Research by delivery management platform Parcelhub and software developer Brightpearl has revealed that online merchants have several customer retention expectation blind spots, most notably high delivery costs.
According to Parcelhub, the likelihood of customers coming back and remaining loyal to a brand is hugely dependent on what happens during the delivery and receipt of items.
The top reasons why consumers said they would stop doing business with a brand include poor product quality (71%), high delivery costs (62%), poor customer support (58%) and missing or wrong items delivered (54%). This compares with much lower results for any of the pre-purchase issues, such as website problems (30%) or an item not being in stock (25%), which were both ranked the lowest. The results show that the post-buy button experience requires significant attention from merchants.
Retailers, on the other hand, ranked both potential pre-purchase issues as the highest, with 43% believing that an item not being in stock would cause a customer to stop doing business with a brand, and 30% quoting website problems as an issue. Parcelhub believes that these results demonstrate the chasm between the priorities of consumers and the perceptions of retailers.
Reviews are an important tool used by potential customers to influence their purchasing decisions. The research found that 92% of consumers surveyed consider reviews to be important, with almost half (46%) considering reviews to be very important. Acknowledging the post-purchase customer expectation blind spots will significantly affect the positivity of the overall customer experience.
Steve Marjoram, managing director of Parcelhub, said, “We are all prone to second-guessing why someone makes a decision, and this research shows that these preconceptions are impacting on a retailer’s ability to retain customers. Our research highlights the customer retention blind spots of merchants that will impact their bottom line, not only affecting repeat purchases but leading to poor reviews dissuading potential new customers from using that retailer or brand.
“The key to customer retention success lies in having an exemplary post-purchase delivery experience. Parcelhub, as the UK’s leading provider of multi-carrier delivery solutions and proactive tracking support, can help retailers and brands transform their customers’ experiences, leading to greater initial and repeat sales success.”
To download the Retail Expectation Gap white paper, click here.