Being an e-commerce owner or manager is no joke. There is a mountain of responsibilities to be taken care of. One of the most challenging yet important responsibilities is shipping and post-shipping management. This is because more than anything, the focus has now come on getting the overall customer experience right.
Customer needs have changed dramatically, with most now expecting a fast, reliable delivery service. Delivering the right post-shipping experience in e-commerce can get stressful because, as customers pay for a product, they want to have it at the earliest. However, you, as the retailer, may have no control over the carrier, despite wanting to deliver the best customer service.
So, if you want to take your e-commerce business to another level, improving your post-shipping experience is the key. Here, in this article, you will discover why post-shipping experience is so crucial in e-commerce and how to ensure you are doing it the best way.
Why Is Post-Shipping Experience in e-Commerce So Important?
Earlier, the delivery of goods used to take 7-10 working days, with very few options available to customers. However, as technology has evolved, we now witness numerous shipment methods and options.
Customers now expect to get a variety not only in the products they buy but also in the delivery time. As a result, the shipping services have evolved the way they used to function. One day deliveries are no longer a dream; they are pretty much real and expected from e-commerce retailers more often. Also, customers want regular post-shipping updates along with the smooth and fast delivery of their products.
As per a report by NRF, 65% of consumers say they want to know the free-shipping amount needed before thinking of adding items to their shopping carts. Additionally, 39% of customers expect two-day shipping to be free. 29% of consumers have discontinued a purchase due to the unavailability of two-day free shipping.
So, post-shipment experience plays a significant role in customer satisfaction and retention. It acts as the last impression a customer has of your e-commerce business. Thus, any issue caused in the process forms a negative image of your brand in the customer’s mind and adversely affects the retention rate. Hence, one negative shipping experience can do irreparable damage to your relationship with your customers.
According to another survey, 84% of consumers say that they won’t shop again from an e-commerce brand after getting a poor delivery experience.
Now you know that one mistake is all it takes to erode your brand image and customer loyalty. Ultimately, these mistakes affect your bottom line of the business too.
So, if you realize the importance of the post-shipping experience in your e-commerce business, this is your next business area to focus on. There are numerous ways to work on your e-commerce post-shipping process.
Hence, let’s look at the 8 simple yet effective ways to improve customers’ post-shipping experience in e-commerce.
How to Improve Post-Shipping Experience for Your e-Commerce?
- Multiple Shipping Options
As obvious as it may sound, make sure you display a number of delivery options for your customers to choose from. As mentioned earlier, one-day or next-day delivery has become the norm, and any business not offering this may feel the consequences in their conversion rate. Customers feel more satisfied when they find abundant options to choose from.
As a business, you need to understand that not all your customers are alike. They have different priorities and schedules and, hence, expect customized services. A customer may want an urgent delivery of one product, but at the same time, it is fine with the other products coming later. Having this option may decrease costs for them as well as for you. So, being able to understand and predict different traits and post-shipping needs of your customers will ensure that you have the capability to satisfy a large chunk of your online audience. You may want to offer shipping options such as the following:
- Same-day/One-Day Delivery
- Express/expedited Delivery
- Hyper-local Delivery
- Standard Delivery
- Collect from store
- Collect from nearest available point
- Weekend/after-hours Delivery
- Specific Timeframe Delivery
- Extra COD Charges
Certain e-commerce companies charge additional for delivery of orders, especially for cash on delivery. There are instances where the customers are not clearly intimated about this extra charge at the time of purchase. This sometimes leads to rejection of orders at the time of delivery. As less as the delivery fee may be, it can still cause major damage to the company’s image. So, you must ensure that the additional charges are mentioned clearly so that the post-shipping experience goes smoothly.
- Select Right Logistics Company
One costly and grave mistake that you can make while opting for post-shipping services is choosing the wrong courier partner. Cost should not be the sole criteria while choosing the courier service for your company. You need to ensure that the courier partner you are considering is reliable enough and has a good track record in serving its clients. As you transition from a small business to a bigger one, the right post-shipping services is the most essential factor that can keep your image high.
As mentioned earlier, being a retailer, you may have the least control over the carrier. However, by choosing the right logistics company, you can have your peace of mind and concentrate on other important parts of the business.
- Tracking Orders
As you grow to a larger customer base, the number of orders can get insane and cause confusion. This is why it is recommended to have a tracking system installed. This ensures that you, as a business, will be able to monitor every parcel that is sent out. This also safeguards your shipment from any mishap, as the last set of activities can always be traced.
- Regular Updates
Many customers prefer to shop from an e-commerce website that has a regular tracking and updating system for their orders. A lot of online shoppers say that they are ready to wait for a couple of more days if they are continuously updated on the whereabouts of their order. Getting emails or messages like product dispatch, shipping, transit, and out for delivery ensures customer satisfaction in the post-shipping phase.
Customers who receive regular updates from the retailer show more patience than those who don’t.
- Quick Returns and Return
Another process that is involved in the post-shipping experience in e-commerce is the return and refund. In addition to ensuring customer satisfaction until the delivery of the product, you must also make sure of a hassle-free return and refund.
Before thinking of buying anything from an online store, users want to ensure that they can easily return the products without any hassle and charges if they are dissatisfied with the product. As sad as it may sound, returns are inevitable. There are a number of reasons customers have to return your product.
So, having a good return policy can help encourage initial and next purchases. Fast and smooth refunds aren’t just an extra advantage to provide these days. They have become a must for all e-commerce businesses. Not boasting a “hassle-free and no questions asked returns” may take away a large chunk of your audience.
- Get a Proper Shipping Insurance
As unusual as it may sound, having proper shipping insurance can be one of the most effective ways to improve your shipping process. This makes you immune to unwanted emergencies in the delivery process. As an e-commerce business, you may face a lot of instances, such as damage, theft, excessive returns, and others. This simply adds up to your expenditure. Having proper shipping insurance in your system can reduce your undue costs and make the post-shipping experience better for your business.
- Set Proper Shipping Terms and Conditions
Having the rules set right, in the beginning, helps reduce undue expenditure and improves the post-shipping experience. Additionally, it assures transparency at both the ends; seller and customer. Some of the terms and conditions that you need to set are:
- Provide a proper delivery estimate date to the customer
- Ensure a written contract with the third-party logistics and post-shipping services
- Have documented returns policies for the product
- Have a clearly documented shipping policy such as free delivery above $5
In an e-commerce setup, your reputation is everything you own. Providing a poor post-shipping experience is going to have a significant negative impact on your reputation. Moreover, in today’s social media world, one angry or dissatisfied customer can negatively impact other audience’s perception with their negative reviews. So, you can’t afford to let anybody spread bad word-of-mouth for your e-commerce business. Big giants like Amazon are an excellent example of a well-managed post-shipping experience. In fact, they are in the news currently for coming up with drone delivery techniques to improve on the customer experience. So, if you, too, are aiming to become successful, you must follow the above tips and work on improving your post-shipping experience with the help of the best shipping service providers to serve you.