If you sell products through a network of online retail partners, a recent report from digital-marketing company Avionos—called “Shoppers Demand Superior eCommerce Experiences”— deserves your attention.
One set of statistics from that report struck us here at TrackStreet as mission-critical for brand owners and manufacturers to see. The company asked online shoppers to describe how they would define positive experiences with digital brands or retailers. Here are the two top responses:
- Shoppers’ top-ranked definition of a positive customer experience: Fast shipping (62%).
- The second most common description of a positive experience: Easy delivery (54%).
Shipping and Delivery Top Shoppers’ Lists for Creating Great Customer Experiences
To give you some additional context, respondents to the survey listed “Ample information about the products” 53% of the time, and 50% cited an “Easy, reasonable return policy.” “Friendly and helpful customer service reps” made the list for just 40% of respondents.
Perhaps shoppers have simply come to expect friendly support reps and easy access to product information from every online retailer they buy from. Maybe shipping and delivery are among the few remaining aspects of an online purchase where shoppers still experience wildly varying levels of service.
Whatever the reason, it’s clear that your customers are heavily weighing the delivery experience in their overall impression of your brand. And that means you need to be paying close attention to how your resellers are handling the shipping and delivery of your products.
3 Tips for Upping Your Resellers’ Shipping and Delivery Service—and Protecting Your Brand
1.Start by restricting your online resale channel to an authorized dealer network.
You can reduce many of the risks to your brand’s reputation, including poor shipping and delivery experiences, by limiting your resale channel to a by-invitation-only network of authorized dealers.
When you create this type of opt-in program, you have the chance to vet every would-be retailer interested in selling your products, and you can allow only those with proven track records and great reputations to become part of your authorized resale channel.
You can then make part of your vetting process a review of each retailer’s shipping and delivery infrastructure.
2. Monitor and vet your resale partners’ shipping processes.
Even if you have limited your online resale channel to a select few authorized dealers, you’ll still want to check in on those dealers’ practices from time to time, to make sure they are continuing to deliver the outstanding service you want for your brand’s customers.
You might simply want to go to your retail partners’ eCommerce sites or to the Amazon listings of your products, and review their shipping options. How many carriers do they work with? Do they offer a number of delivery options to customers?
You might even want to periodically conduct test buys from some of your resale partners. This will let your team experience firsthand the entire process, from selecting a shipping option to receiving the package at your door.
3. Track your product reviews online.
My final advice is to implement a process or technology to monitor your brand’s customer reviews across the internet. One of the many benefits of a review tracking system is that it can alert you to clues that one of your retail partners might be using a sub-par shipping and delivery process.
With the right review tracking solution, for example, you can program the system to search for keywords and phrases in customer reviews—such as “slow shipping,” “arrived late,” “or damaged package.”
When you begin sifting through reviews like these, you might find a pattern emerging. Perhaps one of your retail partners is using inexpensive but poor-quality shipping carriers. Or maybe the issue isn’t a retailer but a single carrier covering one geographical region—and several of your retail partners are using that same carrier.
Bottom line: the sooner you discover these patterns, the sooner you can rectify the problems. As the Avionos research report clearly shows, your customers are paying close attention to the shipping and delivery aspect of every online purchase. Which makes creating a great shipping experience a top priority for your brand’s reputation.