Three tips to create a personalized customer shipping experience

November 2, 2023
Three tips to create a personalized customer shipping experience

A customized post-purchase experience allows you to increase customer satisfaction and turn shoppers into repeat customers. But how do you create a personalized customer shipping experience? Here are our top three tips.

When customers place an order on your online shop, not only does the delivery need to go smoothly, but it also needs to leave a positive impression on the customer. That’s where creating opportunities for more personalized shipping can help differentiate your online shop and set you ahead of the competition.

1. Personalize the shipping experience with multiple delivery options

These days, consumers want more control over the shipping experience, and online shops can respond to these changing preferences by providing online shoppers with multiple delivery options to meet their individual needs. Different options can help increase conversions, whether it's choosing which carrier will deliver their package or letting customers decide how or when their order will arrive. Delivery options like standard shipping, express shipping, or time-slot delivery should be visible to customers before they complete their checkout.

Increasingly gaining importance is for online shops to provide consumers with a more sustainable delivery option. Retailers can achieve this by offering an out-of-home delivery option, meaning customers can choose a convenient PUDO (pick-up/drop-off) location to collect their parcels, such as at a post office, parcel shop, or parcel locker. 

The same applies to returns: the customer should be able to choose between different return options that best correspond to their preferences. Online retailers working with a carrier mix on the last mile can more easily cover multiple delivery options and offer customers services that meet their needs and expectations.

Once the customer has placed an online order, they want to be proactively informed about the shipping process.

2. Manage expectations with clear information about shipping times

Providing clear information about shipping times in your online shop has many advantages, such as building customer trust and lowering cart abandonment rates. The estimated delivery date should be visible to the customer during checkout – before completing the order process. Additionally, consider including any product-specific or seasonal factors that could affect shipping. For example, when certain items have longer-than-average delivery times due to shipping from a warehouse further away or if it is temporarily unavailable. This information strengthens customer loyalty, highlights how you keep your shop up to date, and demonstrates that you care about providing the best possible customer experience.

3. Personalize communication about order status

Once the customer has placed an order, they want to be proactively informed about the shipping process. One way to make this more personal is via automated email or SMS notifications. Address customers by their first name and thank them for placing an order so they feel you are talking to them directly.

Another way to make the experience more personal is to set up your own branded shipment tracking page instead of sending customers to the delivery agent's tracking page. In this way, you can keep customers in your brand ecosystem and communicate about their order status more personally. For example, you can use the tracking page to make personalized recommendations of additional products specifically relevant to the ones they purchased.

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Bonus tip! Branded packaging design for a customized experience

Packaging is also part of the shipping experience. Attractive packaging design allows an online shop to communicate its brand in a way that appeals to its target audience. And the unboxing experience can help you create a personal experience for each shopper. Including small surprises like free samples or vouchers relevant to the customer's purchasing history is an effective strategy to build lasting customer relationships. You can also include exclusive sales promotions and offer incentives to create a more customized experience.

But when designing your shipping materials, ensure your packaging is practical. More and more online retailers are switching to more sustainable packaging. For example, choosing paper instead of plastic, reusable materials instead of single-use products, and biodegradable packing peanuts instead of styrofoam or plastic.

More specifically, your customers (and delivery partners) want packaging that is sleek, not too bulky, and, ideally, can fit in a standard mailbox- minimal packaging can also help you save shipping costs!

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