5 Operations Experience issues that e-tailers need to address

5 Operations Experience issues that e-tailers need to address
Published on: Apr 8, 2021
Updated: Aug 18, 2022

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We recently took a look at the post-purchase experience in the U.S. with an initial study of the Operations ExperienceAmerican. And it turns out that e-tailers have a lot of room for improvement.

1. Carrier choice is inadequate


In the United States, e-retailers offer very little choice in how an item can be delivered. For example, only 4% of eCommerce sites display the carrier they use, and even fewer give customers the option to choose their own carrier. Carrier choice is a common practice among European e-tailers and it is very likely that U.S. consumers value this option just as much.

However, U.S. e-tailers have been exploring new forms of delivery in 2020. 62% now offer home pickup in addition to their traditional delivery methods. 18% also offer 24-hour delivery.

  1. Communication around the post-purchase experience is minimal

E-retailers are missing many opportunities to communicate with their customers during the post-purchase experience. 56% of merchants only send three or four emails prior to delivery, when there are typically at least five touch points. An astonishing 25% send two or fewer emails.

While most, if not all, brands send order confirmation and shipping emails, many do not send shipping updates, delivery confirmation or returns communications. As a result, customers are left in the dark during shipping and e-tailers are missing critical customer engagement opportunities.

  1. Package tracking is lacking

Even when retailers do send communications, they often outsource the task to a third-party site, rather than leveraging it themselves with a tracking pagepersonalized. Only 27% of retailers currently host a tracking page on their website, which means 73% outsource tracking information to another site, such as a carrier's. Again, retailers are missing a crucial opportunity to build customer loyalty.

4. Free shipping is usually a myth

We found that free shipping is rare. Only 4 e-tailers offer truly free shipping for customers. 52% require a minimum purchase, where the costaverage is $35. Surprisingly, 30% of merchants simply do not offer a free shipping option. These teachers charge an average of $4.25 for delivery, despite themany studies that show even low-cost delivery fees result in lost sales.


  1. Return processes are perceived as extremely difficult for customers.

Overall, online returns are painful for customers, while it is proven that a simplified returns policy increases sales. We found that 43% of merchants charge for returns. And more than half of that 43% charge more than $10 to process a return!

We also found that 56% of merchants take more than six days to process and fully refund a customer's return. 64% don't even inform customers when the return will be received or when they can expect a refund, leaving customers in complete limbo when there is already significant uncertainty at this point.

Offer a Operations Experience


An Operations Experience optimal drives customer loyalty and incremental sales. This is where U.S. e-tailers need to focus in 2021. Discoverour study to learn more about the opportunities for U.S. retailers.

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Create new reasons for people to love your brand. Build standout post-sales experiences tailored to your customers. Deliver personalized touch points that grab attention and spark loyalty.

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