Lateshipment.com Blog https://www.lateshipment.com/blog LateShipment.com makes your shipping refund claim process effortless by tracking and automatically requesting refunds from FedEx and UPS for all eligible shipments. Automate Your Shipping Refunds! Tue, 11 May 2021 11:18:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.3 https://lswordpress.s3.amazonaws.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/25101134/cropped-lslogo512-32x32.png Lateshipment.com Blog https://www.lateshipment.com/blog 32 32 [eCommerce 2021] 10 Expert Tips to Boost Your Website’s Engagement https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/tips-to-boost-your-ecommerce-website-engagement/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/tips-to-boost-your-ecommerce-website-engagement/#respond Wed, 05 May 2021 09:40:56 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7900 New small business owners find it difficult to understand why their eCommerce businesses grow slowly. While there are […]

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New small business owners find it difficult to understand why their eCommerce businesses grow slowly. While there are numerous contributing, website engagement is among the most overlooked aspects.

Not only does website engagement keep your new visitors interested in learning about your company, but it also helps retain existing customers. Thus, optimizing the sales cycle.

During the course of this article, you’ll learn ten expert tips to boost your eCommerce store’s website engagement. From driving traffic to keeping your existing customers happy, we’ll look at each tip in detail. Let’s get started.

1. Design a Responsive Website

Responsive web design refers to a modern design approach that ensures a website’s pages adjust well on various screen sizes. 

“Mobile devices have been consistently generating over half of the website traffic in the past five years.” – Statista

Therefore, having a responsive website can’t be compromised. For that, you need to choose your theme wisely.

If you use a Content Management System (CMS), such as WordPress or Joomla, ensure that your chosen theme is responsive. As third-party developers can contribute to making website themes for these platforms, they won’t all be fluid.

The more convenient option is to utilize a website builder that guarantees mobile responsiveness, like the Zyro eCommerce builder. With this platform, you’ll get access to more than 80 responsive and attractive website templates, allowing you to focus on growth, rather than the minute details of your site on every different screen format. 

2. Have a Clear Website Structure

Website structure refers to your website’s presentation. The four types of site structure include hierarchical, sequential, matrix, and database.

For eCommerce websites, the hierarchical model is the most suitable option. This tree structure starts from the big umbrella that narrows down to more specific topics. Thus, you can display parent product categories and utilize a drop-down menu to contain the child categories. 

The best practice for this is to keep the hierarchical structure under three levels. Not only does the simple structure ease your potential customer journey, but it also helps Google index your site faster.

3. Run Social Media Ad Campaigns

Starting a social media ad campaign allows you to display advertisements for your eCommerce store on various social media platforms. It’s among the excellent strategies to help increase your online store’s traffic, as there are 4.2 billion social media users globally.

Here are some ad campaign programs from three of the most popular social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, and Tiktok:

  • Facebook Ads – This service can automatically generate retargeting ads that feature the goods your visitors saw on your product page. It also lets you customize the advertising targeting options, like gender and age, to get your ads personalized.
  • Instagram Ads – Sign up for Instagram Ads from your business account and choose the various ad forms the platform offers, including photos, carousels, Instagram Stories, and IGTV.  
  • TikTok Ads – Despite its limited availability, TikTok Ads has been spreading its wings across 20 countries, including the USA. Signing up for the service, you’ll be able to display pre-roll and in-feed ads, promote hashtag challenges, and create branded effects.

On a side note, define your target audience before deciding on a platform, as each social media has its own demographics.

4. Apply Cross-Selling and Upselling Techniques

Cross-selling is about offering more shopping options to complement what your potential buyers have on their carts. In comparison, upselling pretty much involves suggesting a better, more expensive option of the same product.

When done right, these strategies help increase your sales and reinforce your relationship with your customers. That said, let’s see how you can put these techniques into action:

  • Keep it easy – Being too promotional backfires. Keep the sales flow smooth by only referring to products or services that align with the customer’s needs
  • Offer benefits – Rewards, such as discounts and free shipping, motivate your potential customers to close the deal
  • Conduct follow-ups – Check-in on your past customers to find out if they’re happy with the purchase. This is to show that your company cares about its customers

5. Boost User-Generated Content

Boost UGC

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content, such as reviews, photos, and testimonials, created by general users rather than affiliates or influencers. 

“For eCommerce websites, UGC is vital as 87% of customers read local businesses’ online reviews before making a purchase.” – Brightlocal.

Besides proving your shop’s credibility, letting users add content encourages customers to have their say, thus improving your site’s engagement. When they do, don’t forget to leave a response so they’ll feel appreciated. 

6. Personalize the Content

eCommerce content personalization is about integrating personal experiences along the customer journey by delivering relevant content based on users’ data, including purchase behavior, browsing patterns, and visited pages.

“91% of online shoppers are more likely to buy from a company with relevant offers.” – Accenture.

