Online Shopping Goes Way beyond Just Click, Pay & Purchase
This Entrepreneur tells us why post-purchase customer experience matters
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E-commerce has made our shopping experience a smooth sail. Not so much. Even after you choose, purchase & pay for the commodity, retailers have to ensure that it reaches the end-consumer safely, even if it has to be transported from the opposite end of the world. The whole process of packaging, shipping, tracking, delivery, feedback and returns, if needed, is what concludes a shopping experience.
Remember, ordering is only the start. Until the order reaches your doorsteps, the customer is engaged with the brand. In fact, even after the delivery, a shopper might need services for returns and customer care. Most retailers who have internal teams for enhancing post-purchase customer experience, which is why they outsource customer engagement companies like Narvar.
India's first enterprise platform for post-purchase customer experience, Narvar was founded in 2012 by Amit Sharma, a veteran in the retail space with deep expertise in omnichannel experiences and supply chain management. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, the organization is exploring a so far unexplored category in the Indian e-commerce sector.
Amit Sharma, Founder & CEO, Narvar
Talking to Entrepreneur India's former Associate Editor, Aashika Jain, Amit Sharma shared how Narvar's omnichannel experience is creating lifelong customer loyalty:
The Growth of E-commerce
Unlike traditional sales, e-commerce allows customers to buy anything, anytime. "We see a tremendous opportunity for the e-commerce business in India; consumers here are constantly buying products via digital channels owing to a rapid digital transformation and easily available smart devices. Today, not only do they expect the choice of buying, but also look for convenience," Sharma stated.
People, irrespective of their age group, are buying increasingly through online channels. There is an added comfort when consumers have the wherewithal to interact through multiple channels like their mobile devices, along with a proper infrastructure with network connectivity at their disposal. Sharma thinks that this pattern can be seen everywhere including in India.
Narvar has collaborated with 650+ retailers across markets and enable seamless post-purchase experiences to retain and engage customers. Backed by Accel, Battery Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, the organization serves some of India's largest brands namely Tata CLiQ, Lenskart, Himalaya, Forest Essentials, Bata, etc.
Enhancing Customer Experience
With more engagement, comes the need for enhancing the customer experience and having worked with the likes of Apple, Walmart and Williams-Sonoma, Sharma understands the key of creating lifelong customer loyalty. "The consumers expect choice and convenience and that's what they (retailers) are looking for."
Online retailers understand that are existing in a competitive market where survival is position only via providing the best deals and offering an end-to-end brand experience. The Indian economy, however, has always been value-driven. Earlier even if there is a 2 per cent difference in the price, consumers would just jump on it but now they are getting much savvier.
"They understand that it is not just about the price, but also about receiving proactive information. When they are buying something – they want to know that they will receive it. They also have convenience in terms of interaction, while they are waiting for delivery. Returns and exchanges should not be a headache or a hassle – these are a few things that consumers expect," Sharma stated.
Technology – the Key Differentiator
Technology today has taken the forefront and brands are trying to find out the way to offer the most innovative solutions to their customers. Platforms like Narvar are ensuring to make the best use of available technology to provide the best to their end-users. Sharing an anecdote, Sharma said, "Indian market cash on delivery share is 60-65 per cent."
When your customer is not at home, the courier partner is trying to deliver your product and makes several attempts to reach the consumer, but they don't know where the consumer is. Today, all of that is being solved by some customer service agent, who is trying to call and get a hold of you - all that is done through the old economy and through manual labour. This is where technology comes into the picture.
"Our platform can use intelligence and automation in terms of sending you messages through WhatsApp real-time where you are more likely to open and read the message and respond. Then there's SMS through an authenticated fashion, not just a spam way of doing it; even sending you an email, if that's your preferred channel," he stated.