With online shopping being the new standard way to shop, Delivery is one of the most important customer needs and should definitely be high on the agenda for retailers. An excellent delivery experience benefits more than just the customer, efficient and cost-effective Delivery has significant positive benefits for your eCommerce business.
Although many retailers are not satisfied with their delivery operations in terms of service offering, cost management and level of data visibility, they still do not make it the top priority. Why is this? Sometimes the legacy of a bespoke system seems too daunting to overcome, but more often than not, budget is the blocker to making significant changes to delivery management.
This is understandable; however, there are several ways in which implementing an effective carrier management system pays for itself – here are the top 5.
1. Customer retention.
The top business case for investing in Delivery management software is improved customer experience. Delivery is extremely complicated and challenging to get right, eCommerce merchants can’t achieve a seamless customer experience without state-of-the-art carrier management system to simplify the process from beginning to end.
There are several ways a first-class Carrier Management System can contribute to customer satisfaction and retention. Delivery is the last touchpoint between you and your customer, and it’s more memorable to them than the purchasing of the product. A CMS will lead to higher-on time delivery rates which breeds trust and repeat business from your customers.
Delivery is also the source of favourable online reviews as an exceptional delivery experience ranks much higher in the mind of the shopper than the initial conversion. The majority of negative online reviews (77%) stem from bad delivery experiences, online reviews are a deciding factor for shoppers when purchasing, so this is a crucial area to focus on. 54% of shoppers would spend more with retailers that have excellent reviews and can spend up to 22% more. In a study of positive online reviews, the following features were front and centre: delivery speed, delivery options and tracking updates.
2. Control & visibility.
Having one connected system gives you ultimate control and visibility over every aspect of your shipping. This comes with huge benefits.
- Managing all your carriers in one platform that provides compliance is far simpler and cost-effective to maintaining separate or bespoke systems.
- A first-rate CMS can be integrated with other solutions, e.g. ERP, WMS, OMS etc. to create one global system for your supply chain.
- Having one interface to access and view all shipping activity in a multi-carrier network gives you the value of full visibility and allows you to plan ahead more effectively.
- Having one central hub to access real-time data and reporting relating to your shipments, costs and carrier performance means you can make critical business decisions based on accurate information.
3. Improved service & increased sales.
Integrating carriers is a lengthy and expensive process; a first-rate CMS improves speed to market for new carriers and dramatically reduces the cost. Having access to a network of carriers is essential to providing the options and delivery speeds that customers expect. 83% of consumers expect to be provided with a range of delivery speeds, having the ability to supply these options actively reduces cart abandonment and increases conversion.
In a Royal Mail report, these are the services used by shoppers on average in 2019.
- Standard Delivery x 10 times
- Same day x1 time
- Next day x3 times
Failed eCommerce delivery costs the UK £1.6bn per year. Having a network of approved and reliable carriers increases efficiency and improves the successful and on-time delivery rate. Customers expect the highest level of service and a late or failed delivery is not acceptable in this customer-centric era. Customers consider reliability to be just as important as speed, if not more so when it comes to delivery.
4. Effective cost management.
Carrier rates are a significant cost to any eCommerce business and Carrier invoice reconciliation, and accounting can be a slow and error-ridden process. With a top grade Shipping system, you can manage all your carrier performance and rate information in one centralised location.
This enables you to accurately track your carrier spend in real-time. Using data and reporting features eliminates the need for assumptions, and by using the insights you gain from the network performance, you can reduce costs effectively by establishing better forecasting and spending methods around shipping.
Having the ability to monitor all delivery events and become aware of exceptions is vitally important; this allows you to respond instantly and head problems off at the pass. For instance, if you are notified immediately when a delivery problem occurs, this gives you the opportunity to inform the customer of the alternative solution, extend an apology and offer them a discount or freebie. This is where customer service excellence comes in.
Having visibility on all shipments also means that you can answer any customer service questions quickly. This is significant, considering 20% of all orders generate a tracking support call/contact and 30% of all customer service contacts are ‘where is my order’? queries.
78% of consumers expect to receive Tracking updates on their orders. Tracking boosts customer trust. However, most retailers lack the ability to process tracking data from their carriers, as the formats and levels of data supplied differ greatly between each carrier.
Turning this into meaningful communication with shoppers is impossible using bespoke solutions or outdated integrations. Therefore, competing with the likes of Amazon and eBay who are setting best practices for Tracking is out of the question without a best in class Carrier Management System.
A first-rate CMS can standardise the data across all carriers in a way that can be unified and presented to the customer. By turning Tracking data to your advantage in this way, you can gain an enhanced reputation with shoppers and an advantage over your competitors.