Managing Customer Expectations at Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year but along with the festivities, online retailers are bracing themselves for peak season.

With next day now an expected delivery option, each year shoppers confidently place orders closer to Christmas Day. However, alongside this comes stress and disappointment if carefully chosen Christmas gifts don’t arrive on time. Whilst this is not always at the fault of the retailer, consumers often do blame retailers, which then plays a major role in whether they choose to buy from a particular retailer again.

How can you manage expectations and keep customers happy, so they keep coming back to buy throughout the New Year?

Offer Delivery Choice

We know that customers want choice, and offering that choice is even more important when it comes to Christmas. Customers want to be able to get a package at a certain time or pick up from a place convenient for them to ensure they have presents ready for when they need them. Giving them this choice helps them feel in control, which at a stressful time for consumers makes their customer experience even better.

Offering a range of delivery methods and dates also means you are able to spread the demand across numerous carriers, which offers better contingency and enables more planning rather than stretching the traditional delivery model to breaking point. By giving customers the choice of a time or pick up from a different location, you also increase first-time delivery success, minimising the need for re-delivery attempts and taking the strain away from the carriers.

Managing Expectations on Last Minute Orders

Managing expectations is really important for online retailers. It’s important to have a set date for the last orders so that you can guarantee that parcels will reach them by Christmas. This should be made very clear on your website so it’s immediately visible on all pages, and also reiterated when people select delivery options in the checkout.

Being upfront about delivery lead times ensures that you don’t disappoint customers and lose their future custom. Communicating it via a countdown on the website also highlights urgency pushing them to straight away rather than thinking about it and coming back at a later date.

It’s important not to over promise. Even if you can’t deliver on time or can’t offer fast delivery, its important to be clear rather than letting customers down at the and damaging your reputation.

Maximise Your Efficiency

Increasing your internal efficiency is important to ensure your fulfilment operation doesn’t get snowed under when it gets to crunch time. Your despatch technology needs to be agile so that you can scale up and down based on fluctuating demand during the busy season. Make sure you have the resources and capacity in place to handle increased demand, so that peak runs as smoothly as possible, with minimal stress or risk.

Prepare For The Unexpected

Even with all the planning, there are things that can go wrong over Christmas at the last minute. Goods might not arrive on time, carriers can run over capacity, or bad weather can strike.

Make sure your customer service strategy is ready to handle the queries and demands of your customers. Keep customers informed and updated along the process to ensure they are kept happy even while waiting.

GFS can help you at peak times like Christmas through integrated technology that covers everything from point of sale to delivery and back again. Whether it’s adding delivery options for our customer, or handling problems with specific carriers that let you down, GFS can help with it all. Contact us now to start your journey to easier peak times with GFS.

2021-05-11T12:06:19+00:00November 14th, 2019|

The Importance of Delivery When Selling On Online Marketplaces

Online Marketplaces are fast becoming one of the most popular ways for consumers to buy online, accounting for 52% of global online sales. It’s increasingly important to step into the developing world of online marketplaces in order to grow international sales. Having a presence on different online marketplaces alongside your own website means you can ensure you don’t miss out on any key opportunities.

Innovative Delivery and Online Marketplaces

Delivery is a key driver in how marketplaces, such as Amazon, continue to blaze ahead and grow. Innovations in this space continue to push the boundaries of delivery, offering customers faster and more convenient delivery options than ever. Amazon especially makes headlines for its revolutionary shipping options, with one day and same day becoming more popular, and talk of potential half hour drone deliveries in the future. Whilst these are not viable for many businesses, it shows how important delivery is to stay competitive on online marketplaces.

How Important Is Delivery On Online Marketplaces?

On online marketplaces, there is opportunity to reach more customers but with more competition from other sellers. This means that delivery could be the difference between a customer buying from you vs a competitor.

Retaining Trust Through Delivery

Marketplaces give customers a sense of trust and confidence even if they have never bought from you before, and this trust is what will make them more likely to seek out your brand in future. When comparing online sellers, delivery can encourage more repeat purchases as consumers look to spend their hard earned money with sellers that offer convenience and reliability. A choice of delivery options, means they can select delivery to suit their lifestyle whilst it’s also important to make sure you can then deliver on your promises and orders arrive when your customer expects them to.

