Build customer loyalty with a better shipping strategy

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Representatives of the company are constantly looking for effective ways to build customer loyalty. There’s no universally effective way to do this, but research shows that improving the shipping strategy associated with shopping is a great place to start. Here’s a look at how industry professionals can start making improvements.

Prioritize a great delivery experience and provide upfront details

Getting products delivered hassle-free is a big deal for most people. Also, consumers don’t like delivery surprises when researching products. These are some of the main lessons associated with a recent study.

The results showed that 85% of customers would stop doing business with retailers due to bad delivery experiences. Similarly, 88% of buyers may change their mind about buying if they discover undesirable aspects associated with deliveries. It could be taking too long to get the items or shipping them too expensive.

A variety of things can impact how people feel about their decision to have items delivered. However, some aspects could improve overall satisfaction, including:

  • Let people choose the desired delivery date.
  • Offering a choice of couriers and shipping speeds.
  • Offer buyers a shipping discount for choosing slower options.
  • Provide shipping updates via SMS or email.

It’s also helpful for companies to provide as much information as possible about shipping costs and times. If someone orders immediately, what is the estimated delivery day or date range for the item? What are the shipping costs associated with the consumer’s location? Can someone pay more to get the item faster? Are there any additional charges for bulking up an item? Are there aspects like customization that can lengthen delivery times?

Giving customers the details of these things helps people make informed decisions about when and whether to purchase an item.

Create a multi-pronged shipping strategy

Some business reps make mistakes when redesigning a shipping strategy because they try to focus too much on one aspect. Yes, delivering products to customers on time is important, but that success is less impressive if items arrive damaged.

If a package has the correct edge protection, this feature can minimize damages and returns, thereby increasing repeat purchases and customer satisfaction. There’s also a surprising link between social media selfies and low returns. A study found that 61% of people believed that fashion retailers could reduce return rates and keep customers happier by including more images and videos of ordinary people wearing the clothes rather than models.

If the shipping strategy includes boxes with social media handles and prompts for people to share photos of their purchases, it could mean lower future return rates. It is also worth remembering what is within and beyond a retailer’s control. An industry expert said five million packages not be delivered per day due to a lack of storage space for them. This could mean that items are held once they leave stores or distribution centers.

Even so, retailers can help things turn in their favor by working alongside couriers with a proven track record of delivering packages as expected. Developing a shipping strategy can also mean giving shoppers more control by allowing them to track an item once it’s shipped. This could reduce the number of calls and emails customer service agents have to deal with when people try to find out the status of packages.

Understand that most customers will pay more for faster shipping

In today’s society, people often want their possessions as quickly as possible. If a company’s logistics team can meet this need, it provides a benefit that people will generally pay more for. A 2021 study showed that 59% of people used one or two days shipping at least once a month during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The same research found that 65% of respondents would pay more for more reliable and faster shipping. However, they won’t know how well a company’s shipping strategy is working if they’re a new consumer. Providing statistics to set their expectations can help.

A banner that says “96% of orders are delivered within three business days” or something similar helps build trust. Later, if the business delivers the goods to a buyer within the stipulated time, that success greatly boosts customer loyalty.

Another option is to provide a guarantee to those who decide to pay for faster shipping. Such a promise indicates that business owners are so willing to meet their shipping deadlines that they will make promises about them.

Maintain reasonable delivery times to retain your customers

Improving a shipping strategy can also mean focusing on items that typically take the longest to reach consumers. A Columbia Business School study examined the relationship between shipment arrival times and customer demand.

One of the conclusions was that a one-day shipping option increased desire for the item 1.98% on average. However, demand dropped significantly when estimates indicated that receiving the package would take longer than three to four days. This suggests that one way to build customer loyalty is to keep shipping times relatively short.

Data for the study focused on six months of quotes and shipping estimate data from an e-commerce website specializing in laboratory supplies. One of the key takeaways was that it’s more beneficial for sellers to study how increasing the efficiency of products that take the longest time to ship can impact how customers feel. towards the company.

When deliveries arrive fast enough due to a company’s highly functional shipping strategy, customers are likely to believe they arrived in a timely manner. However, they will be even more impressed if items that were previously slower to ship reach them faster.

Take feedback seriously when looking for ways to build customer loyalty

Industry professionals need to remember that they can improve customer loyalty by welcoming feedback and listening carefully to what people bring up in their feedback. Sometimes efforts to improve a shipping strategy fail in ways business leaders don’t expect. That doesn’t mean they’re total failures, but specific changes may require ongoing tweaking to improve them.

Either way, people should view shipping strategies as constantly evolving to keep up with customer preferences and business capabilities. When consumers feel retailers meet or exceed shipping expectations, they might be more likely to shop with them again and be more forgiving if items don’t arrive quickly every time.

Emily Newton is an industry writer specializing in covering how technology is disrupting industry sectors. She is also editor-in-chief of Revolutionized where she covers innovations in industry, construction and more.

Joseph P. Harris