eCommerce Tips to help navigate Covid-19

Advice for retailers from Scurri

The majority of retailers are experiencing an impact of the covid-19 outbreak. The lockdown measures and restrictions have meant that shoppers are now turning to online as the predominant way to shop. 

For retailers, this means that all attention is shifting to focus on the eCommerce side of the business. It’s an extremely challenging juggling act for companies to ensure business runs as smoothly as possible under the circumstances while also maintaining staff and customers safety.

With things shifting rapidly, it might be hard to know exactly what actions to implement. Here are a few considerations from Scurri that eCommerce merchants can introduce to potentially ease some pain for them and their customers. 

Be upfront with customers about delivery times.

Consumers understand that the current situation is impacting shopping, but it’s still important to manage customer expectations at this time. Tell your customers at the time of purchase to expect longer delivery times. Consider adding a message to your homepage, so it can’t be missed, like the Asos example below.

Honest communication is essential for brand reputation, maintaining trust & avoiding customer disappointment.

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Reduce delivery options to avoid disappointment.

With the current disruption to carrier networks and pickup times, it’s likely that you can no longer offer all delivery options as usual.

Consider removing any delivery options that you’re not confident of from your site, such as next day, same day etc. These steps will provide a more reasonable expectation for your customer.

Cancel Click & Collect?

As most shoppers are now at home due to restrictions, it makes sense to limit deliveries to home deliveries only. Collect from store/click and collect which have become an increasingly popular alternative to next day delivery may not be possible at the moment due to the closure of the majority of physical stores.

Again, if you offer to collect from store services, you may need to switch to only offering home delivery options in the interim.

Reassure customers of contactless delivery.

Shoppers might be apprehensive about receiving deliveries at this time. It’s a good idea to reassure them and communicate to them that they can receive deliveries in a contactless manner. Remind them they don’t have to sign for the delivery and that delivery personnel will be maintaining adequate distance.

You might even want to offer them a handy printable sign for their front door, like this example from Fastway. ‘We are self-isolating, please ring the doorbell and leave the parcel outside the door’. This is particularly reassuring for people who are more vulnerable at this time.

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Use a multi-carrier solution.

When it comes to carriers, it’s essential to have a contingency. Events are shifting so quickly it’s vital to be adaptable by having access to a network of carriers. 

For instance, eCommerce stores using Scurri as their carrier management system retailers can easily switch carriers (via the carrier rules engine)if a carrier is experiencing delays in a particular area. You even have the option of quickly adding a new carrier to your arsenal from the available carrier network, opening up your options even further.  

Having a multi-carrier solution ensures you options and flexibility to continue operations which are essential at the moment.

Be visible with your Tracking updates. 

With orders shifting online, shoppers are even more eager to know the status of their order, particularly if its a delivery of groceries. By updating customers directly using notifications or allowing them to track their order through your website, you could prevent an influx of ‘where is my order’ calls. Having access to delivery data means your customer service team can quickly answer queries that do come in. 

Having the ability to become aware of delivery exceptions means you can proactively engage with customers to inform them of a delay ahead of time and offer them some compensation, for instance, 10% off their next order.

Tracking is another crucial area where Scurri supports customers; for instance, Scurri unifies the Tracking data from all available carriers into one easy to read format, all in one place. And also provides a way to display tracking via your own website, for a branded customer experience.

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