How expert logistics can improve ecommerce customer satisfaction
Today’s consumers have a whole world of choice at their fingertips, and with the ability to quickly shop around it’s more important than ever that retailers are in tune with their customers’ needs.
If a retailer fails to meet their expectations, they will simply look elsewhere when it comes to future purchases. One bad experience can lead even the most loyal of customers to turn their back on a brand, and public complaints over social media can put off other potential buyers.
When it comes to ecommerce, customer expectations are now at an all time high and this is only set to increase further as retailers strive to meet these demands. To be successful in this ruthless marketplace, businesses need to offer unrivalled ecommerce customer satisfaction, to help turn casual shoppers into loyal, repeat customers.
Fast response is only possible through expert logistics partners
With a growing number of ecommerce retailers now offering next day and same day delivery options, the speed in which a business is able to respond to orders placed is critical. Delivery times are directly impacted by these response times, and this is key to meeting the demanding delivery schedules that customers have come to expect.
A highly capable warehouse management system is the backbone of any successful logistics operation, and one which allows workers to action or respond to orders as soon as they are submitted is essential in this fast paced environment. For meeting strict delivery deadlines, a system that optionally allows orders to be picked straight away, can have a dramatic impact on timescales.
Warehouses that are properly equipped for the specific type of products a retailer sells can also help to further increase speed and efficiency. For clothing retailers, this could mean hanging garment areas that allow quick and easy access to products, and fast pick areas that are intelligently replenished as needed.
Quick delivery is a requirement for ecommerce customer satisfaction
It’s clear that the speed of ecommerce fulfilment now plays a large role in customer decision making when it comes to purchasing items online. Customers increasingly expect flexibility, with brands offering options as to how and when goods are delivered to provide as much convenience as possible. According to a ComScore and UPS study, around 44% of shoppers’ abandoned their carts due to unsatisfactory estimated delivery times. Additionally, 17% of customers would stop shopping with an ecommerce store altogether after one late delivery. This number increased to a massive 55% if they received a second or third late delivery.
Cut off times for next day delivery across the UK, Europe and even USA, along with clear lines of communication and system integration with logistics partners, are essential to help maintain ecommerce customer satisfaction and allow warehouses the time needed to process these orders.
Efficient returns leads to improved ecommerce customer satisfaction
Ease of returns and a clear returns policy are regularly cited by consumers as a major deciding factor in where they choose to shop online. As an online retailer, this means it’s incredibly important to get this right to avoid putting potential customers off.
Returns need to be as effortless as possible for the customer, whilst still remaining cost effective for the business. This can be a fine line, as returns can often cost more to process than orders. However, with an expert logistics partner in place, this is achievable. An efficient returns process not only creates happier customers, but can also help to cut costs by reducing labour and waste.
Returns should be just as efficient as the outbound operation, with orders flagged up as soon as they are received back into the warehouse and logged against a central customer database. This means returns can then be quickly processed, decreasing the time a customer will need to wait for their refund.
Customers expect to have their money refunded as soon as possible, and untimely processing can quickly damage a brand's customer service reputation. To help tackle this, customers should be kept updated on the status of their return as it’s processed and have a clear idea of when they can expect to receive their refund. In addition, the returns processing team need clear guidelines to be able to make decisions about the refund status. System integration provided by an expert logistics partner can prove the difference in providing the updates that keep customers satisfied when returning goods.
Packaging options and processes to deliver ecommerce customer satisfaction
Packaging is an important part of the shopping experience for customers and is something that should not be overlooked. Packaging is critical to your brand and is the first impression a customer will have when they receive their order.
Poorly packaged goods can leave customers unsatisfied with their experience of a brand, even before they’ve looked at the goods inside. This can colour their view and have a negative impact on how they perceive the brand in the future. Inadequate packaging can also leave products at risk of damage or creasing during shipping and handling. However, it’s crucial to strike the correct balance between brand experience and cost efficiency. For example, packages are often cheaper than boxes, and can be ideal for non-delicate items. An expert logistics partner will be able to help recommend the packaging options and processes to deliver perfect brand experience and improve customer satisfaction.
Order fulfilment transparency and real time alerts from expert logistics providers
Customers expect retailers to know exactly where their order is at all times, especially if it has been delayed and hasn’t reached them by the expected date. However, the reality is that not all businesses have the systems required in place to be able to answer this accurately. A fast and helpful response to this type of query is the best way to keep customers satisfied and mitigate any negative feelings.
To achieve this, an expert logistics partner provides customer service teams with access to real time order status and all the necessary information. This should include checkpoints the order passes through both in the warehouse, and once it is sent out for delivery. With a full overview of the order, retailers are then able to respond to the customer with the accurate, real time status of their parcel and answer any further questions they may have around this.
Goods in perfect condition for faultless ecommerce customer experience
To ensure products get to customers in pristine condition it’s important to have robust quality control processes in place. Faulty or damaged products should be spotted and dealt with early, to prevent them from unknowingly making their way to customers.
Alongside this, stringent checks should be carried out on all items that are received as returns before they go back into circulation. Items returned can often arrive in less than pristine condition, making them unfit to send back out. Garments should be carefully inspected for make up marks, popped seams, snags, pet hair and odours that could potentially ruin a future customer’s experience of the brand. Not spotting these issues before items are delivered or put back into stock leads to poor ecommerce customer satisfaction, and adds unnecessary inconvenience and annoyance for the customer who will need to return affected items.
The right product delivered by expert logistics
With a vast range of products, managing the thousands of individual SKUs that come with this can prove to be a real logistics challenge. Improper management of these units can lead to picking errors and end with the wrong products being shipped to customers. This is not only inconvenient for the customer, but also creates unnecessary cost, with items needing to be shipped back to the distribution centre and then quickly replaced. This can have a noticeable cost impact on reverse logistics operations if businesses regularly get this wrong.
Expert logistics providers have the systems and processes to maintain faultless management of SKUs to ensure the right product is delivered each and every time.
The product they want regardless of where it is
A single reliable and accurate stock inventory is an essential component of omnichannel retailing and can only be provided through expert logistics operations. This makes it simpler and more effective for retailers to keep track of stock numbers, no matter where goods are within the business.
For a truly accurate inventory of all products, stock management systems should have the capability to update numbers in real time and take into account stock across both stores and distribution centres. This prevents customers placing orders for products online which may be out of stock, and also allows retailers to fulfill orders through the most appropriate channel, whether this is from a distribution centre or nearby store with excess stock.
To a customer it makes no difference where a product has come from, only that they have the product they wanted. For businesses, this creates an unmissable opportunity to maximise the performance of existing stock within their network.
Find out how our expert logistics can help to improve your ecommerce customer satisfaction
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