As personalizing each customer’s experience can be challenging, utilize an e-commerce personalization tool to help with the process. Here’s what such tool can help you with:

  • Product recommendations. By looking at past searches and purchase history, an eCommerce personalization tool can generate relevant item suggestions
  • Dynamic pricing. This feature allows adjusting a product’s pricing based on changing market demand and tailoring different product pricing for different audiences
  • Personalized navigation. This practice is about prioritizing particular website pages for certain audience groups
  • Abandoned cart retargeting. Suppose an item has been in a visitor’s cart for too long, an e-commerce personalization tool will remind the potential buyer to proceed with the checkout process

7. Upload High-Quality Images

Your target customers can’t see or touch your products in real life before actually purchasing them. To make a decision, they rely heavily on your product images. That’s why having excellent product photography is essential for eCommerce websites. 

Suppose you’re afraid the high-quality product photos will slow down your website. In that case, don’t forget to compress before uploading them. For this, use a lossless compression tool, like TinyPNG, as it can cut the image’s size without reducing its quality.

8. Offer Discounts and Sales Promotions

Offering promotions might seem like an ineffective way to generate interest. However, well-organized discount and sales promotion campaigns are excellent for attracting traffic, engaging new audiences, and driving sales quickly. 

However, these practices aren’t for everyone. When conducted too often, discounts can diminish your product and service’s value. Read the tips below to structure effective discount and sales promotion campaigns:

  • Welcome new visitors with special offers –  whether it’s a shopping coupon or a 15% discount for their first purchase, it won’t be a problem
  • Apply early-bird discounts for new products – this practice creates a feeling of scarcity about your goods, triggering purchases
  • Promote seasonal products with special gifts – suppose you launch Chinese New Year attire collections. In that case, a small hong bao pocket can be a great gift for each purchase of the collection
  • Reward loyal customers with personalized promotions –  establishing a loyalty club is a great way to organize this program. For that, let’s dive deep into a loyalty program on the next tip.

9. Create a Loyalty Program

A customer loyalty program refers to a structured marketing solution focused on rewarding a customer who has engaged with a company repeatedly. Apart from improving relationships, implementing a reward program can encourage your customers to keep coming back to you.

When setting up a customer loyalty program, remember these four tips:

  • Give out free products – suppose your customers have spent a certain amount on your brand, you can probably send across for them to try 
  • Set a timeframe – your loyalty members should be able to attain their rewards within three to six months after joining the program. This is to make sure they don’t lose their interests
  • Give birthday surprises – preparing a birthday treat for your loyal customers can be a pleasant and personalized reward. Not only does it show that your company cares about its customers, but it also keeps them happy.

10. Add CTAs Strategically

A call-to-action includes any phrase that encourages your eCommerce site’s visitors to take specific actions. Apart from driving more conversions, compelling CTAs can also serve as navigation that guides your potential customers through the marketing funnel.

To strategically place your CTAs, refrain from being too aggressive. For example, some shoppers may feel intimidated by a Buy Now button. In this case, use Add to Cart or Save as Favorite instead.

Also, emphasize the button with colors or boxes. That way, your CTA will catch your visitors’ attention and won’t get overlooked.

Conclusion

You’ve learned ten tips for boosting your website engagement. By implementing them, you’ll save your eCommerce website from getting stale. Additionally, responsiveness is the first thing you should take care of when developing your website. Make sure you don’t baffle your visitors with confusing navigation and website structure. Finally, good luck with your new eCommerce store!

This is a guest post by Lydia Steele

Lydia writes educational technology articles which proves her interest for content marketing. Her passion for helping small businesses boost their online presence flows through the writings she delivers. Has a special excitement towards modern website builder, as the perfect tool for anyone to express creativity through a website.

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5 Tips to Get the Best out of Your Package Shipping Carrier https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/tips-to-get-the-best-out-of-your-package-shipping-carrier/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/tips-to-get-the-best-out-of-your-package-shipping-carrier/#respond Mon, 03 May 2021 11:04:00 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7881 Millions of international packages make their way to destination points and cross borders every day. And the vast […]

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Millions of international packages make their way to destination points and cross borders every day. And the vast majority of them are the goods people buy from eCommerce businesses operating globally. 

While it’s no secret that free package shipping does not actually exist and the seller is the one who has to pay for it, international shipping either costs loads of money for a brand, requires lots of workforces, or both. 

Plus, there’s always a chance of late deliveries or lost packages. And suddenly, shipping internationally becomes a true headache. 

Thankfully, this struggle a seller experiences can be minimized by knowing how to get the most out of your partner shipping carrier. 

Carriers often offer a bunch of additional perks to having you as a long-term partner. And it’s an important thing to have in mind when making a new agreement with a package shipping carrier. 

This article will give you a basic understanding of how to make the most out of picking and dealing with a shipping carrier for your eCommerce business (or for your shipments). That way, you’ll be able to make a smart choice by saving both your money and your nerves when choosing a partner package shipping carrier.

Quit Overpaying for Shipping

Spending less on quality services is one of the top priorities for you when choosing a carrier, right?  

