Delivery is the end stage of the fulfilment process and a low cost, timely delivery process is essential for a positive customer experience. Out sourced delivery, giving the seller less direct control is the way most ecommerce retailers deliver goods to their customers.
A way to stand out in the crowded e marketplaces is to offer bespoke delivery services at prices customers can afford and are willing to pay for their goods. Future business may rest on how quickly a customer receives their online order. Having competitively priced, quality merchandise will mean nothing to a customer who can’t get their goods when they want them.
Customers expect to the following from etailers’ delivery services:
• Tracking of their goods that is easy to use and accurate
• Communication with the etailer on dispatch, delivery date/time via email or text
• Easy to access customer services if there is a problem with the delivery.
• Free phones or at least non premium numbers is a must for good customer relations, especially when you have already not met the delivery part of the fulfilment process.
• The seller should sort out delivery problems with their agent and not expect the customer to do this.
Do etailers meet their customers’ requirements with their delivery services?
• Free delivery is not routinely offered by etailers and many customers will abandon their purchase if the delivery charges are not clearly shown when purchasing and/or are expensive.
• Next day delivery is the most desired option but many customers are unwilling to pay extra for this.
• Returns that involve trips to the courier or post office are not popular with customers. They want the return to be a reverse of the delivery process via courier at no extra charge.
• The refund process should be clear and easy to complete online. Refunds should be processed immediately after the courier receives the goods.
o Refunds are not usually processed until the etailer receives the goods, causing additional delays for the customer and making a repurchase less likely.
Large etailers are moving closer to the ideal delivery solution desired by their customers but for smaller companies using a complete order fulfilment service still represents the most cost effective method of meeting their customers’ expectations.