Nothing has more power to drive a winning eCommerce customer experience than delivery data. However, the problem with data is that if you can’t make sense of it, it’s of no use!
As far as delivery data goes, context really is everything. Any retailer can track their sales volumes and website traffic – that’s easy. However, when viewed in isolation, these metrics simply don’t give a clear picture of how a business is performing, or how it can improve.
A key objective is to have full visibility of orders, and be able to track and report on packages beyond the warehouse. With speed, cost, and reliability metrics through the full order journey, improvements can easily be identified.
Here, we’re looking at some of the ways that retailers can use data to understand what their customers really want from the post-purchase experience. These issues can all disrupt smooth eCommerce shipping operations, and ultimately, harm the customer experience.
Deciphering delivery data
How exactly can you tease out the story that your data is trying to tell you? Well, the first thing you need to do is know what metrics you should be tracking in the first place. Let’s take a look at some of the key delivery data parameters that you need to keep a close eye on.
You should track the metrics we’ve listed below on an ongoing basis. However, to lift the lid on what your customers want even further, we recommend that you isolate data from your previous peak periods. That way, you can identify exactly what happens when the business is stretched.
Most popular delivery options
Their most popular delivery options is something that all retailers should be able to tell you without any hesitation. However, it’s just as vital to fully understand any particular customer behaviour patterns over a period of time.
For example – let’s say that you offer flat-rate 3 day shipping, as well as premium next-day delivery. Standard shipping might be the top pick for your customers as a whole. But you may also notice that over the course of the calendar year, next-day delivery surges in February (Valentine’s Day), and March (Mother’s Day). Meanwhile, you could be surprised to discover that next-day delivery falls off the popularity charts around Black Friday/Cyber Monday. What does this tell you? Perhaps it’s that a significant percentage of your customers use Cyber weekend to purchase Christmas presents, and therefore aren’t in a rush to receive their orders.
This intel can inform your delivery strategy – particularly if you’re toying with the idea of switching off next-day delivery during peak periods. You could also put a ‘gifting’ spin on your holiday season campaigns to really resonate with your customer base.
Cart abandonment and delivery options
Customers abandon their shopping carts for a whole host of reasons. Unexpected costs, forced account creation, security concerns, and a time-consuming checkout all contribute to shoppers leaving a site. In order to better understand the most common reasons for cart abandonment, you need to cross-examine your data with the user-journey itself.
If you have a particularly high cart abandonment rate, it could mean that you need to display delivery options throughout the browsing experience. This could be on your store banner, product pages, and on your delivery information webpage, for instance.
Testing and iterating your delivery options is a great way to see how conversion are being affected. If you offer delivery at a cost, perhaps you could test free delivery for a short period to see just how much conversions improve.
Do this in isolation from any corresponding promotions to get an accurate conversion comparison. From there, you can make an informed business decision as to whether or not you should offer free delivery, or even multiple delivery options (click and collect, express delivery, timed-delivery slots).
Fulfilment and labelling rates
Operational data such as average fulfilment and labelling rates might not seem like it tells you much about customer behaviour. However, these metrics really feed into the customer experience, and could be having a big impact on repeat custom.
As far as fulfilment goes, you need to know your average fulfilment expense as a percentage to net sales. You should also know the average cost of labelling domestic and overseas orders, based on your various shipping options and carriers. Further to this, speed also needs to be taken into account – on average, how long does it take to label and fulfil orders?
Volume of WISMO queries
Volume of WISMO queries
On average, WISMO (where is my order?) queries account for 30% of all incoming tickets (incuding live chat, social media, emails and phone calls). But WISMO query volume is only one half of the equation. A more telling metric is how long it takes on average to resolve WISMO queries. If tickets are dominating a support teams’ time, taking longer than average to close, or coinciding with negative reviews – it’s time to take action.
WISMO queries and efficient order tracking often go hand in hand. It may be wise to tweak your order tracking communications strategy, or consider making real-time tracking available to customers in a bid to reduce WISMO queries.
Overcoming data gaps
The most common challenge that retailers encounter is trying to decode delivery data when it has to be gathered from multiple sources. Work with various carriers and relying on extracting reports from their systems means that you are often left with gaps in data. Furthermore, trying to get a 360°view of how delivery is performing is difficult because reports have to be pieced together, rather than readily available on a single userface.
With a delivery management platform, you can access advanced reporting, which helps you to visualise data from multiple carriers. Manual delivery processes such as labelling and order tracking can be automated. Most importantly, you can easily spot unique customer behaviour trends that, in turn, can take your delivery strategy to the next level.