1. Is eCommerce a No-Brainer? Nah
From a novice’s point of view, running an eCommerce web store may seem to be somewhat of a child’s play. On the surface, it really looks much simpler than handling a brick-and-mortar shop.
However, it’s pretty far from being so. This is a complex, multifaceted process and any shortcomings will certainly jeopardize your online business at every stage, if you lack proper knowledge or experience.
With nearly half (47%) of Americans paying more attention to shipping as a part of the overall shopping experience, it seems that shipping is one of the most vulnerable aspects of eCommerce. And when it comes to running a web store, think twice on how to streamline the shipping process before it’s too late.
2. Shipping as a Benchmark of Your Business Success
Undoubtedly, you’ve been quite good at launching and promoting your eCommerce project – a pile of money have been spent on building your own marketing strategy, customer profiling, SEO, PPC and what not.
However, you can put everything at stake when a shipping stage comes into play. As Pitney Bowes indicates in its infographics, 93% of customers state that shipping options play a pivotal role in their online shopping experience. It is the very stage where a make-or-break principle applies – here the quality of your shipping services can either improve customer experience and thus drive sales or drastically increase a churn rate that will lead to a worsening of bottom-line profitability.
According to the survey takeaways done by MetaPack, one of the UK’s leading eCommerce delivery providers, around 96% of customers would likely to make a second or repeat purchase with the same eCommerce retailer, providing their first delivery impression was positive. And vice versa, as an Econsultancy Multichannel Retail survey shows, up to 50% online purchases have been abandoned due to poor or unfavorable shipping and fulfillment options.
BigCommerce research goes even further coming up with stats indicating that 72% of women and 59% of men have decided to abandon their purchase because of shipping costs.
3. How to Improve Your Online Shopping Customer Experience
There are some essential steps you should take to provide enhanced shopping and handling services for your customers. Among them are:
– Flat Price. Study done by Consumer Barometer with Google indicates that though people look for many types of information, prices are one of the most commonly searched items.
No wonder prospective customers are by no means happy with all the additional shipping fees, taxes and other surcharges they see in the total price list of a shopping cart. Usually it differs from the initial price and may drive only negative customer experience. Barilliance’s survey has shown that the proportion of abandoned carts out of all carts with added items was 77.24% or around ¾ in 2016 and this makes web store owners rethink their shipping and pricing strategy.
Offering free shipping would be a great option to increase lead conversion. The case studies commissioned by UPS have revealed the correlation between shipping costs and cart abandonment rate.
The key takeaway here is to find the golden mean between having healthy profit and loss (P&L) and being cost appealing for customers.
– Packaging. Although some people may underestimate this aspect, a smart eCommerce team is able to kill two birds with one stone. With boxes and parcels being more compact, you will save on shipping by cutting down its costs as well as make the total price more attractive to your prospective customers.
– Destination. If you have gone global with your web store, keep in mind that the delivery time and shipping expenditures may vary greatly, depending entirely on the departing and destination countries.
Moreover, there can be additional customs charge as well as specific documents required for your package not to get stuck in between countries.
– Shipping carriers. While offering shipping alternatives to your customers, rely only on stable well-known companies that can guarantee accuracy of their services – like FedEx, USPS, UPS, to name a few.
Besides, these shipping providers may have various discount schemes for their B2B partners – why won’t you take advantage of them to exceed your end-customers expectations and drive more value to your brand?
4. What Impedes the Shipping Workflow?
If you start receiving negative feedback from your customers having order and delivery issues or your profit margin is falling, it’s high time for you to reconsider your overall shipping strategy.
Set up a monthly (or even weekly) analysis to pinpoint the most vulnerable spots, discuss them with your managerial staff to find a solution and get it across your teams.
The most typical pitfalls are usually as follows:
– Human resources. It is quite a commonplace situation when shipping and fulfillment teams lack proper expertise. Though it is not that easy to identify the right people, try to find and assign seasoned professionals to key positions.
They can optimize the shipping workflow and set things straight. You can also introduce the onboarding process to help new employees acquire necessary skills and practices.
– Poor logistics. Jack Ma, Alibaba founder and the richest person in Asia, opines that an incompetent logistics infrastructure is the key drawback that can hamper the eCommerce industry development.
If you deal with transnational shipping vendors, try to realize how well they are represented on local markets. In most cases, it would be far better to find regional partners with more favorable terms for collaboration.
– Ecommerce software needs revamping. Automation tools that are way behind the times can definitely make shipping process inefficient and thus hinder your overall online business growth.
So why won’t you break your piggy bank instead and invest into brand new technology-enabled solutions that help create a smooth and viable ecosystem for your eCommerce business project?
5. Get Rid of Siloed eCommerce Software
When you were at the very beginning of your eCommerce journey, you obviously had to equip your project with various programs, apps and extensions you thought to be useful. As the business grows, it necessitates more and more digital solutions to make your life easier.
So you keep on opting for new software, hoping to get surefire coalescence for your web store. You think you put things right? No way. Weird enough, but it doesn’t work this way. All you have for now is a bunch of standalone programs and apps that are impossible or too pricey to integrate with one another.
And at the end of the day, such a software mess results in recurrent bugs, failures or even causing the entire web store to come to a dead halt.
The other signals indicating you lack a holistic ecosystem within your eCommerce project are broken down below, alongside with our solutions how to fight them.
– Low staff productivity. To maximize work efficiency among your employees, there should be a single standardized approach for routine activities. If your programs and apps do not stack up with each other, your, say, marketing, shipping and fulfillment teams may input and make use of completely disparate data. Some of them even keep entering invoice or order information manually with a pile of spreadsheets littered all over the workplace.
How to avoid it. By integrating the shipping apps with the rest of your eCommerce software you can streamline and speed up the overall data turnover, thereby boosting the work performance. All your teams will have one and the same solution to do accounting, invoicing, order processing as well as calculating expenses and other daily operations.
– Data obscurity. All the shipping information your customers provide you with must be crystal clear and easy to reach. If it’s siloed and divergent so that you just can’t get it together, your staff won’t be able to make any use out of it.
How to avoid it. When your customer shipping data is synced and reachable across departments, it enables you to accurately conduct any sort of analysis, measure KPIs, keep track of customer activities and adjust your business strategy. Simply put, you can manage large amounts of data and always have it right at your fingertips.
– High integration costs. It’s a pretty hard nut to crack for your in-house or outsourced programmers to make all your software from different vendors work as a single unity. Usually it takes a lot of expenses and time to build a viable whole out of them.
How to avoid it. Switching to a well-known and app-friendly eCommerce platform can solve most of your financial and time-wasting problems. Integrate your shipping tools with ease to make up a holistic ecosystem for your web store.
– Interaction gap. Customers are happy with an eShopping process if everything on your web store works flawlessly. More often, however, customers experience various glitches while buying, can’t make heads or tails of what to click on next, place duplicate orders without noticing that the first one was already accepted and all of that kind of stuff. Moreover, recent stats say that 21% of Americans find it rather frustrating when it comes to poor website navigation. All this leads to customer churn and can ruin your online business.
How to avoid it. A full-scope integration provides your customers with timely and meaningful data on all the shipping fees and surcharges; keep them informed whether some products are out of stock; enables them to customize and track their orders throughout a delivery span and whatnot. It helps you drive an exceptional customer experience and therefore take your eCommerce project to the next level of revenue growth.
Should you get interested in on-the-go integration of your eCommerce platform with shipping automated tools, feel free to contact us right away.