Under the umbrella of “post-sale services”, we include everything that takes place after the E-Commerce order has been confirmed. In this post, I will describe the main aspects to be taken into account at this stage. These elements are the following:
- Order details: A buyer expects to find a detailed description of his or her actions after a transaction. Usually, in E-Commerce trade an invoice form will be submitted after confirmation, and this invoice should be immediately sent to the buyer. This invoice should also be printable.
- Order tracking: After a purchase is made, a user may feel uncertain about what’s going on with the product which he or she just purchased. Whenever possible, you should minimise this feeling. One of the best ways to do so is to offer reliable, updated delivery tracking. Logistics services companies usually offer this kind of service, so you just have to request it and integrate it in your store.
- Feedback: Once the order has been made, users should be able to evaluate their purchases (perhaps under the form of reviews or ratings) and make comments about their shopping experience. Many store owners think that they mainly stand to lose by using this kind of 2.0 elements, but if you are confident about your services, the benefits can be huge.
- Post-sale recommendations: There’s nothing better to improve conversion and engagement than encouraging future purchase. The user who has already made a purchase is more likely to come back, and you should take special care of him or her. A study of his or her navigation and purchase patterns can help you to offer personalised monitoring and assessment, be it immediately after the purchase, in future visits to the store, or by email. This information can also be used to design special offers.
- Claims and Returns policy: Here I refer to this excellent post by my colleague Jose Carlos Cortizo.
Even though most of these points should be the minimum for any serious E-Commerce store, the fact is that many stores currently give a lot of importance to what goes on before conversion, and very little to what happens afterwards. Please don’t be shocked: conversion is always the main objective for an E-Commerce store. But conversion, properly understood, is a sale that hasn’t been “troublesome” for you or for the user. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t regard a sale as completed until the legal guarantee (14 days according to current legislation) is over. Given this scenario, the post-sale service would be the real final step in the conversion funnel.