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Develop a winning delivery strategy: ecommerce success

Francesca Farina, Content Coordinator at Pentagon
28 November 2017

The importance of a good delivery strategy (particularly in the ecommerce landscape) is becoming more and more obvious. Everyone has a story to tell about that missed birthday gift or a beautiful dress that arrived too late for a special occasion. How many of these customers have shopped again at the same shop or with the same seller after such a painful experience? You already know the answer. Deliveries and returns can now affect pre-purchase decisions as much as the price tag: no-one can afford to underestimate them and having a comprehensive ecommerce delivery strategy never been so important.

Happy customers

When ordering online, customers want to be assured that the delivery process is reliable and predictable. According to research from Accenture*, shoppers want full control of the delivery. Beyond just the ability to choose a date, an allocated delivery time slot is welcomed by 91% of respondents. The vast majority of shoppers also rely on sellers who can offer an easy and affordable returns service for their customers, as well as highlighting that reputation has an impact on purchasing decisions. In mature ecommerce markets, such as the USA, United Kingdom, Germany and France,  the complexity and diversity of customer needs increases rapidly. For example, the growing demand for delivery of fresh products and the ability to receive a purchase within few hours (in specific areas) are living proof customer demands are on the rise. Be sure to arm yourself with the necessary infrastructure needed to cater for all potential opportunities offer to you by a marketplace platform.

Smooth returns

When buying online, returns are highly probable: research suggests that 30% of all fashion products purchased online are returned in the UK. ASOS changed the industry norms by turning the “plague” into a free option and more and more sellers are offering free returns. Indeed, 81% of customers would shop more often with a retailer that offers easy and free returns. That’s why 79% of ecommerce retailers place returns capabilities among the most important criteria when choosing a delivery provider. Understandably, problems with returns are a frequent issue, and can negatively impact on your customer experience.

Price smartly

Pairing exceptional service with good prices is a complicated balancing act. As part of your delivery strategy, looking for offers that can minimise the delivery effort could be the key. Almost all marketplaces offer the possibility of a multi-purchase discount: this can help sellers to have the best volume discount. Good prices and promotions can also increase a sellers’ reputation and improve seller history records on the marketplace. Being price smart is a crucial part of the business, so collecting as much data as possible about it can really make the difference. The right digital tools, particularly analytics, can help sellers make smarter pricing decisions. Richer market data on how prices impact demand for services will help maximise profitability through faster, more evidence-based decisions.

Cross-border made easy

Expanding to new markets will be a crucial advantage, especially over the next few years as the European market becomes saturated. Cross-border shoppers have different needs and expectations compared to local customers. Designing tailored services to offer a seamless, simplified and reliable delivery will quickly become one of the preferred sellers’ methods for a growing audience. Today only 26% of ecommerce retailers fill out the required customs documentation for overseas online customers. In general, cross-border services scored a low satisfaction rate in the analysed survey. Global delivery players are quickly moving toward international technologies that can provide an integrated full service. This kind of integrated customisation helps merchants attract more business and makes international shopping much easier for consumers, thereby fuelling ever-greater use of cross-border opportunities. *  

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