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‘Ghosted’ customers cost repeat sales

UK consumers who feel abandoned by a retailer following a purchase are less likely to purchase from the store again, a new survey finds.

Narvar and YouGov asked 3000 UK consumers to uncover their biggest bugbears when shopping with online retailers.

The study shows that retailers are failing to secure customer loyalty and retain existing buyers when they neglect to provide them with timely, accurate and personal communications following a purchase.

Important communications include: fast and direct communications about their orders, accurately predicting delivery date, and being told any bad news – such as delays – straight away.

These kinds of interactions were even more important to consumers than, for example, not having an option for home delivery, click and collect, or in-store returns.

As it costs at least five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one, these findings have significant implications for retailer’s post-purchase customer strategy.

Millennials aged up to 24 are the group most likely to be irritated by a lack of communications in this way (25%).

Managing expectations is important. Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding about being kept in the loop by retailers: 61% said they want fast and direct communications following a purchase, even if it’s about bad news, with this being most important to millennials and the over 55s.

One in 10 consumers wanted to see follow-up content such as examples of how others are using the products, suggestions for how to make best use of items, and personalised recommendations to really secure their loyalty. One in five said they would love just a simple “thank you”!

Amit Sharma, CEO, Narvar, comments: “These findings really highlight that the ecommerce journey does not just stop when a customer clicks the buy button. Retailers who fail to appreciate the importance of the post-purchase experience are missing out on really developing a loyal customer base and the financial benefits that go along with that.”

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