This is why it’s important to make sure you have the capacity and technology in place to support multi-channel order fulfilment, so you can despatch orders promptly and offer customers visibility of the parcel journey.

GFS Channel Connector can help you consolidate orders across various marketplaces to automate labelling and parcel tracking for a seamless customer experience.

Outsourcing your delivery can help you fulfil your orders and ensure you have confidence on your delivery process. Contact us to find out more about working with GFS to handle your deliveries.

2021-05-11T12:11:37+00:00October 8th, 2019|

How Will Sustainability Affect The Delivery Industry?

When we look at the future for delivery and logistics, there is a lot of buzz around AI, automation and technological innovation. However, one subject that is increasingly important for businesses and consumers is the environment. With all the haulage and miles that go into the delivery businesses, how will these companies tackle sustainability?

Eco-Friendly Transport

One of the most obvious ways that delivery companies will look to tackle their carbon footprint is through vehicles. Haulage lorries are far behind cars in terms of innovation in electric motors, although as more cars become electric, we are likely to see more vans and lorries become electric too. Companies are also looking at switching from diesel lorries to help reduce emissions. Robot and drone deliveries are still a futuristic prospect, but another innovation that will help companies go green.

Reducing Delivery Failures

Ordering products online always raises questions around the environmental impact. However, some of the major costs and carbon outputs for delivery companies come in the last few miles of the delivery journey. When there is a failed delivery, it sets of a chain of events that involves extra miles being driven to try and re-deliver, or for the consumer to pick it up from another location. Cutting down on failed first time deliveries is a key way to reduce carbon footprint. It might seem like a hard thing to achieve, but the best way to do this is by giving customers more delivery options such as nominated day, timed delivery and click and collect. This gives customers more control over when they can get the delivery, which cuts down on failed deliveries and those extra miles.

Maximising Performance Of Your Carrier

Many eCommerce companies work with multiple carriers to get the best service for their customers. As well as being complicated and time-consuming, this means more collections, more emissions and more delivery vehicles on the already-clogged-up roads. By reducing the amount of pickups, companies can improve efficiency, and maximise delivery performance. Working with GFS enables you to simplify multi-carrier shipping with a single collection service, so you can make your deliveries greener.

Environmental impact is more important for customers, businesses and governments as global warming becomes a pressing issue. However, there are ways that delivery companies and eCommerce businesses can help reduce their own environmental footprint. Plus, with 43% of UK shoppers saying that they are more likely to shop with a retailer if they offer a greater range of sustainable delivery options, its not just about the environment, but also about retaining your customers and staying ahead.

2021-05-11T12:13:31+00:00August 14th, 2019|

How To Find The Best Delivery Partner For Your Business

Finding the right delivery partner is key for your business. It requires trust that your customer will receive the experience they expect. Your delivery partner should act as an extension on your business and represent your brand, which means delivery performance is crucial. So what do you need to consider?

Availability

Make sure the partner you choose is readily available for you. Once you are ready to send the product, you want them to be able to pick it up in an efficient and timely manner. It sounds simple, but larger companies service multiple businesses so you want to make sure your parcels are just as important to your supplier as they are to you.

Tracking

Communication is key. You need to know where your shipments are and whether they have been delivered in time. A partner that offers comprehensive and detailed tracking capabilities is valuable for your piece of mind, and your customer service. Make sure you have access to robust online tracking so that both you and your customers know exactly when a package will be delivered on a specific day.

Technology

As well as tracking, having updated and useful technology helps you to optimise your despatch processes and boost efficiencies. Delivery and logistics is teeming with innovative technology, so make sure your delivery partner offers more than basic tracking and is at the forefront of industry technology. Consider how the technology can serve your specific needs and scale with you as your business grows.

Cost

Low costs don’t always offer the best value and could mean you are cutting down on other value-added services such as tracking, customer service, communications, and delivery performance. Having a quality delivery service will give your customers a better experience which can lead to overall growth. It’s important your delivery partner can provide you with the services, tools and expertise to sustain this continued business growth.

