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Delivering peak communications for peak sales

By Rory O’Connor, Founder and CEO of Scurri | Tuesday November 14 2023 | UPDATED 17.11.23

Personalised post-purchase communication can transform a one-time buyer into a loyal customer, explains Rory O’Connor, Founder and CEO of Scurri

Personalised post-purchase communication can transform a one-time buyer into a loyal customer, encouraging them to return during the peak season sales and beyond, explains Rory O’Connor, Founder and CEO of delivery management software, Scurri.

Most analysts agree that consumers are saving more and spending less, so retailers will need to work even harder to give them a reason to shop from their brand. Price was always a factor in the decision-making journey, now even more so; research by Salesforce reveals that 82% of shoppers search for voucher codes before making a purchase. However, they still want personalised experiences; 66% of people expect companies to understand (and meet) their unique needs and expectations.

This work is clearly already going on given that customers are more loyal. According to Salesforce’s own data, the share of orders from repeat buyers grew 5% year over year. The company now expects more than one in three online peak-season orders to come from a returning shopper.

The promise to deliver 

Key to brands being able to deliver on promise first depends on ensuring the carrier network is optimised for peak trading periods. Working with a partner, retailers can connect to new domestic and international carriers quickly and easily. This gives customers more options and a better experience without retailers having to spend time at the technical level working through a new application programming interface (API) and maintaining existing APIs.

Carrier breadth and flexibility then enables retailers to display the widest possible range of delivery options as early as possible in the customer journey, important given that delivery now plays almost as important a role in product selection as price. Not to mention that online conversion rates continue to decline.

For many retailers, the effort can end there; once a ‘thanks for ordering’ message has been sent, there is often complete radio silence until the carrier sends out a message, during which time the customer is left wondering what is happening, when it will happen and at times if it will happen at all.

Retailers therefore need to take a greater part in the tracking/shipping process. In Scurri’s recent Last-Mile Delivery: What consumers want in 2023 and how retailers can take control report, in partnership with IMRG, when asked if they think tracking/shipping updates should come from the retailer rather than the delivery partner, 46% of shoppers said ‘yes’. When asked if they’d have more confidence in the information if the retailer sent these updates to them directly, 59% concurred.

Optimising the post-purchase experience

It is, therefore, important to embed a complete and joined up post-purchase experience from tracking through to boosting brand loyalty with personalised and high-engagement communications where they can upsell products and offers, promote discounts or gifts, and drive more positive customer reviews.

Progressive personalisation of post-purchase communication will be more important than ever, enabling retailers to compete more effectively on service but at the same time save money by not expending too much effort on customers that require a more vanilla service.

Personalisation reveals over time what customers want; for instance, speed is not everything if their concern is overridden by their wish to act sustainably. Most customers surveyed, 50% said they were willing to wait for a sustainable delivery for two-three extra days.

This is a clear sign that personalisation pays, by being able to offer a timeframe to suit each customer preference, whilst encouraging them all in the direction of slower deliveries where this is in line with the company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments.

In order to complement its brand with a high level of service, luxury, hand-iced gifting company, Biscuiteers, has taken full control of its 365 days a year, worldwide customer delivery proposition – from dispatch to customer notifications.

Automate key delivery elements

By utilising a post-purchase solution, it now has complete control over the branding and sending of post-purchase communications to elevate customer experience by enabling the company to automate key elements of their dispatch process, including carrier allocation, label generation and carrier notification.

Biscuiteers is first and foremost an online, direct-to-consumer (DTC) business sending upward of 250,000 parcels a year through its online website. As Lauren Juster, Sales and Marketing Director, said: “Control of the customer experience is paramount. If you get the whole gifting experience wrong, it can really turn a customer off coming back and shopping with you again. And because gifting is a highly emotional thing it feels like it is even more loaded.”

As retailers’ complete final preparations for peak this year, taking ownership of the post-purchase experience and embedding it as a foundational element the customer journey will be critical to success – not just in the Golden Quarter, but driving loyalty and repeat purchase throughout the year.

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