Cloud-based advances in eCommerce customer experience aren’t pie in the sky

Cloud-based ecommerce advances

As online business models prove more and more attractive for retailers, customer expectations of the eCommerce experience are rising. Offering high-quality products, at lower prices, is simply not enough. The shipping and delivery experience is just as crucial for today’s consumer.

Achieving a favourable customer experience is no happy accident. It’s an intricate process many eCommerce retailers dedicate serious time and resources to. It usually pays off. A good experience can increase customer spending by up to 140%. Simply put, it pays to care about your customers.

Running an eCommerce business is a tricky, multi-faceted business. One of the most challenging elements is handling the shipping process. Cloud-based logistics solutions can alleviate much of the hassle, and expense, associated with getting products into the hands of customers in the most efficient way possible. For retailers, this kind of software provides a wealth of data and intelligence on the ordering, shipping, and delivery process. 

Cloud-based delivery platforms can provide real-time tracking updates through the entire order lifecycle. ‘Where is my order’ (WISMO) queries account for 30% of all incoming eCommerce support help desk tickets, according to a survey conducted by Tamebay. By employing a delivery management platform, WISMO queries can be significantly reduced.  Order tracking is available throughout the entire delivery journey, and significantly in the last mile. 

The final leg of the delivery process is the stage fraught with most anxiety for customers, and paradoxically the greatest disconnect for retailers. Naturally, the real-time updates, and tracking tools that cloud-based systems offer, are the best means of optimising the delivery process, improving the customer experience, and simultaneously reducing the need for customer support.

Through an API that feeds real-time tracking information into a single system, retailers can be proactive in providing shipping updates to their customers. By plugging into an existing API, connectivity with multiple carriers is maintained by the platform provider. This frees up in-house developers to focus on more strategic tasks. Real-time tracking information means that when WISMO queries do come through, customer service teams can provide quick and accurate support. 

Cloud-based technology also enables a smoother transition to remote work. This could make 24/7 eCommerce customer support more feasible. Chatbots also have a part to play in responding to consumers’ ‘always-on’ expectations. Chatbots are a 24/7 cloud-based tool that can operate outside working hours. Some chatbots allow for personalisation when set up, with specific keywords and phrases input to provide the best answers to a wide variety of standard queries. Customer relationship management tools can also be integrated with the omnichannel setting, to collect customer data, if appropriate, to further enhance the experience. 

These systems are also very reliable, often with impressive system uptime. This is crucial for maintaining carrier networks, and ensuring that blockages in the shipping process do not impact delivery lead times. Delayed and inaccurate deliveries leave many customers unwilling to shop with a retailer again. 

Many of the challenges that customer service teams face during the last mile result from the fact that with a home-grown or legacy solution, when a parcel leaves the warehouse, the retailer has little, or no, visibility. With a more advanced, cloud-based solution in place, customer support teams can be confident that the information they give customers is accurate, up to date, and will create a positive experience with the brand. 

Ultimately, there are many ways that cloud-based delivery management software can be incorporated to improve an online retailer’s customer experience strategy. Through a single platform, customer service teams are empowered to keep customers informed of the progress of orders throughout every step of the journey – including the last mile. Cloud-based technology can help provide a far more efficient logistics process for the retailer, and a better experience for the customer, particularly when addressing the challenging nature of delivery expectations.

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