Two years ago, my colleagues, May and Michael, and I launched a DTC grocery brand.
And like any other eCommerce brand, we invested most of our resources on customer experience. I’m proud to say, we nailed it. We had great products, and a well defined and differentiated brand. Our FB ads were branded yet performance-driven, we built a killer Instagram community, created our own influencer network, did acquisition by the book, invested in retention, and created an email marketing strategy… Every part of the user journey that was in our control, was pre-planned and very well-executed.
But there was one part in which we constantly underperformed, no matter how hard we tried: the Post-Purchase phase.
After the customer placed an order on our website, we just couldn’t manage to deliver an outstanding experience. Our brand was being damaged every day by things that weren’t even in our control. Things like:
Uncertainty surrounding the delivery process
Hard to schedule delivery
Lost or incorrect items
Confusing return policies
A non-personal, industrialized delivery experience
As a D2C brand, the first opportunity to meet our customers face to face was when their order arrived on their doorstep. Yet at that critical moment, our brand was missing! The person they encountered was an anonymous delivery agent from a third-party supplier who had no stake at all in our brand.
It just didn’t seem right, so we decided to dig a little further into the problem and its consequences.
We discovered that 60% of online shoppers experience disappointment during the purchase process – and mostly during the Post-Purchase phase.
And this motivated us to come up with our own solution, one that would give control over the post-purchase phase of the customer journey back to our brand, for the first time.
Instead of using a giant warehouse outside the city, we created a ‘nano warehouse’ model, with a local neighborhood distribution center. Each night, a truck full of produce would arrive at the nano warehouse with the next day’s deliveries, and in the morning, a team of local entrepreneurs would handle all scheduling, deliveries, and returns. It worked so well that we launched more and more of these local warehouses until we had created an entire network of nano warehouses throughout the city.
The business grew faster than we could imagine. And the results were incredible:
Improved satisfaction: Our customers received their orders exactly when they wanted them.
Better retention: Happy customers kept coming back!
Increased AOV: They even purchased more with each order.
We gained control of every step: The nano warehouses, located close to the customers’ homes, made delivery fast and easy. It made the return process smooth and simple. And it made the whole post-purchase experience much more personal, so we were able to create a special connection with our customers.
And that’s when the lightning bolt struck. We realized we had developed a solution that was a perfect fit for digital-native brands. Any and every D2C brand or online retailer could use this platform and gain control of the entire customer journey. Without intending it, we had solved one of the trickiest problems in online purchasing. And this was just the beginning…