The eCommerce world is growing faster than ever. If you want to be part of the upward swing, then you need to know how to earn more loyalty from your target market. One of the best ways to do this is to prioritize order fulfillment as part of your plan for growth during 2018.
Fulfillment plays an important role in ensuring long-term customer satisfaction. Various studies have continued to point out the importance of factors like delivery times, ease of returns, order tracking, and more. When you prioritize fulfillment in your company, you not only earn more customers but increase the lifetime value of your existing consumers too!
So, what are the factors you should focus on when optimizing fulfillment?
1. Faster Shipping
When people buy from your company, they want to know that they’re going to get their items fast. One study by Dropoff found that 97% of shoppers consider expedited delivery to be a crucial element of their business purchasing decisions. Results like this highlight how important it is to make sure that you swiftly deal with a customer’s order the moment it comes through to maintain their trust and future business.
If you’re expecting to maintain as much growth as possible in 2018, you should begin by looking at how you can improve the accuracy and speed of your delivery. This might mean that you need to partner up with a third-party company with experience in logistics.
2. Simplify Returns
There are circumstances when, no matter how hard you try, you might have a customer or two that doesn’t feel completely satisfied with their purchase. This is particularly true for eCommerce retailers, who generally have a higher rate of return than brick-and-mortar stores.
If you want to keep your customers happy, then you need to make sure you don’t force them to keep your products even when they’re not happy with their purchase. One Navar study found that almost half of all millennial shoppers consider the return process to be difficult, with some 60% keeping products they don’t like just so they can avoid the returns process.
Retailers in the process of long-term growth need to make sure that they deliver a smooth process for customer satisfaction. By providing a simpler returns process, you can stay on your customers’ good side.
3. Provide Transparency
Today, the average shopper also wants a degree of transparency from the merchants they’re buying from. This includes being able to track their orders. One study by ProShip found that around 97% of customers would like the opportunity to track and monitor their order through the shipping process. If you can’t deliver on this expectation, then you could risk losing out on a huge number of customers.
Other research, such as a 2017 study into eCommerce trends, found that about 26.7% of all online shoppers would appreciate a greater visibility in the brands they purchase from. Ultimately, the more you give your customer transparency into your brand, the more they’ll trust you over your competitors.
Managing the Challenges of eCommerce
While eCommerce is becoming a more popular solution for companies all around the world, it’s important to note that it isn’t free from potential challenges. While increased sales will give your company more revenue to work with, it will also mean that you need to think carefully about new challenges too.
For instance, the more your business grows, the more warehouse space you’ll need to fulfill orders in a timely manner. Additionally, you might need to outsource some tasks to ensure that you can keep up with an evolving workload. Another common concern is that as a business expands, it might not have the right technology to blow the other competition in its space out of the water. Special programs that manage increases in sales could be developed to enhance the order fulfillment process.
Additionally, just because your sales spike for a period, doesn’t mean that you’re going to continue moving stock at the same rate. Seasonality and other factors can have an impact on your cash flow, so remember to keep that in mind when you’re working on your plan for long-term success.