While a slower peak shopping and shipping season is expected this year, it doesn’t mean that retail and eCommerce shippers can take a break for the holidays. In fact, delivering an outstanding final-mile customer experience during the holidays can position your brand to not only survive the tough economy but also set you up for success when the economy eventually recovers.
According to the “Last-Mile Delivery: Customer Perception Report 2022,” conducted for mobile data capture technology provider Anyline by Researchscape, 76% of respondents said that an unacceptable delivery experience would strongly or somewhat affect their decision to order from that company again.
This number rises for each passing generation, with more than 81% of millennials responding they would think twice after a single poor delivery and 86% of Generation Z shoppers saying bad delivery would keep them from placing a repeat order.
So, a less-than-stellar delivery experience during the holidays for customers today and tomorrow can move your business to the naughty list for seasons to come.
Here are three ways to stay on the nice list by delivering the best shipping experience for the holidays and beyond:
Free shipping still moves the needle for consumers
While they are shopping for bargains on gifts, shoppers are also taking shipping fees into account, especially as they continue to shop online and reduce trips to stores due to inflation and still-high gas prices.
Boxpoll studies have shown that about 75% of shoppers prioritize cost over delivery speed. So, retailers that offer free or reduced-cost shipping, especially as consumers shop earlier for the holidays, with retailers pushing the sales window beyond the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday dates.
The need for speedy deliveries
Of course, not every shopper will shop early for the holidays—even if they do, delays can happen during the peak shipping season. Late with a delivery? That can spell bad news. Late with grandma’s holiday gift can spell the end of the business with that customer.
A Voxware study has shown that 30% of consumers are less likely to shop with a vendor who hasn’t delivered on time. While replacing these lost customers with new ones may seem easy enough, it’s not necessarily financially savvy.
The US Small Business Administration, recommends that an eCommerce store spend 7–8% of its revenue on marketing costs. However, due to various factors, many eCommerce companies spend upward of 20% to attract new customers, significantly cutting profit margins and bottom-line revenue.
Failed deliveries lead to failed customer satisfaction
However, getting packages to customers on time starts with getting the package to the correct address the first time.
According to a 2021 study by Loquate, 99% of retail respondents admitted to failed deliveries across some portion of their online orders. Another 24% said more than one in 10 orders aren’t delivered on the first attempt. In addition, the report showed that 74% cited incorrect address data as the cause of up to a quarter of their deliveries failing. Meanwhile, about 33% either don’t verify address data or leave it up to the courier. Therefore, to help ensure that deliveries not only reach customers quickly—but at all—it is essential that retailers use a multi-carrier parcel management solution that checks for correct addresses.
How to deliver an excellent holiday shipping experience
Getting parcels to shoppers and gift recipients faster and with less cost takes optimized planning and systems, including:
Multi-Carrier Network. Utilizing a multi-carrier network of national, regional, and local carriers can help shippers cut the expenses of shipping free and low-cost offers to customers and even hyperlocal gig workers and couriers. This could also reduce the expense of fuel surcharges as carriers pass along the bump in costs to their customers.
Omnichannel Shipping Strategy: By shipping from locations such as storefronts, 3PL’s regional warehouses, distribution centers, and even drop-shipping directly from manufacturers, retailers, and eCommerce businesses, placing products closer to the customer not only cut costs but speeds delivery time as well.
Book your personalized demonstration today to learn how Transtream multi-carrier parcel shipping management software can help you navigate the peak holiday shipping season and beyond.