You know customer experience (CX) matters. It’s one of the biggest buzzwords in retail and has quickly grown to an over $500-billion industry. But when most people think of eCommerce CX, they think about things like customer service and website user experience (UX). Fewer businesses focus on one of the main parts of the CX equation: the customer delivery experience.
In fact, delivery plays a huge role in how customers feel about the brands they purchase from. Convey’s research found that 83% of customers won’t buy from a brand again if they have just one bad delivery experience. And those bad experiences are still far too common, 44% say brands aren’t doing a good job in that area now.
If your business is spending thousands of dollars improving CX in other areas, but overlooking this one, you could end up losing customers. If you care about keeping customers happy then it’s wise to consider the overall customer experience, from the cart to the customer’s front door.
3 Ways to Address The Delivery Experience
Every eCommerce business has three options for figuring out how to handle the delivery experience for customers.
1. Do Nothing
This is probably the most common option businesses choose. Change often feels overwhelming in the moment, and sticking with the status quo is easy. The problem is that the delivery system most companies use wasn’t built to delight customers.
Before the rise in eCommerce, shipments mostly went from one business to another business. The expectations recipients had were different, and the stakes of delivery mishaps were lower. But today, the person on the other end of those deliveries is less likely to be a business associate, and more likely to be a customer you need to please.
52% of shoppers name efficiency and ease of service as a defining factor in brand loyalty. Deliveries that are late or unpredictable hurt your reputation and could cause lost customers. For most businesses, sticking with the delivery system you use now isn’t good enough—not if you want to keep customers coming back.
2. Build a Solution Internally
This option recognizes that you need to do something, but what next? Starting with an internally built solution to help you better track deliveries and communicate their status to customers is one way to tackle the issue. This shows a willingness to improve the customer experience and keeping the process in-house can save costs upfront.
However, building an internal delivery tracking tool has its limitations. When it comes to customer expectations around delivery experience, you’re competing with massive behemoths like Amazon and Walmart who have the resources to build complex, vertically integrated systems that deliver a top-notch experience.
Few businesses have IT departments with the bandwidth and skills to match that, no matter how smart your team is. And to provide a truly exceptional delivery experience, your system should go beyond just delivery tracking. You need to connect your delivery data with other systems, like your customer service platform and inventory management.
DIY delivery management solutions are usually knitted together from different legacy systems and are aimed at solving a small part of the larger problem. While better than nothing, internally built solutions usually can’t provide the full view of delivery systems that you need to provide a better customer experience.
3. Buy Delivery Experience Management Software
The third option requires making an initial investment and provides a specific set of benefits the other two can’t. Software designed specifically for delivery experience management (DEM) is much more likely to deliver a comprehensive solution to the problem.
DEM software enables you to gain full visibility into the delivery journey, so you see right away if a shipment, or many shipments in your network, are affected by specific exceptions, allowing you to can take action accordingly. But beyond empowering you to step in on a case-by-case basis, it provides data that reveals larger systemic trends you can use to make improvements to your delivery processes.
A distinct benefit of buying a delivery experience management solution is that you don’t just benefit from your own data. When a software solution is used by hundreds of retailers, it’s able to track what works best across millions of orders. That means you can tap into not only insights specific to your business, but also those based on a broader scale of knowledge than your analytics alone can provide.
Improved CX and Cost Savings
When you have more control over the delivery process, you have the ability to be more proactive in improving the customer experience. That’s increasingly important in an era where high expectations mean customer loyalty is hard to earn and easy to lose.
But better delivery management doesn’t just improve CX results. Delivery experience management software can help you increase shipping efficiencies, reduce customer service calls, and improve inventory management. By choosing to buy, rather than build or do nothing, you can both save money and increase sales.
The profit difference can be hard to visualize on your own. Try out our delivery experience management calculator to see what the difference would look like for your business. Now consider, how much is it costing you to not make an investment in delivery experience management?