Don't Let Poor Shipping Options Scare Your Customers Away

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With Halloween now behind us, don't let poor shipping options scare your customers away! As online shopping increases and eCommerce businesses try to stand out from the competition, more brands are offering increased shipping options to satisfy consumer expectations. Do your shipping options give customers the reassurance to hit the checkout button?

Shipping Options & Customer Loyalty

Any good marketing strategy will include customer retention efforts. Savvy business owners know that customer loyalty provides an excellent ROI. Every marketing dollar counts and the goal is always to spend as little as possible to make the highest profits. Repeat customers are by far the best way to achieve this goal.

The chances of converting a new lead are 5%-20% yet the conversion rate of repeat customers is 60%-70%. The more return buyers you have, the more sales you'll make, plain and simple. In fact, 80% of your profits will result from 20% of your current customers. New customers cost 16x more than returning ones and improving customer retention by only 2% can save you as much as 10%.

Bottom line, customer loyalty is driven by customer experience. It's so important that 91% of customers report a preference for brands offering a personalized experience. So, what do consumers expect regarding shipping?

Consumer Shipping Expectations

What customers desire from their brands' shipping options are all over the place. Everyone has their own preferences, and some expect more than others. Many of the options people want seem to be designed around speed and efficiency.

Another consideration for many consumers is the price. While some want speedy delivery and don't mind paying for it and others expect fast and free shipping, there's a third group who are willing to wait if it means they save on shipping costs. Shipping is so important to them that roughly half of consumers say they've abandoned their cart over the available delivery options. So, what do they want?

When asked what options would improve their odds of making a purchase, consumers said:

  • Fixed date shipping- 31%
  • In-store pick up- 24%
  • Next day delivery- 24%
  • Two-hour delivery- 13%
  • Same day delivery- 8%

How Should Businesses Respond to These Numbers?

If everyone wants something different, what are businesses supposed to do to make everyone happy? That's simple, just provide a wide array of shipping options so the customer can decide which one works best for their needs. Consider providing free standard ground shipping to every customer and then free two-day shipping to customers who meet a certain monetary threshold at checkout. Anyone else who wants the same two-day shipping option will have to pay a bit extra to get it. Make sure to allow customers to track their packages, so they know when it will arrive and try to make sure that your estimates are as accurate as possible.  

This approach should be able to please everyone to some degree. Even the customers with extremely high expectations of a day or less–the minority–will have options close enough that it shouldn't be too much of an issue. This personalization is likely to make them feel more satisfied with the purchase, and in turn, the brand, leading to higher rates of brand loyalty.

How Else Can Businesses Gain an Advantage

All consumers want companies to ensure their products arrive intact and do everything they can to protect them during shipping. Beyond the basics though, there's more you can do. Millennials have become a large portion of consumers. In a recent study, 81% of Millennials were found to want and even expect companies to be part of their communities and act in socially conscious ways.

They're more likely to work with and remain loyal to brands that make a difference. A majority of customers are even willing to pay more to brands with a positive impact because they know their money is going to a good cause and it makes them feel like they're helping to make a difference too. One simple way to achieve this is to minimize the packaging you use and make materials from recycled or sustainable sources whenever possible.

Many businesses, big and small, don't have the logistics infrastructure to meet these benchmarks. That's why they partner with a third-party logistics (3PL) company. Rakuten Super Logistics is a trusted 3PL provider. We have 15 distribution centers nationwide to provide flexibility and cost efficiency, 1-2-day shipping for increased customer satisfaction, and reverse logistics services for returns. We stand by a 100% order accuracy guarantee. We'll work with you to ensure that you meet and exceed the expectations of your customers. Contact us for a free quote today!