Who Cares About Post-Purchase?
Whether it’s through a buy button or in-store checkout, marketers focus on driving shoppers towards the path to purchase. Actually, the path to purchase is not a path but a complex winding network of roads. Once a customer makes a purchase, their journey is not complete, yet they often walk alone. Research shows that the post-purchase “ownership” experience is a huge opportunity for brands and retailers alike; to many, it’s a missed opportunity.
What Are Customers Saying?
The age of technology has allowed consumers to take greater ownership over their own shopping experiences . Customer expectations have increased, all of us looking to have our own personalized needs met. While retargeted ads make sure we are aware of every abandoned cart we’ve ever created, not much is being done to provide these same personalized experiences following a purchase.
According to researchers, the majority of consumers are dissatisfied with the level of attention retailers are providing post-purchase:
- 60% reported that their post-purchase experience was underwhelming.
- 56% were disappointed with service from retailers and ecommerce sites.
- Only 17% of consumers believe retailers care about their experience after they make a purchase.
This common dissatisfaction is unfortunate – the post-purchase experience being extremely important to closing the loyalty loop.
- 79% of consumers said it is important to have a positive experience after making a purchase.
- 40% of respondents said that post-purchase experiences including installation/setup, technical issues and. returns make up the most memorable aspect of the overall brand experience.
(Source: McKinsey & Company)
What Are Brands Doing?
The big barrier to closing the loyalty loop and improving the post-purchase experience is not technical, it’s operational. Retailers and manufacturers cannot determine who is best equipped to address this, there is a lack of cooperation on both sides, and in very few cases are resources specifically dedicated to aftermarket development. According to research:
- 93% of manufacturers already see the aftermarket as a big opportunity.
- But 52% of manufacturers rely on channel partners for the aftermarket, and 57% of retailers say manufacturers are totally dependent on them for aftermarket service.
- 71% of retailers see the aftermarket as an opportunity, but for the most part, their CMOs are not responsible for it.
Some brands are already taking this seriously. The Apple Store being a famous example, much of the space in an Apple Store is devoted entirely to aftermarket services. Best Buy employs the Geek Squad to provide service to their customers. And in a recent development, IKEA’s acquisition of TaskRabbit shows that aftermarket is worth investment, especially where installation and set-up is required.
Where Is The Opportunity?
A mere 19% of manufacturers derive more than 10% of their revenue from aftermarket services. Retailers fare slightly better, with 65% of retailers making 10% or more of their revenue post-sale according to recent figures. But revenue from aftermarket services is not why manufacturers and brands need to pay closer attention to the customer “ownership” journey. Post-purchase is where brands have the biggest opportunity to close the loyalty loop; a good ownership journey is key to making customers come back, and buy more.
In the new era of the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected packaging, the post-purchase experience will become even more important. Manufacturers, retailers, and their channel partners can now feasibly and easily elevate the ownership of the goods they sell, providing greater value and driving loyalty where it matters most.