It’s no secret that online shopping continues to grow in popularity and functionality. From website flow to visual design to shipping and logistics, there is no shortage of touchpoints to optimize that make or break the customer shopping experience. While attracting customers to your products and marketplace can be a challenge in itself, integrating fast, transparent, accurate, and affordable shipping solutions post-purchase is often the key to delighting customers beyond their expectations.  The following article will highlight key strategies to optimize your comprehensive fulfillment strategy and to create a positive shipping experience that meets customer expectations and motivates them to come back for more. 

Allow for diverse payment options 

Managing an eCommerce business is all about creating convenience for your customers. Implementing diverse payment options that favor your customers will combat abandoned carts from customers that reach the checkout page to find out there isn’t a payment option that suits their preference. Cover all the basics, including credit cards, apply pay, google pay, Facebook pay, and PayPal. If necessary, add an option or web integration for payment plans through your marketplace platform. 

Personalize the process 

When it comes to the shipping experience, personalization is a powerful method to increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. Personalized messages engage customers on an emotional level by making them feel valued and appreciated. Try including a thought-provoking personal message or design element into transactional and confirmational emails. While experiencing what works best, always prioritize the necessary information, like shipping details and order updates so customers don’t miss out. You can also try adding personal gift notes, marketing inserts, and incentives for giveaways or unexpected bonus offers. 

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Offer flexible shipping options

While some retailers only offer single or standard shipping options, giving customers the luxury of multiple shipping options like expedited shipping, overnight shipping, or same-day delivery makes a world of difference. It’s impossible to anticipate an ideal timeline for every customer, so laying out every possible option not only accommodates most needs but gives customers the peace of mind that you are doing all in your power to prioritize them. 

No matter the size of your business, a 3PL provider like Drive Fulfillment can help you streamline and optimize your shipping experience with best-in-class technology and a team of staff dedicated to your store and customer satisfaction.

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Hold to shipping times 

Like any healthy relationship, clear communication is key to maintaining and fulfilling expectations. Always ensure orders are shipped within the given timelines detailed on your shipping policy. Having a transparent shipping operation, with or without delays, helps eliminate unnecessary concerns from customers anxiously wondering when their package will arrive. Although some delays during transit phases are out of your control, accurate and timely updates always help the customer rest at ease. 

Ensure accurate packaging and delivery

There’s nothing worse than opening a package to discover you received the wrong items. Even if the package shows up on time, discovering you did not receive the product you ordered can ruin the experience as a whole. Real-time inventory management and automated pick pack ship processes powered by a complement 3PL provider, like Drive, ensure that the correct items are carefully verified at every stage of the process. While 100% order accuracy still may be a difficult task, outsourcing and automating fulfillment can get you as close to perfect as possible. 

Provide real-time tracking 

Ecommerce package tracking is of the utmost importance. Customers expect 100% transparency when following their order from the moment it’s placed until it shows up on your doorstep. As a rule of thumb, every customer should receive an automatic order confirmation with tracking information. Not only does this save time by eliminating most questions from customers about their order status, but it also gives them confidence in your product and brand, enough to increase loyalty and word-of-mouth marketing.

A comprehensive returns management protocol 

A well-built returns management protocol is a mechanism designed to manage product returns for your online store. From equal product exchanges to full refunds, effectively streamlining and organizing returns will influence other vital aspects of the supply chain like inventory management, shipping costs, and profitability. Not to mention, returns can make or break your name. As a general rule of thumb, returns or reverse logistics focus on three simple steps based on the customer and business needs. Once a customer initiates a return, the product is then received, and the return is processed. 

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Offer sustainable packaging options 

No matter the industry or service you provide, the goal of becoming eco-friendly is to find and adopt solutions that work efficiently to maximize productivity and resources while minimizing practices that badly affect natural resources. Maximizing sustainability on packaging and materials means eliminating over-boxed shipping and excess materials. At Drive Fulfillment, a 3D item scanning machine pre-measures products so that only the most essential materials are used in the packaging process. More than that, reusable and recyclable eCommerce packaging helps cut down on materials while still offering a breathtaking unboxing experience for customers. Paperless electronic invoicing and picking tickets equally work to reduce the total paper products used. Any paper should be shredded and properly recycled.

Welcome any feedback 

Once orders have been made and successfully delivered, it never hurts to ask customers for feedback on the shipping process. Whether the emails are set up automatically or sent to specific customers on a one-off basis, asking for timely feedback will help optimize your supply chain logistics and help focus on areas that demand the most attention. 

It’s also a good idea to seek out and host customer reviews about your brand and logistical competencies so that you can highlight the good experiences and respond to negative ones. It’s never too late to reverse and negative experience into a positive one. At the end of the day, customers want to feel like they can confidently purchase from you while still feeling validated and heard. 

How Drive Fulfillment allows you to offer the shipping experience your customers expect

While implementing the following suggestions will undoubtedly work to enhance the shipping experience for your customers, partnering with a 3PL like Drive Fulfillment will give you more time to focus on the fundamental tasks instead of constantly streamlining and improving shipping experiences. 

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At Drive Fulfillment, we believe that no two customers are the same, and neither are their fulfillment processes. As a result, we build customized solutions optimized for your business, no matter the size. For more information regarding tours, pricing, shipping capabilities, or explore 6 Benefits of Outsourcing eCommerce Store Fulfillment, contact us, or visit the Drive Fulfillment blog today.