If it’s a yes, the best way to avoid paying too much and find the cheapest shipping carrier meeting your needs is to simply compare pricing. There are many shipping price comparison sites that give you estimated costs from major US shipping carriers such as DHL, FedEx, and UPS

Using price comparison sites will give you a primary understanding of what shipping costs to expect regarding the destination country and the country you are shipping from. And believe it or not, it usually varies greatly.

But. There’s always a but. Although DHL, FedEx, or UPS are great for international shipments due to long-term experience, smooth processes, and of course, affordable pricing, comparing a few carriers won’t give a full picture. 

Regardless of these big players in global shipping, the US shipping market is crowded with less popular package shipping carriers. Possibly, some of them will also be able to offer you affordable pricing and meet your business needs. 

So, do your research ⇓

  • Use the shipping price comparison sites ( e.g. Easyship, Upela, etc.)
  • Check costs manually with less-known carriers 
  • Request a custom quote based on your unique business needs 

Doing all this will guarantee you’ll find the best shipping partner for your business in terms of pricing.

Prepare to Negotiate

When you choose a shipping carrier for your business, you want to have it for a long period. You do know that bouncing from one to another is exhausting, disrupts work processes, and is wasteful. 

But what you may not be aware of is that the shipping carrier needs you likewise you need their services. And you can definitely benefit from that. 

When you receive a quote or a long-term offer for shipping services, know that it’s not definite. Usually, there’s plenty of room for negotiation that many businesses forget to take advantage of. 

You can lay down your own conditions because as much as you’re interested in having them as a shipping partner, they’re interested in having you as a long-term client. 

Want better rates, package insurance, or some extra benefits? Just ask for it! 

What’s worse that can happen? Nothing. The carrier can say no and that’s it. You’re free to accept the primary offer or head to another carrier. 

Be confident and persistent when making this big decision

Choose a Shipping Carrier Wisely

Picking a good shipping carrier sounds quite simple, but it’s easier said than actually done. 

To make it less challenging, the best thing would be to choose a reputable and widely-known international shipping carrier. You cannot go wrong by picking from big-name courier services such as DHL, FedEx, or UPS. 

However, if your shipments have a specific route, you might look for other options. Let’s say you operate in the States, but your product is purchased amazingly in the Polish market. So, you’re constantly shipping to Poland from the USA.

And what does that mean regarding picking a carrier? It simply implies that you might consider a carrier specializing in this exact route. That might save you money, shorten delivery times dramatically, and prevent shipping fails. 

For example, carriers like AEC Parcel Service which specializes in delivering packages to Eastern European countries may provide a better shipping experience than those shipping to every part of the world. 

Consider Convenience and Benefits

If you’re trying to actually get the best out of a shipping carrier, you have to consider what additional value the carrier has to offer. 

Put simply, you have to look not only through yours as a seller, but also through the customer’s perspective. Will your customer and your business experience the best package delivery possible without any delivery issues? 

What’s here to consider in a nutshell:

  • Figure out whether the shipper offers free package insurance covering your product. 
  • Decide if delivery times and methods are appropriate for your business model. 
  • Pay attention to the shipping refund policy and compensation for late deliveries.
  • Consider the drop-off locations and whether there’s one next to your business spot. 
  • Will the shipper provide strong customer service for you and your clients? It should.
  • Check if the shipper has a real-time tracking tool for both your and your customer’s peace of mind. 

Do a Feedback Research

Nothing gives a better picture of a product or service than the experiences of others. Getting familiar with opinions from former or current customers helps to compare competitors, figure out if they offer quality service, and actually makes it easy to decide if the business can be trusted.

The best way of doing it is by reading reviews online. Facebook, Google my Business, Yelp, and other sites where customers express their opinions are the most popular places to look at those stars and words about shipping carriers. In fact, in most cases reading reviews dramatically changes the first impression.

On the other hand, it’s easy to find reviews from simple customers, yet businesses do not tend to share their experiences online. So, if you’re operating in eCommerce, you might want to reach out to your business partners or even competitors asking for their experiences with international shipping carriers.

How LateShipment.com Can Help You

Regardless of which shipping carrier you’re going to choose, the top goal here is to avoid late shipment experiences and have an impeccable shipping service operating along with your business. 

However, international shipping is a complex procedure and even the best carriers sometimes fail in delivering packages. That’s where LateShipment.com steps in. 

LateShipment.com is the world’s only logistics cloud tool that combines shipping refunds with everything you need to create well-managed, branded delivery experiences despite the odds.

LateShipment.com drives savings in your shipping spend, gives you new revenue channels, better repeat purchase rates, and offers your customers premium delivery experiences. Here’s how we elevate the game for your business

At LateShipment.com, we aim to transform your customer’s post-purchase journey and make it a memorable experience that encourages fierce customer loyalty. 

