Originally published October 2020. Updated February 2023.
Customers expect their online purchases to arrive at their doorstep as quickly and efficiently as possible. Retailers who can deliver on these expectations are more likely to earn customer loyalty and drive repeat business.
However, running a business that has an e-commerce capability means handling various tasks at once, including your shipping and delivery partners.
Thankfully, there are lots of tools and processes that let business owners delegate, outsource, and automate parts of your business operations. For example, by using WebSell, retailers automate the task of tracking online sales through their Point of Sale system through e-commerce integration.
In this blog post, we’ll explore several strategies that retailers can use to improve their shipping and delivery strategy and keep their customers happy. Before you look at customer-facing strategies though you should:
Set some internal delivery strategy goals
Whether you’re an independent or multi-store retailer, there are various reasons why you should improve your shipping strategy:
- Increased conversions might be a top goal for you because your available delivery options at checkout can impact your conversion rate.
- Average order value might be something you want to increase in 2023 and improving your delivery strategy can help.
- Expanding your market reach is possible when choosing the right logistics companies, because they are more likely to have warehouses in various locations.
- Decreasing operating costs is also dependent on your logistics partner as they can potentially handle your products’ storage, packing, and delivery.
- Improving efficiency should be one of the overall goals for any project looking to improve delivery strategy.
Whatever your goals are, it’s always crucial to place customer satisfaction at the top. After all, they’re the reason your online business exists.
Now let’s look at what you can do to improve your shipping strategy:
1. Set clear expectations
The first step to improving your shipping and delivery strategy is to set clear expectations for your customers. This includes providing accurate shipping times, tracking information, and delivery dates. If you offer same-day or next-day delivery, make sure to communicate this clearly on your website and in your marketing materials.
2. Offer multiple shipping options
Customers have different needs and preferences when it comes to shipping and delivery. Some may prefer fast, premium shipping options, while others may be willing to wait a few extra days for a lower-priced shipping option. Offering multiple shipping options allows customers to choose the option that best fits their needs and budget.
3. Use a reliable shipping partner
Your shipping partner plays a crucial role in your delivery strategy. Look for a partner that has a good reputation for on-time deliveries, tracking, and customer service. Be sure to negotiate rates and service levels that fit your needs and budget.
4. Use technology to streamline shipping processes
Investing in shipping technology can help streamline your shipping and delivery processes. Use software to automate shipping label creation, track packages, and manage returns. You can also use technology to optimize your shipping routes, which can help reduce delivery times and costs.
5. Offer free shipping
Offering free shipping is a proven way to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customers are more likely to purchase from retailers that offer free shipping, even if the cost of the product is slightly higher. To offset the cost of free shipping, consider increasing the price of your products slightly or setting a minimum order value for free shipping.
6. Communicate with customers throughout the delivery process
Communication is key to a successful delivery strategy. Send customers regular updates about their order status, including tracking information and delivery dates. Provide a way for customers to easily contact you if they have questions or concerns about their delivery.
7. Streamline your returns process
Returns are a part of doing business, and having a streamlined returns process can help keep customers happy. Make it easy for customers to initiate returns, provide clear instructions on how to return products, and offer a hassle-free return policy.
In conclusion, retailers can improve their shipping and delivery strategy by setting clear expectations, offering multiple shipping options, using a reliable shipping partner, investing in shipping technology, offering free shipping, communicating with customers throughout the delivery process, and streamlining the returns process. By implementing these strategies, retailers can improve customer satisfaction, drive repeat business, and stay competitive in today’s fast-paced e-commerce landscape.
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