Customer expectations for their online delivery experiences are constantly getting higher, and in turn, retailers are offering a wider range of quicker and convenient delivery options to meet this demand. As the only physical interaction that your ecommerce business will have with a shopper, it’s crucial that you nail the delivery experience. Read on to find out what steps you can take to impress shoppers with their delivery, and ensure they become repeat customers.
How to provide a better online delivery experience
Getting your delivery experience just right relies on balancing a few key factors: your customers’ expectations with what you can realistically deliver, providing enough information and being available to communicate with shoppers, and crucially, finding the most suitable and reliable couriers to work with.
Managing customers’ expectations
Provide easy to find, clear information about your delivery options and prices. Shoppers are put off by unexpected charges during the checkout process, and you want to build trust with them by being upfront about all delivery costs and when they can expect their order. For an online shop, create a dedicated page outlining your shipping options, as well as including them on each product page.
If you don’t offer any free shipping options, then you need to be aware of the level of service that shoppers will expect for the cost of the delivery. Keep shipping costs as low as possible; they need to be competitive when it comes to price and shipping time.
It’s also important to be realistic with your dispatch and delivery times, there’s no point promising a one-day turn around if it always takes you a couple of days to fulfil and send an order. Learn from your experiences and customers’ feedback, only promise a quicker turnaround if you’re able to meet that target.
Communicate with customers
As well as confirming their order, you should also send your customers a notification when the item is dispatched, including any tracking details. 88% of buyers want retailers to proactively communicate every stage of the fulfilment and delivery process. By using shipping software, such as Zenstores, you can print shipping labels for multiple sales channels and then mark them as dispatched which will automatically update on your sales channel and include the necessary tracking details.
It’s also important to make it easy for customers to get in touch about their order - ensure that you can easily locate orders and the dispatch and tracking details. If you’re using Zenstores to import orders from multiple channels then you can easily search through all your orders using the customer’s name, address or the order number.
Tracked and/or Signed For
Whenever possible use a tracked and/or signed for service; it gives you and your buyer peace of mind. And, if customers can track their parcel then it will reduce the number of enquiries about missing or delayed orders. At the very least, tracked shipping should be standard for high value orders - spending a little more on the shipping is always preferable to losing a whole order and having to replace or refund.
Use reliable couriers
66% of shoppers have bought goods from one retailer instead of another because they preferred the delivery services available to them. Test out a range of different couriers and services, and be prepared to switch to a different one if you’re not getting the delivery experience that your customers will expect. Even though it’s a different company that will handle the delivery, it still reflects on your retail business.
Retailers often find that using different couriers and services, depending on the size, weight, contents and value of the order ensures that the best delivery experience is had. Find out more about the benefits of multiple shipping options here.
There’s a wide range of reliable delivery services available from the UK’s biggest couriers, including:
- Royal Mail - one of the most well-known and trusted couriers, Royal Mail offers low priced standard deliveries and a number of tracked and/or signed for services. Their 2D barcode labels also offer delivery confirmation.
- MyHermes - all of MyHermes courier collection and ParcelShop deliveries are tracked.
- Parcelforce - a popular choice for larger parcels, Parcelforce offers next morning, next day and two day delivery services, which are trackable with a guaranteed delivery date.
- DPD - With a by 10.30, by 12, next day and two day delivery service, DPD also has its DPD Predict tracking features - recipients receive notifications via text and/or email with an hour delivery slot and can rearrange their delivery as well as follow it on a live map. Learn more about DPD services here.
You can provide a better online delivery experience by using Zenstores, which integrates with Royal Mail, Parcelforce, DPD, DPD Local , MyHermes, APC Overnight, Yodel and Parcel2Go. Find out more about how Zenstores can automate your shipping and save you time here.