Our Delivery Experience Management platform powers post-purchase CX success for your business by helping you: 

  • Stay on top of delays by tracking your in-transit parcels across carriers in real-time.
  • Resolve delivery issues proactively with predictive alerts for shipments facing delays.
  • Over-communicate with customers facing critical delivery issues.
  • Send automated delivery status notifications via email and SMS to reduce your customers’ anxiety.
  • Build beautiful, branded order tracking pages, personalized for your customers.
  • Capture your customers’ Delivery Satisfaction (DSAT) rating after every order delivery.

Our DEM platform also seamlessly integrates with all your tech-stacks such as eCommerce platforms, CRM systems, Help desk, and Email marketing tools, etc without any change to your existing workflow.

Now, how good is that?

The best part is, 

In addition to helping you elevate your customers’ post-purchase experiences, you can also SAVE UP TO 20% on your shipping costs with our Parcel Audit and Shipping Refunds solution, which can help you: 

  • Audit your monthly shipping invoices for 50+ service failures 
  • Submit refund claims to your carrier(s) on your behalf
  • Deposit the refunded amount directly into your account
  • Save you up to 20% of your overall shipping spend.
  • Get better service quality from shipping carriers 

The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand. 

Try LateShipment.com now

 Or, get in touch by writing to us at sales@lateshipment.com

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[eCommerce 2021] Social Commerce for Businesses https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/social-commerce-for-ecommerce-businesses/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/social-commerce-for-ecommerce-businesses/#respond Thu, 29 Apr 2021 09:35:46 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=6987 Running an eCommerce business is hectic, no doubt. However, there are certain aspects that make it interesting. One […]

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Running an eCommerce business is hectic, no doubt. However, there are certain aspects that make it interesting. One such being the relatively new but growing trend of social commerce.  

eCommerce business owners can greatly benefit from this trend. All you need to do is to increase your brand visibility and build an effective social commerce campaign. 

But before that, let’s talk about social commerce in more detail.

What is Social Commerce?

Social commerce is the use of social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for marketing and sales purposes. 

Social commerce campaigns aim to boost social interactions such as retweets, likes, link clicks, and shares and to drive sales.

Social commerce is the use of social media websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for marketing and sales purposes.

The Benefits of Social Commerce to eCommerce Businesses

If you craft an effective social commerce campaign, you will achieve the following goals:

  • Reach a wide audience
  • Improve brand awareness
  • Increase sales
  • Build customer loyalty

The Best Social Media Platforms for Social Commerce

There are three platforms that work perfectly for social commerce:

  • Instagram. This social media network has more than one billion users. It allows you to create a business account and sell your products directly from the app.
Instagram Social eCommerce
  • Facebook provides a set of tools necessary to design an effective social commerce campaign. If you create a Facebook Shop and build a smart Chatbot Messenger, you will engage your target audience and double your sales.
Facebook Social eCommerce
  • Pinterest is not as popular as Facebook and Instagram. But still, it provides great marketing opportunities for eCommerce businesses. You can use it to improve your brand discoverability and direct new visitors to your website.
Pintrest Social eCommerce

Basically, any social media platform can be used for social commerce. If you want to maximize your efforts, you should choose a platform that is popular amongst your customers. For instance, if your target audience is millennial vegans, the best platform for you is Instagram. Or, if your target audience is Baby Boomers, Facebook is the best choice for you.

Social Commerce Best Practices

The vast majority of modern businesses leverage social commerce. Let’s take a look at the best examples.

Swatch

Swatch uses gamification to engage users and create buzz around a new product launch. The company has recently announced the start of a game “M.I.Q The Secret Mission” on Instagram to present Swatch X 007 Tribute Collection

Every second day, Swatch publishes a new post and asks followers to complete a new task like “to find a part of a secret code.” In such a way, the brand motivates users to check new posts and visit the company’s website while also attracting more interest in new products.

Swatch Best Practice for Social eCommerce

Under Armour

Under Armour has more than 10.9 million followers on Facebook and for a good reason. This sports equipment company creates content that resonates with the target audience while also reflects the brand’s values. 

Take a look at the following post – it was shared almost 2K times. It’s a great example of how one social media post can help the company to reach more customers than a paid ad.

Under Armor Best Practice for Social eCommerce

Forever 21

If you don’t know how to use Instagram shopping features, take a look at Forever 21’s Instagram account – it’s a great example to follow.

Forever21 Best Practice for Social eCommerce

Forever21 runs one of the most successful user-generated content strategies among fashion brands. The company encourages customers to share their photos and tag @forever21 for the chance to be featured. It motivates customers to buy more clothes and share more photos, which helps Forever21 increase reach and engagement. 

4 Tips on How to Leverage Social Commerce for Your eCommerce Business

Finally, let’s talk about what steps you should take to build an effective social commerce campaign this holiday season.

1. Focus on quality

If you want to grab the attention of picky social media users, you should create high-quality content. All your photos and videos must have a high resolution. All your posts must include relevant, meaningful captions. 

Why is content quality so important? Customers associate content quality with product quality.  Therefore, if the quality of your content is not excellent, your prospective customers will doubt the quality of your products and the trustworthiness of your brand.

