As new technologies that uplevel our online shopping experiences go from innovative to table stakes, customer expectations go with them.
For example, 68% of consumers expect online delivery time to be 2-3 days or less.
With such high customer expectations, plus an influx of competition as online store development becomes democratized, it's more difficult to keep customers coming back. In 2020, 40% of customers will change brands after just one bad experience. They’ve got choices, after all.
To stand out among competitors takes a broader perspective than the now-outdated purchase funnel. What modern merchants really need today is an engagement loop — driven by value-added services.
Every merchant is familiar with the purchase funnel:
But the path between first purchase and loyalty is a long one — and the purchase funnel doesn’t say much about how to get there. Maybe that’s why many retailers over-index on customer acquisition — which comes at a cost about 5x that of retaining an existing customer.
To move beyond the simple step funnel and foster engagement across channels and mediums, merchants need a loyalty loop.
In our high-touch world, you have to keep customers engaged by offering moments of value that trigger them back to their physical and digital stores.
Winning merchants will master long-term customer relationships and community building, in part by inserting value-added services as meaningful digital touchpoints across the entire customer journey.
The top merchants are dominating the market by continuing to innovate on the experience they provide — leveraging in no small part an assortment of value-added services like these:
Looking at the evolution of commerce customer experience, it’s clear that value-added services are the new wave of innovation.
Amazon, for example, is constantly pushing the bounds of value-added services like AI-driven product recommendations, live chat, and product protection to keep customers in their ecosystem. And their loyalty program? Amazon Prime members spend roughly 4x more than non-Prime members.
But you don’t have to be the number one retailer in the world to drive long-term customer value. Today’s solutions make it possible for every merchant to deliver value-added services across the loyalty loop to compete with their biggest customers.
Embedding value-added services across your end-to-end customer journey, particularly in post-purchase, keeps customers in your ecosystem — building a loyalty loop. Those touchpoints build long-term relationships that make customers feel like they’re part of a community.
Offering product protection plans is an easy way to start adding value-added services to your tech stack. Some of the benefits:
And with Extend, your customers’ experience is one of our top concerns. And relieving your own customer support staff of product issues covered by protection plans can help save time and money — all while providing an excellent customer experience.
Contact us for a demo today.