Name the brands that you regularly shop online with. How many times have you been let down by their delivery service? Chances are, they’ve never disappointed you with delivery and there is a reason that these businesses gain customer loyalty.
However good a purchase journey is, delivery is the part that most customers remember. After all, what good is a seamless ecommerce experience, if you have to go through stress to receive your parcel?
This article will list some of the reasons that finding the right delivery partner for your business is essential, as well as the ways that you can simplify the selection process.
Why does your choice of delivery partner matter?
- It impacts your reputation
First impressions matter and disappointing a customer that is expecting a delivery is one of the quickest ways to lose future business. In fact, 71% of shoppers say they are likely to switch to an alternative online retailer after a poor shopping experience. If problems are encountered, whether it is the retailer’s fault or not, shoppers will associate their negative experience with the brand that they bought from. Word can also travel quickly, with customers often recommending great ecommerce sites to friends, or voicing their opinions on social media. By having a reliable delivery service, retailers can complete a great customer journey and become known for their positive reputation.
- Timely delivery
Delivery promises are typically made at the point of purchase. Once a customer’s expectations have been set, these must be met. A reliable delivery partner will understand the importance of this and have a track record of delivering items on, or before the expected date. Offering multiple delivery times is also beneficial, with 46% of people choosing to shop with a retailer because they offer more delivery options than competitors.
- Customer service and product tracking
‘Where is my order’, also known as WISMO calls make up 70-80% of all customer service enquiries during peak. The best delivery partners will offer an effective tracking system, allowing customers to know the whereabouts of their package. As well as reducing inbound enquiries, having this information makes it straightforward for retailers to provide accurate shipping information and creates an opportunity for positive interaction with customers.
- Packages are handled safely
Great delivery partners take pride in making sure your products arrive in perfect condition. Storage, transportation and delivery play a vital part in customers receiving items that are not damaged. As well as ensuring packages are handled carefully, this includes making sure they are not left outside in the rain and that they are handed successfully to customers.
Fees can impact a retailer’s decision to work with a specific delivery partner, or choose a more affordable option. Having a clear, easily understood pricing structure means that retailers will be able to predict upcoming shipping costs and that this can be done without having to charge customers extortionate prices for fast delivery.
Choosing the right partner to take care of your fulfilment can save time and allow you to focus on other areas of the business. Choosing an unsuitable delivery partner can do the opposite, requiring additional time and effort to rectify mistakes.
How to choose a reliable delivery partner
When sourcing a delivery partner, it’s important to make sure you have all of the relevant information.
Ask the right questions
Take the time to write a list of all points that are important to your business and its customers. Before deciding on a delivery partner, ask them all of the questions that you need answers to. These could include:
- How long does delivery typically take?
- Do they offer different delivery options?
- How do their delivery processes work?
- How are shipments handled?
- What are the costs and do they offer bulk discounts?
- What are their security and data policies?
- Are shipments insured?
- What happens if the customer isn’t home to accept delivery?
Do your research
The best way to understand the typical customer experience is to find out what others have to say. Do your research online to find customers’ reviews and see how potential delivery partners compare to other options.
The right delivery partner can enable retailers to balance customer satisfaction and profitability, making it easier than ever before to create a seamless ecommerce experience.
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.