Too often online retailers underestimate the importance of delivery. But this is an essential part for the e-commerce customers’ experience. Online retailers should give more attention to this feature and should do their best to distribute their product in the most efficient way.
Indeed, all the efforts invested in having a great product, a competitive price and an excellent online experience may be wasted, if the final stage of contact is not satisfying for your clients.
Even though this stage often do not depends directly by the firm but rather by third party couriers, online business should try to guarantee the best parcel delivery.
Many businesses may be tempted to keep the delivery cost as cheap as possible, and to do so they tend to standardise the service. But in order to obtain a high-quality service, businesses should find equilibrium between price and good service.
Therefore, retailers should be able to be flexible and adapt the services to customers’ needs. Customers have high standard expectations and online retailers have to work really hard to fulfil them.
How does your business perform in delivery service? In order to evaluate this, you could start comparing your procedures with the ones of the largest distributors in the UK.
In a recent research StellaService studied the distribution services of the largest UK retailers such as:
They were analysed in terms of speed of delivery, shipping price, carriers, speed and easy of refund. Here the main findings.
About the speed of delivery on average, online retailers deliver their product in 3.5 days. Argos, John Lewis and Boots take on average less than 3 days.
The cost of shipping was on average 2.25 GBP per parcel. Only Currys included free delivery in the price.
The preferred shipping carrier was myHermes that has been used for almost half (45%) of delivery. Followed by Royal Mail (28%) and Yodel (19%). The packaging used to wrap the product was 73% of the time polybags and 22% Cardboard box.
In case a customer needed to return a product, the average number of days to obtain a refund was 7.8 days. And in terms of ease of returns, 71% of packages contained a prepaid return label.
After having analysed companies‘ performances, let’s now take a look at the consumers‘ expectations about delivery. What do they look for?
What do consumers want from delivery? Communication.
A research conducted about UK consumers attitude towards online shopping delivery standards, found the consumer’s level of satisfaction in the UK quite low. Therefore, surprising them with an efficient service, will make them happy.
Consumers want to receive precise and accurate information about the status of the delivery. This can be easily obtained with exact online tracking. In this way, your customers will save time and you will have to invest less effort in call centre and customer services.
Moreover you could think to advise your customers about the oncoming delivery through texts, phone or emails updates. This will allow them to better organise their time, avoiding the inconvenient of not being at the place of delivery.
Furthermore if a problem occurs in the process, you should communicate it clearly to make the client aware of the issue. It could happen to anyone, but being transparent about a mistake will make you trustworthy to the client.
Also, you should establish a non- rate phone number in case your buyers want to get in touch with you. If any problem occurs and your customers have to pay to it out, they will be understandably upset.
Unfortunately, if something goes wrong in the delivery the customers will be more likely to blame you, the retailer, than the courier responsible for the mistake. You should always offer your client a high level of support to increase their satisfaction.
The same research stated above, discovered that 90% consumers would switch to another supplier if they experienced delivery problems twice or more. Quite scary information. Because it means that if your courier messes up the delivery twice, there are really high chances that you customer will not buy from you anymore.
How businesses should response?
UPS and comScore recently conducted a survey on more than 3,000 customers, discovering that 48% of them would be likely to shop more often with a retailer if this has an easy-to-understand returns policy.
Also, 31% of respondents said they would like to be able to track the shipment directly on the retailer’s website. Moreover shoppers want to be up-to-date with the delivery timing trough email or text notifications with a tracking number.
In conclusion, there are several aspects that retailers should improve in order to maximise the Ecommerce delivery experience. If customers will consider you reliable in terms of delivery, they will be likely to be loyal and to keep on buying from you.