Fast delivery is one of the keys to expanding your buyer audience. The growing customer demand makes retail businesses look for practical solutions to speed up their shipping operations and meet growing delivery expectations.
Why delivery expectations keep growing
The rapid development of eCommerce in recent years has allowed small businesses to spawn their products online and significantly increase their income. Simultaneously, it has driven the fast growth of customer delivery expectations. Today, online shoppers don’t want to wait long for their orders and consider fast shipping a determinant of buying from your store.
Statistics have shown that 25% of customers will likely give up their online purchases if fast delivery isn’t available. In addition, large brands like Amazon continue to raise the bar with same-day, next-day, and two days delivery options. All these factors force retailers to shorten their shipping duration as much as possible to stay competitive in the market.
Aside from being sure of the quality of your products, it’s necessary to ship them on time. Effective delivery creates the brand image and minimizes the risks of cart abandonment. We will offer reliable ways to reduce commute time and increase customer satisfaction.
How to meet customer delivery expectations?
Often, small businesses struggle to speed up delivery without advanced technical support or hiring additional staff. Still, there are several optimization practices applicable to companies of all scales.
Provide shipping dates
The first step to orienting your buyers in shipping timelines is showing the delivery dates for their order. If you offer multiple delivery options like same-day, next-day, and others, ensure they’re visible on your website so the shopper can pick the most suitable one. It will direct customer delivery expectations towards a specific period so that the buyers won’t make wrong assumptions.
In the case of shipping on busy days or under bad weather conditions, make it clear to your customers that the delivery time can be affected by those factors. Thus you’ll prepare shoppers for possible delays and avoid misunderstandings.
Deliver from multiple locations
One of the best ways to accelerate your supply chain is to shorten the shipping mileage. You can do it by using a warehouse for storing your goods. When choosing a storage space, pay attention to its location and how much it contributes to reducing the shipping period. Instead of covering the whole distance repeatedly, you can move the goods from the nearest warehouse shortly.
Besides, using a warehouse will considerably benefit your financial management. Transporting items for shorter distances prevents fuel surcharges and helps you save shipping costs. However, keeping track of your warehouse stock is essential to ensure successful order fulfillment.
If you have physical stores in several locations and don’t use storage space, consider delivering from the nearest shops. Verify to supply these facilities with products regularly so that the orders are ready for shipping anytime.
Plan peak season shipping
Customer delivery expectations can rise extremely high during the peak shipping season. Since many holidays occur at this time, buyers expect their orders to arrive strictly on time. Online shopping platforms actively promote their products and offer numerous sales programs, and fast delivery can become your most significant advantage at this point.
Plan your logistics operations before the busy season starts to avoid traffic congestion and delays. It involves preparing your stock, researching carriers, and early booking. Thus, you’ll have the required capacity and won’t waste time seeking available shippers.
Enable shipment tracking
Most online buyers prefer to track their order location and supervise delivery flow. You can satisfy this request by sharing tracking data with customers. While shipment tracking systems update buyers on product movement, you can strategically control delivery expectations. Also, you can apply branded tracking system to increase brand awareness and promote your items visually.
After launching a shipment, the carrier will provide you with an estimated time of arrival (ETA), which does not always match the delivery. Ensure your customers don’t mistake this vital detail and let them rely on real-time tracking data.
Maintain communication with customers
Shipment tracking is an asset acquired with time, which may not work for retail newcomers. Besides, tracking data is sometimes not enough. When expecting a wanted or valuable item, buyers use multiple communication channels to verify everything’s going as planned. You can cover this demand by implementing strong customer support.
Organize a customer service team ready to accept requests through various tools – calls, messages, social media, etc. Ensure to train your employees to maintain communication with buyers in problematic situations, for example, order returns or supply chain disruptions. Since many inquiries don’t need deep investigation, consider applying chatbots with instant replies.
Work with reliable carriers
A professional approach to shipping is the most critical point for meeting delivery expectations. Experienced carriers prioritize sticking to deadlines and providing quality transportation. Your priority, in turn, is to cooperate with an expert shipping service that can help you find the best routes and book at affordable rates.