If the popularity of Amazon Prime can tell us one thing, it’s that customers want their online orders to be shipped and delivered to their door as soon as possible. This want has quickly evolved into an expectation. With over 200 million members, Amazon Prime has redefined the online shopping experience, leading consumers to seek out 2-day or next-day delivery wherever they shop. With expedited shipping becoming the norm, instant gratification is becoming an expectation–and businesses are paying attention. More eCommerce brands are looking to offer faster delivery speeds to meet customer demand and beat the competition.
While expedited delivery is a priority for some customers, for others, free delivery is king. So how do you as a business owner strike a balance? How do you meet varying expectations and keep your customers coming back to your store?
If you’re looking for ways to stand out in a competitive eCommerce landscape, you need eCommerce solutions that help you meet–and manage–customers’ delivery expectations.
That’s because the eCommerce retail market is becoming more competitive.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also had a major impact on eCommerce shipping services, causing further shifts in customer delivery expectations. With customers increasingly turning to the internet to get their hands on what they need, online shopping has grown significantly, along with eCommerce home delivery.
This reality has been challenging for companies, but taking control of evolving customer expectations can benefit your business. Here’s how to do it.
Whether you’re sending packages domestically or shipping from Canada to the US, there are a number of eCommerce solutions you can use to manage delivery expectations and offer your customers some influence over the delivery process.
Offering numerous shipping alternatives, such as standard, same-day, next-day, two-day, and air shipping is one approach to managing your customers' delivery expectations. This allows them more control over speed and price, giving them choices and the power to decide how and when they receive their orders.
Customers who are in a hurry to get their items will appreciate having that option–and that’s where air shipping comes in. Contrary to what you may think, air shipping doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. eShipper’s exclusive partnership program with Rivo by Air Canada democratizes shipping for small to medium size businesses, allowing customers to benefit from the speed of air shipping for the price of ground.
One way to meet your customers' expectations is offering free shipping on orders over a particular amount. With free shipping, your customers will not expect particularly fast delivery; they will most likely be ready to wait an extra day or two to receive their goods. Though this can be a costly strategy, you can minimize its impact with various strategies, such as including a portion of the delivery cost in your product pricing.
Another fantastic strategy to control delivery expectations is to use time and price delivery incentives, especially around the holidays. "Order by December 19th to receive your delivery before Christmas," is an example of a time-sensitive incentive. Another common example of a pricing incentive is "free delivery on orders over $100." This gives your customers a sense of control while also setting their expectations.
Displaying the cut-off time for each shipping option is an excellent method to control customer delivery expectations. Inform shoppers of the latest time they can place an order to receive same-day or next-day delivery.
Delivery delays are unavoidable sometimes, but you can limit your customers’ frustration with effective communication. Be proactive and let them know what's going on and what steps you're taking to remedy the situation before it becomes a problem.
Streamlining your shipping process to reduce delays and ensure timely delivery is an important aspect of managing delivery expectations. You can satisfy your customers’ expectations by improving the efficiency of your order processing, enhancing your order fulfillment, and providing active customer assistance.
Even if the carrier is at fault, your customers will always hold you accountable for any delivery difficulties. You must accept responsibility and handle any issues with the carrier as soon as you become aware of them. Whether it’s you or the courier who has made a mistake, never put your customers in a position where they have to follow up on their orders or take on unnecessary expenditures.
The eCommerce retail market has matured, and customer expectations for speedier shipping at no extra cost will only continue to rise. By being proactive with managing delivery expectations, you’ll be able to keep your customers happy– and eShipper is here to support you! Partnering with us brings real benefits to both you and your customers:
Contact us to learn more about how you can keep your customers happy with air shipping and other eCommerce solutions that get their orders to them on time, every time.