This is a guest blog post from GFS.
With peak on the horizon, many eCommerce sellers have their sights set on sales volumes, however it is integral that this does not come at the cost of the consumers' needs.
To win and retain a customer, you need to think about the customer experience as a whole - from first click to delivery, right through to returns. This ultimately means that shipping should be as much of a priority as stock availability and website capability.
IMRG's latest industry report calculates the overall cost of delivery delays. Specifically, the cost of re-deliveries, failed deliveries and loss of business from disappointed customers, is a staggering £43 million per year. The fact is, resource heavy despatch operations and first-time delivery issues are amplified when peak volume hits, so it's time to overcome logistical hurdles and use delivery to your advantage.
Manage customer expectations
Delivery options influence a consumer's purchase decision, and lack of choice is regularly cited as the main reason for cart abandonment. With sales expected to hit an unprecedented £5billion over the Black Friday weekend, it is important that you are taking advantage of this opportunity by letting your customers know when they can expect their delivery, at the checkout.
Present your delivery options in a way that recognises the needs of the customer and, most importantly, in a way that you can fulfil. With the GFS Checkout plugin, you can give consumers the power to choose how and when they receive their order, with delivery services tailored to their specific address.
Explore your opportunities with an inventory management system to speed up order fulfilment and have the confidence that you can handle sudden peaks in online sales both effectively and efficiently.
Getting orders out the door quickly
Despatch should be quick and easy, and selling on lots of different channels should not hold you back. GFS has integrations with leading eCommerce platforms and can produce shipping labels for over 1,000 different carrier services. Specialist shipping tool GFS Selector can automate despatch across multiple sales channels, eliminating manual tasks to save you time while improving shipping accuracy and efficiency.
Service mix and mitigate your risk
One size doesn't fit all and there's a diverse range of services to suit different customer needs. Getting this right will delight your customer, while boosting performance and cost effectiveness. GFS can create the best carrier and service mix for you, with access to a full spectrum of delivery services, including international services, click + collect and lockers - with warehouse automation to get the perfect match every time.
According to IMRG, the last two months of the year account for 25% of all parcel volumes in the UK, so spreading the risk with multiple carriers can give you a safety net in the event you need to quickly switch. Managing many carriers in-house can become overwhelming during busy periods, especially when resources are tight. Fortunately, GFS is your one point of contact for all parcel enquiries, regardless of which carrier you sent the parcel with.
Overcome the hidden costs of delivery enquiries
Customer experience not only impacts the likelihood of a sale, but it increases the chances of repeat custom. Feefo, the online customer review experts, states that 95% of customers will return if a complaint is dealt with quickly and efficiently.
Handling the enquiry comes at an average cost of £6.10 per enquiry, as calculated by IMRG. While factoring this cost into your operation majorly affects your margin, you could avoid the complaint in the first place by managing customer expectations around delivery.
GFS' team of parcel trackers monitor your shipments to identify possible delays, taking preventative actions to reduce delivery issues and increase customer satisfaction. When this is combined with delivery notifications, the customers are kept in the loop and the chances of delivery failure is greatly reduced.
The peak shopping period is a rollercoaster; it can be exhilarating seeing the orders fly in, but also stressful as operational capacity reaches the point of exhaustion. You need a partner you can give you the right support and knowledge to defeat your delivery hurdles.