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7 Ways to Improve a Client’s Shipping Experience

Shipping may be among the most stressful elements of an internet transaction. The client has already paid for a item, but doesn’t really have it in hand. And the merchant — dedicated to excellent customer support — has no control over the carrier.

Regardless of this, there are some commonsense measures a merchant can take to help the customer feel comfortable with the procedure. Here are seven easy ways to enhance a client’s shipping experience.

1. Give an Estimated Delivery Date

At checkout, some 60 percent of online shoppers want to see either an estimated delivery date — better yet — a guaranteed delivery date for every available delivery option, based on some 2012 comScore report.

Even though it may look like showing an estimated shipping date could be commonsense, this remains a feature that many online shops are overlooking.

Imagine the shopper who’s purchasing a birthday gift for her nephew. His birthday is Saturday. She is ordering on Wednesday. Does she want FedEx 2nd Day? UPS overnight? Can USPS Priority Mail work? Without delivery dates, she cannot really make a fantastic decision. If she’s a limited budget which would exclude the overnight option, she may just opt to shop elsewhere or decide on a more affordable item.

2. Double Up On Shipping Notifications

Shipping notification emails are typically no big deal when they arrive. When a client receives one, he might just glance at it and delete it. Maybe he’ll allow it to linger in his inbox or a folder if something happens. However, for the most part it gets very little attention. But if that delivery notification email doesn’t appear at all, that client may call the merchant, presuming something has gone wrong.

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In addition to notifications from the merchant, FedEx, the U.S. Post Office, and UPS all provide their own email notifications, too. It can be a fantastic idea to double up on them, meaning that both the merchant and the carrier send the client an email. If one notification becomes tangled in a spam filter, then another one may make it through. Additionally, the FedEx or Post Office notification strengthens the merchant’s own message.

Often these secondary emails can be produced by the merchant right along with the tag.

3. Offer SMS Updates

Text messages — that are more formally called SMS — are incredibly common. On a normal day American mobile phone users will jointly send and receive over 6 billion of these, according to Forrester. What is more certain customer segments prefer SMS to email.

Infrastructure-as-a-service firms like Twilio make it comparatively simple to send shoppers SMS order and shipping notifications. It’s little more than commonsense to give shoppers the choice for SMS notifications too. This is particularly thoughtful considering that approximately 11 percent of ecommerce sales come from mobile devices.

4. Provide Many Shipping Options

“Online shoppers have a range of time they’re willing to await the delivery of their orders,” explained comScore in its Online Shopping Customer Experience Research. “Retailers that provide a range of delivery time options allow themselves to appeal to a broader variety of customers. While 48 percent of clients stated that they aren’t prepared to wait over five days for the majority of their purchases, 23 percent said they’d be happy to wait eight days or longer.”

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In regards to delivery, clients have different expectations.

No two customers are the exact same. Giving a number of shipping choices and an assortment of carriers could increase conversions.

5. Streamline Processing

Regardless of the comScore research on tolerable transport times, quicker is still better.

Try to streamline order fulfillment, minimizing the time between when an order is placed and when that order is sent. There are typically a few common bottlenecks.

Be certain those who do the packaging are notified immediately when an order is placed. In small retail companies where workers have more than one task to do, think about using SMS or even an automated phone call to alert the packer.

Streamline the packing process also. By way of instance, have tons of box sizes, simple packing materials, and easy-to-use tape dispensers, so the physical task of packaging goes more quickly.

Even label-specific printers can help improve speed.

6. Offer Reliable, Useful Online Tracking Information

Three quarters of shoppers said that order-tracking data was a significant company, again according to comScore.

Let customers have loads of alternatives for parcel tracking, including onsite monitoring, links to the carrier’s website for monitoring, and the ability to track orders from mobile devices.

7. Offer Some Kind of Free Shipping

Over half of the top U.S. online retailers provided some kind of free shipping in the 2012 holiday season, and some 73 percent of online shoppers wanted a free shipping option, according to comScore.

Consider offering free standard floor services from FedEx or UPS with a minimum purchase.

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