It is common knowledge that customers value shipping incentives when they shop online. We talk about that all the time. The 2015 UPS Online Shopping Study conducted with comScore found shipping included remains the most important option during checkout for 77 percent of online shoppers. However, beyond shipping incentives, there are many things customers look for throughout the fulfillment process. You can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by meeting the following four expectations:
Even when shipping included is an option, customers still expect quick delivery. As PracticalEcommerce pointed out, many business owners think that if the shipping is included, customers will be wait a longer period of time to receive their order. However, the reality is consumers expect orders to be processed, packed and shipped within one business day, and don't want to wait more than a week to receive their products. You can ensure that your customers receive their orders quickly by working with an experiences direct-to-consumer fulfillment partner.
Packaging is also important to online shoppers. PracticalEcommerce noted in 2013, Amazon received an increase in bad reviews and returns because customers were frustrated with the poor packaging of the PlayStation 4, and over 1,000 shoppers gave the product a one-star review due to the packaging alone. Good packaging is especially important when it comes to purchasing wine online. Wine is a luxury item and the bottles are extremely fragile, so poor packaging can be very costly.
Additionally, packaging can be used as a tool to drive customer loyalty. Our white paper, "How to WOW Customers After the Purchase" shared a handful of items wineries can include in their shipping boxes to enhance the customer experience:
- A thank you note.
- Special offers.
- A treat.
- A review request.
- A catalog or flyer.
Accuracy is crucial to creating a positive online shopping experience. If a customer expects to receive a bottle of wine on Thursday, it is crucial the product be delivered on that day, and the items in the box should be exactly what the shopper purchased. Delivering accurate orders helps build trust and loyalty and today, guests expects perfect service whenever they make purchases online.
Communication is key to managing customer expectations throughout the fulfillment process. By sharing information about timing and anticipated deliveries, you can avoid frustrating their customers and also prevent missed deliveries. Online shoppers value communication about delivery:
- Receive delivery alerts through email or text.
- Authorize delivery in advance.
- Reschedule deliveries in route.
- Reroute deliveries to an alternative address.
- Select specific delivery time windows.
Keep shoppers informed by engaging them with the shipping process, sending emails with any relevant delivery information as soon as it becomes available. Additionally, continue to communicate with customers after an order has been fulfilled. Email communications can be used post-delivery to cross-sell, upsell, ask for a product review, send reminders or follow-up on customer satisfaction.
When it comes to shipping DTC, there's a lot you can do to WOW your customers!