Imagine having a customer ready to spend a ridiculous amount of money on your products, but you only accept cash. The customer has no other choice but to turn to the competitor. That’s almost the same mistake you can make in the delivery space by not giving customers options how to receive their purchased items. New research released on this, gives some crucial insight how to get around it.
Changes in the e-commerce delivery space
A recent report by Retail Economics called “Battling Basket Abandonment” found shoppers want at least 5 delivery options from retailers, while only a third of companies are able to provide an average of 3 options. It also found that 83% of retailers actually believe they offer a wide range of delivery alternatives, contrary to the consumer perspective.
Locate2u’s CEO Steve Orenstein believes options are extremely important: “Sometimes customers will want that order really quickly, to prepare themselves to spend the money, particularly when it’s an expensive item. But other times, they may not necessarily need it straight away. That can be delivered slower. So give them a range of different options.”
Living in the instant gratification era, there is nothing worse than being unable to plan when a delivery will reach its destination. Most e-commerce businesses today don’t provide that assurance to their customers after checkout. Creating an expectation that can’t be met could be detrimental to your business.
Why must online customers feel in control of the delivery process? First impressions always last. So if you want those customers to return for more, you better make sure they enjoy their first interaction with your brand. It also boosts customer satisfaction and make them feel they are getting value for money.
Businesses’ delivery options limitations
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If the basket size is small, you’ll have to reduce the amount of delivery options that are available. Orenstein believes density is the most important factor in cost-effective delivery. “As a retailer you can offer local delivery a short distance away from your local retail stores. Particularly retailers that have a large number of retail stores that are connected really close to your consumers. If you can push more deliveries in a time window, and they’re all in a particular area, then it reduces your overall cost of delivery.”
Transparency of delivery costs
According to the Battling Basket Abandoned report, free delivery is not essential. The survey found that 74% of the participants would be willing to shop with a retailer who offers a wide range of delivery options, even if it’s not free.
The report found that for the best shopping experience, it’s imperative that retailers are transparent. On top of that they also expect effectively communication of the delivery and return information, early in the purchasing process. Delivery is a powerful tool that can make or break a customer’s experience and ensure they return for more business.
When should I outsource delivery options?
The big question is should you have your own fleet of drivers or should you outsource it to a third party? When you have deliveries that must go out the next day or in 2-3 days, experts suggest you outsource the service. If the courier company has a range of different customers, makes use of a single warehouse, uses one or many drivers, it makes it much more cost effective to outsource slower deliveries.
When customers are demanding deliveries under an hour, in the next few hours, or even same-day deliveries, it’s best to use your own fleet of drivers. This allows more control over the experience. It will increase loyal customers and repeat business.