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12 ways to optimise the shipping experience

Versha Kamwal
July 6, 2021
7
mins read

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Ecommerce brands have an unshaken focus on attracting online shoppers to make a purchase. But the order fulfilment and post-purchase experience are equally important to ensure the long-term growth of an online business. However, when it comes to order fulfilment, more than 53% of ecommerce sellers providing efficient shipping to be a significant challenge.

Fortunately, there are accessible ways to optimise your shipping strategy as an ecommerce seller. In order to enhance the shipping experience for your customers, you need to take care of these key areas—affordability, speed, visibility, accuracy, personalisation, and support.

In this blog, you'll learn what are the customer expectations from the shipping experience, the importance of creating a great shipping experience, and how you can optimise your shipping experience to meet customer expectations.

Customer expectations from shipping experience

Thanks to Amazon, customers expect fast shipping on every order from all ecommerce brands. This has led to the need for on-demand warehousing and logistics, faster order processing, and inventory splitting across the country.

Customers want a hassle-free experience when it comes to shipping. Here are some facts according to studies:

  • 43% of online shoppers abandon their carts due to high shipping costs.
  • 79% of online shoppers say free shipping attracts them to shop online.
  • 83% of online shoppers want regular communication about their orders.
  • 53% of online shoppers won’t make a purchase if they don’t know when their order will be delivered.
  • 54% of online shoppers under 25 consider same-day shipping as their number one purchase driver.

With shipping speed and affordability being customer's priorities, many ecommerce brands are now utilising shipping as a part of their marketing strategy for attracting more online shoppers and turning them into loyal customers. Thus, by offering a great shipping experience, such as fast and free shipping, you can significantly reduce shopping cart abandonment and build brand loyalty.

Why creating a great shipping experience is important?

If online shoppers are unsatisfied with your shipping speed and costs, they simply abandon their shopping carts. Moreover, if online shoppers are unhappy with your shipping or delivery service, they are unlikely to purchase from you again.

Here are the benefits of improving your shipping experience:

  1. Increases conversion rates
    Fast and affordable shipping helps online shoppers to finalise their buying decision. Thus, you can significantly increase conversion rates by offering efficient shipping. You can also use fast and free shipping as a marketing tool—by adding a sitewide banner at the top of your website as a tactic to attract online shoppers. Additionally, customers are often willing to shop more to meet a minimum cart threshold to qualify for free shipping. This way, you can increase your Average Order Value (AOV) and boost your revenue.
  2. Improves customer lifetime value (CLTV)
    Every step of the order fulfilment process, from order processing, picking and packing items to order delivery, influences the shipping experience. If you miss out on any step, it can impact the shipping significantly. By ensuring a seamless and thoughtful shipping experience, you create a long-lasting impression in customers' minds. This will help you to keep your customers happy with great products and exceptional service and encourage them to make repeated purchases—thus, improving the customer lifetime value (CLTV).

12 ways to improve the ecommerce shipping experience

1. Offer free shipping

Free shipping has become a standard service that customers expect from online stores. By offering free shipping, you can increase conversion rates, boost revenue, and improve customer loyalty. However, offering free shipping means that you need to incur more costs. But there are ten ways to provide free shipping on your online store while covering its cost:

  • Including the shipping cost in your product price
  • Increasing the average order value (AOV)
  • Driving repeated purchases
  • Distributing your inventory across the country

Eshopbox can help you offer free shipping by splitting your inventory in multiple fulfilment centres across India to reduce shipping costs. Moreover, Eshopbox's negotiated discounted rates with courier companies will help you to minimise shipping expenses further so that you can provide free shipping to your customers without worrying about the costs.

Forever New offers free shipping on all orders
Forever New offers free shipping on all orders

2. Provide express delivery

To meet customer expectations, you must provide fast order delivery. For that, it's important to place your inventory closer to your customers. This will enable you to deliver orders faster.

As stated above, Eshopbox enables you to distribute your inventory in multiple fulfilment centres across India. This way, you can significantly reduce the transit time. Thus, enabling you to win your customers with express delivery.

3. Provide an ‘estimated date of delivery'

Customers like to know when it will be delivered to them. By providing an estimated date of delivery, you can set clear expectations with your customers. Based on the dispatch date of the orders and the time taken by the shipping provider to deliver the order, you can communicate the estimated date of delivery to your customers.

Dispatch date can be calculated by the total number of orders / daily pick capacity

With Eshopbox, you can set clear expectations with your customers about their orders as Eshopbox proactively intimates you with expected dispatch dates.

Myntra provides delivery estimates
Myntra provides delivery estimates

4. Give real-time order tracking

You can provide real-time order tracking so that your customers have complete visibility of their orders. You can send order updates when the order is placed, confirmed, shipped, in transit, and out for delivery through e-mail and text. You can also provide a portal to your customers to track their orders anytime. This kind of stress-free delivery experience can help you to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Eshopbox has a dedicated self-service portal enabling your customers to track their orders whenever they want. Moreover, Eshopbox sends timely order updates via e-mails and text messages and proactively intimates customers in case of any delay.

