This week, we look at how to improve customer experience post-purchase, and why it’s important you do.

Beyond the buy button

When post-purchase CX isn’t smooth, happy customers can become unhappy customers – fast.

Janet Stone



3 minute read

You can have the best product in the world, but if the post-purchase experience doesn’t live up to the customer’s expectations, it can make for unhappy customers. It can also impact future sales.

Delivery is where post-purchase often falls down, and it has big impacts. It’s estimated that 8 to 10 customer engagement and revenue growth opportunities are lost during this crucial stage1. And a recent experience made me realise why.

Having a compromised immune system, contactless delivery options are super important to me. So, when a recent parcel delivered by courier was taken directly to the post office, I wasn’t impressed. All I received was a notification saying it was ‘ready for collection’. This resulted in me having to brave a busy post office with PPE on – not what I’d call contactless.

So, what could have been done to make it a happier experience for me? And what could be done to make me more likely to use this business in the future?

In short
  • Customer experience doesn’t end when your customers hit the ‘buy’ button.
  • The rise in online shopping highlights the need for quality service when it comes to delivery.
  • Taking responsibility for post-purchase service doesn’t just mean the odd online survey.
1. Let me provide detailed delivery instructions

If the shopping cart had included a text field that allowed for detailed delivery instructions to be included (more than 64 characters please), maybe the package would have been delivered as promised. The Australia Post app has a feature that somewhat addresses this issue – it allows you to select from a menu of common locations to ‘Safe Drop’ your package. The list includes options like ‘By the side gate’ or ‘On the front porch’

2. Give plenty of delivery options

Standard delivery and express delivery are just the basics. Same day, next day, parcel collect, parcel lockers, click and collect, contactless click and collect, and drive and collect are some more. Most customers want retailers to provide them the ability to pick the most convenient delivery option2, so providing more delivery options helps to meet this desire. The more options I have, the more likely I’ll be able to choose one that suits my needs for that purchase.

“Delivery is where post-purchase often falls down, and it has big impacts.”

3. Let me know what’s happening

Give me the option to track the delivery in real-time so I can make sure I’ll be there when it arrives. And if there is an issue with the delivery, let me know as soon as possible via my preferred form of communication. Even give me the opportunity to send the delivery person a message or vice versa. 80% of shoppers expect a smart tracking facility for their order2, so keep them posted with timely updates.

4. Allow me to redirect or redeliver the parcel

In the event the parcel can't be delivered as promised, give me the opportunity to redirect or redeliver it with just a few clicks. The easier you can make it, the better.

5. Let me rate the delivery experience

If I can let the business know there was an issue with the delivery, they’ll have the chance to resolve it and get me back on side in the future. Nearly a quarter of customers are unlikely or very unlikely to complain if they experience a delivery issue1. A business might not even know there’s been a problem. It’s worth developing an easy way to report an issue – that way, it’s easy to spot and solve a problem before it loses you too many customers.

Make post-purchase a priority

These are just a hand full of things that can done to improve a customer’s experience once they’ve made their purchase. But their importance is justified when almost three quarters of poor deliveries will result in a customer who is likely to stop recommending the retailer3. And with online shopping only predicted to grow, looking after customers once they’ve hit the buy button will play a key role in keeping your customers happy in the future – me included.

on reducing returns
Returns are essential to the post-purchase experience, but high rates of return negatively impact the business and suggest there’s room for CX improvement. A recent poll showed 61% of those surveyed agree more opportunities for consumer-generated product photos would allow them to better understand the product and reduce their number of returns.

Written by Janet Stone, editing by Adelaide Anderson, 52 Words by Abby Clark, key visual by Patrick Brennan, page built by Alice GuoPatrick Brennan.
  1. Sashank Ravindranath, Post-Purchase CX : 8 Strategies to Implement in 2022 (27 May 2022) Late Shipment. 
  2. Trends In Last Mile Delivery That Will Dominate 2022 (2 March 2022) Shipsy.
  3. Angela Barnard, How Poor Delivery Experience Impacts Online Customer Behavior (16 May 2021) Circuit Blog.  
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