If you are not an expert in content creation, consider getting writing help. Check top rated sites and find professional writers who know how to craft outstanding social media posts.

2. Start a social media challenge

Modern users like to participate in different social media challenges. And today, when most people get bored in the houses because of the pandemic, social media challenges are getting even more popular. So why don’t you start a social media challenge to draw users’ attention to your brand?

The idea of a social media challenge should be relevant to your brand and appeal to your target audience. 

Also, your challenge must have a name and a memorable hashtag. The use of hashtags will allow you to track posts created by your followers and analyze the effectiveness of your campaign.

3. Create Interactive Content

If ordinary social media posts don’t help you achieve the desired results, try to create interactive content. Invite your followers to participate in fun quizzes, polls, and Q&A sessions on Facebook and Instagram Stories. 

The more users will interact with your content, the more likely they will buy from you. So use your creativity skills to come up with engaging content ideas. If you feel like you need help with this task, check the TopEssayWriting review, and find creative writers and content creators who can help you.

4. Collaborate with influencers

Social commerce goes hand in hand with influencer marketing. So if you want to get your brand noticed, reach out to the top influencers in your niche and offer them to promote your product.

Just keep in mind that top influencers get dozens of collaboration requests every day but accept only the best offers that include something more than just a paycheck. If you want to partner with influencers, you should provide a special reward, for instance, tickets to a big industry event or participation in an ambassadorship program.

In Conclusion

2021 has been a tough year, so far. And today, people are anticipating the rest of the year more than ever. They are ready to start shopping and enjoy the vibes while still staying at home or social distancing. And you should take this fact into account and adjust your marketing strategy.

Today is the perfect moment to start a social commerce campaign for boosting sales. Use this article for inspiration and create social media content that will take your eCommerce business to the next level.

This article is a contribution by Leona Henryson

About the author: Leona Henryson is a freelance blogger and marketing specialist at TopWritersReview, a website for top college writers’ reviews. She is constantly looking for new ways to improve customer experience and help businesses reach out to their target audience.

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[eCommerce 2021] 5 Common Mistakes Store Owners Should Avoid https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/5-common-mistakes-ecommerce-store-owners-should-avoid/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/5-common-mistakes-ecommerce-store-owners-should-avoid/#respond Thu, 22 Apr 2021 13:06:10 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7845 The world of eCommerce has grown significantly over the past few years. Each year, the online turf is […]

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The world of eCommerce has grown significantly over the past few years. 

Each year, the online turf is becoming more competitive and crowded with new businesses that are trying to thrive. Mistakes in such an environment can turn out to be costly and therefore should be avoided at all costs.

The reason why this fact cannot be stressed enough is that today’s consumers have more power than ever before. If they’ve had a bad experience with your eCommerce store for any reason, they’ll simply stop shopping with you and move to a competitor. 

Given that it costs 5-25 times more to acquire new customers, your growing eCommerce store cannot afford to lose customers like this. That’s why it’s vital to avoid making mistakes altogether. Which is easier said than done.

Fortunately, there is a way to tread lightly in a market where impressions matter the most. 

All you need is a solid strategy that will allow you to move forward. With that in mind, here are a few common eCommerce mistakes that you can avoid in 2021.  

Non-mobile-friendly Site

Non-mobile-friendly Site

Nowadays, having an eCommerce website that isn’t mobile-friendly is a big no-no!

Consumers all over the world are shopping online using a mobile device, more precisely a smartphone.

That said, mobile commerce is on the rise and according to Statista, it’s estimated that 72.9% of all eCommerce sales in the world will come from mobile commerce.

An eCommerce store that isn’t optimized properly for mobile is going to lose a lot of customers. 

You should at least have a responsive mobile-friendly design for your online store.

Optimizing fully for mobile isn’t something that can happen overnight, and that’s okay. No one is going to abandon your store if you’re in the process of making everything mobile-friendly. However, refusing to do so is a completely different story with a bad ending for your eCommerce business.

If you are considering how to optimize your eCommerce store for mobile and boost sales via it, here are some best practices to boost sales by optimizing your eCommerce store for mobile by Magento, a leading eCommerce platform. If you are new to the eCommerce industry, you can consider these strategies from the very beginning.

Misunderstood Audience

Misunderstood Audience

Another potentially critical mistake you can make is not making an effort to understand your target audience. 

Market research is something all businesses should rely on, not just startups. Having a connection with your audience and encouraging them to buy from you comes from understanding them.

You cannot know what they want, need, expect or demand unless you take the time to find out.

If you don’t know anything about your consumers, you cannot communicate with them properly, let alone expect them to buy from you. 

If you want a more meaningful and personal relationship with your audience, here are a few things you should do:

  • Create buyer personas
  • Determine your audience’s preferences, expectations, don’ts, and needs
  • Determine their pain points
  • Understand their behavior
  • Research their demographics
  • Learn which values are important to them
  • Learn how to communicate with them

Poor Website Design

Poor website design

Customer experience is the elixir of success an eCommerce store.

