Today’s shopper is a savvy one. They know what they want and they know they have access to an endless list of retailers to get it. From international ecommerce to buy-now pay-later, there are no shortage of places to shop, ways to pay, and methods to select for fulfillment.
All this choice is creating a demanding, expectation-heavy consumer with next to nothing in the way of patience when it comes to experiential mistakes.
…And when such a mistake is made?
Well, today’s customer is quick to take their business elsewhere.
In terms of the post-purchase experience, these elevated expectations manifest in the form of reliable delivery and return experiences.
They want upfront delivery information, proactive updates, personalized interactions, transparency, visibility, and convenience whether they’re waiting on initial order fulfillment or a return.
In a nutshell, people want processes and choices that make their life easier.
Gone is the era where retailers can focus all of their time, attention, and money on what happens before the buy button. Today’s brands face a number of complex challenges. They need to…
Post-purchase is hugely influential on long-term customer behavior. From order tracking to returns, exchanges, and refunds—post-purchase moments matter more than ever. The most important way retailers can help themselves is meeting their delivery promises (increasing lifetime value and reducing churn in the process), and reducing their fulfillment costs (both in terms of outbound delivery and reverse logistics).
Started in 1981 by the Chadwick family, Seasalt Cornwall started selling genuine fisherman smocks as well as casual rainwear that consumers fell in love with. Today, the brand operates 68 brick and mortar locations and a robust ecommerce business. Renowned for their exceptional customer experience which underpins every aspect of the company, Seasalt leans heavily into post-purchase as a way of motivating shoppers to remain loyal to the brand.
As a brand committed to excellence in the arena of customer experience, Seasalt Cornwall spends an incredible amount of time listening to the voice of their customer—call recordings, product reviews, email interaction, chatbot transcripts, and more.
They do this because they know how vital it is to understand and connect with shoppers across the customer journey, especially when it comes to returns.
Multiple internal reviews motivated Seasalt to invest in the post-purchase for five primary reasons.
Customer experience is everything to Seasalt—it underpins every aspect of their culture. They view every department, every employee, every touchpoint as a critical element in their customer’s journey. To that end, Seasalt couldn’t afford to overlook what happens to customers beyond the buy button.
Returns are unavoidable in any consumer-facing enterprise, but they’re especially unavoidable in the fashion industry. While Seasalt was as aware as any retailer that eliminating returns altogether is a pipedream, lowering return rates by a meaningful margin isn’t.
Being hyper-efficient with their contact center resources was of the utmost importance to Seasalt—yes, they wanted to provide a world-class customer support experience, but they didn’t want to waste precious resources doing it.
To that end, it became critical to mitigate needless WISMR (and WISMO) inquiries. Seasalt identified WISMR as one of the primary drivers of contact center volume and customer dissatisfaction. This “double-whammy” impact made attacking WISMR an obvious choice for making a positive change to the company.
Put plainly, paperless experiences are what today’s ESG-minded consumer expects from a quality retail brand. Therefore, being able to offer paperless online ordering and paperless returns was a central focus for Seasalt.
Piggybacking off the notion of going paperless, sustainability is a hugely important initiative for Seasalt. As one of their brand values, it underpins a great deal of the brand’s integrity and culture. So, being able to offer a paperless returns experience was a “must-have.”
Following an extensive evaluation process that included introductions, demonstrations, cost analysis, technical analysis, and more, Seasalt Cornwall shortlisted a number of vendors.
During a secondary review process, Seasalt examined all the vendors on their shortlist to understand which providers would best align with their existing technology suite and their values as a retailer.
Without question, Narvar offered the best match and was capable of providing the strongest technology and human capital to deliver on all of Seasalt’s goals.
Onboarding with Narvar was a success for the simple fact that Narvar took the time to be patient, thorough, and nurture Seasalt throughout the process.
Despite going live in peak season 2021, Narvar helped Seasalt start delivering a better post-purchase experience instantly—there wasn’t a day or moment where Seasalt couldn’t do what they needed to. Narvar’s implementation team and customer success team provided deep, dedicated support that allowed the relationship to thrive from the very early into a “business as usual” mindset.
In general, the feedback remains very positive—Seasalt customers appear to be raving about all the new benefits of the partnership with Narvar. Additionally, Seasalt’s retail teams and customer service agents find the partnership extremely useful. CSAT and NPS are both up since bringing Narvar on board, a clear indication that the more streamlined returns journey is improving the overall customer experience.
As shoppers continue to buy more and more online, the post-purchase experience will only grow in its importance to the customer experience and your brand’s reputation. Providing brilliant post-purchase experiences from pixel to parcel is no longer negotiable. Everything that takes place after your customer clicks “buy” is now a strategic battleground for your brand against the competition.
Remember that we, at Narvar, will empower you to deliver the post-purchase excellence your customers expect so you reduce churn, retain revenue, and keep yourself ahead of competitors.
Currently the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Narvar, helping 1300+ of the world's most-admired brands—including Sephora, Levi's, and L'Oréal—take their post-purchase experiences to new heights. Born and raised in San Francisco, but I've lived all over the world. Previous residences include Seattle, Denver, Santa Monica, Kinsale (Ireland), and Wellington (New Zealand). Writer by trade, football player by passion, and tall by genetic lottery.