It can be very frustrating as an eCommerce business owner to consistently find yourself with a high number of abandoned carts, or to struggle with customer retention, particularly when your marketing strategy is succeeding in generating traffic.

You know that your product is meeting expectations, so you might be scratching your head wondering why you are not seeing the right results.

One factor that can be easy to overlook when these problems arise is delivery, and more precisely, the quality of service you provide in this area.

Customer expectations

Customers’ expectations have grown significantly in recent years in the context of order delivery.

One survey of 2,500 shoppers found that over 70% are unlikely to do business with a site again after a poor delivery experience, making it extremely important to get delivery right to ensure customer retention.

All signs also point to a subpar delivery service as an explanation for abandoned carts. Research into online decision making found that a sizeable 68% of consumers cite fast shipping as a key motivator in placing an online order.

Offering fast delivery is a major factor in converting your potential customers and getting those carts beyond the point of checkout.

How Covid-19 has affected delivery

Although the initial stages of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 caused unprecedented delivery disruptions, the surge in demand for deliveries while brick-and-mortar stores were closed brought about a boom in parcel delivery, which at the time was reported to be up 60% in the US compared to the previous year.

When shops reopened and restrictions eased, businesses that stepped up to offer the best delivery experience during the height of lockdown paved the way for online consumers to expect a high standard in this area.

Competing with other eCommerce businesses

As a small to medium-sized business, providing a delivery service that matches that of international giants like Amazon can be an intimidating prospect.

But while you may not currently have the financial ability to offer free delivery, fear not; recent research shows that 65% of shoppers are willing to pay more for faster, more reliable deliveries.

It is worth prioritising fast delivery over anything else, and of course, having systems in place that will enable you to meet the expectations that go along with this promise.

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Fast delivery challenges

There is a lengthy chain of interconnected logistics to consider when it comes to the overall delivery process and experience. When a kink forms in this chain, it can have a knock-on effect on all subsequent stages, which will ultimately lead to a dissatisfied customer.

Starting with your own supply chain and resources, you need to be able to respond quickly to orders, particularly when you have promised fast delivery. When in transit, your delivery can face any number of challenges, with vehicles in high demand and international border constraints.

Being as prepared as possible in the early stages of the process is integral to counteract potential delays down the line.

How to improve delivery times

The good news is that there are several ways eCommerce businesses of any size can easily improve their delivery times. ParcelPlanet can support the implementation of these processes.

1. Identify the best shipping provider for your needs

Researching which courier provider will work best for your business can be mind-boggling with so many different options available, particularly if international orders are a significant focus for you.

Partnering with a third-party fulfilment service like ParcelPlanet means tapping into our network of couriers – as well as our experience working with them – to pinpoint the best option for your needs.

2. Efficiency is key when it comes to order packing

The right packing process can save precious hours or even days when it comes to getting your parcels out for delivery.

It’s all a question of balancing important resources, and you need to look at internal operations to answer these pressing questions. Do you want to use your in-house personnel to do all the packing of your products, or would it be better to outsource?

If the latter is a more viable, attractive option, ParcelPlanet is on-hand to lighten the load.

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3. Improve stock management

Whether you manufacture your own products or sell those made by others, keeping a close eye on stock levels is crucial. There is nothing more regrettable than having to refund a customer because of inventory supply issues.

By automating this process, you will eliminate the risk of human error and maintain optimum inventory levels for your business.

4. Multiple fulfilment locations

One of the best things about being an eCommerce retailer is your ability to reach customers wherever they are in the world, but you need to make sure that your products can reach them too.

For businesses that look to the UK market for customers, this concern has been amplified by added Brexit-driven delivery constraints. An easy solution to this is storing your products in multiple locations in the UK and Ireland that are close to your customer base.

5. Put a strong communication process in place

Don’t leave your customers guessing when their order is going to arrive; make it clear from the point of order. This means giving accurate delivery times on your website, providing reliable tracking information, and following up with notifications at each stage of delivery.

Any delays should be promptly relayed and there should be no barriers in communication when your customers need to get in touch about their order.

ParcelPlanet offers an end-to-end order fulfilment service that can support your unique delivery requirements.

You can meet your consumers’ demands with our storage facilities in Ireland and the UK, optimise your processes with our stock management and picking and packing services, and offer professional customer service at each stage of the journey.

Talk to us today to discuss your dispatch needs.