Shipping is a crucial part of online shopping. It defines the overall experience a customer has with your brand/store.
Though almost all e-commerce businesses work with a team of shipping professionals — who handles order receiving, tracking, shipping products, and verifying product delivery — but still customer feels differently about different brands.
Now, businesses don’t just compete on product prices but on customer experiences–and shipping experience plays a huge role in it.
In this guide, I will help you understand why you should worry about the shipping experience, what customers expect from a brand, and how you can deliver a top-quality shipping experience.
Let’s get started.
Why Stress About Customer Shipping Experience?
How an eCommerce business fulfills an order is merely a logistic function anymore. Over the years, it has become a strategic opportunity that leaves a lasting impression on the customer.
A good shipping experience can open the door to opportunities, promote trust among customers, and foster strong word-of-mouth.
Here is a closer look at how delivering a great customer shipping experience helps businesses.
1. Increase Conversion Rate
From visiting your store to leaving a review, a customer goes through multiple stages of an online purchase. The concluding step on a customer’s end is how they feel about receiving the product they have been waiting for.
If delivered on time, with personalized packaging and timely updates where there are no surprises, customers are more likely to stay with the brand for ages to come.
A poor delivery experience, however, can have opposite effects on the business, with a customer being four times more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related than price or product related.
2. Improve Customer Retention
A good shipping experience leaves a long-lasting impression on customers. Online shoppers love hassle-free, consistent quality, on-time product delivery in good condition.
It creates a positive first impression and increases the chances of the customer returning for future purchases. A quality shopping experience leaves customers satisfied, which is 6-7 times easier to do than attracting a new customer.
3. Strengthen Brand Image
To successfully sell a product in the eCommerce world, businesses don’t need to emphasize product features. Instead, sharing the feedback/reviews of customers with details on how they feel about the overall experience is more likely to form a strong brand image.
Plus, 62% of customers say they share their bad experiences with others. This means the overall experience of existing customers will be channeled as free advertising.
If done well, shipping experience can help you form a strong brand image— as a reliable, convenient, and quality brand customer can count on.
10 Ways to Deliver a Great Customer Shipping Experience
Offer Different Shipping Options
It is a common practice to partner up with one shipping solution provider. However, customers expect retailers to offer multiple options with different benefits.
For instance, a common best practice of top-rated eCommerce businesses is offering at least the following shipping options:
Offering multiple delivery options have two main benefits.
Customers won’t have to shop from a different retailer just because they can’t have their desired product when they need it.
- 2By ruling out the need to have a package delivered, the customer feels power.
This fits perfectly with the main point of eCommerce—providing a convenient buying experience with no or minimal hassle.
Establish Clear Shipping & Flexible Return Policies
Returns are a part of the eCommerce world, but they don’t typically mean a customer is not satisfied. Over the past three years, the returns have doubled, 15% to 40% of purchases are returned worldwide.
Instead, returns are an opportunity to help you enhance the customer experience, which is a hallmark of customer retention, as 73% of shoppers say their overall return experience affects the likelihood of purchasing from a retailer again.
So, keeping a crystal clear shipping policy is a must-have. Here’re some important components of a customer-friendly shipping & return policy.
Establishing a customer-friendly return policy make customer feels more comfortable purchasing from you again.
Provide Real-Time Shipping Tracking
After placing an order, customers expect to know where their order has reached. Sending updates on each stage provide them reassurance on order delivery and increases the excitement.
Real-time shipping tracking is a great way to handle post-delivery updates. Customers can see where their order has reached by accessing the same link.
This minimizes repeated questions from customers about product delivery and strengthens your relationship with them.
For instance, Rush is a Shopify app that helps optimize the post-purchase experience. With Rush, you can generate personalized tracking pages with real-time tracking via pre-built templates.
That way, you don’t have to worry about any query related to product delivery. Its personalized messaging feature handles notifications for shipping delays, promo codes, or any messages you can think of, so you can focus on the analytics and figure out what is working for your business.
Allow Different Payment Options
Multiple payment options are another vital component of a seamless customer experience. It facilitates a hassle-free customer buying experience and also builds a diverse customer base.
Offering a variety of payment options—eWallet, card payments, direct bank transfer, buy now pay later, gift cards, and cash on delivery (COD)—gives you an edge over your competitors.
Regardless of the payment options you offer, you have to ensure that all transactions are secure.
Deliver On Time
Meeting your set expectations is an important parameter that defines how your customers feel about purchasing from you. To leave a good impression, you need to develop a system that ensures timely delivery, as mentioned in your shipping policy.
To have the edge over your competitors, it is important to be transparent about the estimated shopping dates, with or without delays. Moreover, you need to keep your customer updated about any delays in the delivery, as 98.3% of customers want a notification if a package is held up in the mail.
For instance, Rush’s shipping notification is a perfect solution to provide a seamless experience. It allows you to send granular order updates with statuses (i.e., delivered, expired, exception) and sub-statuses (i.e., at the front door, at the mailbox, at the parcel locker).
Make Accurate Order Delivery
From the moment a customer place an order till the day of delivery, they feel excited about receiving their desired product. In that, if you deliver a quality product with the optimal customer experience, but the product is not what they ordered, the whole point gets rekt.
Delivering accurate orders is essential and requires you to have the right order fulfillment solution in place – with effective real-time inventory tracking.
As an eCommerce business, you should strive for a high order accuracy rate to ensure your customers receive the item they ordered in the top condition.
Personalize Shipping Process
Personalization is another important factor that lets you have a competitive edge over your peers. It is known to greatly enhance the overall experience.
Customers are more likely to stay with a brand where communications, promotions, and offers are personalized for their specific needs. For instance, 77% of online shoppers like to choose, recommend, or pay more for a brand that provides a personalized experience.
By better understanding your customers, you can pitch them the right offer leading to:
You can personalize the entire journey from order confirmation, notification, packaging, order delivery, and feedback email by using the right suggestions.
Improve with Customer Feedback
As an eCommerce business owner, you can’t pan everything out so perfectly. However, you should strive to improve further.
A great way to learn about what you could improve is by reaching out to your customers with a feedback form.
Asking your customers about how the delivery went and any comments that they want to leave is a great way to have a deeper look at it. It will help you optimize your supply chain and focus on the areas that need your attention.
Shipping experience is a key factor that determines how customers feel about your store or brand. A good shipping experience leaves a lasting impact on customers, making them more likely to shop from you instead of any of your competitors.
If done well, it can lift up the public image, customer retention, overall conversions, and business revenue.
You can implement the steps I have mentioned above. Plus, if you use Rush, you can sit back and relax by leaving notifications, shipping updates, and personalization on automation.Try Rush Free for 10-Days.