Consumers have an innate preference to buy from independent retailers. But these companies are set to miss out to the big online marketplaces if they can’t perfect the delivery experience. That’s according to a warning from cloud delivery management solutions provider nShift.
Consumers often feel little loyalty to global online marketplaces. Research shows that between 50% and 70% would prefer to support independent businesses. But they will not compromise on the quality or speed of the delivery process. Almost three-quarters of customers (72.5%) say poor deliveries mean they will stop recommending the retailer.
A survey found that fast and free shipping is the number one reason people shop with Amazon so independents need to be able to compete.
A new guide from nShift, Building the brand with distribution and delivery, shows how quick delivery and easy returns are essential to creating a workable alternative to the leading online retailers. It explains how vendors can significantly build their brand, boost revenue, and build better relationships with customers.
It highlights that a first-class delivery and returns experience should include a range of delivery options (this can cut abandoned carts by 50%). It should also include clear communication (people want to know where their package is at each stage of the delivery process), and the capability to serve new markets (if a shopper finds that an item can’t be delivered to where they live, they are unlikely to come back).
Additionally, the guide advises an easy way to feed back (when something goes wrong, customers want it sorted quickly), and finally the capability to return items easily. After all, 30% of delivered items end up as returns, meaning sending something back is part of the shopping experience.
“Although there are undeniable advantages to using online marketplaces, it can come at a cost,” said Lars Pedersen, CEO of nShift. “By depending on Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and others to sell and ship their products, businesses allow them to control the customer experience, take the credit for their brand, and gain crucial data on consumer preferences.
“But when e-commerce companies do take control of deliveries, the experience must be flawless. Deliveries and returns must be easy, effective, and seamless to build a high-quality customer experience. When this happens it is the seller, not the online marketplace that gets the credit they deserve.”