Today’s shopping landscape is quickly shifting to become a fully digital experience. Every year more and more consumers are opting to do their shopping from the comfort of their armchairs. The race is on to grab their attention and give the best possible ecommerce experience, which ultimately converts into consistent sales.
A growing number of entrepeneurs, as well as established retailers, are releasing online shopping platforms but their success is largely defined by the service and value they offer to the consumer. Let’s look at ways to stand out from the crowd:
- Lower delivery costs
There is a great need to bring down shipping costs as low-cost or free shipping is often seen as the deciding factor for online consumers and this cost can make or break a sale.
Tips: Negotiate with your shipping vendors on ways to cut delivery costs. Often discounts are offered for bulk orders and payments made in advance. For large shipments try consolidating products which can be a significant cost-saver. Consider using your carriers packaging rather than having to transfer orders into your own branded packaging.
- High-speed logistics
Efficiently managing logistics is vital to ensure that all aspects of the ordering and delivery process is handled in record time and error-free. To satisfy the consumer’s hunger for immediate gratification, large-chain retailers are opting for an omnichannel approach, allowing customers to have a choice of how their product is delivered to them. Stores are becoming distribution hubs where orders can be collected within mere hours.
Tips: The key to keeping up with this level of demand is implementing effective Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) and Transport Management Systems (TMS) to track and manage the process from the moment the order button is clicked until the product arrives safely. Carefully consider whether to handle the logistics inhouse or to outsource to a third party logistics provider who specializes in on-demand delivery.
- Optimise the returns process
It is important to establish a clear returns policy that covers you but also gives value to the consumer.
Tips: Research shows that online shoppers review the returns policy before making a purchase, so ensure that the policy is easily located online and clearly understood. Lengthening the time in which a product can be returned can boost consumer trust and tip the scales in your favour.
In the online sphere, the returns process is more challenging as shoppers usually cannot simply take the product back to the store.
Tip: Implement a customer-friendly returns process for speedy product return and replacement through an efficient reverse logistics system.
Did you enjoy that article? Read our post on Inventory management for Ecommerce sites.