People crave predictability.
And while retailers can’t control the supply chain or the weather, they can control things like shipment tracking and return policies.
The more predictability retailers can insert into their outbound fulfillment or inbound fulfillment journeys, the more successful they’ll be in keeping customers for the long haul.
In this blog, you’ll learn about the four key ways WISMO (Where Is My Order?) and WISMR (Where Is My Return?) undermine ecommerce success.
Before clicking the “buy” button, customers want to know when their order will arrive and how they can return the item if the purchase doesn’t work out. When a customer is forced to click away from the product page to locate basic shipping and return information, the risk of them failing to complete the purchase goes up.
As a best practice, retailers should keep shipping and return policy info on every product page, even if it’s a static banner that says something like, “Free shipping on orders over $100 + free returns within 30 days.” Doing so will minimize the friction associated with WISMO and WISMR uncertainty, plowing a path for shoppers to finish the purchase.
Customers get frustrated when they’re forced to search for information about their orders or returns. That frustration reduces the likelihood that they’ll buy from the same retailer again—a staggering 86% of customers will quit doing business following a negative experience.
Sharing information about an order or return can be the difference between a negative experience and a satisfactory one. From order confirmations to shipping alerts, any details obtained by the retailer about an order should be shared with the customer.
The freer the flow of information between retailer and customer, the stronger their future relationship will be in most instances.
Whether it’s done by email or SMS, proactive WISMO and WISMR updates can offset much of the frustration that’s felt by the end customers. Moreover, it gives retailers a fantastic opportunity to give customers a thoughtful “make good” that can further cement lifetime loyalty, such as…
Every cent a retailer spends on services after the customer makes their first purchase—from fulfillment to returns—is an investment in customer retention. Given that acquiring a new customer costs 5X more than retaining an existing one, a small investment in post-purchase communication can yield an outsize impact on a retailer’s bottom line.
Unhappy customers are 2-3x more likely to leave reviews than satisfied customers. Moreover, negative reviews impact retailers far more than positive reviews.
Even if a disgruntled customer doesn’t leave a public review, the word-of-mouth damage they can do is incredible—dissatisfied customers tell an average of 12 people about a negative experience.
Proactive WISMO and WISMR communications won’t solve every problem, but there’s a good change they can diffuse a given customer’s dissatisfaction before they badmouth your brand to friends and family.
The average cost of a WISMO or WISMR customer service cost is $5-$6. In most cases, that’s an expense that could be avoided through better tracking protocols. By automating order and return updates, retailers can make customers happier and cut costs.
For example, Nuun, a retailer that started using Narvar Track and Return products to manage its direct to consumer sales in 2021, reduced its WISMO inquiries by nearly 100% with proactive communication.
Regardless of the level of service the agent offers, every WISMO or WISMR query is a missed opportunity. When a retailer fails to proactively update its customers, it is shifting the burden of responsibility for tracking orders and seeding negative feelings.
Whether it’s retaining existing customers or building your reputation as a retailer, proactive communication reduces WISMO and WISMR calls, which improves profitability in the short and long term.
If you’re ready to learn about everything from automated order tracking to optimized returns, talk to Narvar about scheduling a free demo ASAP.
Currently the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Narvar, helping 1300+ of the world's most-admired brands—including Sephora, Levi's, and L'Oréal—take their post-purchase experiences to new heights. Born and raised in San Francisco, but I've lived all over the world. Previous residences include Seattle, Denver, Santa Monica, Kinsale (Ireland), and Wellington (New Zealand). Writer by trade, football player by passion, and tall by genetic lottery.