With over a third of consumers shopping online, by last summer e-commerce sales had increased by another 7%, despite the re-opening of physical stores. Online businesses have stepped up manufacturing and product availability, and the number of people who are happy to continue shopping online is still increasing.
However, consumers also want to know that the goods they order will be shipped reliably, and for many, the reassurance of a convenient and punctual delivery is more important than the promise of a same-day delivery that doesn’t materialize. Combining timely delivery and reasonable costs with a range of shipping options can help businesses to attract and maintain a loyal customer base.
Choosing A Reliable Carrier For Timely Deliveries
Reliable carriers are essential for small businesses to achieve prompt product shipments. However, with an increase of 30% in package delivery last year, some larger companies had to cap parcel volumes, and even then, only managed to deliver between 75% and 80% of their consignments on time.
While the focus is often maintained on slashing delivery times, delivery reliability can be neglected. Fast delivery is considered vital for good customer service, yet many consumers are less concerned with how long delivery takes and would rather know for certain that their package will arrive safely and in a timely manner. A reliable carrier will maintain accurate and dependable rates of delivery, even as the number of e-commerce packages keeps rising
Cutting Lead Times To Avoid Late Shipments
Even with the assurance of a reliable carrier for final delivery, there are still several steps on the way to shipment where delays can occur. If their delivery is late, 13% of consumers would never return to a retailer, so it is essential for businesses to manage lead times carefully to ensure timely shipments.
This means being aware of the time it takes to find order in inventory stock, and the amount of time needed to package up shipments. Regularly checking and updating stock with an inventory management system can prevent customers from purchasing items that are not readily available, or that will take a longer time than specified to deliver.
Retaining Purchasers With Customized Options
While many businesses and carriers charge extra for super fast delivery, half of shoppers will abandon their cart if they feel that extra costs such as shipping are too high. Many would rather pay a reasonable price and know that their package will be delivered at a convenient time and within a definite time frame.
Offering simple, customized options at checkout allows customers to alter the variables of their delivery, where they can choose a cheaper but more reliable option if it suits them.
Increasing sales is only one element of a business success story. If shipping takes too long or is too expensive, customers will abandon their carts before checking out. Even if they do commit to buy, many will not return if their delivery is delayed. Using a reliable carrier, and delivering goods consistently within specified time frames will attract and maintain loyal customers.