How do you keep your customers coming back for more?
As you will have heard time and again, it costs time and money to acquire a new customer. One of the biggest challenges retailers struggle with is encouraging customers to return to their online store and to increase the life time value of customers.
There will always be someone offering a better price or a bigger range so we all need to look for other ways to compete and retain our customer’s loyalty.
- According to research by Metapack, 47% of respondents ranked free delivery as their #1 consideration for the majority of their online purchases
- Research by Forrester found that the addition of shipping costs at checkout is the most common reason for abandoning a shopping cart (44%)
- 85 – 90% of online shoppers claim shipping costs has the biggest influence on whether they buy from a website site (an increase of 80% in just 2 years)
So how can you keep your customers coming back for more?
Shipping and fulfillment is one area where you can provide a better level of service and flexibility for your customers.
Today, consumers demand complete control over their shipping choices; dictating when, where and how delivery happens.
- 50% of shoppers report a lack of options at checkout led them to abandon their cart
- 35% are willing to pay a premium for more convenient shipping
- 29% changed the delivery address of their order while in transit and 50% would so in the future if the choice was there
With home delivery decreasing in popularity due to theft and other issues, providing options such as click and collect, a local pick-up point and delivery to a workplace or locker will become more critical.
For customers who opt for home delivery, allowing them to nominate a day and at a time that suits e.g. after-hours, in the weekend, or within a scheduled delivery window, will be crucial.
We all know there is no such thing as FREE Delivery. If the customer doesn’t pay for shipping, then you do.
Whether you bundle the price into the product, charge all customers a flat rate or offer accurate postage rates, there are a few other ways you can improve the fulfillment process for your customer.
If you haven’t already, consider introducing a further level of professionalism with branded tracking and shipping notifications. These keep your customer updated with where their parcel is at and remove the need to bog down your inbox and phone lines with ETA enquiries.
Prompt dispatch, updates during transit and branded tracking pages provide a great piece of real estate to tell customers about your current offers and encourage repeat business – before they have even received their first purchase! Check out the full explanation on our StarShipIT branded tracking pages.
Some courier services are better than others and your customers will likely have a preference. Consider offering a a mix of carriers at check out so that customers can choose the service and the associated shipping costs e.g. 3 hour delivery, click and collect, overnight or 2-3 day standard etc.
StarShipIT supports multiple carriers so you can use a mix of carriers that work for your business – and for your customers.
In terms of policy and processes, both clarity and fairness are vital for customers to feel ‘safe’ to purchase, should the item not meet their expectations.
Make it easy for customers to return their unwanted purchases and you may just find they’re not too afraid to order something again in the near future. Brands like Ezibuy have succeeded because of their easy way to purchase online, try and return if necessary with easy pre-printed return labels and the cost is deducted from the credit.
Provide return labels/envelopes or make it easy for customers to print out a return label themselves. StarShipIT includes an optional return label generator which makes it easy for customers – and consumers – to process returns.
The Role of Returns
- 40% of shoppers regularly over-order online, with the expectation to make returns
- The holy grail of the online shopping experience is a ‘try before you buy’ option. In fact, 57% of consumers would be likely/very likely to use this service if it was offered
- For retailers with a bricks and mortar offering, customers wish to return to a store at any location.
- For online retailers, a 30-90 day returns windows is a must for 51% for customers
- A growing number of online shoppers (15% last year as compared to just 2% in 2016), feel valued when the store remembers their preferred delivery options
- 68% of Millennials utilise up to 7 delivery loyalty programmes, with 27% of shoppers belonging to at least 1
- 86% of shoppers say a ‘VIP’ type loyalty membership would motivate them to shop more often
If you’re looking for ways to differentiate your brand from the others in 2018, then ‘try -before- you- buy’ and a simpler returns process could be the way to set yourself apart this year.
If you would like to provide your customers with a better fulfillment and delivery experience, then signup for a FREE 30 day trial of StarShipIT!