Customer Service

The importance of customer service cannot be understated. 52% of customers have made an additional purchase after getting a positive customer service experience and 70% have made a choice to support a company who has great customer service. Having good customer service for both you as a company when you need to deal with them and for your customers can have a huge affect on your business.

Additional Services

Make sure you get more from delivery than just sending a parcel from A to B. You could have a full range of additional services including carrier management, labelling, warehouse automation, customer care and reporting. It may mean that you can outsource certain aspects to take the pressure off your business and help you focus on growth.

GFS offer a variety of services, including connecting up your different sales channels, access to different couriers, a wider variety of delivery options, track and trace, label production, and innovative technology to make things smooth and easy. Contact us to talk about your delivery needs today.

*https://www.nextiva.com/blog/customer-service-statistics.html
2020-11-09T15:56:04+00:00July 18th, 2019|

6 Ways To Reduce Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a problem for many online sellers, with up to 65% of shopping carts left uncompleted. So how can eCommerce websites reduce cart abandonment and capture those all-important extra sales? We talk through some of the common reasons for cart abandonment and how to tackle them.

  1. Simplify Checkout

Customers often cite a long and complicated checkout process as an annoying feature of buying online and it leads 28% of them giving up halfway through. There are many things that businesses can do to stop this by simplifying the checkout process. Make sure the checkout is as streamlined as possible, keeping it minimal and include only necessary data fields. Reduce the number of steps that a customer has to go through and number the sections so that it is clear how long the checkout process will take to complete. Make sure site navigation is straightforward to keep customers’ attention and ensure they can confirm their purchase quickly and easily.

  1. Guest Checkout

In addition to simplifying the delivery process, guest checkout is another way to help reduce cart abandonment. 28% of customers will not complete a purchase if they have to create a new user account. Many customers don’t want the hassle of setting up new accounts, with new passwords to remember and more forms to fill in. Giving your customers the option of guest checkout, or offering the registration once purchase is completed, can help the customer feel more comfortable and help them buy more quickly.

  1. Offers

8% of customers leave their cart if they can’t find a discount code and 46% leave them if a code doesn’t work. By offering discount codes for buyers, they are more likely to complete a purchase to snap up a good deal. Some companies use re-targeting emails when a cart is abandoned to remind people that they didn’t complete purchase. Reminding users of the offer codes when sending these emails will also help encourage them to follow through with their purchase.

  1. Multiple Payment Options

Customers love choice. When it comes to payment options, 8% of customers abandon their cart because they can’t use their preferred payment option. Not only does having different payment options make it easier for the customer, but it can also help build trust. If you are selling a lot internationally and in specific countries or looking to target them for sales, researching the preferred payment method for people in that country can help build the trust needed to convince them to purchase from an international seller.

  1. Cost Transparency

25% of customers specifically cited shipping costs as the primary reason for driving them away, and 49% of online shoppers abandon their purchases because of hidden fees that are only revealed upon checkout. 22% abandon the carts because the seller did not mention shipping costs at all. Cost transparency is clearly very important for customers. It’s the primary reason that people abandon their carts. By being transparent about all costs ahead of time you can give your customers a better idea of what is coming and avoid the shock that leads to cart abandonment. This can include the cost of delivery or the duties and taxes involved in international sales.

  1. Delivery Options

Customers care a lot about delivery – 40% of abandoned carts are due to a lack of convenient delivery options. It’s important to offer a choice of different options as what suits one person may be different from another. For example, for someone looking to buy a last-minute gift, an express delivery option will be a big deciding factor. Alternatively, someone commuting into London every day may prefer to use Click & Collect so they can pick up their parcel at a time that suits them. Putting the customer in control increases the likelihood that they will complete the purchase.

GFS Checkout can help you reduce cart abandonment by giving your customers more delivery options, and providing all the information they need to make an informed decision. The new Duties and Taxes add-on also gives customers the cost transparency they want when it comes to international delivery. Contact us to arrange a demo of our technology.

2020-11-09T15:59:55+00:00June 12th, 2019|
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