How can retailers deliver a great After Payment Emotional Experience (APEX) to their customers?

An After Payment Emotional Experience (APEX) is the experience a customer has post-purchase, in-store but also online, where various e-commerce platforms offer services for tokenisation and seamless cross-border platforms for payments. The right platforms ensure that customers do not spend long in checkout queues. Complaints, refunds, and returns also affect the after payment experience of customers.

In a recent study by Valitor, more than 53% of customers said they valued the after-payment experience more than the pre-payment process, showing the need for an excellent APEX strategy.

Checkout processes.

Points of sale (POS) and mini POS systems used by retailers should focus on providing the quickest service to a customer. 38 per cent of customers cited a long checkout process as the key issue that repels them, so having enough attendants to process customer orders will encourage customers to return to the store. Having the right payment options, such as card or mobile terminal payments, significantly improves the checkout process too.

Returns and refunds.

In the Valitor study, about 26% of customers said they avoid retailers due to poor returns and refund processes. Having a favourable returns policy guarantees that businesses do not make excessive losses from uncommitted buyers while ensuring that genuine concerns are handled professionally.

A well-written returns policy is the first step towards achieving this. The retailer should ensure that the policy is updated, and possibly looked over by a lawyer to cover the essential aspects. This policy should be made known to customers before payment, and the merchant should also ensure it is followed strictly in the case of a return, which is certain to make the business more trustworthy.


Complaints should be handled by a specific office and if possible by the manager of the retail outlet. More than 61% of Generation Z consumers said they were more likely to encourage their friends to shop elsewhere after a bad experience with a retailer. With three in every five customers preferring to have long-term relationships with their retailer, handling complaints efficiently will enable customers to enjoy their APEX, making them more likely to return to the store.