This video is brought to you by Fulfillrite.
Hey – welcome to the Fulfillrite YouTube channel. Today, we’re going to talk about a silent killer of eCommerce businesses – bad shipping experiences.
This is no exaggeration. As many as 51% of your customers would abandon your store forever after a negative delivery experience. Losing repeat business like that really hurts too – it usually costs 5 to 25 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain one.
People put items in their carts without buying all the time, and it’s tough for eCommerce companies. Any business changes that can drive the abandonment rate down mean making money. Any problems that drive that abandonment rate up, well…
But as it turns out, providing a good postpurchase experience can have tons of benefits. You can increase conversion rates, customer retention, and customer satisfaction. You might even see excited customers tell their friends about your business!
In this video, we’re going to talk about 12 ways you can create a shipping experience that keeps customers happy and money in your pocket.
But before we get to that, a quick note. If you use the tips in this video and you wind up with more repeat customers than you can handle, go to fulfillrite.com/open to request a quote today. Link in the description.
Alright, back to the show!
12 Ways to Create a Good Shipping Experience
1. Eliminate surprise costs.
By far, the number one reason people ditch their shopping carts online are high shipping costs. Nobody wants to buy a $25 item with a $15 shipping fee.
Yet a lot of businesses still make this basic mistake. At a minimum, make sure your shipping prices are clearly listed on your store. That way, people will be less likely to add something to their cart only to back out later when they realize the total price is too high.
This is the number one lever you can use to reduce your cart abandonment rate, so if you use it wisely, you can increase your revenue with minimal effort.
2. Offer free shipping.
You probably already know the dirty secret that free shipping isn’t really free. When you as a consumer buy something with free shipping, the seller pays for postage out of their own pocket. No free lunch and all that.
But not offering free shipping is also not free. A full 75% of customers expect free shipping even on orders under $50, and this figure is only rising. This goes back to eliminating surprise costs. Providing free shipping is the most elegant way to eliminate unexpected fees from the customers’ perspective.
This tip doesn’t always make financial sense, but if it does, you should follow it. This can noticeably reduce your shopping cart abandonment rate, which can bring in enough revenue to offset the additional shipping expenses. On top of that, free shipping primes customers to be more satisfied with their shipping experience!
3. Use address verification.
One of the ways a shipping experience can go haywire is to have the package delivered to the wrong address. You might think that’s entirely out of your business’s control, but you’d be surprised.
Address verification is a method you can use to make sure that customers type in the right address. This can help dramatically reduce the odds of sending a package to the wrong address – a mistake that can make customers mad and cost a lot of money to fix.
Shopify users can do this by using an app called Streetify. It costs $0.03 per address lookup, and it’s well worth the money. WooCommerce users can use Postcode/Address Validation by SkyVerge, which costs $49 per year.
There is no shortage of apps for Shopify and WooCommerce, as well any other eCommerce software you might be using!
4. Provide expedited shipping options.
As many as 41% of consumers are willing to pay for same-day delivery, with 24% willing to pay more to receive packages within a 1-2 hour window. On top of that, 70% of US consumers chose to purchase goods from one online provider over another because they provided more delivery options.
When you put it that way, one of the easiest ways to improve your shipping experience is to provide more options. Offering next-day delivery through services such as USPS, UPS, and FedEx at a premium is a simple and achievable way to give customers the power to make choices that suit their needs.
5. Ship as soon as possible.
One of the most common reasons for a delay in shipping has nothing to do with the postal carriers. FedEx, UPS, USPS, and DHL have delivery boiled down to a science. Once you, as the eCommerce store, give them packages with postage, they take care of everything from there.
But what happens if you take your sweet time getting a package in the mail? If you miss the cutoff time by a few minutes, you can delay delivery by a full day! This is bad because customers expect two-day delivery by default now. Anything slower than that is, well, slow.
The easiest way to combat this is to either ship orders as soon as they come in or to have your shipping handled by an order fulfillment service. If you don’t want to drop what you’re doing at any given moment in the day, you can outsource the work.
Order fulfillment companies ship packages all day, everyday, and postal carriers stop by their warehouses multiple times per day. That means your packages go in the mail sooner, and this can often knock a full day off delivery time.
