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Shipping Expectations 101: What You Should Be Offering Customers

By:
Rakuten Super Logistics
December 11, 2020

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Today, every customer carries with them a lot of expectations when it comes to eCommerce shipping. Everyone is after convenience and nothing offers this more than the thought of having one's goods delivered right to their doorstep. Provide quality convenience through your shipping options, and your customers will be coming back to you for more. Here, we will look at your customer's eCommerce shipping and delivery  expectations, offering you options you should include in your operations to enable you to meet these expectations.

What are Customer Shipping Expectations?

The first step to providing customers with the shipping options they are after is to know what they expect to get from you. This will allow you not just to meet those expectations, but exceed them as well. Here are a few shipping and delivery expectations your customers have:

1. Free Delivery

One factor that could make a potential customer abandon their shopping cart is the presence of shipping charges they deem unacceptable. With more and more retailers offering free shipping, it has become a norm that most customers expect.

2. Fast Delivery

Fast delivery is also high up the list of expectations. Who wants to be kept waiting for a shipment that should have arrived ages ago? While a free shipping option is necessary to appeal to cost conscious customers, be sure to offer an expedited option for those who don't mind paying for speed.

3. Free Returns

As much as you aim for an error-free delivery, returns do still happen due to circumstances out of your control. Returns made cheap and easy remove a layer of risk for customers as they make their purchases.

4. Tracking

Studies have shown that consumers expect readily available tracking information and communications regarding package delivery timing. When customers are made aware of the package's delivery status, they tend to be more patient. This can also help alleviate an excess of customer support inquiries.

Shipping Options You Should Offer Your Customers

Whenever you think about your eCommerce shipping options, consider offering in-demand, fast-paced, and reliable shipping. Here are some of the shipping practices you could put in place to allow you to satisfy consumer expectations;

1. Offer as Many Shipping Options as Possible

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to the shipping options you can provide. Different shipping options provide your customer with more control, which goes a long way in delivering convenience.

You could include free shipping for purchases that have exceeded a predetermined amount. Additionally, you could also include reasonable charges for those who would prefer an expedited shipping option. Furthermore, offering low-cost 2-day shipping options enables you to add value to your storefront. Rakuten Super Logistics allows you to save on 1-2 day shipping by leveraging a nationwide network of fulfillment centers, allowing you to pass shipping savings on to your customers.

2. Pay Attention to Packaging

Good packaging helps keep your product safe during delivery. By ensuring it arrives at your customer's doorstep in perfect condition, it saves you money by reducing the number of returns. Also, a personalized, carefully crafted unboxing experience leaves a lasting impression on the customer opening the parcel.

For each item you ship, assess its requirements and choose the right packaging materials. Look at your products weight, shape, size, and fragility. Different items require different kinds of shipping. Fragile products, for instance, need extra cushioning. Remember to wrap items separately, avoid overstuffing, and use the right sealing material.

Always ensure you are well-stocked with the right supplies to avoid any possible shipping delays.

3. Ship from Different Locations

Regardless of the shipping service you use, shipping from multiple locations enables your product to arrive much faster. This is because you'll be shipping them from closer locations. By shipping from facilities closer to your customer, you are able to improve your shipping times and customer satisfaction without incurring high costs.

4. Streamline Your Shipping Process

Every stage of your shipping process affects the quality of service you deliver and can limit your ability to satisfy customer expectations. From processing the shipping order to shipping and confirmation of delivery, every step should run smoothly.

There are several ways of streamlining your shipping, such as:

  • Adopting the use of the latest shipping and fulfillment technology
  • Leveraging outsourced fulfillment centers to handle high volumes of orders
  • Updating your return policy, to make returns simple and convenient for customers

It would be best if you also had the customers more involved in the process by keeping them updated with automated messages and notifying them on the status of their delivery. Streamlining your shipping is all about better business processes, technology, and supplies.

From the moment your customer confirms their order, the process of delivering the product to their doorstep begins. This process should be done quickly and efficiently.

Your business' sustainability and growth heavily relies on customer retention. Fast, efficient, and reliable, are the three words that can sum up current customer shipping and delivery expectations. Consumers have become accustomed to acquiring their goods quickly, and if you cannot deliver, they could easily find a competitor that will.

While your product's quality will always have a role to play, meeting these expectations will go a long way in ensuring your customers keep coming back to you.