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 looked at the post-purchase experience in the US with an initial study of the Operations ExperienceUS. And it turns out that e-tailers have a lot of room for improvement.

1. Carrier choice is inadequate


In the US, e-tailers offer very little choice in how an item can be delivered. For example, only 4% of e-commerce 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 US consumers value this option equally.

However, US e-tailers have been exploring new forms of delivery in 2020. 62% now offer home pick-up 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 before delivery, while there are usually at least five touch points. An astonishing 25% send a maximum of two 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-retailers 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 pagepersonalised. Only 27% of retailers currently host a tracking page on their website, meaning 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 delivery is usually a myth

We found that free delivery is rare. Only 4 e-tailers offer truly free delivery 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 that even low-cost delivery charges result in lost sales.


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

Overall, online returns are a pain for customers, while it is proven that a simplified returns policy increases sales. We found that 43% of retailers charge for returns. And more than half of those 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% do not even inform customers when they will receive the return or when they can expect a refund, leaving customers in complete limbo when there is already significant uncertainty at this stage.

Offer a Operations Experience


An Operations Experience optimal promotes customer loyalty and additional sales. This is where US e-tailers need to focus in 2021. Discoverour study to learn more about the opportunities for US 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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