eCommerce sales volume in 2020 has exploded. Although that’s great news for the eCommerce industry, social distancing has placed tremendous strain on supply chain and last-mile fulfillment. Even eCommerce giants are grappling to manage order volume. Unfortunately for these businesses customer expectations continue to rise. In fact, more customers are expecting a seamless delivery experience in the online shopping rage era.
Let’s look at some insightful statistics:
- Amazon reported a 29% increase in North American and an 18% increase in overall sales.
- According to New Research from Digital Commerce 360, 58% of online shoppers expect to purchase things online in the coming months.
- According to another survey, 24% of Boomers and 34% of Gen X said that current events would inevitably impact what items they purchase.
- The same survey revealed that 93% of the respondents felt that the pandemic will somehow significantly impact the economy.
In order to attract more shoppers and make them click the magical buy button, it is crucial for eCommerce businesses to re-imagine a framework that extends beyond the buy button.
Post-purchase experience is a huge differentiator for eCommerce businesses.
“For most retailers not named Amazon, the opportunity to differentiate themselves comes down to customer experience”Source
“Customer experience” has almost turned into a cliche in recent years. But shockingly the process of crafting an amazing customer experience has remained a mystery to most eCommerce businesses. And when it comes down to incorporating best practices, eCommerce businesses are clueless.
Here is a list of actionable strategies that eCommerce businesses readily adopt:
Fielding “Where is my order?” calls
According to research conducted by Metapack, 70% of online shoppers consider the ability to track their orders in real-time. Almost all online shopping sites publish the estimated date of delivery at the time of checkout. Every time, order delivery is delayed shoppers reach out to you and not your shipping partner. With the rise in order volume, the customer support team is flooded with ‘Where is my order” calls. Every time a customer complains about an impending order it costs your business $5.19.
Not only that, when your customer support team is unable to come up with a satisfactory response, your customer will surely choose your competitor. An in-built real-time order tracking facility with your helpdesk can easily fix the problem. Moreover sharing timely delivery notification with customers can deter them from contacting your customer support.
Reimagine post-purchase experience
It is crucial for retailers to own the branding and messaging of the last-mile delivery experience. They cannot afford to relinquish control to their shipping partners. There is a deluge of shipping data that can be leveraged to strategize an efficient last-mile delivery process. Based on your customers’ purchase history, you can recommend products or announce an upcoming sale on your branded order tracking page. This serves as an additional engagement with your customer. Moreover, with hyper-personalization, you can easily instill fierce brand loyalty and drive repeat purchases.
Tumi, a luxury luggage retailer transformed their customer support with the help of technology. They sped up their response time by incorporating an integrated approach. Also, they started responding to customer queries with more context by pulling up their order history.
Greater visibility into the returns process
Easier returns process. Return process with more choices. That’s all your online shoppers need. Online shoppers are largely swayed by the flexibility of the returns process. Would they want a refund cheque or would they consider an exchange? On the other hand, as retailers, you need to stay on top of what product is coming back to your warehouse. And ofcourse in the long run you need to figure out why certain products are returned more often. Invest in a self-serve portal for customers to file a return request and automatically generate a return label. Offer quick and easy returns.
When in doubt, go that extra mile. In addition to creating a detailed return process that outlines every step, Bonobos created a video. Here’s Bonobos video on how to return their product.
While the pandemic will most certainly end at some point, many of these changes are long term and will continue to affect the way business is conducted around the world. Go omnichannel or go home is the maxim for the new world. But first and foremost, don’t forget to be agile and flexible. That’s key when you’re dealing with something as unprecedented and historic as a global pandemic.
This is an opportunity that every player in the industry, minor and major must seize and leverage to the best of their abilities. While pondering upon the above-mentioned practices, you must never stop being innovative and fighting relentlessly to safeguard all that you’ve built over the years.