Gone are the days of purchasing online and hoping that your parcel shows up at some undetermined point in the future. It is no longer acceptable to shoppers for deliveries to just turn up whenever, and this becomes even more salient, the closer we get to Christmas.
Customers expect to choose from a range of delivery options at checkout and to be given a narrow window of when exactly to expect their much-anticipated purchase.
Not only that but research shows that 78% of consumers expect to receive Tracking updates on their orders. They expect full visibility on the items on they have paid for at every stage of the delivery journey. A third of shoppers said that real-time location information was crucial information for them to receive. (PRNewswire)
Tracking your reputation.
A 2019 consumer report by Brightpearl, discovered that shopper dissatisfaction with the last mile is the main driving factor in negative online reviews.
77% of negative online reviews are due to issues shopper encounter after clicking ‘buy’. Brightpearl
Failed or late delivery, poor customer service and the lack of real-time tracking were all the common factors found across thousands of negative online reviews in this study.
A survey conducted by Tamebay shows that 20% of all orders generate tracking support calls or contact and that 30% of all customer service contacts are ‘where is my order’? queries.
This is bad for the retailer and bad for the customer. This gap in the experience could be the difference in customers switching brands for a better experience and the ripple of effect of a bad review can cost you many more potential new customers.
Who should update your customers on their delivery?
In general, most ecommerce merchants rely on carrier websites and apps to allow their customers to track parcels, but this means handing over control of the customer experience to a number of third parties whose services can differ wildly.
Excellent tracking and delivery services lead to superior customer experiences. With GPS technology more readily available than ever, why don’t brands offer parcel Tracking across the board?
The obstacle is most retailers lack the ability to process tracking data from the various delivery carriers and turn it into a format to communicate meaningfully with shoppers.
So how can retailers compete with the likes of Amazon and eBay who are setting best practices for Tracking without having the development resources available to these giants? They may have the resources to build bespoke solutions but other retailers would do well to consider using a delivery partner to automate this process for them.
“Too few retailers are seizing control of delivery and customer support, meaning that consumers may receive messages of varying service and experience levels” Alex Sword, Editor, Tamebay
Taking control of the Customer Experience.
For example, Bobby Amirahmadi, Head of Logistics at Gousto says that the retailer uses Scurri’s API to pull tracking data from the different carriers to display on their own website with their own branding. ‘Allowing customers to live track through your own website, allows us to actually take control of the customer experience.’
Practical steps for eCommerce stores to integrate Tracking data.
So what is the optimum solution when it comes to offering Tracking? How can you better communicate to your customers on the status of their purchase while controlling the branding, messaging and even potentially presenting them with personalised offers while they track?
- Understand the needs and expectations of the customer.
- Gain access to Tracking data by using smart resources to translate and automate that data.
- Supply the data in a clear and efficient way to communicate with your customers in a way that is meaningful to them.
- Use your own branding to take ownership of the customer experience.
Tracking boosts customer trust, by turning the data to your advantage in this way, you can gain an enhanced reputation with shoppers.
The joy of the anticipation...
Why do customers love Tracking? It isn’t just for peace of mind. For many customers, the anticipation of receiving their purchase is the height of the experience.
Evolutionary psychology reveals that humans are wired to get the dopamine hit of a reward BEFORE we actually receive it. It is, in fact, the anticipation of that slice of cake or the new pair of shoes that our internal reward system fires.
So with that in mind, making the anticipatory experience of Tracking a pleasurable one for your customers could well be the reason that they come back for more.
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