Creating a premium customer experience is essential in the world of e-commerce. One of the most important factors in meeting customer satisfaction is shipping speed. Customers want items they’ve paid for to be delivered as soon as possible. To compete in the market, a business needs to have fast shipping options with tracking information that is easily accessible.
It’s no surprise then that Amazon dominates the premium shipping space. They’re able to deliver packages quickly through a robust e-commerce fulfillment and logistics infrastructure. With same-day, next-day, and two-day shipping as their top shipping options, it’s normal for consumers to choose the Amazon seller that can get their item to them faster, especially when it’s the same or similar price. This is part of why the Amazon Prime model has been so successful. Amazon’s premium shipping option guarantees a low shipping fee, easy-to-find tracking information, and express shipping. It is reliable and dependable for customers.
However, it’s not only the shipping speed that goes into a premium shipping plan. Packaging, mode of transportation, and order tracking are other factors that play a part in how well brands can meet customer needs when it comes to shipping expectations. Here’s a quick guide to premium shipping options and what to consider to maintain excellent customer satisfaction.
Shipping speed is one of the most important determining factors customers consider when choosing a retailer. When there are delays, it immediately causes frustration and can eventually lead to a customer looking elsewhere to fill their needs.
Not all customers necessarily need their items next-day, but premium shipping options, such as overnight delivery or two-day shipping is what elevates the experience to deliver on what they want. Additional shipping incentives, such as free shipping and ongoing communication about backorders and other contingencies, are what keeps customers satisfied.
Premium shipping also factors in the kind and quality of packaging used to ship goods called dunnage. So, what is dunnage? There are several types of dunnage, or the materials used to secure items during transport. Bubble wrap is the most commonly used for fragile materials, although air pillows, foam, and corrugated paper are also popular dunnage to keep items from becoming damaged. Any scratch, dent, or water damage caused to products prior to arrival is never a good sign for the retailer nor the customer.
Branded, eco-friendly packaging is a way to further elevate premium shipping options for customers. At Flowspace, all orders are picked, packed, and shipped to a company’s exact specifications. The details that differentiate your brand and keep customers happy are handled through customized shipping services.
Mode of Transportation
The reputation of providers and quality of services is important when choosing the mode of transportation. UPS and FedEx are arguably the biggest used modes of transportation for businesses and individuals, with transportation by air and on the ground.
There is a certain expectation when shipping goods through third-party logistics (3PL) companies. They guarantee delivery dates based on how much you’ve paid for shipping. By outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL, it alleviates the burden of factoring in the packaging, labeling, and shipping of products. When scaling for growth, turning to the help of shipping and fulfillment services keeps deliveries consistently on track during the ebb and flow of sales.
Order tracking is also a necessary part of any type of shipping, premium or not. Without it, items can become lost either in the warehouse or somewhere en route. The tracking label is how customers know their items have been shipped, and it gives retailers insight into the amount of inventory that is being sold and delivered on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
By using automation to create customized shipping labels and update systems, it makes tracking items easier and useful for customer service. In fact, you may be surprised at how frequently people ask the question “What Is A Shipping Label?” So, we’ve covered that topic in great detail to help you better understand the various aspects.
All in all, customers want to know when their items have been shipped, when to expect their packages, and any real-time information regarding transport delays. There may be two different tracking systems when customers ship via a split shipment.
Additional premium options may also include receiving a photo of their package at their front door or requested drop-off location. All of this is a helpful part of maintaining a positive customer experience.
How to Improve Shipping Options for Customers
When offering premium shipping options for customers, it’s important to constantly assess each step of the shipping process and find areas for improvement. For example, if shipping speed is a constant concern, identify reasons why there are delays and provide solutions that can improve the process. Ask the following questions:
- Are there enough warehouses to meet customer demand?
- Are there high seasons where sales volumes increase dramatically?
- Do you have optional delivery windows for customers?
First, a lack of warehouses means you may not be able to serve all customers equally. By stationing several throughout different regions, you can ensure the same premium shipping can be applicable to all.
Second, during high sales and shipping times, particularly around the holiday season, it’s best to predict the volume of sales and schedule a plan for customers to know when they should place an online order to avoid delays. Based on the size of your company and general volume of sales, Flowspace offers e-commerce fulfillment services that can help you find the right solution to meet your customers’ needs.
Lastly, set expectations for customers. Let them choose their delivery window, if possible, or if they want their items shipped all together or separately. This allows them to select the shipping service that works best for them.
Implementing an E-Commerce Fulfillment and Shipping Strategy
Outsourcing e-commerce fulfillment is a good strategy for companies that don’t have the technology or manpower to keep up with Amazon and other big-time retailers that have a vast infrastructure that allows for them to offer premium shipping experience.
By integrating everything into one system, including order fulfillment and inventory management, as well as customer support, packaging, and shipping, retailers of any size can deliver a premium end-to-end customer experience. Take advantage of the technologies and supply chains available by customizing your premium shipping solution.
For more information about how Flowspace can help you to create your own premium shipping options, submit a quote today!