Gone are the days when you would always physically go to a marketplace and buy the products you need. As the years have passed, sales and marketing has seen a huge jump from its traditional techniques to the modern digital trends.
Physical markets have slowly started getting converted into e-commerce websites and web portals. The display counters are slowly changing into web pages for displaying products on screen. Cash payments slowly have been converted into easy and efficient online and card payments.
All these changes have given rise to the popularity of an e-commerce platform.
Importance Of Shipping
When you wish to make an online purchase of products, you can’t get the touch-and-feel factor that you’d get in physical buying. Here, you need to wait for your product to reach to you, so that you can test it physically.
This makes shipping one of the most important aspects of e-commerce. Shipping is nothing but the delivery of products you have ordered online. While going through an online transaction, the major hindrance a customer faces is that of delivery.
Everyone wants their product delivered as soon as possible. This is what often puts considerable pressure on the firm for making the product reach the customer without any delay. Though there are ventures that have been working on this aspect, the majority of the smaller e-commerce businesses are not fully aware of the shipping trends they need to inculcate in order to satisfy the customers.
Hopefully you’re not one of them! In case you are, here are some of the most basic and the most important shipping trends that a small business must incorporate:
Making The Shipping Free
According to a survey carried out in Deloitte, majority of the customers want their shipment to be free when they place an order online. This is also a way of staying in the market by being competitive and giving a tough competition to your rivals.
Giving free shipment to your customers may add a little to your overall costs, but would ensure that you get repeat sales. There are several strategies that may help you to minimise your shipping costs. One of the most effective ways is to price your product a little higher and offer free shipment of the product.
Another strategy that has been widely practised is that of providing free shipment only beyond a certain amount. You charge delivery charges up to that price and offer free shipment beyond that. This would not only help you earn the trust of your customers, but would also encourage your customers to make more purchases to get their orders delivered without an additional charge.
Have A Specific Time For Delivery
Simply making the shipment free won’t lead to customer satisfaction. You also need to cater to the time at which you are delivering the product. As an e-commerce venture, it is advisable to offer your customers an exact time at which their product would be delivered.
This is majorly useful for young professionals who are hardly home. If they know the exact time of your delivery, they may either adjust their schedule or ask you to change the delivery address accordingly.
If you need to have further control over the time of delivery, you can collaborate with local delivery and courier services in each city you deliver the products in. These agencies know the city better and have a professional staff to get the product delivered at the very doorstep from where it was ordered that too at the promised time.
Give More Options To The Customers
If you want to further increase customer satisfaction, give them more options to complete the shipment process. Not everyone wants an immediate delivery of their product. Offer them the following options:
- Getting the product delivered overnight (generally after paying an additional charge)
- Getting the product delivered at the standard time (for free)
- Getting the product delivered at a date specified by the customer
When you offer more alternatives to your customers, you always come off as a venture that has its basics sorted. This would make people visit your website and shop from your online store for all their shipping requirements.
However, you need to choose these options very wisely. One wrong choice can affect your image in the minds of your customers. You may take this decision by yourselves or hire external e-commerce fulfilment services.
This is precisely why shipping is considered to be the final but the most important aspect of an e-commerce venture. Even if you have come up with the best product in the market and used the best marketing tactics to promote your business, it would all go in vain if you fail to successfully deliver the product to your customers.
There have been cases where the customers have never returned to the site that failed to deliver their products as efficiently as they had been led to believe. This only proves that even in the marketing sector, all’s well that ends well! So make sure you do everything possible to get it right to ensure customers keep coming back.