6. Make two-day shipping your default.
Remember how I mentioned that two-day delivery is the expectation now? The data backs me up on this. A full 79.3% of online shoppers expect two-day shipping as the default. If at all possible, you need to make free, two-day shipping the default shipping option for your business.
7. Provide shipping notifications.
Online shopping is still a little weird because while your money is spent immediately, it still takes days for the package to arrive. Customers often soothe their concerns by keeping an eye on shipping notifications.
When shipping items to customers, send tracking numbers and status updates by default. Let customers know when their orders are in the mail and provide an estimated delivery date.
If something goes wrong, notify the customer immediately as well. This is really important since 98.3% of customers say they want a notification if a package is held up in the mail! This is a truly overwhelming majority.
Proactively communicating with your customers about the status of their orders tells them that you are being proactive about keeping them happy, and increases the likelihood that they have a good experience and come back to buy again.
8. Don’t be stingy with returns and refunds.
Every year, three billion packages are lost and damaged. This is an unavoidable problem caused by the fact that postal carriers handle an enormous amount of packages every single day.
Of course, from the customer’s perspective, it doesn’t matter if UPS damaged the package. It’s up to you to respond. Forty-eight percent of customers have returned an item in the last year. Of those customers, 80.2% did so because the items arrived damaged or broken.
The refund and return experience, therefore, is tied directly to the shipping experience. A full 95% of shoppers who are happy with the returns process will purchase with the same retailer, meaning you have a chance to recover the relationship. Conversely, shoppers who are unhappy with the returns process are 3x more likely to never purchase from the same retailer again.
The upshot of all this: make returns simple. Allow free returns with refunds for a longer period of time, such as 90 days. Give customers the ability to print return labels – at your expense – to send them back to your warehouse. You eat the cost of shipping and inventory, sure, but you salvage the relationship and that’s worth a lot more money in the long run.
9. Pack items properly.
Though shipping damage is inevitable, there are a few things you can do to reduce the odds of damage in shipping. Here are a few quick tips:
- Fill all void space in packages with bubble wrap, corrugated rolls, or air cushions.
- Use rigid outer packaging such as corrugated boxes.
- Isolate liquids from all other items in a package.
- Properly label fragile packages.
- Separate fragile materials within boxes.
By taking all these precautions, you can reduce the risk of items breaking in the mail and having to be returned in the first place. That’s more money in your pocket!
10. Provide great customer service.
Even if you provide free fast shipping with well-packed items and a generous return policy, things will still go wrong from time to time. When that happens, you need to do everything you can to ensure the shipping experience stays positive and the customer comes back. After all, it’s all about that customer retention!
Make sure you provide friendly, easily accessible customer service. Have an email and a phone number where people can reach you, at a minimum, and perhaps even a live chat line as well. Make sure people can get in touch with you quickly and do everything you can to resolve their problems. It pays off in the long run.
11. Brand your packaging.
People form opinions about products in just 3 seconds. With so little time between unboxing and opinion-forming, you have to make a good impression fast. One of the best ways to do this is to create attractive product packaging.
The data backs me up here. Over 50% of consumers say they would make more purchases from a brand which uses branded packaging, and 68% say it makes a brand seem more high-end.
Make sure that your store brand is represented as soon as the customer opens the box. You can do so by creating custom packaging such as boxes, bags, bottles, and more.
12. Ask for feedback.
It’s a simple tip, but easy to forget. You can look at statistics all day long but never get a truly good feel for what your specific customers truly want.
The easiest way to find out is to simply ask them! Send out automated surveys so you can learn more about what you’re doing well and what you’re not. Then you can lean into your strengths and resolve your weaknesses.
If you use tips like this, you’re likely to start converting more traffic and retaining more customers. But what if it’s too much? You might need to hire some help!
Fulfillrite is the most trusted name in order fulfillment. Boost customer satisfaction and scale your business faster with a logistics partner that feels like an extension of your team. Services include same-day shipping, real-time order and inventory tracking, dedicated customer service, and volume-based discounts.
Go to fulfillrite.com/open to request a quote today. Link in the description.
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And now, a parting question – are there any other ways you can improve the shipping experience for your customers? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!