Consumers expect a seamless journey and stellar customer service from the moment they land on your online store to the point of unboxing their items, and whilst a sizeable proportion of basket abandonment can be attributed to downfalls in the user experience and price comparison, it’s actually failed expectations and dissatisfaction around the delivery options on offer that will see half of them go elsewhere.
In this article, we discuss what today’s online shoppers want when it comes to their delivery options and provide recommendations to help you convert and retain your customers.
What are the delivery deal-breakers?
Given the significant number of shoppers being deterred from making a purchase at the final leg of their journey, delivery is a chance for you to differentiate from your competitors by giving them what they really want.
eCommerce is renowned for empowering the consumer to seek out the best possible deal, and, arguably, the same rule applies where delivery options are concerned.
In fact, free delivery is rated as the most important consideration for shoppers when making an online purchase, with 95% of Brits more likely to make a purchase if delivery is free. More shoppers are also choosing to pick up their items in-store or at their nearest collection point in order to avoid “rip-off” delivery charges.
In fact, over half of online shoppers opted for next day delivery in 2017 and 20% have taken advantage of same-day delivery. For some this doesn’t go far enough, with 54% of urban consumers wanting their eCommerce orders to be delivered within the hour.
With consumers accustomed to getting what they want, when they want it, e-retailers face increasing pressure to meet these demands.
Just as consumers can shop online when it suits them, there is an inherent demand to receive goods how, when and where they want to, in order for their deliveries to fit in seamlessly with their everyday lifestyles.
Failure to enable this can result in these time-poor shoppers going elsewhere, with 60% purchasing from one online retailer over another if the delivery options offer greater convenience.
This means consumers expect to find a variety of delivery options at their fingertips so that they can pick and choose the one that best suits their needs.With readiness to ‘wait in’ for a delivery at an all-time low and anxieties abound over the prospect of a missed delivery, home delivery services alone just won’t cut it anymore.
Affordable, speedy delivery without breaking the bank.
Free delivery will undoubtedly help ‘seal the deal’ in checkout, being a major driver of purchasing decisions. Whilst absorbing the cost of free delivery can be an eye-watering prospect, there are a few things you can do to soften the blow.
Offering free delivery on a minimum spend threshold is a popular mechanism among retailers to help maintain margin and avoid losing money on smaller transactions.
Another way to offset the cost of free deliveries is by offering a delivery loyalty program.
By offering unlimited free standard or next day deliveries for a monthly or annual fee, you encourage your customers to shop more with you, thereby increasing their life-time value. The popularity of such schemes is far from abating, particularly amongst millennial's, with almost 70% subscribed to up to seven delivery loyalty program.
In terms of reducing the surface cost of your delivery options, last-mile logistics partners that offer click & collect via parcel shops or lockers should be considered.
Generally, these services are able to offer better rates on next day services due to their multi-drop models. This factor also offers more reliability when it comes to achieving the promise of next day.
Offer your customers choice.
Online shoppers want to feel in control of their delivery experience, without disruption to their daily routines. One of the main ways that retailers can fulfill this need is by offering a variety of delivery options, including click and collect.
In fact, retailers not taking advantage of these options may be missing a trick.
Click and collect promises an element of convenience to consumers that more affordable home delivery services are falling short of. It also minimizes the risk of an anxiety-ridden delivery experience by side-stepping the chance of a missed or failed delivery, thereby improving the retention of your customers.
Keep returns free, simply and transparent.
Conquering delivery is arguably only half the battle, with the returns journey also bearing a significant impact on customer conversion and loyalty.
We know that providing paid-for returns has a strong influence over purchasing decisions, so it’s worth advertising it liberally in the buying journey. This will offer reassurance to the customer that if they are dissatisfied with their purchase, they won’t have to pay to change their mind.
In so doing, you are removing a barrier to conversion.