Lower prices, free shipping and convenience are the main reasons why most customers shop online. That said, high shipping costs or hidden delivery charges often deter online shoppers from purchasing.
eCommerce retailers also need to balance their freight and last mile delivery charges so they remain profitable even when sales volumes are mounting. Unfortunately, shipping and logistics are also one of the biggest bottlenecks in eCommerce. Retailers need to adopt strategies that will help ease the bottlenecks and keep the delivery machinery running at full throttle.
Here are some strategies that will help retailers move their products smoothly and profitably from warehouses to customer doorsteps.
Consumers expect to have a clear-cut picture of the delivery schedule. They want to know the exact date or, at least, the probable dates between which the delivery will occur. If additional delivery charges or shipping costs to specific places are applicable, consumers want to know this before they reach the checkout page.
When presented with unexpected shipping or delivery charges at checkout, there is a great likelihood that the customer will abandon the cart and explore other purchase options. Being transparent with delivery dates and shipping costs upfront, on the other hand, can help reduce cart abandonment rates.
The old rigid post and parcel days are over. This is the era of fast, nimble delivery services who boast of global delivery points that can be reached same day. Today’s savvy online shoppers know it’s possible to ship packages from one side of the world to other in a day or less. When the order is within the country borders, they expect the delivery service and the merchant to provide multiple shipping options.
On-demand delivery and try-on in-store and ship to home rank as the most favorite shipping options for customers. When customers have multiple shipping options at their disposal, cart abandonment is less likely. The very fact that customers are willing to pay for on-demand and same day delivery also proves that providing multiple shipping options reduces cart abandonment.
One increasingly frustrating aspect of online shopping is unattended deliveries. The delivery person knocks at your door and, if you’re not home, leaves the package on the porch. While this works out the majority of the time, some stats suggest that at least 30% of unattended deliveries left on porches in 2017 fell victim to “porch bandits.”
Of course, Amazon is rolling out in-car delivery and many other innovative delivery options. But small and medium players cannot afford that kind of flexibility. Other possible options include scheduled deliveries or pick up from a location as chosen by the customer. The same can be applied for returns too, where customers can drop their packages at designated locations. When put together, these approaches help keep cart abandonment rates low while saving costs for the eCommerce business.
Even with on-demand delivery and last mile delivery facilities, many customers feel a sense of anxiety until their package reaches them. Real-time tracking of deliveries can help alleviate that customer anxiety by making them feel more in control.
Estimated arrival times help customers plan their schedules so that they can be available when the delivery arrives. Real-time tracking also helps the store owner or its logistics manager and the customer stay in the loop about the delivery progress.
Shipping is one of the biggest costs for an eCommerce business. A higher shipping cost can inflate the product prices which will disappoint customers. A few well-planned shipping strategies as described above can help the business move products profitably while significantly reducing cart abandonment rates.
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