Two in five consumers have changed the brands or retailers they shop with since the onset of the pandemic, as they continue to expect more from the online experience, according to a study by parcel delivery management firm nShift.
The study found that simply developing a functioning e-commerce experience is no longer enough for a vendor to increase sales and capture loyalty. It has to be the best possible experience.
The study, entitled ‘Delivering to customers and rebuilding loyalty’, argues that retailers and brand owners must facilitate choice and enable shoppers to try before they buy. In short, they need to provide a delivery option that suits the customer, not the deliverer.
The guide sets out four ways that vendors can overcome these challenges, improve loyalty and increase sales through delivery and returns:
- Create a variety of delivery options – for many, speed is of the essence, others it’s cost while some seek sustainability. A great ecommerce experience must ensure all are available.
- Automate the delivery process – expectations around how quickly items should be delivered has evolved. Two thirds of shoppers are even willing to pay more for a quick delivery.
- Live tracking of parcels and returns – a quarter of shoppers are extremely likely to return to a brand that offers real-time order tracking. Tracking deliveries also enables the seller to monitor the performance of carriers, and compare the efficiency and quality of different services.
- Easy returns and repurchases – more than 20% of items purchased from an online store are returned, and each return can cost about £20 to process. In a world where 43% of customers expect to be able to “try before they buy”, this isn’t sustainable.
Lars Pedersen, CEO of nShift, said: “Customers today check out the delivery and return options, before they shop. If one online retailer can’t fulfill their need now, they’ll simply shop elsewhere. However, if a vendor can provide a first-class customer experience through excellent delivery and seamless returns, it can build loyalty with its customers. This increases the chance of repeat purchases and recommendations which, in turn, leads to greater revenue.”