Shipping is one of the most stressful parts of online transactions. Especially when you have to deal with impatient customers or someone who is shopping from your site for the first time. From the point they pay for the product to the point they have become satisfied with their purchase, you have to keep them entertained and informed about their order status. They do not trust your site the first time they purchase from you, which makes them cancel their order. So, shipping strategies for eCommerce is crucial.
However, as an eCommerce site, you can only have so much control to give them tracking details. Despite this, there are a few more things as a retailer you can take to improve your customer’s shipping experience and make them feel more comfortable with their process. Here are 7 tips that we have compiled for you. Don’t forget to check out the plugin suggestion we mention at the end of the blog to easily implement these tips.
7 Tips to improve customer shipping experience on your eCommerce site
1. Provide an Estimated Date of Delivery
In a study by Baymard Institute on checkout usability, users voted estimated delivery date as necessary. About 60% of online shoppers said they greatly prefer to see the delivery date estimated over the standard Shipping Speed guidelines, typically offered by online stores.
Guaranteed date of delivery is an essential aspect of online shopping. It allows your customers to compare different shipping methods, affected by several factors such as processing time, differing delivery days, holidays, and more. Miscalculating their delivery date can bring sourness to the customer-business relationship.
As an online shopper, it is no wonder you too must have encountered shopping sites that do not offer you an estimated date of delivery. Many customers have reported their plans being spoilt due to late delivery or no knowledge of when the product would be delivered.
In many cases, a faster delivery would cost the company more, and they might ask the customer to pay for it. It means that, while choosing their shipping options, they should be informed about the charges levied on them. As if they have no budget for it, it would just spoil their experience, and you might find difficulties retaining them.
2. Shipping Notifications
Shipping notifications are one thing that looks irrelevant when they arrive but would lead to panic if they do not. Many people have a habit to take a quick glance into their mail inbox to see the confirmation mail of their order and the shipping details. After that, they would either delete it or keep it until they have received the product and are satisfied with it (just in case anything goes wrong). But when not received, they would be worried if the retailer has canceled their order, or if the payment had some issues and thus their order has been canceled.
To avoid this miscommunication, do not ignore the shipping notifications. We are today living in an era where people are choosing shipping notifications to be sent over their mobile phone through SMS services. Besides the shipping companies’ notifications, improve a customer’s shipping experience by sending them shipping notifications. By doubling this process, you will help your customers understand the problem is not from your end, and for better information where they should call or mail for more information.
3. Offer SMS Updates
As said previously, we are indeed living in an era where people are waiting for SMS updates. Text messages, which are formally known as SMS, are incredibly popular.
Just in America, about 6 billion SMS’s are being sent and received daily, according to a report in Forrester.
By the year 2021, 78.9% of sales would be done over smartphones. SMS notification would serve as a great addition to your customer experience. Some people prefer getting notified over SMS over emails. It is easy and convenient for them. Thus, many eCommerce development companies are offering you solutions for it. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is nothing new. Ecommerce professionals are more rapidly adapting it to improve their work processes and customer experience. Twilio makes it relatively easy for you to send shopper SMS order and shipping notifications.
Also, give your users more control to opt-in or opt-out for the SMS notification. This way, they can decide better for themselves as per their preference. You would not get the increased cost of SMS notifications.
4. Providing many shipping options
Different shipping options offer different feasibility to the clients. Online shoppers look for a different range of shipping options available, and each one would cost them. It is a perfect option to offer impatient customers coming to your site.
Retailers should offer a range of delivery time options that will appeal to a broader range of customers. Many customers would be happy to give you some extra charges for on-time guaranteed delivery. According to ComScore, about 48% of customers said they were unwilling to wait for more than 5 days, and only 28% said they would wait for 8 days or more.
When it comes to delivery, customers have different expectations; humor it, and have a happy customer. No two customers are the same. Thus, having different shipping options and various carriers would improve a customer’s shipping experience and conversion rate.
5. Streamlined Processing
According to the ComScore study, the world is fast moving towards one-day delivery; the faster the shipping, the better. But on your end, are you efficient in processing their request that fast? Not many companies are efficient in processing their customer request on time to reduce the time of delivery.
Streamlining your processes might help. Minimizing the time between the order placement and order shipped can make a huge difference. Identify bottlenecks. Some of the common ones are:
- Packaging Department: Make sure that the packaging department is receiving the shipping order information almost immediately. If you have a small business and your packaging department is working on different things, consider using an automated phone call to notify the packer, or an SMS would suffice.
- Packing Process: Packaging also is a process that can slow down your processing. Plenty of box-sizes, packing material, essential and precautions for safe packing are necessary considerations. Sort things out and also make sure you have stocked on essential things needed for packaging.
6. Offer reliable and helpful tracking information
Tracking information is an assurance of the product being sent to the customer. After it has left your facility, a customer can contact the shipping services using the information and stay assured that the product would reach them on time. If the tracking information is not given to them, it is just like giving someone false hopes. Allow them to check the real-time location of their purchase.
Today, shipping services offer people crucial information for a better experience with their shipping. On-site tracking links and tracking orders from mobile devices are an essential addition to the website. It would take a little more effort from your end, but it is worth it.
7. Free shipping
Free shipping is a huge attraction for your customers. Faster delivery is costly, but if your customers are willing to wait, then offer them free delivery for their patience.
If it is impossible to give them year-long free shipping, run a campaign exclusively for the festive seasons, and start gaining their trust. Check if your shipping partner can offer you a good deal for the basic shipping services; this way, you can cut down a bit on your margin and win more customers through free shipping.
Another way to implement free shipping is by placing the condition of minimum order. It will help you a long way and would get more sales.
Do you think you can’t manage it? Well, here is a solution.
Meanwhile, many tips that we have shared in this blog would seem easy and doable; one of the biggest challenges is managing multiple shipping options. Well, stop scratching your head because here is your solution for it.
Solwin Infotech’s Table Rate Shipping Extension for Magento 2 is a highly popular plugin, easily integrated into your current website or application. The tool helps you to create an unlimited number of shipping methods with individual rates. Using a combination of shopping cart weight, price, quantity, and zip code, it can easily calculate the shipping charges. Easy to use, secure, and user-friendly to manage. This is a one-stop solution to all your problems related to showing accurate shipping prices based on the shipping method, destination, and more.