Consumers aren’t just focused on which products you have to offer or how many of them there are, but are more focused on the experience you can provide them with.

And when it comes to the overall shopping experience, your website’s design too plays a vital role.

If the quality of your design is poor or has horrible visuals, your visitors will bounce right off even before considering making a purchase. You can get in touch with design experts if you are unaware of how to polish your web store’s design.

Bad UX Design

As mentioned before, your website’s design plays a vital role in customer experience. However, there’s also the matter of UX (User Experience) design that’s also a crucial factor. Having a bad UX design is one of the worst mistakes to make.

Visuals are important, but there’s more to UX than it meets the eye. 

Consumers want a seamless browsing experience, and they expect you to deliver. In other words, any inconveniences, obstacles, or interruptions will simply force your customers to abandon your store for good.

In most cases, improving UX design has a lot to do with your websites’ functionality. 

That said, here are a few things you should focus on:

The more seamless the UX on your store is, the more engaged your visitors will be.

And, if they’re satisfied with everything, they’re more likely to convert.

Inefficient Marketing Techniques

Inefficient marketing

Marketing is crucial for eCommerce stores. 

Navigating the online market, especially with many competitors can be quite difficult. 

Standing out in such a crowd can be tricky without the help of proper marketing plans and techniques.

Neglecting marketing is one of the biggest mistakes any business can make, not only in eCommerce stores. Moreover, focusing on just one marketing method is equally as bad.

For an eCommerce store to have any chance of success, you need to invest in various marketing strategies and campaigns, such as SEO, social media, email marketing, content marketing, etc. A lot of eCommerce owners struggle when it comes to marketing.

Fortunately, there are a bunch of marketing agencies that can help you out in this endeavor. The important thing is to have an effective marketing strategy in place without having to spend your entire budget on it.

Final Word

The eCommerce industry is a large and dynamic environment. Things can change fast, and they can change often. Making a mistake is quite common in such conditions. However, avoiding mistakes should be your top priority, but if you do manage to make one, you must fix it right away.

Such willingness and effort coming from your end can really impress your customers and influence them in giving a (another) chance to you. 

Surely implementing all these strategies will take time and effort but you can definitely start one step at a time in order to move forward and thrive in 2021 and beyond!

This is a guest post by Frank Garnett

Frank Garnett Bio Picture
Frank Garnett is a digital marketing blogger and technology enthusiast. He picked his first computer at the age of five and hasn’t stopped exploring the internet and writing about it ever since.

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DHL Vs. FedEx Vs. UPS: Shipping Carriers Compared in 2021 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/overview-of-fedex-ups-and-dhl/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/overview-of-fedex-ups-and-dhl/#respond Fri, 16 Apr 2021 07:40:09 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=1128 As a retailer who ships to your customers, have you struggled to choose the carrier that suits best […]

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As a retailer who ships to your customers, have you struggled to choose the carrier that suits best for your business?

Luckily, there aren’t hundreds of companies for you to skim through and choose the ultimate one, which is obviously a tedious process.

There are three basic choices for you — namely, DHL, FedEx, and UPS.

The three private giants have been in business for decades and have transported billions of parcels. Yet, there remain doubts aplenty about each of their strengths and weaknesses.

What about USPS, you ask?

The government-run carrier is most often significantly cheaper and a great option for small business shipping. It, however, does not have the variety of short-term expedited options that DHL, FedEx, and UPS have.

For our purposes, we will limit our study to the three private carriers, so that you can choose the carrier that is tailored to your business.

DHL Vs. FedEx Vs. UPS: Comparing the Three Behemoths

Although competing with each other daily, DHL, FedEx, and UPS have their uniqueness. Knowing in-depth about them, their services, their pricing model, etc can help you understand them better 😉

DHL

Overview of DHL in DHL vs FedEx vs UPS

Introduction to DHL

DHL is an American-founded company that is now part of Deutsche Post. It is headquartered in Bonn, Germany.

Today, Deutsche Post DHL is known to be the world’s largest logistics company. Its international game is by far the strongest among the three, and it is the only carrier that delivers to sanctioned nations like North Korea.

It delivers over 1.3 billion parcels per year.

Dr. Frank Appel is the current Chief Executive Officer of Global Business Services and Ken Allen is Head of eCommerce Solutions at DHL. The carrier employs 550,000 employees including trainees.

Services offered by DHL

DHL operates a gamut of services to cater to the shipping needs of its customers – Some of its domestic non-freight service types are DHL SameDay Sprintline, DHL Express 9:00 Domestic, DHL Express 10:30 Domestic, DHL Express 12:00 Domestic, DHL Express 18:00 Domestic, and DHL Express Easy.

Its international non-freight offerings include DHL Sameday Jetline, DHL Sameday Sprintline, DHL Express 9:00, DHL Express 10:30, DHL Express 12:00, DHL Express Worldwide, DHL Express Envelope, DHL Express Easy, and DHL Globalmail Business.

