Yesterday, I posted a clear & simple question on Quora – “What do online shoppers expect from online retailers?”, and asked to answer fellow Quorans.
Evidently, didn’t receive dazzling amount of answers, but that’s beside the point. I noticed an interesting pattern in almost all the answers my question received over the past 24 hours. Almost all, because I left one out. ( Yes, there was this one answer that screamed sales, so don’t mind me as I’ll be ignoring it throughout )
The one thing that all answers had in common was the desire (or rather demand ) for a fast and reliable shipment delivery. Whereas transparent prices, communication and secure payments are crucially important to shoppers, they are still in the hands of the retailers. They can be controlled and improved.
Deliveries on the other hand are managed by the 3rd party carriers – not much you can do about it. Oh wait…
There are actually few things you could do about it:
Offer More Than One Shipping Option, Seriously!
It’s so discouraging to find out already half-way through the shopping journey, that there is only one shipping option available (with usually sloppy service).
Apart from regular shipping service, most global carriers offer number of express shipping options that differ in delivery time and come at a price.
But, hey! having options is good. Not every customer wants a free shipping that takes 3 weeks to deliver an order from Texas to Canada. Some will pay extra for faster and safer delivery, and that does add to the total purchase cost.
So, have more than one shipping option available!
Now, as much as we love having options, some customers will go with the cheapest/free shipping (We all love free stuff).
The question is – how do we service the ones who chose a poor or somewhat inferior 3rd party carrier shipping and still have them satisfied?
How do we up their post-purchase shopping journey?
Shipment Tracking is By Default
Shipment tracking is a must in this day and age and honestly if you don’t offer that, please take down your online store from the internet. I mean it.
Cut Through The Noise – Shipment Status Update Notifications
However, you can do better than sending a customer off your webshop to a 3rd-party courier. You can’t possibly offer your customers a free same-day delivery across the Atlantic.
But you can make the shipment journey transparent, engaging and easily available to your customer, without the shopper needing to refer to a 3rd party shipment tracking system.
Go ahead and integrate a post-purchase marketing solution on your online store. Set up instant notifications per shipment status update and keep the customer in the know, whenever and wherever they are.
That way your customers will be:
- More engaged and open to communication
- Constantly up-to-date about their shipment whereabouts
- More likely to return for business and refer others as well
Don’t make it more complicated than it has to be.
Beware of The Holiday Season
Since we are all gearing up for the holiday shopping spree, bare in mind that shipping and delivery delays are eminent. There will be lot of concerned calls and emails flowing through your communication channels. So, offer your best post-purchase customer experience and even though there might be delays, don’t let them wonder and second guess their purchase decisions.