This past year the eCommerce industry started to experience a boom and it is highly likely that it will continue to be this way. Given this, there should be greater emphasis on the management of eCommerce delivery in order to support growth.
eCommerce delivery refers to the different services needed to transport the goods purchased online from an online store to finally delivering them to the customer’s doorstep or their preferred destination. Some of the services involved in eCommerce delivery include order receiving, order processing, and finally, order fulfilment. In order to effectively manage eCommerce delivery, businesses can follow the tips offered below.
1. Be transparent about delivery trends
Transparency is essential when it comes to customers. For this reason, you should be transparent about delivery costs at checkout. Failing to do so might lead to customers abandoning their carts as they do not like surprises like this, and might feel blindsided, especially if shipping costs are too high. Your businesses could either adopt an upfront flat-rate delivery fee or allow them to provide their postal code which will determine the delivery fees they will incur even before they progress to the checkout.
2. Do not promise what you cannot fulfil
To avoid ruining your brand and disappointing your customers, you should aim to under-promise and deliver more than you promised to. Some situations and circumstances might occur, and that will lead to late deliveries. It is essential to consider this when communicating to customers about shipping times. Have room for any delays and issues that might arise during the delivery process, as this will allow you to meet customer expectations, even if there are delays. An added benefit of underpromising is that if no issues arise, the customers will receive their packages earlier than expected.
3. Offer more delivery options
One thing that customers value more than anything is variety and options. In order to do this, you can give them more than the standard delivery options. Having more delivery options ensures that you accommodate all your customer’s lifestyle needs, even if you offer free delivery. Some delivery options that you can include are:
- Two-day delivery: this delivery method ensures that customers receive their orders two business days after they have placed their order.
- Same-day delivery: with this delivery method, products ordered on the same day that the customer placed them are delivered within 24 hours.
- Overnight delivery: the overnight delivery option ensures that the customer receives their order the next business day. It is also referred to as next-day delivery.
Allow customers to choose to pick up their items in-store or at a third-party location. Offering much more variety to your customers will ensure that customers are more satisfied with your service.
4. Use eCommerce Delivery Software
eCommerce delivery software can be beneficial for the management of deliveries. The use of software is better to meet customer expectations as it can eliminate common issues that usually arise, such as customer complaints that occur due to misplaced packages. You can also receive reports and analytics regarding inventory and deliveries. It can do so as it can streamline your deliveries through the following aspects:
- Automation: the software can manage aspects such as entering orders, tracking order information, all through the system.
- Integration: eCommerce delivery software can integrate all your programs and software that you use for different functions such as payroll and tracking sales.
- Route optimization: eCommerce delivery software is better able to optimize routes which can save money that is usually lost when drivers get lost or when they experience delays on the road.
5. Think about visibility
Visibility is essential throughout your supply chain, and it is vital for any eCommerce business. Both you and your suppliers should have access to inventory and processes relating to order fulfilment so you can see which items are available currently, what their quantities are and where they are located. The same applies to customers, they should be able to see whether items are in stock or not; and if the items are available in low quantities, then this information should be available to them. Customers having access to this kind of information leads to better order fulfilment and customer satisfaction.
Another way to make delivery more visible is by providing customer updates. Customer communication would begin from the moment that they place their order through order confirmation up until they receive their package.
6. Be mindful about your warehouse locations
Your warehouse location will significantly affect the time it will take for the customer to receive their orders. You should make certain that your customers receive their goods in the fastest time possible. There are things that you should consider when picking a warehouse location, such as:
- When choosing a warehouse and shippers, ensure that they offer quick picking and quick delivery requirements.
- You can also choose to store your products in multiple warehouses in different delivery areas, as this will ensure that you are always close to your customers’ locations. This can be beneficial as it will also make delivery cheaper.
eCommerce delivery comes with many risks and challenges that might prevent your business from meeting customer expectations. However, having the right strategies in place can offer many opportunities to succeed.
Learn about The Growth of eCommerce Delivery in South Africa.