As an online business with your digital first point of contact, you have to satisfy three key customer factors with each interaction before someone will purchase from you.
- Clarity – because people can’t experience your product in the flesh prior to purchase you have to go the extra mile and ensure that your product description matches the product exactly if you’re to avoid post-purchase dissonance.
- Convenience – you have to make it easy for them to buy from you. No weird payment gateways, too many clicks, hard to wrangle shopping carts or lengthy shipping delays.
- Comfort (or peace of mind) – you have to assure the customer that they’ll get exactly what they paid for, in a speedy fashion – preferably yesterday, in perfect condition – no matter how many sectors their package has travelled, and that should anything not be right, the customer’s return process will be easy.
Oh and an extra one, number four, Customer love. In other words, the customer needs to feel his or her ‘custom’ is valued by the vendor – they want their pound of love dolloped on for good measure.
Depending on your business’ setup, the responsibility for numbers 1-4 can vary. Some businesses will have to look after all of those things. And the problem with that is that sometimes dealing with the minutiae of logistics – packing, shipping, returning, etc – takes you away from the main game of growing your business. But we digress.
No matter what your process though, creating customer clarity though is, and will always be, the purview of the vendor. Only you can make sure that your stock is adequately described and lovingly shot.
Convenience can be a shared affair – especially if you work with an external shipper. You’ll need to ensure that customers don’t have to click around your site desperately trying to find a way to pay you only to give up and go somewhere else. Yes, we’ve seen that happen and you’ve probably experienced it too. And you’ll be in charge of setting reasonable shipping pricing. No doubt you’ve seen shipping rates that are sooooo high it could only be described as eye watering – one vendor wanted to charge a friend $100US to ship a small book to Australia recently. I kid you not. And then there’s shipping timing. If someone buys something today, they’re kind of hoping that it’s going to arrive soon – not next month. Yet, so many vendors batch their orders and maybe fulfil them once a fortnight or twice a month. Given some postal services are only coming every 3 days – it might be a full three weeks before the customer receives their product. In our view, and the customers, that’s a looooong time. Anything longer than a week, the customer forgets the order and is less likely to be completely in love with their ‘must have’ item when it arrives. Cue more returns than you’d like unless it’s sorted.
Lack of convenience is one of those key reasons for shopping cart abandonment.
Comfort can be something that you completely outsource to someone else. Giving both you and your customers greater piece of mind – if you choose the right fulfilment/shipping or end-to-end 3PL manager.
Outsourcing means it becomes their job to pick and pack orders the right way; to ensure that the right packaging is used to safeguard the customer’s precious items, and that the package itself arrives looking like it was taken care of – not used for footy practice along the way. Plus you, and more importantly your customer will be safe in the knowledge that if somehow anything isn’t quite right when the package arrives, there’s a quick and easy process already in place to return it.
Cue customers who are more willing to do business with you, refer friends and come back and visit again.
So if you’re looking to build an even better brand experience for your customers, that’s where we can help. If you have upwards of 50 orders or more a month that you need to ship to your customers, we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can always give us a call on +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney), +61 3 9240 300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below. Alternatively, you can find a full list of available services here.