DHL - features

DHL is recognized within the shipping industry for its commitment to reducing emissions. In 2014, it purchased electric-vehicle manufacturer StreetScooter intending to reduce its carbon footprint in delivery operations.

Compared to 2020, the German giant announced an average 4.9% rate increase in its Express service for U.S account holders, which took effect from January 1, 2021.

While DHL is a great choice for international shipping, it is not a viable option for shipping within the US.

Since DHL is a non-American company, it is not permitted to make domestic flights between U.S. airports. As a result, it contracts U.S. domestic services to other carriers.

Not all of DHL’s domestic and international services are available at every location. The carrier provides refunds for service failures on its part.

FedEx

Overview of FedEx in DHL vs FedEx vs UPS

Introduction to FedEx

An American multinational corporation founded in 1971, FedEx is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.

This shipping carrier holds the distinction of having the most planes on its fleet: 670, well ahead of UPS and DHL.

In its early days, FedEx was the pioneer that introduced an overnight shipping service as well as a system capable of tracking packages and providing real-time location updates. Today, it operates services in over 220 countries and territories.

Within the US, it’s possible to pick up, drop off, or ship at more than 50,000 FedEx locations.

Frederick W. Smith is the founder, Chairman, & CEO of FedEx.The organization has over 425,000 team members worldwide and operates 5,000 hubs and facilities. 180,000 motorized FedEx vehicles pick up and deliver more than 14 million shipments per day.

Services offered by FedEx

FedEx offers the following service types for non-freight shipments within the US FedEx SameDay, FedEx SameDay City, FedEx First Overnight, FedEx Priority Overnight, FedEx Standard Overnight, FedEx 2Day A.M., FedEx 2Day, FedEx Express Saver, FedEx Ground, FedEx Home Delivery, and FedEx SmartPost.

The carrier offers the following service types for non-freight international parcelsFedEx International Next Flight, FedEx International First, FedEx International Priority, FedEx International Economy, FedEx International MailService, FedEx International Priority DirectDistribution, FedEx International Economy DirectDistribution, and FedEx International Ground.

FedEx - features

FedEx has announced its General Rate Increase (GRI), which is effective from January 4, 2021, with an average increase of 4.9% on Express shipments and 5.9% on FedEx Freight.

Like DHL, FedEx has a claims process to apply for refunds for service failures on its part.

UPS

Overview of UPS in DHL vs FedEX vs UPS

Introduction to UPS

UPS, the oldest of the three majors and the reigning private behemoth in the US was founded in 1907.

Today, UPS has a presence in 220 countries and territories. It delivered over 5.2 billion parcels in 2018, an average of 21 million per day.

David Abney is the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of UPS. 481,000 employees work at UPS locations worldwide with a majority (399,000) based out of the US.

Services offered by UPS

UPS offers non-freight shipping service types for both domestic and international shipments –  Within the US: UPS Express Critical – Domestic, UPS Ground, UPS Next Day Air Early, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Next Day Air Saver, UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS 2nd Day Air, and UPS 3 Day Select.

International: UPS Express Critical – International, UPS Worldwide Express Plus, UPS Worldwide Express Shipping, UPS Worldwide Saver, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Worldwide Expedited, UPS 2nd Day Air, and UPS Standard.

UPS - features

UPS operates over 2,500 facilities worldwide and maintains over 28,000 access point locations.

It uses 123,000 vehicles in its delivery fleet out of which more than 10,000 use alternative fuels. This is the largest fleet of alternative-powered vehicles in the world.

UPS increased the rates of its services an average of 5.4% effective from February 22, 2021.

Just like DHL and FedEx, UPS too isn’t immune from service failures and has a claims process to apply for refunds.

DHL, FedEx, or UPS: What Works Best for Your Business

Here are a few details about DHL, FedEx, and UPS to help you get an idea about which one of them might best serve your requirements.

A chart comparing DHL, FedEx and UPS

DHL, FedEx, and UPS – each of them have their own unique pros and cons, with: 

  • FedEx being strong with overnight shipping and expedited 2- and 3-day deliveries
  • UPS having a strong ground shipment game, and
  • DHL having the broadest global presence among the three and being the most vocal about its environmental commitments.

Apart from all these aspects, an important factor i.e always overlooked while choosing a carrier is their delivery performance. Especially during times of high volume such as the holiday season or the pandemic period, shipping carriers have been known to have struggled to deliver on time amidst supply chain limitations.

Check out LateShipment.com’s ‘2020 State of Holiday Shipping in the US’ – an unbiased trend analysis and forecast report for UPS and FedEx from an on-time delivery performance standpoint in retail parcel shipping.

LateShipment.com seamlessly integrates with multiple carriers including DHL, FedEx, UPS, and helps you claim refunds and provide outstanding post-purchase experiences to your customers. Sign up for a LateShipment.com account today to stop losing customers and money to poor delivery experiences. 

Final Word

Like we said earlier, all three are behemoths with their own distinct advantages and disadvantages and it is actually quite unfair to pick the best one out of them. 

