Amazon has set new standards, creating a demand for fast and free delivery, among other tailored delivery services. However, these new expectations are not necessarily a disadvantage. By creating a delivery strategy that optimizes the customer shipping experience, online retailers can gain a competitive advantage.
Online retailers face ever-increasing competition for customers, especially as online shoppers can easily buy online elsewhere when unsatisfied with their buying journey. Many customers have high expectations and a relatively low tolerance for a bad delivery experience.
However, with an optimized shipping strategy, e-commerce shops can increase customer loyalty and repurchase rates and expand their cross-border delivery successfully. Below we provide all you need to know to ensure an excellent delivery experience for your customers. To see how your current strategy stacks up download our shipping experience checklist.
Study the target market
To satisfy customers in your target country and get them to buy from your online shop again, you need to know their delivery preferences. Whether they prefer goods delivered to a pickup station, via express shipping or sustainable shipping solution - pay attention to what is necessary to offer.
Making sure you offer the locally preferred payment method is also of high importance. Paying by credit card, invoice, or cash on delivery has different popularity levels in each country and should not be confused.
For a detailed overview of the different delivery preferences of European online shoppers, have a look at the free consumer study carried out by YouGov and Seven Senders.
Optimize the delivery experience to meet customer expectations
Offering your customers a customizable delivery time is another way to get ahead of the competition. Consider working with a shipping partner who can directly inject shipments from your warehouse to your target market, thus reducing delivery time.
When it comes to shipping delays, customers are more forgiving if you continually keep them informed about the delivery status. Proactive automatic notifications prevent questions from arising and help to relieve customer service. Keep in mind that notification messages work best when customized to match the shop‘s design, as this makes customers feel like they are in direct contact with the company.
Optimal return management rounds out the shipping experience. To provide the best returns solutions, it's a good idea to work with the best local carriers, offer on-demand return labels, and refund money quickly. Here too, it’s also best practice to keep customers informed about the status of their return. For example, consider setting up automated status updates to notify customers once a package has arrived at the returns warehouse, has been processed, and how soon customers can expect their refund.
Use data insights to optimize shipping performance
A data-driven approach to shipping can help you reduce costs, increase efficiency, and optimize your delivery strategy. A logistics software tool provides a central overview of your carriers and shipments and the necessary data insights to analyze performance. Alerts show you any discrepancies in the delivery process, delivery times, or delivery quality in a timely manner.
Rely on one shipping partner
To offer the best delivery experience, shippers need to stay flexible to their customers' needs. One way to achieve this is by working with a wide carrier network. Partnering with the right last mile carriers makes it easy to meet customer expectations and react fast if one carrier faces difficulties.
However, managing the complexity of a large carrier network is not easy. Choosing to work with one shipping partner that gives you access to a multi-carrier network can be the best cross-border delivery solution to guarantee a great Europe-wide shipping experience and turn one-time buyers into loyal customers.
See how working with Seven Senders can help you optimize your Europe-wide cross-border shipping.