Why Your eCommerce Delivery Strategy Is More Important than Ever

16 June 2018

How quickly do you deliver your eCommerce orders? How many delivery options do you offer? What do you charge for shipping? Is your shipping reliable?

A negative shipping experience has a large impact on your business. It affects your brand image, customer loyalty, and can increase costs. If there’s one business area to focus on next, consider making it your eCommerce delivery strategy. New statistics show that a good shipping experience is more important than ever.

Merchants Now Compete Mainly on Customer Experience

Today’s consumers choose who to buy from based on their overall customer experience. Having the lowest price or best product no longer guarantees you a sale. Consumers thoroughly research and compare products and retailers beforehand. And, don’t think they won’t compare shipping services too.

According to a 2015 eCommerce survey, 66% of shoppers bought goods from one retailer in preference to another because the delivery services offered were more appealing.

Also, 96% of the same shoppers said a positive delivery experience would encourage them to shop with a retailer again.

It’s evident that shipping services play a major role in a customer’s purchase decision. Do you know if your eCommerce delivery strategy is satisfying your customers? Well, there’s a good chance you have some areas to improve on.

Merchants Aren’t Meeting Customer Expectations for eCommerce Delivery

Not all consumers feel that merchants are meeting their expectations when it comes to delivery speed and options. See where retailers are falling flat.

According a survey from Temando, a leading shipping and fulfillment software platform for commerce,

  • 77% of consumers would like to see guaranteed weekend or after hours shipping, while only 34% of all retailers surveyed offered this option.
  • 61% want 1 – 3 hour shipping, while only 20% of all retailers offer it.
  • 80% of consumers want same day shipping. 47% of retailers don’t offer this service.
  • 82% wants to collect shipments from stores, but 50% of retailers do not offer it.

Consumers also want more information when it comes to shipping. UPS Pulse of the Shopper reports that:

  • 72% of online shoppers are satisfied with the ability to see the expected delivery dates of the products selected.
  • 48% find guaranteed delivery dates important when checking out online.

If you don’t provide enough delivery options or information, you’ll lose the sale. These stats prove it.

  • 46% of online shoppers abandoned a shopping cart due to a shipping time that was too long or not provided.
  • 1 and 3 say speed of delivery is a reason they choose to buy from marketplaces.

What Customers Want from eCommerce Delivery

When it comes to shipping, customers want affordable prices, flexible shipping options, and fast delivery. Take a look at these stats further explaining what consumers want.

  • 2 and 3 people expect to be able to place an order up to 5 p.m the night before for next-day delivery.
  • Two-day delivery preference is up significantly (20% in 2016 vs 16% in 2015 and 10% in 2014).
  • Half of shoppers are willing to pay a premium for faster shipping due to time-sensitive personal reasons.

But, to meet these expectations, you must find an affordable way to improve your fulfillment operations. This takes time and investment and you likely have many areas that need improvement.

How To Improve eCommerce Delivery: Consider Using a 3PL

Proper fulfillment takes the organization of all the people, process, and technology needed to deliver an online order to a customer. This includes everything like your online checkout process, payment provider, order management system, and how you pick, pack, and ship items.

When looking at your current processes, start at the beginning. Make your online checkout pages shorter and easier to fill out. As stated above, make sure expected delivery dates and options are displayed. Then, use a trustworthy payment provider that is secure. Your customers should be confident when they check out.

Now comes the part where you actually pick, pack, and ship the orders to customers. A lot can go wrong from the time an order is placed and then shipped. Many merchants struggle with this part of the process. That’s why many of them turn to 3rd-party fulfillment providers, also known as 3PLs (third-party logistics) or pick and pack fulfillment services.

See what a 3PL is and why they’re important to retailers.

Unless you’re Amazon, you probably don’t specialize in supply chain management or logistics. And, you most likely don’t have the resources to do so either. Instead, you can outsource your fulfillment to another company who does.