The 9 do's and don'ts of creating a killer e-commerce delivery process!

Nearly 51% of French people decided not to recommend a brand after having a bad delivery experience. Delivery is the final step before consumers receive their product, so it should not be taken lightly. The last impression you give to your customers is a key factor in generating repeat business!

By
Julie Ribeiro
Created
June 12, 2020
Modified
July 15, 2020

How to successfully deliver a package?

A defective delivery can push your customers to switch to your competitors. As an e-merchant, you must be mindful of the fact that consumers rarely give companies a second chance.

Transparency on delivery methods, selection of logistics partners, packaging design... When it comes to improving your delivery process, there are various protocols and pitfalls to be aware of.


The do's: the shipping guidebook

Whether you are starting your own e-commerce business or want to improve your delivery process, your priority should be customer service. Regarding delivery, all your choices must be oriented towards user satisfaction.

From the selection of delivery methods to the design of your packaging, here are some rules of thumb to follow when offering an efficient shipping service!


Clear conditions to simplify the shipment process

1 person out of 10 abandon their shopping cart because of unclear shipping and return policies. When ordering on the internet, the consumer takes risks; the risk of never receiving their package or having a faulty item delivered and not being able to contact anyone. To reassure internet users, it is important to carefully review your delivery and return policies.

For example, it is worth displaying a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) feature in the form of questions and answers, or even a Chatbot. Not only are these consumer-friendly and interactive additions to your e-commerce website, but they also make the process more personal and accessible. Consumers will know that they can rely on you!

Having a page on your website entirely dedicated to delivery methods and your return policy is highly recommended. The more precise the answers, the more efficient your conversion tunnel will be!

If you're not sure what kind of shipping and return policies to implement, ask yourself what your buyers want. For 46% of internet users, free delivery and return are the most decisive criteria regarding shipment. Depending on your products, why not set up  free delivery?In any case, make sure you explain everything clearly to your customers!

Propose a wide choice of delivery options

Regarding delivery, the diversity satisfies the largest number of people. According to an Ifop study, 58% of French people have abandoned their shopping cart before making purchase because the delivery options did not suit them. Consequently, it is recommended to offer a wide choice of carriers, but also delivery options.

For example, if you use Colissimo, your product is taken care of from A to Z and will be delivered to your home or to a pick-up point within a few days.However, if you are selling eco-friendly light bulbs in boxes of 20, this may not be the right option. In case of a home delivery when the customer is away from home, the parcel may not fit in the mailbox without being damaged.

For risk-free home deliveries, you can use a local carrier such as Weeship. Perfect for making the last mile cost-effective, this option is also appropriate for express deliveries, from 2 hours to 2 days after ordering. The courier will pickup the order, or even buy it directly. They then deliver it according to the time slot chosen by the recipient. This is a delivery by appointment which has a success rate of 99%. The prices are calculated according to the product's weight and the delivery.Home delivery may sometimes worry customers who have had a negative experience. In order to appeal to these types of customers, you can suggest the Click & Collect option. The product ordered is delivered to the store selected by the customer. The customer only has to pick it up at the store. 64% of consumers are interested by web-to-store delivery, which avoids the risks of home delivery.

Adapte the delivery process to your brand's values

Diversity is not the only factor in the choice of delivery methods. The delivery must also match the ethics of your e-commerce.

If your policy is environmentally oriented, you can, for example, choose modes of delivery involving eco-friendly cargo bikes, such as the K-Ryole for example. Or you can follow in the footsteps of the Loom brand, which does not provide express delivery in order to avoid using airplanes in the logistics process. Even raw materials imported from South America only travel by boat!

By proposing a policy which is aligned with the moral principles of your brand, you bring credibility to your image.

Create the perfect packaging

The delivery process is not limited to shipping - don't forget that your image also depends on the packaging of your product. When designing your packaging, remember that it must match your brand and products. If you are selling valuable items, try to avoid displaying the name on the packaging. If  the package is delivered when the customer isn ot present, the risk of theft must be limited.

Also make sure that the packaging represents the ethical beliefs of your brand. Let's take the eco-friendly light bulb example:if you sell eco-responsible products over-wrapped in plastic, you already lose 55% of French customers who are concerned about the environmental impact of packaging. Even though light bulbs are fragile products, you really only need to adapt their packaging to their weight, size, and fragility.

