There are a number of factors that contribute to the success of your online store and order fulfillment has a significant role to play in your eCommerce business. Roughly 80% of consumers admit they won’t return to a brand if they had a poor delivery experience. Your eCommerce delivery strategy is one of the most impactful steps you can take to improve customer retention. This article will teach you how to improve the customers’ shipping experience.
When it comes to shipping, customers expect fast delivery, flexible shipping options, and affordable prices. Additionally, 65% of consumers look for free-shipping thresholds before adding items to cart. A great way to meet these expectations is to improve the customers’ shipping experience.
A solid shipping strategy increases conversion, the average order value, decreases costs and improves the overall operational efficiency.
Here is a list of 10 tips on how to improve your shipping process and find the best eCommerce shipping solutions for your customers.
- Set proper shipping policies
- Provide an estimated delivery date
- Focus on the checkout process
- Provide multiple shipping options
- Offer tracking information
- Offer delivery notifications
- Offer free shipping
- Offer quick refunds & hassle-free returns policy
- Have a shipping insurance
- Include packaging in your shipping strategy
Set proper shipping policies
Transparency is important to customers. Set up the right terms and conditions to inform your shoppers about fees, taxes, expected delivery dates, returns, shipping destinations, options, and general shipping practices. These policies protect both the seller and the customer and they eliminate potential complaints.
Provide an estimated delivery date
More than 60% of shoppers expect to see an estimated delivery date at checkout. If you have the possibility, a guaranteed delivery date is even better. This can make a difference for a lot of shoppers when they decide to buy from you or from your competitors.
Focus on the checkout process
The checkout experience can be frustrating for shoppers and your online shop should provide a simple and fast method to complete the purchase.
⦿ Reduce the number of forms and clicks to shorten the checkout process.
⦿ Display all the shipping methods available.
⦿ Display the fees and estimated delivery dates next to the shipping methods.
⦿ Display shipping restrictions if any.
⦿ Promote free shipping based on the rules you set (e.g., minimum order price).
Provide multiple shipping options
As a merchant, you have to anticipate the needs of the customers and offer them as many solutions as possible. Here are some common shipping options you can use on your eCommerce store:
⦿ Pick-up at store
⦿ Collect from a locker or another point
⦿ Specific delivery timeframes
⦿ Weekend deliveries
Offer tracking information
Tracking packages is a must for most customers. The website they purchase from should allow them to track the shipment and even offer delivery updates. This makes them more patient as they can follow the shipping process.
Offer delivery notifications
Customers should be informed of the delivery status of their orders. Many carriers send their own notifications, but it’s not a bad idea to double up on these. Even if notification emails might not get a lot of attention from the customers, the lack of emails gives them a reason to worry. Be proactive and keep your shoppers informed every step of the way, especially if a delay is expected. SMS updates are highly popular and preferred by most customers.
Offer free shipping
Free shipping is an expectation. The lack of free shipping is discouraging to customers and it’s also a good reason to abandon the cart. The most popular practice is to offer free shipping over an X order amount, but a lot of companies started to eliminate the order size rule and use free shipping as a way to compete with other retailers.
Some shoppers are willing to wait more days for free shipping, but the general expectation is to receive the item in four days.
Offer quick refunds & hassle-free returns policy
If you want to stand out from the standard eCommerce practices, you need to offer a quick refund process, an easy return policy and allow a longer time to return items. This is becoming more of an expectation than a differentiator, and if your store doesn’t offer them yet, you should definitely work on adding them. This gives shoppers the peace of mind that they can easily return items without hassle if they are not happy with the product.
Have a shipping insurance
There are many unforeseen circumstances when it comes to shipping and you might not have control over them. This is why you should consider shipping insurance. As an average, businesses lose around 3-5% of the revenue because of shipping loses. Having shipping insurance protects you from financial loss and gives you a safety net in case of emergencies, including expediting a new shipment to your customers if their package gets lost.
Include packaging in your shipping strategy
Including packaging as part of your shipping process gives you opportunities to promote your brand and build a relationship with your customers. Consider adding a thank you note, incentives for future purchases (discount codes, vouchers, etc.), free products and samples to the packages you send out. All shoppers appreciate gestures like that and they will be more motivated to shop from you again. This is a great way to improve customers’ shipping experience!
eCommerce fulfillment is complex and there are a lot of things to consider. However, you can make things simpler and expand your partnerships to ensure a smooth and pleasant customer experience. Shipping is an important aspect of your business and by improving it, you’re gaining more customers and more profits.
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