• online store deliveries

Managing Your Customers’ Delivery Expectations

The quality, speed and cost of delivery are vital to the success of your Online Store. Even more important is the perception of your delivery arrangements by your customer. We addressed some of the business decisions around choosing the way your shipping is set up in our previous article, now it’s time to take a look at what you can do to impact the customer perspective of the delivery process. Your customer satisfaction revolves around managing their expectations and allowing them to make decisions, where possible, to satisfy their needs.

NO SURPRISES

Customers should know from the outset what to expect. Any shipping deals that they have available to them (free shipping, or free above a certain dollar or quantity value) should be prominently displayed. It’s also beneficial to feature a shipping quote on your product pages. If customers need to cover the cost of shipping themselves you need them to know roughly what additional costs they are up for before they get to the checkout process.

CHOICE

Wherever possible it’s great to have a range of couriers available for customers to select from. Based personal experiences some customers are reluctant to use particular couriers that have let them down before, or might have a favourite company that they’d prefer to use. By setting up your shipping to allow customers to choose which service they engage, you are already contributing to a positive customer experience.

By giving different delivery options within couriers, you are also allowing your customer to make decisions based on their circumstances. A cheaper standard delivery may be appealing to some, while others will prefer to select a more expensive express delivery if they’re in a hurry.

TRANSPARENCY

It should be made clear how many days a delivery might take to process. You have no control over how long it takes to get there after your products leave your store, but you can outline in your Terms and Conditions how long it takes you for your products to be picked, packed and placed in the hands of the courier.

You can also take advantage of stock statuses for making expectations clear. Products that are on your warehouse shelf can be listed as In Stock while products that are currently on order, or need to be collected from an off-site location may have a stock status set of 3 – 5 Days. You are able to set your own stock statuses to suit your business needs.

COMMUNICATION

A little communication goes a long way. By using the Quick Order Update features of Arpastart eCommerce, you can keep your customers up to date as to the progress of their order easily. Our User Guide outlines how easy this is to set up and manage. Automatic emails can be set up at every order status stage, notifying customers of the current status of their order in your system such as Payment Pending, Payment Received, Processing, Shipped order statuses, depending on the order statuses that you require for your workflow. These order status updates and the accompanying emails can also be sent out in bulk, so the time required to process your orders and keep your customers happy is minimal.

Customers can also be sent the tracking numbers and tracking URLs for their orders where they are available from the courier they selected.

DON’T LEAVE THEM HANGING

Despite the best of intentions, the stock in your warehouse may not always match the stock available in your system. Where there is a shortfall, rather than have the customer waiting for the full delivery to be available, get in touch, explain the situation and you can then arrange to split the order and send a part delivery. Arpastart eCommerce allows for part shipments of orders to take place and creates a separate order for the remainder of the products when stock becomes available to fill it. The process to send part shipments is really easy.

BE HONEST & UPFRONT

Mistakes happen. Customers can be surprisingly tolerant of mistakes, especially when you notify them before they find by other means, and outline your plans to rectify it.

At the end of the day, most customers will be happy if you clearly communicate what they might expect. Make sure they know what their shipping costs will be from the beginning, and keep them up to date with the progress of their order.

There’s no reason why online shopping shouldn’t make customers feel as valued and comfortable about their shopping experience as they would inside a traditional store.

2018-05-19T23:42:13+00:00January 21st, 2016|Arpastart eCommerce Platform, Online Stores|

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