From the age of traditional retail to the age of ecommerce, there’s one thing that never gets old: that feeling a customer has when they unwrap a package delivered to their doorstep, and they’re excited to see what’s inside.
But there are many potential interruptions to that happy moment. What if the package is delivered late? What if certain items from the order are missing, defective, or damaged? Taking away from the customer’s joy could cost a seller their revenues, as well as future patronage and their good reputation.
If you’re a business owner—and you’re selling your goods in a highly competitive market like ecommerce—you’ll definitely want to avoid these scenarios. To do so, it’ll be good to revisit your delivery protocols and see where you can improve. This will serve your business interests not only in the aspect of operational efficiency (i.e. speeding up your shipments and handling products properly), but it may also help you achieve higher margins, higher conversion rates, and higher values per customer order.
This feature will offer you nine simple tips to upgrade your delivery process. Keep your deliveries in check—and keep the smiles on your customers’ faces—by doing the following:
- Determine the scope of your deliveries based on your company’s goals. Do you want your ecommerce store to stay within a small local market and simply enhance the delivery experiences of local customers? Or do you have ambitions of expanding your deliveries to international customers? There’s no right or wrong answer here. It really depends on what your own goals are. But once they’re decided, you should anchor your whole delivery process on them.
- Consider partnering with a third-party logistics provider for high-volume, in-demand deliveries. Some of the best ecommerce fulfillment services are offered by 3PL companies. They’re a great choice for ensuring delivery of high-volume or fast-moving products. Plus, you may be able to open delivery services for brand-new markets by virtue of the 3PL provider’s extensive shipping network.
- Centralize your warehousing operations. If you don’t go with a 3PL and have enough space to warehouse your products, you can revisit your warehousing operations to improve the deliveries. Perhaps you can invest in new on-site equipment that will enable you to manufacture, order, pack, and ship from just one place. This will save your staff a lot of energy, as well as shorten the time it will take to complete the marketing fulfillment schedule.
- Be aware of how to handle different SKUs. Products come in all shapes and sizes—and some are more fragile and require more careful handling than others. Make sure that everyone involved in the delivery process remembers this, so as to prevent damage or spoilage.
- Use barcodes and wireless scanners to track your inventory. Keeping account of all the SKUs in your inventory is challenging, but barcodes and wireless scanners will make inventory management infinitely easier. You can use these to track where exactly your products are: if they’re in the warehouse, if they’re in transit, or if they’ve already been safely delivered to your customers.
- Offer perks to encourage customers to increase the value of their order. To see a difference in your profit margins, you shouldn’t only aim to increase the number of deliveries—you should also entice your customers to spend more per individual order. To do so, you can offer them free shipping or an extra item if their orders meet a set minimum amount.
- Fine-tune your delivery protocols during busy seasons. Orders will definitely pile up during the holidays, like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, or on big sale occasions like Black Friday. It would do you well to prepare as early as you can. You can seek additional help from a third-party provider for that season, or you can send customers in your mailing list a reminder that deliveries may be slower than usual.
- Encourage customers to give feedback on their delivery experiences. If any of your customers experience problems in their delivery, give them the option of voicing their concerns. Have a feedback form available on your website, or get your customer service team to reach out to them.
- Make quick, seamless, and trouble-free shipping part of your ecommerce brand. A good track record for product deliveries is something you’ll want to use as a competitive advantage. Get would-be customers to choose your ecommerce site over that of your business rivals based on how well you handle your deliveries. You can do so by posting good customer reviews on your home page, or sharing them on your company’s social media accounts.
A customer’s joy upon receiving a special delivery is timeless, and great delivery experiences will result in a lasting good reputation for your company. So, pay attention to your delivery process, and make sure deliveries are done right each and every time.