The world of ecommerce is currently booming with over twenty one per cent of retail sales now taking place online. This is only set to increase in the run up to the festive season, with forecasts that it is going to be the busiest year yet for online retailers. But just because you’ll be super busy, doesn’t mean you can scrimp on customer service. Below we’ve shared our top tips to help you deliver the best ecommerce experience to customers this Christmas.
Offer a stress-free and seamless delivery
Once upon a time customers were happy placing their orders online and waiting in all day until they arrived. Today – not so much. Over the years customers have becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to deliveries. Not only do they expect you to be able to give them an estimated time of arrival but they also expect you to offer a quick turnaround on order fulfilment.
Only last week Amazon announced a new service that will allowed customers to pick up their items a few short hours after ordering them online. Whilst not every ecommerce retailer is able to offer same day or even next day delivery to customers, what they can do is ensure their deliveries are sent out on time and that they include tracking so customers can get a better idea of when their orders will arrive.
It’s also important to remember that if their items arrive damaged or faulty, you will be held accountable, even if it is the fault of the delivery company. To minimise damage to your reputation, make sure you only work with reputable delivery companies and provide customers with an easy-to-understand returns policy. Offering free collection and returns will also help to achieve higher levels of customer retention.
Make your customers aware of other delivery options
According to a survey by Opinion Matters, 25% of consumers say that missing a delivery is the main irritation they associate with shopping online.
Whilst most consumers are aware that they can have items delivered to their homes (at least we hope so by now) and local stores to be picked up, many consumers are still unaware of the other delivery services available to them. For example, Collect+, a service that enables consumers to have their parcels dropped off / picked up from local garages and supermarkets.
Making your customers aware of these other options will help you to provide a better ecommerce delivery service this Christmas and improve customer satisfaction.
Prepare for tight timescales
Even though you may be super organised and ready for the festive period, this doesn’t mean your customers will be. In fact, according to Opinion Matters 21% of consumers tend to leave their Christmas shopping until December. The later customers are leaving their Christmas shopping, the more pressure it puts on ecommerce businesses to fulfil and deliver their orders on time.
Whilst you can’t force your customers to start their shopping early, we recommend making them aware of your timescales. Create a notice for your website that informs them of your last ‘guaranteed Christmas delivery’ date and it will hopefully encourage them to get their orders placed sooner rather than later.
How will you be improving ecommerce order fulfilment and delivery this Christmas?