Today, commerce is moving faster and more efficiently than ever and competition is heating up amongst e-commerce sellers. Research shows that consumers are considering a growing number of factors when making a purchase decision, presenting an opportunity for retailers that are committed to understanding their customers and delivering great experiences.
Gone are the days when consumers just look at the price. The brands that will thrive in this market are those that prioritize the customer experience and truly understand what drives their decisions.
In this blog, we will discuss seven essential strategies to enhance customer experiences in e-commerce, how these strategies can help gain loyal customers, and how outsourcing can be to your advantage.
Easy and Free Product Returns
Hassle-free and cost-free returns could easily mean the difference between a consumer doing business with your brand or another. The Ryder 2023 E-Commerce Study shows that 13% of consumers chose “Free Returns” as having the biggest role in their purchase decision.
To achieve a customer-focused and comprehensive return policy, sellers should invest in returns management tools, fulfillment networks, and could leverage partnerships to make returns just as coordinated as their outbound orders. Third party logistics (3PL) providers like Ryder could take this entire workload into their own hands and leverage their network and resources to perfect your business’s returns process.
Next time you experience a return request, remember to view it as an opportunity to gain a loyal customer, rather than a failure.
Quick Deliveries and Varied Delivery Options
Consumers today have grown accustomed to getting their products quickly and choosing how they want to receive it. While there are a number of factors at play when deciding between products/brands, quick deliveries and multiple options remain huge factors in the minds of consumers. Some customers may want the cheapest delivery option and some may want the quickest - the sellers that provide the most freedom are making the customer’s life easier.
To best accommodate the delivery needs of customers, consider partnering with a 3PL with established relationships and leverage multiple carriers for delivery. This strategy would improve your delivery speed and costs.
Personalized Shopping Experiences
Todays’ consumers are looking for sellers that understand their preferences and can provide personalized experiences. This can range from personalized product recommendations and offers, to more innovative strategies like product bundling. At the core of any great personalized experience is a strong data strategy and the ability to deliver on the backend by ensuring that your fulfillment process can include personalized touches and handle the complexities of product bundling, for example. Search for a partner that can provide critical insights for improved personalized experiences and can manage the complexities involved with fulfillment.
Environmental Sustainability in E-Commerce Practices
Sustainable business practices, especially amongst millennial and Gen Z audiences, is a significant purchase factor for many consumers. Demonstrating a commitment to reducing carbon footprint, minimizing waste, and conducting ethical business practices can help align sellers’ values with that of their audiences.
Recyclable packaging, electric vehicle carriers, product labeling, energy-efficient manufacturing - these are all strategies that can help reduce negative environmental impacts and better connect with your customers.
Innovative Packaging Solutions
Memorable unboxing experiences can create an unforgettable customer experience and is one of the most significant marketing strategies for e-commerce businesses. When sellers invest time and care into their packaging, it can boost repeat purchases and increase post-purchase customer satisfaction.
An innovative and memorable packaging experience can be made possible by a 3PL that offers customizable value added services (VAS). This can enable bespoke experiences like custom packaging, kitting, inserts, and personalized touches that make customers feel valued and understood.
Real-time Order Tracking and Updates
A lack of order tracking and visibility, especially for customers that are in a pinch and need their products in a hurry, could cause frustration. Providing customers with real-time tracking and regular updates about their orders can significantly enhance the shopping experience. This transparency not only builds trust but also reduces customer anxiety about online purchases, leading to happier customers.
Rather than sellers having to build a tech-stack with real-time tracking capabilities on their own, a technology-driven 3PL like Ryder can provide technology for your business and ensure that customers are well-informed about their orders’ status.
Multi-Channel Presence and Consistency
Whether shopping through a website, an app, social media, or in-store, it is key that brands maintain consistency across all touchpoints for their customers. A unified omnichannel strategy helps in building a strong, recognizable brand, essential for great customer experiences and fostering brand loyalty.
You can never go wrong by prioritizing the customer. Implementing these seven strategies will ensure that you develop deeper connections with your customers and create memorable experiences for them.