Zara provides real-time order tracking
Zara provides real-time order tracking

5. Stick to shipping times

After promising to provide fast shipping and delivery, you must ensure that customers get their orders fast. Be fully transparent of estimated shipping dates, considering delays. You need to ensure that the orders are shipped within the same timelines. In case of any delays, it’s important to notify your customers proactively.

Eshopbox's fully compliant and SLA-driven picking and packing process ensure on-time order processing within the predefined turnaround times (TATs) so that every order is shipped on time.

6. Ensure order accuracy

Even if the order is delivered on time, opening a package with the wrong or damaged product can ruin the customer experience. To reduce picking, packing and shipping errors and increase your order accuracy rate, you can— perform quality checks, optimise the picking and packing process, incorporate smart automation, and use appropriate packaging material.

Eshopbox has an order accuracy rate of 99.95%. The streamlined pick and pack process with intelligent packaging logic ensures ensures that appropriate and secure packaging materials are used to prevent any damage to products in transit. Moreover, Eshopbox performs multiple quality checks for ensuring that only quality products are delivered to your customers.

Secure and appropriate packaging
Secure and appropriate packaging

7. Create a memorable unboxing experience

You can delight your customers by delivering products in custom packages with inserts like promo codes, referral offers, and freebies. With a great unboxing experience, you can create a lasting impression, which can go a long way to create happy and loyal customers.

Eshopbox allows you to surprise your customers with an exceptional unboxing experience to foster your brand image. You can customise packaging as per your requirement by setting flexible packaging rules and including marketing inserts and samples.

Babel Alchemy creates a memorable unboxing experience
Babel Alchemy creates a memorable unboxing experience

8. Personalise the shipping process

Is it essential to communicate with your customers throughout the post-purchase stage with custom messages to further engage with your customers. You can put extra effort into your transactional e-mails to personalise the shipping process.

For instance, after customers make a purchase, sent them a thank you note. Such messages create a positive impression in the minds of your customers.

Kate Spade sends out personalised messages to customers
Kate Spade sends out personalised messages to customers

9. Switch to sustainable shipping options

Customers are now much more conscious of the environmental impact of their purchasing habits, especially online. By using eco-friendly packaging, you can build a strong reputation, acquire more customers and boost loyalty. You can switch to a more eco-friendly shipping approach by incorporating more eco-friendly packaging options, like recyclable packaging.

With Eshopbox, you can customise your packaging with eco-friendly materials to cut down your carbon footprint and build customer trust.

Terra boasts sustainable products as well as packaging
Terra boasts sustainable products as well as packaging

73% of customers are ready to change their shopping habits to reduce the impact on the environment.

10. Provide world-class customer support

You must always provide the customer with all the help they need. By setting up customer support for at least nine to twelve hours a day, you can assist your customers with any out-of-the-line issues that they may face.

For instance, if it has been several hours since a customer's order is out for delivery and the delivery partner's contact number is switched off, the customer must be able to reach out to customer service for a clearer picture of the situation.

Moreover, you can also use chatbots for easy resolutions of issues. Thus, if your customer support is not up to the mark, you cannot provide a seamless shipping experience to your customers despite other efforts.

Asos provides a live chat option to resolve customer queries
Asos provides a live chat option to resolve customer queries

11. Have a customer-focused return policy

You can minimise returns, but not completely . However, you can use returns as an opportunity to enhance the customer experience. By providing easy returns, exchanges, and refunds, you can instil trust and confidence in customers' minds. You can start by framing an ideal policy that benefits you and the customers. You need to provide an easy-to-understand policy so that your customers can initiate a return and send orders back without any extra hassles.

There are many ways to improve your returns management and reduce returns that can help you establish a customer-friendly return policy, so customers feel more comfortable purchasing from you again.

Eshopbox enables you to offer a frictionless return process for your customers with an easy-to-use self-service portal for initiating and tracking returns. You can also keep your customers updated at every step of the return journey —from aligning the pickup to intimating the customers about the return pickup.

Bloomingdale's has a customer-centric returns policy
Bloomingdale's has a customer-centric returns policy

92% of customers who are satisfied with the return process continue shopping with the same brands.

12. Ask for customer feedback

You can conduct a survey to understand if customers are satisfied with your shipping. It also helps customers to feel that their feedback and opinion matter. This way, you can gain insights into the shipping you offer, work on areas that require improvement, and make your customers feel valued.

Bonobos sends minimalistic surveys to customers for getting insights
Bonobos sends minimalistic surveys to customers for getting insights

Bottom line

Shipping is a vital process to strengthen your ties with your customers. It helps you to increase conversion rates, drive repeat purchases, and create brand loyalty. To fully leverage this powerful process, you need to focus on providing seamless shipping so that your customers are confident about their purchase and ensured that their products would be delivered to them on time, in the best condition. With the right strategies and implementation, you can achieve tremendous success while winning on the customer experience.

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