Better Shipping Equals Happier Customers
A customer’s receipt of merchandise and products is fundamental to the success of an eCommerce business, and a better shipping experience could be what your company needs to see improved customer reviews and rate of repeat shoppers to your site.
From the moment a shopper hits your website, to the second the merchandise is delivered, there are a thousand details that can make or break the customer experience. A customer’s opinion of your brand begins with great web design and a carefully crafted landing page, but it is cemented by the where, when, and how of shipping and delivery. In terms of building a loyal customer base and gaining repeat customers, shipping, and the customer service that accompany this process could actually be the most important aspect of an eCommerce business.
Want to build a better shipping experience for your eCommerce business? Implement these five steps that cover everything from what shoppers see on your website to the impression they get at delivery.
#1: Highlight Your Fastest and Best Delivery Options
For the majority of shoppers, the pace and options for delivery are a determinative factor for making a purchase or not. Some of eCommerce’s biggest spenders, millennial shoppers, say their purchases are influenced by how fast they can receive a product. In particular, a third of these shoppers consider a better shipping experience to include same or next-day delivery. Because of this popular opinion, eCommerce companies are afforded the ability to encourage a purchase by providing same-day delivery to specific locations and by making that option apparent on their storefront.
It is important to remember that checkout is the best time to clarify and confirm shipping options. Providing a range of shipping methods and delivery times will help a company see an increase in conversion. However, it’s not just options that matter; the accuracy of listed delivery times is just as important. Across industries, the majority of customer complaints come from delays causing delivery to differ from shipping estimates. The lesson to be learned is that nothing frustrates a customer more than waiting for a package that doesn’t arrive.
#2: Enable Live Tracking on Most eCommerce Platforms
The biggest eCommerce platforms are constantly under pressure to improve many aspects of their product all at once, but some have smartly focused on the basics of fulfillment and delivery. Logistics can be a nightmare for eCommerce businesses that focus a majority of attention to online components but are uncertain how to translate their business model to offline tasks. In this area, tools such as live tracking and fulfillment management make a big difference for eCommerce companies, and provide a better shipping experience to their customers.
For example, Shopify allows companies to provide a specific order tracking page for customers. When an order is sent through UPS, FedEx, United States Postal Service, or Canada Post, this page provides live updates on the exact movements of the package. Real-time updates are pushed to the customer without any interaction or revision by the eCommerce company, including map views and time stamps.
The increase in certainty and communication through Shopify’s order status page, and similar options at other eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce and Magento, can go a long way with shoppers.
#3: Offer SMS and Facebook Messenger Updates
As live tracking and the popularity of a order status pages show, communication after a purchase is key to keeping customers happy. The more channels of communication that are open to the customer, the better. This is where the options to send SMS and Messenger updates become most valuable.
Certain apps, such as AfterShip, can integrate directly with eCommerce platforms to provide an automatic SMS update for confirmation of an order, shipment details, status, and delivery date. Other plugins and chat bots, available for top-rated eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento, allow an eCommerce company to communicate directly with customers regarding shipment and delivery. Best of all, these plugins are placed directly on your website.
#4: Ship Direct from a Brick-and-Mortar Location
One of the challenges that every eCommerce company faces is immediacy. In terms of convenience, immediacy is the single advantage offered by brick-and-mortar stores over online shopping. Here’s why: While a shopper can go to a brick-and-mortar store, select and item, and then take it home, eCommerce has a process of purchase, wait, and then receive. Of course, options like same-day delivery are closing this gap, but when a shopper needs something right away, brick-and-mortar is often the intuitive option.
One way to offer an alternative to the immediacy provided by brick-and-mortar stores is to handle shipping from offline locations you can partner with. How does this create a better shipping experience and address immediacy? Brick-and-mortar partnerships provide a customer with more options. Customers who need a product within a few hours or want to make a return can simply order online, then visit the store, while shoppers who have the time can wait for delivery.
#5: Send Your Goods in Memorable Packaging
The last aspect of a better shipping experience is, of course, the delivery itself. There are some brands out there that intuitively understood the power of good packaging. These businesses implemented branded packaging, complete with thoughtful details and premium materials. The standouts in this area are typically from the industries involving fashion and accessories, or collectibles and home goods, but truly any brand can invest in better boxes and promotional materials.
The experience of opening a box and taking out the merchandise is a customer’s first physical interaction with your product, and for many shoppers this aspect of shopping and shipping experience creates a lasting impression, an impression that can even color how the customer responds to your product. That initial experience also impacts if the customer returns to your website. The statistics show that brands using premium and branded packaging see over 50% of customers return for another purchase.
Find Other Ways to Improve Your Customer Experience
At 1Digital Agency we know eCommerce inside out, upside down, and backwards. It is our area of focused expertise, and, over the years, our team has amassed knowledge in all areas of eCommerce design, development, and marketing. This knowledge even extends into the myriad of ways your eCommerce platform and site development can improve shipping, logistics, inventory, and fulfillment. Learn more about our development options here.
- Natalie Nako
- October 25, 2017
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