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Logistics & Fulfilment

Are you delivering anxiety to your customers?

If you sell a physical product, one of the most important parts of your customers’ journey is the delivery experience itself. It’s the last touch point your customer has with your brand and ironically, the only part of the transaction you’re not able to control.

As an industry, we invest millions of dollars on the latest technologies to ensure we can attract and convert new customers, but just how much do we spend on ensuring we keep them?

Let’s take a moment to consider what your customers are thinking — and feeling — during the often-overlooked last mile delivery experience.

Phase one: Your customer has spent five hours over the last few nights finding the perfect outfit in the size, colour, and cut they wanted, compared the price with your competitors’ websites and decided you had the best offering, entered in their payment details and clicked the big submit button. At that very moment, they have their first case of very small anxiety — did they make the wrong decision? They brush it away since it’s too late to change their mind now.

Phase two: Then — nothing. There’s no immediate reward, there’s no dress to touch, feel or try on like if they shopped at a bricks and mortar store. Instead, they receive an order confirmation email describing the 2 to 5 business day wait for delivery and potentially a tracking link that will only be active within 24 hours once the delivery has been picked up by the carrier.

They’re now in the dark. There’s no one they can call to get more details. They know they need to wait, but the anxiety starts to build.

Phase three: Days have passed and no package or slip in the mail. Your customer starts clicking the tracking link a few times a day to check if it’s coming today but they don’t get enough information. They’re playing the waiting game — and losing. During this three-to-four-day phase, they go on Instagram to reaffirm their purchasing decision to avoid buyer’s remorse.

Phase four: Today’s the day. The courier should come today. The tracking says so too. Your customer is pumped. They can’t wait to get home after work and try their new outfit on. They can already see their outfit in this weekend’s photos and start making plans for the weekend to show it off to their friends. But when your customer gets home, there’s no new package waiting to be opened. It turns out the courier couldn’t get into the apartment easily or no one was home and they didn’t call your customer because they just don’t do that. They’ve left a “Sorry we missed you” card and instructions to collect it at the local agent pickup point. An empty sinking sensation in the pit of your customer’s stomach appears. It’s happened again.

Could you put yourself into their shoes? It’s no wonder that recent studies have proven over two-thirds of online shoppers who experience this frustration during the delivery process vow never to buy from that online retailer again. There was no break-up phone call, no goodbye email, they just decided not to shop again. With all the focus on driving conversion through immersive content, faster checkout processes and sexier payment options, have retailers forgotten about the importance of retention?

The most successful online retailers know this problem well. Analytics shared by an unnamed online retailer demonstrated that by shipping their product on the day of order led to customer a 600 per cent increase in those customers’ lifetime value. By reducing and removing the anxiety that shipping creates, you can build lasting relationships with your customers. It’s time Australian online retailers embraced this fact and started solving this silent retention killer.

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