Delivering high expectations at ChristmasTopic: Retail
Christmas is coming and millions of people around the country will already be spending their hard-earned money online to buy gifts and presents ahead of the festive season.
Last year, holiday sales for the months of November and December grew eight times faster online than in stores. Additionally, consumers used their mobile devices to shop more than ever before.
This year online sales are forecast to rise by 3.6% over the period putting extra pressure on e-commerce and delivery businesses to provide customers with a reliable experience despite the demand.
Keep the customers satisfied
This ability to shop from a smartphone, at the office and at home has driven a growing need for speed: instant prices and available stock, fast (and affordable) delivery and real-time updates on the progress of their order.
These uncompromising expectations are not consistently met by delivery companies. The issues start at the checkout – 50% of respondents to an eConsultancy study report having abandoned an online purchase due to unsatisfactory delivery options.
Keep the customers in the know
The average person will check the progress of their order at least twice during the process. A MyCustomer survey found that 82% of UK consumers said it was important that retailers proactively communicate at every fulfilment and delivery stage.
Providing customers with up to date delivery information using SMS and email should be standard to most courier processes, with some even building detailed apps for precise tracking and information.
Some simple ways you could use SMS as part of your delivery communications:
- Texting when the item has been received at the distribution centre
- Texting when delivery has been scheduled, with the opportunity to reschedule to another delivery slot
- Offering the option to provide an alternate delivery address or specify a secret location.
- Informing the customer once the item has been delivered
- Communicating the name of the delivery driver for personalisation
- Inviting the customer to rate the quality of service received using an SMS survey
Even the best online retailers and couriers will experience issues now and then. By having an effective and efficient communication channel, customers can have their expectations met.