Why should you care about your local customers’ delivery experience?
The truth is that modern consumers are interested in the quality of their experience with a brand more than ever. A single bad interaction can drive customers straight to your competitors.
This means that it’s not enough that you just publish personalized, local SEO-optimized content in Miami, make your website mobile-friendly or optimize your checkout process.
You must also go above and beyond to make sure that their orders are delivered as smoothly as possible – on-schedule and undamaged.
Below are the key factors that customers look for in a delivery experience when deciding to buy a product online:
Speedy or On-Time Delivery
We now live in a world of same-day delivery. Because of this, small business owners like you need to realign your delivery experience according to your customers’ expectations.
If you can’t have items delivered on the same day, that’s okay as long as you communicate this with your customers from the beginning. Do they need to pre-order first?
How long will it take before you can get their orders ready? What’s the lead time? When can they expect to receive it? It’s important to answer these questions and let your customers know about them to set the right expectations.
If your chosen courier service just isn’t fast enough, consider switching to a faster more efficient logistics company. According to Capgemini, 55% of customers will switch to a competitor who has a faster delivery service.
Flexibility or Convenience
83% of modern consumers want to have the luxury of booking deliveries that suit their lifestyle, from having their items delivered during highly specific time slots during the week, same-day deliveries, buy-online-pick-up-in-store, or curbside pickup options.
Convenience and flexibility are now major factors that contribute to a customer’s overall delivery experience with your brand. Make sure you give your customers the option to specify when and how they want their products to be delivered.
Turns out, the cost of delivery isn’t a major deciding factor when customers choose delivery options. According to PwC, 24% of customers are willing to pay more to receive their orders within one to two hours, and 41% of shoppers are happy to pay extra to have their items delivered right away after shopping online.
This proves that having a great delivery experience matters more than keeping your fees low. People are more than willing to pay more for the sake of convenience and quality delivery experience.
Sustainable Delivery Service
Customers care about the environment, and they're looking for ways to incorporate sustainability into their everyday lives. For many of them, this means choosing to buy from eco-friendly businesses.
If you offer environmentally friendly methods of delivery, you can often distinguish yourself from the competition.
Sustainable packaging is often the key to eco-friendlier shipping.
Personalized Customer Experience
Hand-written “Thank You” notes and small freebies can go a long way in making your customers feel special and appreciated.
Besides offering flexible delivery options and sustainable packaging, give your customers an “aww” moment by including a hand-written thank you note and maybe some free stickers or candy to put a smile on their faces when they open their package.
Customers expect to receive their items in perfect condition – as if they were the ones who actually picked them up from your store. If they receive their orders damaged, guess who’s getting a negative review or poor rating for that? You!
This can harm your business even though it's the courier's fault. Potential customers will no longer order from you and your current customers will avoid doing business with you.
11% of the total packages that consumers received from UPS arrived damaged. If possible, consider bringing your delivery service in-house or choose a boutique carrier with low damage rates.
Constant Update Throughout the Delivery Process
Customers want to know what’s going on with their orders. Make sure you update them throughout the delivery process until they’ve successfully received their orders.
Here are the six ways you can improve your delivery process:
Being a small business owner, you might think that it’s absurd to pay for automation when you can do something for free. But handling shipping yourself is counterproductive.
Automating your shipping operations can boost your efficiency. This means you can fulfil a larger volume of orders or process them faster in a shorter amount of time and with less labor. This helps drive sales and ultimately increase your profits.
When you can double down on the most important tasks instead of spending all your time doing activities that aren’t income-generating, you can grow and scale your business faster.
In this highly competitive market, speed is what you need to put your business ahead of the competition.
So, what can you automate in your shipping process?
If you feel like all you do is eat, sleep, and pack orders, it’s time to automate your shipping process.
Instead of hiring a third-party delivery service, why don’t you have your own branded vehicles and hire a driver to handle local deliveries for you?
This way, you have greater control over the kind of experience your customers will receive. You can also work on being more sustainable in your delivery by using solar-powered vehicles, optimizing delivery routes, and making sure that orders are delivered on time and undamaged.
In-house delivery also enables you to avoid the huge fees that third-party delivery services charge and maintain your profit margins.
If you have a high volume of orders, it’s worth considering in-house deliveries.
Proof of delivery is a form of acknowledgment that a package has been properly delivered and the customer has received the correct goods.
Proof of delivery comes in two forms: a physical document that a customer signs once he/she receives the package or service, and electronic proof of delivery where couriers take a picture of the package on your porch.
You must have proof of delivery because it serves as evidence that the delivery is complete. This gives your customers peace of mind and, most importantly, this can save you from future complaints about refunds or replacement of items.
One of the most compelling reasons that push consumers to buy an item online or spend more is because of free shipping.
According to Savemycent, 90% of shoppers will buy more often from an online store if they were given free shipping, 24% of customers are also willing to spend more just to qualify for free shipping, and 73% of customers are more likely to buy a product if it ships for free.
If you want your customers to buy from you and motivate them to spend more, offer free shipping for a minimum order total. You can let them know by sending local SEO-optimized promotional emails in Miami, placing banners at your online checkout, and putting popups on your homepage.
One of the most crucial parts of a good delivery experience is customer service. This means your customer service agents should be helpful and polite to customers at all times.
Are your customers having difficulty tracking their orders? Your customer service team should be able to provide real-time information about the whereabouts of their package.
Is there a delay in the shipment? Your customer service team should know the reason for this and assure customers that it’ll be delivered as soon as possible.
Does your customer want a refund? Your customer service team should know your return policy and provide customers with options or solutions to their problems before resorting to a refund.
Train your customer service team well to ensure that your clients are happy and satisfied all the time.
Your customers want to know what’s going on with their orders. According to Optimoroute, 87.4% of respondents said that being able to track their orders in real-time made their buying experience more delightful.
Have you packed the items yet? Have you shipped them already? When can I expect to receive my package? These are just some of the questions that run through your customers’ heads, and you must address these questions before they reach out to your customer service team.
Send your customers regular status updates about their orders until they've successfully received the package.
Doing this helps reduce stress and allows them to plan ahead so they can personally receive their package or have someone else receive it for them to prevent theft and package damage.
Plus, customers don’t want to waste time sitting around all day waiting for a delivery.
Photo from OptimoRoute.
Is the delivery experience that you offer on par with your customers' delivery quality expectations?
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