Avoid at all costs over-packaging, which can really get on some customer's nerves. Anew social phenomenon has emerged on the web under the hashtag#ExcessivePackaging. All brands that are cited under this hashtag lose credibility in the eyes of their consumers, and as a result, they lose orders.

You can take the example of the dermo-cosmetic products off Né à, which has strong ecological values. This is why, in addition to delivering only by truck, they strive to use only cardboard packaging, and no plastic. Your packaging reveals the identity of your brand, so be careful with it!

Keep your customers update

Once the order is processed, the transit begins. If for you it is launched, don't forget that your customers don't know about it, and are concerned about it.Show your customers that you care by giving them the tools to follow the steps of their delivery.

According to a 2016 MetaPack study,, 81% of Internet users check their order status at least twice before delivery. However, if they cannot access these details and their delivery is late, you have no way to keep them informed. And to them, this is your fault.

To avoid this kind of situation, Bigblue offers e-merchants the possibility to setup a notified follow-up of the product, from processing in the warehouse to home delivery. Depending on brand preferences, shoppers can receive notifications by email or SMS at several stages of the delivery process. A reassured customer is a satisfied customer!

By applying the 5 previous tips to your e-commerce site, you can boost your delivery process and customer satisfaction. But there are also some pitfalls to avoid in order not to obscure the picture!

Don'ts: slipups to avoid

Concerning deliveries, one simple detail can lead to a loss of credibility with your business.To prevent this from happening, you should take into account all the possibilities, and visualize the entire journey that your product will complete.

The more you anticipate situations, the less likely you are to disappoint your customers!

Communicate about unrealistic delivery times

Short delivery times are good for your image: Internet users tend to want everything quickly. But be careful not to promise impossible delivery times! 

90% of consumers consider delivery time to be an essential criterion, but it's better to lose the order of a few impatient people than to disappoint all your customers. When you present delivery times according to the options you have chosen, don't be too optimistic. Your delivery may encounter a delay due to customs, heavy traffic, strike... Make sure you consider the worst-case scenarios and interpret them realistically to deduce the most accurate delivery time.

Deliveries are subject to many variables, and delays are very badly perceived by customers, who will be unlikely to order again from your online shop. Do not take risks, think wisely!

Sending to the wrong delivery address

Another element that can cause delays and harm your image is returns due to a spelling mistake in the address.

There is a fairly simple solution to prevent this from happening: check the delivery addresses given by your buyers. Uniserv has, for example, developed a software program which corrects possible mistakes in postal addresses. This can be in the form of a drop-down menu when the customer places their order, or in an internal application within your company. All you have to do is check the accuracy of the address and enter the additional data into your database.

As returns are at your charge, address verification saves you time and money!

Using low-cost delivery services

Not only delivery times are important - delivery quality also plays a significant role in customer satisfaction!

Some brands try to save money by using a low-priced carrier. Even though this may seem like a good idea, the reality is not always as good. Delivery people can be careless with packages: packages thrown over a gate, left out in the rain, or forced into the mailbox to the point of breaking it. And even if it's not your fault, it's your responsibilityto take care of the situation. Ultimately, product refunds cost much more than a better carrier!

So,don't hesitate to ask around and test several carriers before you find the one that suits you best.

Sending parcels abroad without preliminary research

Exporting your products is a very positive thing! Exporting allows you to grow and reach consumers elsewhere. But before you start this adventure, make sure you know all the essential information.

Indeed, exporting products is not always easy. Regulations can vary from one country to another, as can licenses and customs fees. For example, even though Switzerland is part of Europe, it does not have the same regulations as France, which can lead to complications in the logistics chain.

Exporting without getting the right information means taking the risk of delivering products late or facing additional fees. And whether in France or abroad, late deliveries only have a negative impact on a company's image. You've got to cover your back!

In a few words: how to offer quality delivery?

Your entire delivery process is very important. From leaving the warehouse to unpacking the product, every step is likely to have an impact on your image.

When implementing the delivery process, there are many choices that need to be made, and nothing should be left to chance. Regardless of the size of your online business and the products you sell, it is best to put customer satisfaction first. Respecting deadlines, ensuring that your packaging is adapted to your brand's values and the quality of delivery will influence your future orders.By trying to save money on delivery services, you run the risk of losing money and customers in the long haul.

So, ask yourself this question: quality or savings?


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Julie Ribeiro
Marketing specialist and content writer at Bigblue.
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