In the run up to peak trading, many online retailers have their sights set on sales volumes but this should not come at the cost of consumers’ needs. To win and retain a customer you need to think about the customer experience as a whole; from first click to delivery at the door to returns. This 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: redeliveries, failed deliveries and loss of business from disappointed customers, is a staggering £436,548,044 a year. Resource heavy despatch operations or 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 do influence a customer’s decision to buy and lack of choice to meet customer expectations is regularly cited as the main reason for cart abandonment. Sales tend to reach over the £billion mark over Black Friday weekend, so to take advantage of opportunities like these it is paramount to tell your customers at the checkout when they can expect their delivery.

Present your delivery options in a way that recognises the needs of the customer and, most importantly, what 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.

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 1000 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 consumer needs. Getting this right will delight your customer while boosting performance and cost effectiveness for you. 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 or 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 parcels 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 in busy periods when resources are tight. GFS is your one point of contact for all parcel enquiries no matter which carrier you sent the parcel with.

Control and visibility – overcome the hidden costs of delivery enquiries

Customer experience not only impacts the likelihood of a sale but the chances of repeat purchase. 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 with a cost, IMRG have calculated that the average cost per enquiry is £6.10. Factoring this cost into your operation majorly affects your margin but what if 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 are greatly reduced.

Peak 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. GFS, the delivery experts, will help you get the most from peak without breaking a sweat.