracking on any device
  • Provide customers with multichannel updates on the entire shipping process.
  • Offer customers efficient package protection
  • Gain access to all the analytics you need to improve post-purchase evaluations

Partner with Route for a 92% rate of customer satisfaction during the post-purchase experience

Frequently asked questions about post-purchase evaluation

Drive 1000% ROI on your post-purchase experience.

Get started and unleash new growth channels for your business.

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