Customer expectations for the delivery of online purchases have dramatically changed over the years and in order to fulfil those expectations, eCommerce businesses need to offer more options to meet them. The delivery service offered will impact the customer’s buying decision and if their expectations are unmet then they will go elsewhere.
eCommerce Customer Journey
The eCommerce customer journey refers to the stages of the customer’s experience with an online business. This experience begins from the moment that they learn about you and the products that you offer to the stage where they make a purchase. It is essential for businesses to keep track of the customer’s journey as it will allow them to not only to improve the customer’s experience, but also fix any issues that prevent them from actually buying your products.
Though the customer’s journey isn’t always in the business’ control, there might be issues from your business that might be preventing them from making a purchase and you need to be aware of them.
Customer Expectations for eCommerce Delivery
Delivery does play an important role in ensuring that customers end up buying online so every aspect of eCommerce delivery must meet all customer expectations. In order to fulfil those expectations you need to look at whether you give customer options for delivery. Here are some of the ways that you can do that.
Variety of delivery options
Offering a lack of delivery options increases the number of abandoned purchases that you will get. The reality is that standard delivery options won’t always suit the lives of all customers, so you need to let them choose which delivery options suit them best. Giving them more delivery options will also allow them to plan around the delivery dates as well as the time that you offer them.
The first delivery option that you should offer is a cheaper or free option, as this will be appealing to the cost-conscious shopper. The second option can be a faster, but more expensive option such as next day delivery which will be available for shoppers who require their items to be delivered more quickly. The last option can be the click and collect as it allows customers to save on delivery costs and they are able to pick up their order whenever they want.
Accurate delivery tracking
Online order tracking allows the businesses to provide the customer with more accurate delivery and in turn to provide better customer service. This option also increases their dependability to the customer and lets them know that you are trustworthy. It also decreases the level of anxiety that the customer might experience as well as reduce the pressure that the call center or customer service teams might experience from customers calling to check up on their orders. This will give your customer service team more room to focus on managing the more important issues that might arise. All these factors will lead to better customer retention and less buyer’s remorse.
Proactive communication about delivery
Providing the customer with regular updates through email and SMSs is important as it provides clarity and certainty. This process begins after the customer places an order. These updates are usually about the estimated delivery date, updates when there is movement of the package and provide the option for them to make adjustments.
The customer is notified when the driver or dispatcher is close to them and they can also receive a notification when the route starts. This prevents the customer from missing their packages. Once the customer receives their shipment from the dispatcher, they will have to complete the proof of delivery from and once done, they will receive a notification about the final details and status.
Updates are also important if there are unexpected deliveries. The customer will usually call the customer service centre if they don’t receive their shipments on time or if they are not informed about delays in delivery. Communicating delays will increase the customer’s trust in the brand and reduce their chances of sharing negative feedback online as they would have taken ownership of these issues.
Better customer support
The kind of customer support that a customer receives will influence their choice to make a repeat purchase or not. Offering excellent customer support will help increase their trust in your brand, however, negative experiences will lead to loss of sales, negative online reviews and damaged reputation.
The customer needs to have multiple avenues that they can receive assistance. The first option that you can offer frequently asked questions (FAQs) and self-help as they have self-help capabilities which are necessary for placing orders checking status or receiving a price quote. They are a lot faster than speaking to a person and they lead to greater customer satisfaction.
The second option is having a live chat which is necessary for when a customer requires an immediate response from a staff member. Using other channels like emails or web forms may take too long. Live chats do however require a lot of planning from the staff to ensure that they are able to respond on time.
24 hour/day phone support is important as online shopping occurs at any time of the day. There might also be time zone differences with customers so you should be able to have 24 hours/day phone support to address any issues that the customer might need assistance with.