A delivery issue has spoiled the shopping experience of 47% of customers in the last 12 months. This already surprising figure rises to 60% for consumers living in the Paris region. These statistics, taken from the Shopping Experience 2020 study, show the extent of the efforts to be made by carriers and retailers for a successful post-purchase journey!
Delivery is the key moment not to be missed in order to offer shoppers an experience that is as positive online as it is in store. It is during delivery that the purchase becomes concrete for the consumer, and that you can therefore build lasting loyalty.
To build a perfect delivery experience, AntsRoute has put together an 8-point guide that you can adapt to your marketing strategy and brand identity.
Offering delivery can be dangerously negative for your profitability. The problem is even more significant if you are selling products that are heavy, bulky, have low margins or require custom installation. However, 73% of French people surveyed by OpinionWay mention the cost of delivery as an essential element. The price of delivery is even the first selection criteria for 38% of them.
The internet users, who are familiar with the very advantageous conditions of leaders like Amazon or Cdiscount, no longer hesitate to browse several sites to find the cheapest delivery. And even a free delivery while doing so!
To meet the expectations of buyers without compromising your margin, you have several options. For example, you can make shipping free:
When an e-commerce site communicates a deadline to its customers, it should be common sense that the delivery is made on time. Between stock shortages and the unexpected logistics issues of the last mile, there are still too many complaints about late deliveries. The safest way to prevent this is to optimize your delivery routes in-house with the help of a powerful route management software like AntsRoute..
For example, the AntsRoute application allows you to automatically keep your customers informed of the date and time of delivery, by email or SMS. In case of delays or unforeseen events, the solution also calculates the new arrival time, before sending the information to the customer.
If managing deliveries in-house is an out-of-reach strategy, take the time to compare the actual delivery times of each carrier, using different clues:
According to another study made in 2017 in the U.S. and six European countries for MetaPack, consumers’ expectations are not limited to price or delivery time. Half of consumers are willing to abandon a shopping cart if the delivery options offered do not suit them. 60% of them will click elsewhere to find better delivery options.
Today, almost all e-commerce sites offer these delivery options, which have become standard:
In addition to the delivery methods already mentioned, new services that buyers like to use are emerging. For example, Internet users like to choose the logistics provider in charge of shipping. In rural or suburban areas in particular, the performance of transporters is very different, and customers are well aware of this.
Internet users are also increasingly asking for express delivery, even within an hour, even if it means paying more for this service. In major cities, more than half of them expect to be able to benefit from a one-hour delivery, despite the logistical challenge of setting up such a solution.
Among the delivery options that are popular, we can finally mention evening or weekend delivery, or “green” delivery, using an eco-responsible carrier or means of transport.
Who has never winced at a text message announcing a delivery “between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.”, or taken a day off to receive an important purchase?
To avoid spoiling the post-purchase experience of your customers, there are reliable and efficient IT solutions, such as route optimization software. Thanks to very powerful algorithms, you can propose one or more delivery slots to your customers in just a few seconds.
To do this, the planning software calculates the best days and time slots, scored according to the client’s constraints and the geographical location of the field workers.
Another important advantage: by following a link sent by email or SMS, the consumer can validate or reschedule an appointment independently, without even having to contact the corporate customer service.
As a result, the buyer no longer has to wait at home for several hours. The company increases the quality of service and customer satisfaction, while limiting the number of kilometers traveled by the delivery drivers.
Surprisingly, only 9% of merchants offer these remote scheduling solutions to their customers. This is a very easy opportunity for build customer loyalty while simplifying the management of their time!
We sometimes forget it, but e-commerce has completely changed the chronology of purchases. Usually, the customer pays before even having the product in his hands. If you don’t offer a trial before purchase, you must reassure them by providing them with as much information as possible.
For example, the consumer expects to receive SMS or email notifications at every stage of the delivery process:
However, even among the largest French e-tailers tested for the Shopping Experience study, more than a third do not communicate any estimated delivery date to their customers!
Some softwares allow to send a tracking link to the customer, so that he can follow in real time the progress of the parcel during the last mile. This is another very good practice to recommend.
The packaging, and more generally, the care taken in preparing the package, is another essential element to enhance the delivery.
Here are some suggestions of good practices found on social networks. Some buyers are indeed very happy to share their delivery experiences there, so much so that a new phenomenon has emerged: the unpacking or unboxing videos.
For an online retailer, it can be tempting to make it difficult or impossible to return orders. Between the complex logistics involved and the labor costs, managing the returns process is very expensive.
Yet the lack of a simplified returns policy can cost much more!
According to the MetaPack study, 39% of consumers surveyed will no longer return to an online store if they have a failed delivery experience. Even more embarrassing for brands: 43% publicly share their disappointment on social media, with that number rising to 48% among young adults.
In contrast, the very generous refund policy of retailers like Amazon is a very powerful loyalty driver. So many marketers are instead advocating measures to make returns easier, in order to turn the initial disappointment into a positive experience with the brand:
In the world of e-commerce, delivery is often the only and final physical contact point with the customer. In other words, when a buyer opens his door to a deliveryman, the latter is automatically associated with your brand… for better or for worse. Can you imagine a careless and unhygienic delivery driver installing your latest washing machine? Instantly, you’ll wonder if it’s working properly, even after you’ve examined the product from every angle!
For many small and medium-sized companies, outsourcing logistics services is unfortunately the only possible solution, for geographical or economic reasons. But other companies, well aware of the major impact of the delivery process on their image, are betting on internalizing or re-internalizing these services. The path is narrow, especially as the recruitment and retention of delivery drivers is becoming increasingly complex.
However, for companies that take up the challenge, it is the best way to control the quality of the customer experience from A to Z.
For a successful delivery of goods, delivery workers must of course ensure that their behavior is impeccable. Greeting the customer, smiling, wearing clean clothes: these are all reflexes that may seem obvious. And yet…
Merchants who provide in-home installation services, for example, educate their delivery people on the right attitude to adopt:
Is your company thinking about how to offer the best delivery experience to your customers, and thus widen the gap with your competitors? We offer you a free 7-day trial of our delivery management software, AntsRoute. The registration is done here, very simply, and you can even benefit from the assistance of our teams to quickly take advantage of our tool!