Keeping your customers coming back time and time again is crucial in securing the long-term sustainability of your business – but how can you ensure they are getting the same high-quality service when ordering online as they might expect in-store?
Millennials are now making 54% of their purchases online[i]. With so much choice and availability online, high-quality service can differentiate your business and encourage repeat business and recommendation in the fast-moving, highly competitive ecommerce market.
When looking to build brand loyalty, other business factors are often favoured ahead of logistics – despite its fundamental impact on overall customer service. Logistics plays a vital role in customer retention – with 55% of customers stating a poor shipping experience would deter them from ordering from the same retailer in the future[ii].
As customers’ buying habits continue to evolve – particularly towards ecommerce – businesses need to acknowledge the importance of logistics in the customer experience and prioritise this to help retain long-standing customer relationships.
Building brand loyalty through logistics
- Be prepared
Disciplined and informed planning is essential in achieving a successful logistics experience with minimal disruption.
Accurately monitoring inventory levels will avoid inevitable customer disappointment when a product you’re advertising is no longer in stock. Once a product in high-demand is out of stock, a reliable supplier is essential in replenishing this stock in a timely manner and getting returns back out into the marketplace quickly.
Review your demand forecasts frequently to ensure your warehouse inventory is geared to managing peaks in demand. Of course, you can’t know exactly how much demand a product will generate and when – so partnering with a flexible logistics provider will help your to respond to opportunities quickly.
Collaborate closely with your logistics provider on timed promotions so that they can help maximise sales.
- Be flexible
Customers like a choice – speed, price, location and precision are key ways in which you can adapt your logistics service to tailor to customers’ individual demands[iii]:
- Speed – 24% of customers want next-day delivery and are often willing to pay a premium for this. Talk to your logistics provider about the potential of later ordering cut off points to increase sales.
- Price – 58% of customers have added items to their online basket to get free shipping – promotions such as this can encourage purchases and boost overall sales. This approach needs to be balanced against the risk of encouraging over-ordering and the inherent likelihood of increased returns.
- Location – 24% of customers want the option to collect their order from a local store or drop off point at a time convenient to them, avoiding missed deliveries.
- Precision – 13% of customers want a specific delivery slot to avoid waiting in for long periods of time.
- Be consistent
Consistency is crucial. Generally, customers don’t see a distinction between the delivery service and the company they’re buying from. For them, it’s all part of the same purchasing experience[iv].
The quality of service you provide should be closely monitored – at every stage of the purchasing experience.
Growing your business
Customer loyalty is essential in building and growing your brand.
At Cygnia, we’ve focused out business on helping e-commerce businesses to scale up with minimal disruption. It’s a critical time for businesses which don’t want change to disrupt existing customer relationships but want to enter new markets and grow their customer base without damaging the bottom line.
For more information as to how logistics can improve the quality and consistency of your overall customer experience, visit www.cygnia.net or call 01604 664 300.