1. Shopper & Customer

10 tips for your e-commerce shipments

E-merchants have to deal with a lot of issues. Among these, we can find marketing, accounting, inventory management, or product shipping, among others. In this article, we will focus on the last item on this list. 

The massive development of E-commerce in the world implies a strong increase in the number of online consumers. Buyers are therefore becoming more and more accustomed to shopping on the Internet, which makes them more and more attached to certain services.

Online retailers are no longer exempt from the logistics services that consumers demand. We have witnessed the evolution of certain trends in recent years. Among these, we can mention the same day or 24 hours delivery, or the green delivery means to answer the need of eco-responsibility generally felt since a few years ago.

If the delivery does not meet the customer’s expectations, it can spoil the post-purchase phase and impact the customer’s potential return to your online store. Delivery has an effect on customer loyalty, and on the return rate of your products, which costs you money.

In this article, we will provide you with 10 tips to optimize your product shipments in your E-commerce. For more readability, we also provide you with an infographic.

#1 Manage your inventory efficiently

Inventory management is one of the most important logistics issues. For the visitor of your online store, buying a product and realizing that it is unavailable. You must absolutely avoid frustrating the consumer, which will limit browsing abandonment or cart abandonment.

In 2019, it was reported by Explorewms that stock information was only accurate 63% of the time. This is too little, both in a logic of optimizing conversion on the site, as well as in a logic of good management of its inventory

#2 Pay attention to product packaging

Packaging your product is one of the most time consuming steps. Whether it is in R&D, upstream, or on the packaging itself, at the time. 

You must then propose packaging adapted to consumer demand, and in line with current trends. 30% of companies say they have seen an increase in sales since they adapted their packaging.

#3 Learn about labeling

A part of the packaging of your product must be dedicated to the label that you will apply to it. This label format depends on various elements, such as the countries to which you send your products, if you are cross-border, the platforms you use or the logistics providers you work with.

#4 Customize your packages

Product packaging is part of the customer experience. That’s why you need to take care of it and make sure it’s tailored to the consumer’s needs. Examples of successful packaging include Apple, with its iPhones and their old-fashioned boxes that give a certain satisfaction when opened. This experience had been studied for years, providing a very qualitative experience to the customer when he received his product.

In addition, the user experience increasingly involves the customization of products and services. Packaging is no exception to the rule. It is indeed a very important vector of customer satisfaction, and allows you to enchant the experience, even outside your store. In fact, 78% of American Internet users think that customization increases their desire to buy.

#5 Take time to choose your suppliers

The supplier – e-merchant relationship is fundamental to establish a solid offer. This is especially true for suppliers of logistics services. 

In your online store, it is generally advisable to offer more than one delivery option, which must be adapted to the buyer. Thus, just like the packaging of your product, you must understand their needs and meet them before they have formulated them. 

Nevertheless, a multiple logistics service offering requires working with multiple providers. This implies a rigorous choice and a good understanding. To help you in this organization, there are platforms, integrated directly into your CMS, which help you automatically choose the appropriate solutions and centralize them.

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#6 Get insurance for your packages

With the pandemic of COVID-19, the number of E-commerce customers has increased. This has had a heavy impact on international logistics, with an increase in the flow of packages from online stores. In 2020, the estimated number of lost packages increased by 128%.

As the number of shipments increases, so does the number of errors. This may be due to the flow that the logistics providers cannot handle, or it may be due to the lack of adaptation of the online stores. This adaptation is similar to that of the end-of-year holidays, known as the peak season. During this period, the traffic on the online shops is intense and the number of orders increases. It is then necessary to ensure to absorb the increasing demand, and to ensure the packages. 

The insurances allow to avoid litigious situations with the consumers. On top of that, you limit a potential loss of money, especially when the package is expensive.

#7 Find out about international shipping costs

E-commerce gives you the opportunity to export and offer your products to consumers in various markets. 

Nevertheless, international trade requires a certain expertise, and a particular attention to logistics, its processes and its costs. To avoid unpleasant surprises, you must study, anticipate and add these costs to your online store. The most important thing is that the customer is not surprised by customs costs, for example. It is important to know that 28% of buyers abandon the cart if they discover the shipping costs at the last moment.

You must therefore anticipate these costs and include them in the final price of the visitor’s potential order.

#8 Facilitate carrier processes

It’s logical: the more online sales develop, the more solutions there are to meet this offer. We no longer count the payment, hosting, CMS, marketing, … solutions offered to e-retailers. This naturally concerns the logistics solutions, which are multiplying. Each one proposes a panel of services dedicated to what it does best. 

You may need the services of various logistics solutions, depending on the services you offer on your online store. In order for the process of retrieving packages from these carriers to go smoothly, you need to make their lives easier. 

For example, you can request a pickup directly at your storage point, or you can drop off the packages at the pickup point yourself. Of course, this depends on the flow of packages you need to send. There are also systems that centralize these processes, allowing you to avoid round trips and time-consuming services.

#9 Keep in touch with customers

Information is essential in E-commerce processes. To maintain the relationship of trust and customer satisfaction, you need to communicate regularly with the consumer. Of course, these processes can be automated with transactional emails, for example. 

In the case of a parcel shipment, 97% of consumers want to be able to track their parcel. This means that they want to be regularly notified of the various steps their package goes through. This reassures the customer, who will know in time where his package is. You must therefore offer this service in order to establish a qualitative relationship of trust, and to obtain a chance of developing loyalty. Rely on transparency.

#10 Make life easier for buyers

As mentioned earlier, you need to make it easy for buyers. You must therefore respond to their request, by proposing the appropriate solutions. 

For example, this may concern the place of delivery. Some people will prefer to be delivered at home, while others will prefer to indicate a business address. The objective is to offer a complete range of services, adapted to this demand.

The delivery needs of consumers can be anticipated. Indeed, there are logistics studies established on each market, analyzing in particular the delivery preferences of consumers. It is likely that in some markets, home delivery will be preferred, while other markets will prefer delivery in a relay point.

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