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5 Ways AI & Clienteling are Transforming the Post-Sale Process for Apparel Brands

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When was the last time you had an exceptional post-sale experience? Maybe the delivery time was quick, or the packaging was stunning. Or, if you had to return an item, it was effortless.

An effective post-sale process can turn a customer into a brand ambassador. But, facilitating an exceptional post-purchase experience can be challenging—especially during peak seasons. 

AI and machine learning are transforming how brands approach the post-purchase experience, creating opportunities for a more efficient and personalized process. Here, we'll explore why the post-sale process matters and how AI is helping brands exceed customers' expectations. 

What is the Post-Sale Process? 

The post-sale process is the steps retailers take after a customer makes a purchase. It includes order fulfillment, managing returns and exchanges, and addressing customer questions or concerns. 

Why Does the Post-Sale Process Matter? 

The post-purchase process plays an essential role in the customer lifecycle. By prioritizing this experience, retailers can differentiate themselves from competitors and increase revenue. Here are some benefits of curating an exceptional post-sale process. 

Boost customer engagement

The post-sale process provides ample opportunities to deepen customer relationships. For example, brands can include a thank you note or a promotional offer in order confirmation emails. Retailers can also use unique unboxing strategies to delight shoppers. And by encouraging shoppers to share their purchases on social media, retailers empower customers to become brand ambassadors.

Ensure customer satisfaction

A recent Aptean survey found that improving customer satisfaction is the top priority for retailers in 2024. By investing in a seamless post-purchase shopping experience, brands can leave a lasting impression on their customers. If there are any issues, an effective post-sale process will identify and resolve them. 

Build customer loyalty

The post-sale process is critical to boosting customer retention and increasing customer lifetime value (CLV). According to research by Zippia, companies have a 60-70% higher likelihood of selling to existing customers than new prospects. By creating a seamless post-purchase customer experience, brands ensure shoppers feel valued—encouraging repeat purchases. 

How AI can Improve the Post-Sale Process for Apparel Brands

The acceleration of AI and machine learning enables retailers to automate many aspects of the post-sale process. This allows brands to boost efficiency and reduce the burden on customer support teams. Here are five ways AI is transforming the post-sale process. 

1. Provide personalized content and offers

Brands can leverage AI to personalize the post-purchase experience—driving upselling and cross-selling. AI-powered algorithms use customer preferences, shopping behavior and purchasing history to provide relevant content and promotions. 

Post-purchase content is also an excellent way to inform customers about their loyalty program status. For example, Mack Weldon sent this email letting a customer know they had earned free shipping.

Mack Weldon uses post-purchase emails to encourage customers to redeem their loyalty rewards.

2. Improve the shipping experience

With AI, brands reduce shipping costs and increase efficiency. For example, AI-powered inventory management tools make it easier for brands to predict demand and optimize stock levels. AI algorithms also analyze weather conditions, traffic patterns and other data points to optimize shipping routes. And brands can use AI to automate shipping notifications—keeping customers informed every step of the way.

Running brand Janji provides a delivery update.

Eli Weiss, former Senior Director of Customer Experience & Retention at Jones Road Beauty, argues that shipping is a "brand's superpower." "In an era where same-day delivery and one-click purchases are becoming the norm, merely meeting baseline expectations won't cut it," he writes in his newsletter All Things CX & Retention. "The magic of shipping doesn't come from speed alone; it comes from thoughtful attention to every detail of the customer's experience, from the moment they click 'buy' to the exciting unboxing."

3. Collect customer feedback

AI software makes it easier to collect customer feedback and reviews. At the same time, AI uses natural language processing (NLP) to detect customer sentiment. If a customer submits a negative review, customer service teams can follow up to resolve the issue. 

Quince encourages customers to submit a review by offering loyalty rewards points.

AI tools also process vast amounts of customer feedback data quickly—helping brands identify common themes or areas for improvement. For example, AI can scan customer reviews and notice that shoppers repeatedly ask for new colors of a best-selling item. 

4. Streamline customer service with AI-powered chatbots

Today, consumers expect speed and convenience. A LivePerson survey found that 40% of shoppers will switch competitors if a brand takes more than 30 minutes to reply. 

With AI-powered chatbots, retailers reduce response times and speed up the resolution process. These applications use machine learning and NLP to understand customer sentiment, acknowledge errors, and ask relevant follow-up questions. For example, if a customer needs to update their shipping address or change sizes, conversational AI tools can facilitate this process. 

Suppose an issue does need to be escalated to a customer support agent. In that case, AI tools gather all relevant information—enabling customer service teams to provide a more personalized experience

5. Create a seamless return experience 

For apparel brands, returns are inevitable. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers returned over $816 billion of merchandise in 2022. 

But the return experience is critical. Optoro found that 44% of customers who return products “often” have higher lifetime customer values. Retailers build trust with shoppers by simplifying the return experience—ensuring customer satisfaction and boosting retention. 

With AI tools, brands can make the return process faster and easier. Customers can initiate a return without engaging a customer service agent. AI software can facilitate approvals, generate return labels and process refunds. Brands can also automate notifications to keep customers informed. 

Delight Customers at Every Stage with Salesfloor

The post-sale process is an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your customers. Whether your shoppers are happy with their order or have an issue, an effective post-sale experience improves customer satisfaction and builds brand loyalty. And with AI, companies further enhance the post-purchase experience—uncovering customer insights and freeing staff to focus on more complex tasks. 

Salesfloor is here to help. Salesfloor is an all-in-one customer engagement platform combining the power of human connection with AI. With virtual shopping, clienteling and AI-assisted selling tools, Salesfloor enables a hyper-personalized customer experience across every touchpoint.

Ready for a free product tour? Schedule a demo today to see how Salesfloor can help your brand enhance the customer experience.

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