Handling the Post-Purchase Customer Experience with Location Technology

Marc Kranendonk
Marc Kranendonk
Content Manager
November 1, 2023

Are you someone who stares outside the window longingly after purchasing something online, waiting for it to arrive, and wishing it could just be at your doorstep already? 

It’s safe to say that most of us have been here. 

Isn't it equally frustrating when you don't know the real status of your purchase? It may say "delivery in 3-5 days," or you'll receive an arrival time frame from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. Sometimes it arrives earlier than expected, or it shows up suddenly 14 days late, or maybe never at all.

Delays, inconsistent order process updates, and lost orders are frequent issues in subpar post-purchase handling. In this digital age, consistent and transparent updates on online orders have become indispensable to the customer experience. Whether it's a pizza delivery or items from a clothing store, customers want to know more about the status of their order on a frequent basis.

Mobile location technology plays a pivotal role in improving this experience. This ranges from real-time order tracking to targeted promotions and loyalty programs. If you're looking to increase customer retention, loyalty, and overall satisfaction with their online ordering experience, location technology is the place to start.

Understanding Post-Purchase Customer Experience

The post-purchase customer experience refers to the order handling  conducted by the supplier after an order has been placed by the customer. 

It encompasses the entire set of interactions and activities that a supplier or business engages in after an order has been placed. It involves the order processing and shipping, customer support, feedback collection, and potential returns or exchanges. 

This phase plays a crucial role in shaping the customer's overall satisfaction, loyalty, and perception of the brand. It goes beyond the initial transaction and focuses on creating a seamless and positive experience that retains and delights customers, ultimately influencing their decision to become repeat customers and brand advocates.

Location Technology Overview

There are a few technical components that are relevant to improving the overall customer experience. We’ll briefly explain what they are, and how they function, in broad terms. 

Location SDK

A location SDK is the accuracy engine that powers the location functionality of a mobile app. It lets you track and collect location information of a mobile device in real-time. 

Geofencing API

Geofences are virtual boundaries that are set up in real world locations. They detect the location of a mobile device whenever it enters the virtual radius. These entry and exit 'events' provide an update on devices that enter, stay, and leave the virtual boundary.

Insights API

This is a tool developers can use to gather location-related data of users to better understand their behaviors. This ranges from home and work locations, frequently visited locations, and point of interests (POIs).

Alright, now it’s time to explore how they can be used for the post-purchase customer experience.

Improving the Post-Purchase Customer Experience with Location Technology

Real-time order tracking

The location SDK provides your customers with the ability to track the real-time location status of their orders during the final last-mile delivery phase of their order's journey. This transparency offers peace of mind to the customer and provides them with an idea of when to expect their order to arrive.

Push-notification updates

Through geofences, order updates can be automatically sent with push notifications to alert the customer of their order status. This is commonly used during the last-mile delivery stage; however, automatic order updates through geofencing technology can also be applied in earlier stages of the delivery process, such as in the packaging and shipping phase.

It's important to note that this is not the same as real-time order tracking because the push-notification updates occur at periodic stages of the order journey and are automatically delivered to the customer with their permission

The Other Side of the Post-Purchase Experience

We've defined the post-purchase customer experience as the order handling process conducted by the supplier after an order has been placed. However, the post-purchase experience can also be understood as the customer experience after the order has been delivered. Like the epilogue in "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King", the post-purchase experience never ends.

It's common nowadays, particularly in retail, to have loyalty apps that frequent customers can use to further engage with their brand and products. This presents a perfect opportunity to better understand the customer's purchasing behaviors and improve their experience after each order. Gathering insights on customer purchasing behavior, such as their order history and preferences, can be combined with historical location data. Combining historical location data with historical purchase data allows retail loyalty apps to provide an even more personalized customer experience.

If you know that your customer frequently visits certain physical store locations, you can create targeted promotions and loyalty programs tailored to those specific stores. Creating a reward program to gamify the purchasing process will also make the current and future order experience more playful. This can ensure consistent return to store locations and help your business keep track of foot traffic. Furthermore, it allows you to experiment with different targeted campaigns to see which are most effective and helps you continue to understand your customer's needs and wants.

Case Studies and Examples

Can’t just make statements without any evidence to back them up, right? Let me provide real-world examples. 

Daki is a mobile app from Brazil that offers delivery services from groceries, restaurants, liquor stores, bakeries, pharmacies, butchers, and fish mongers. Providing such a wide range of products and delivery options demands a smooth and transparent customer experience throughout the post-purchase process. One of the ways Daki accomplishes this is through real-time location tracking, which gives their customers up-to-date information on their order's progress, providing the transparency and information that is expected nowadays.

Screenshot from Daki's website

PayPal has been working on adding a package tracking feature that enables customers to instantly view the status of their orders. Through Gmail integration, PayPal would send live push notifications when a delivery status changes or when there is an update to the order. This feature would be available even if you haven't made a purchase through PayPal. They aim to eliminate the manual step of entering your order number whenever you wish to check the delivery status, furthering the automation of the order tracking process.

Now, I don't have insider knowledge about how PayPal will implement this. What I do know is that, similar to their Map Tracking feature, Amazon uses geofences to provide automatic updates on the last-mile delivery portion of the purchase process. Therefore, it's likely that PayPal will have a similar system in place for their upcoming package tracking feature.

Image source and credits: https://twitter.com/aaronp613/status/1713942458436895020

It's November 2023, which means we're well into the Pumpkin Spice Latte season. Avid Starbucks consumers are all too familiar with this routine. I, on the other hand, have never had a Pumpkin Spice Latte. It's an understatement to say that Starbucks is a highly successful company, and they continue to attract customers to their stores all over the world. This raises the question: are queues mandatory at a Starbucks? I've never been to one that doesn't have them.

Starbucks has been utilizing location-based personalized promotions to enhance their loyalty programs and reward customers for frequenting specific store locations. Reward-based programs, combined with location-triggered promotions, help Starbucks ensure a consistent flow of foot traffic to their stores and gain a better understanding of their consumers' interests and preferences. I suppose that's how those queues form. With access to historical data, they can devise campaigns and plan seasonal products more effectively.

Conclusion and Implementation Tips

Given all that has been discussed regarding the role of location technologies in the post-purchase customer experience, it's important to understand your specific needs and goals, as they will determine how you can leverage location technology.

Different businesses require different solutions, and the same holds true for location-based solutions. For instance, a food and delivery service may prioritize real-time tracking, while a retail app may benefit from geofencing. Both businesses, however, can use an Insights API to gain a better understanding of their customers and create personalized campaigns to enhance the purchasing experience and foster brand loyalty through a reward program.

So, whether you're in need of a location tracking SDK, Geofencing API, or an Insights API, you'll need to research and find what best aligns with your objectives. Speaking of which, Roam.ai offers a range of products and services, such as our Location SDK, Geofencing API, and Insights API, to assist you in building the finest location-aware mobile apps. The best part is that you can start integrating them for free.

Whether you're a developer, product manager, or a founder and CEO, contact our team or sign up for our dashboard today and start building your app with location technology for free. Don't forget to explore our product pages to learn more about what Roam.ai has to offer.

Unlock Location Technology

Marc Kranendonk
Marc Kranendonk
Content Manager
November 1, 2023