Fulfilling your eCommerce Delivery Promises

How often do you break the promises you make to your customers?

Whether they’ve been made explicitly or implicitly, failing to keep any promises you make as your customers travel through the purchase journey with you could have a significant impact on your brand.

The PwC Global Consumer Insights Survey 2018 found that ‘trust in brand’ was among the top three reasons for shopping with a retailer; other than price. Customers need to trust a brand.

But if you’re breaking your promises – through your own fault or that of a partner— you reduce your chances of building trust, will ultimately damage your reputation and find you’re unable to build those long-term customer relationships.

So, how do you stop breaking your promises?

You focus.

Making sure every stage of your customer’s purchase journey is seamless means your customers will have the best experience possible and, in turn, your brand will see the optimal value from each customer.

Certain elements of the customer journey may seem distant or disconnected from one another, like your customer acquisition (through paid social, PPC, or whichever channels you use) and your logistics capabilities that exist at the opposite ends of the customers’ journey.

But, they’re more connected than you might think.

What you promise in your campaigns and marketing activity will directly impact your logistics needs. Conversely, your logistics capability will directly influence what you can promise in your customer acquisition.

But how do your logistics capability and customer acquisition campaigns impact one another? And how can ignoring the link between the two lead to breaking your promises and damaging trust in your brand?

We explore 3 scenarios where this is the case, and with the help of our sister company SEKO logistics, have looked at the ways you can deliver your promises.

The Returns conundrum

Shipping products is easy but, as you’ll know, returns can be troublesome.

It’s unfair to charge a customer to return something that was bought in good faith, but it could be financially crippling for you to pay for each and every return. So, who foots the bill without promises being broken?

The answer is “everyone”.

Work with logistics data to find the likely number of returns per product (or category) and you’ll be able to calculate a percentage of the purchase price to cover potential returns. That percentage can then be built into the cost of the item.

So, although returns appear to be “free” on the surface, the reality is that, whether they return it or not, every customer is actually paying for returns upon purchase.

Another aspect of the returns process is refunds. Why should a customer have to wait three weeks to get their money back after returning a product that wasn’t quite right? The quick answer is – they shouldn’t.

Rather than having to juggle accounts and transactions, ‘charge and collect’ portals have been created to act as a holding account – an easily accessible pot of cash – to enable quick refunds to customers. These have proven to be effective and can be set up with your delivery partner.

So, if you can provide free returns and ensure customers get speedy refunds, with the right help from your delivery partner, that’s two promises you can make (and keep) in your customer acquisition campaigns.

 

A seamless delivery experience is good

After your customer places an order they’ll want to know where their package is and when they can expect to receive it.

Being able to provide your customers with a near-real-time view of where their delivery is, regardless of the carrier or courier, will only build trust in your brand, help you keep your promises and increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). We’ll explain how.

White label tracking portals.

These portals give you a wholly-owned and branded platform that you can use for remarketing, as well as, customised ad placements.

White label tracking essentially opens up a whole new channel to re-engage customers with relevant, additional products, at the exact time that you know they’re thinking about your brand.

These devoted customers can then be encouraged to place a new order while they’re waiting for their current order to arrive – seamlessly weaving acquisition activities into your logistics capability.

Investigate and Re-engage

With the proper logistics partner and capabilities in place, you should have a complete view of purchases made, deliveries completed and returns processed. An effective logistics partner will provide you with rich data and detailed insight into your customers’ behaviour.

With all this insight, you’ll have plenty of information to help you plan and run your next acquisition campaign. For example:

Discovered that you’ve got a large audience of serial returners?

Offer them an annual subscription that covers all delivery and returns fees, so these consumers are worry free and more inclined to shop with you again.

Know that you have a pocket of customers that regularly get late deliveries?

Run geo-targeted ads focused on this audience to reduce any ill feeling they may have and offer them a promotion (while you have a word with your logistics partner).

Found out there’s a particular day of the week when people are asking for orders to arrive or returns are being sent back?

Plan your campaigns around these peaks in activity so you can either capitalise on them or negate them.

With the right data to hand you can make some new and specific promises to your customers which, if you can keep, will mean they come back to your brand time and time again.

 

Do you need to stop breaking the promises you make to your customers? Just get in touch and we’ll show you how.

Customer Promises Blog Feature

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