Ultimately, the choice between the three carriers comes down to your own specific business needs. A good ploy would be using multiple carriers for different requirements so that you get the best in each of them.

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FedEx & UPS Rate Increase for 2021 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/fedex-rate-increase/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/fedex-rate-increase/#respond Mon, 12 Apr 2021 12:25:53 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=2136 Introduction to the Rate Increase by FedEx and UPS Every year, major shipping carriers such as FedEx and […]

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Introduction to the Rate Increase by FedEx and UPS

Every year, major shipping carriers such as FedEx and UPS increase the rates for their services, involuntarily continuing to add a burden on your shipping expenses.

There have been identical rate increases across both carriers on multiple services for the fourth year in a row.

FedEx has announced its General Rate Increase (GRI), which will be effective from January 6, 2020, with an average increase of 4.9% on Express shipments and 5.9% on FedEx Freight.

On the other hand, UPS will increase the rates of its services by an average of 4.9% effective from December 27.

However, one can see an increase of more than 11% in certain cases.

Being aware of shipping rates can help you plan out your shipping strategy in advance and put you ahead in your last-mile game.

That might seem a challenge, but worry not! To save your time, we’ve charted out the data for you!

Make sure to read till the end for ways to save on shipping in 2021 and reduce the impact of FedEx & UPS’ General Rate Increase on your business.

Why do FedEx and UPS increase their rates YoY?

This is a question i.e largely on the minds of every eCommerce retailer out there. 

FedEx and UPS are behemoths who are making a revenue of more than $15.B each quarter. But why do they still tend to increase the rate of their services every year?

Representatives from the shipping carriers claim that “These rate changes enable them to continue investing in service enhancement, fleet maintenance, technology innovations, and other areas to serve customers more effectively and efficiently.” 

However, they fail to realize that this rate increase can hurt your business big time, especially in the current times, when the world hasn’t returned to normalcy. 

We’ll take a closer look at the impact of these rate increases on your business but before that let’s talk about some of the key highlights of this year’s rate increases.

Key Highlights of the FedEx/UPS Rate Increase for 2021

  • Large packages will cost you big – There has been an increase of 5% in Oversize charge by FedEx and an 8.3% increase in Large packages by UPS
  • UPS will now apply an Additional Handling fee to packages measuring greater than 105 inches in length plus girth combined
  • The Ground minimum rate for shipments has been increased from $8.23 to $8.76, an increase of 6.5% by both carriers
  • Apart from the peak surcharges that were implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an identical increase in delivery area surcharges by both carriers in their Express and Ground services
  • FedEx has followed UPS suit and initiated a 6% late fee effective on January 21, 2021
  • Both carriers have added more zip codes to the current Delivery Area Surcharges

What the Increase in Rates by FedEx & UPS Mean for Your Business

Needless to say, this rate increase will have a definite impact on the shipping spend of eCommerce businesses like yours. 

This increased expenditure will be a double-whammy for businesses that are already reeling under the carriers’ rate increases on account of COVID-19-related service disruptions. 

While the average rate increase is touted to be 4.9%, it is not uniform across all services or weight categories.

The rate for packages in the 1–5 lb. range — the overwhelming majority of eCommerce deliveries — will increase by an average of 6.6%, while those weighing 6–10 lbs. will increase by 5%. Packages in the 11–20 lb. and 21–30 lb. ranges will see more modest increases that are nearer the GRI norm: 4.8% and 4.7%, respectively.

Be ready for reduced margins on account of shipping costs, particularly if most of your shipping is done in the 1–5 lb. range.

If your shipping carrier does not keep to its SLAs in terms of timelines or service quality, that’s another way in which you will be losing out by paying for poor service.

However, you can still tide over the situation by taking the right measures.

How Your Business Can Cope with the FedEx/UPS Rate Increase

Here are a few ways to minimize the impact of the price hike on your business.

1. Equip yourself better to handle large packages

Stick to freight if you’re shipping oversized packages more than regular-sized ones. Anything that requires additional handling will put a dent in your pocket for sure otherwise.

The larger your box, the more you pay, regardless of the size of the item inside. Even odd-sized objects won’t cost you additional handling charges if you package them right. You can read more on packaging odd-shaped objects here.

2. Renegotiate your contract with your shipping carrier(s)

Analyze your carrier’s performance and get insights on performance lapses such as delays or lost parcels. This will put you in control of shipping rates and help you negotiate for better rates. 

You can also take note of data-rich shipping reports and conclude which carrier works best for which type of delivery/destination/cost/customer/product.

A pro tip is to negotiate with multiple carriers simultaneously and inform the other representative of a possibly better deal you’re getting from a competing carrier. This way, you could end up with an even sweeter deal!

3. Stand firm against money-back guarantee waivers and claim refunds for all the eligible service failures

Apart from the increased rates FedEx and UPS both suspended the Money-Back Guarantee due to COVID-19. As a result, shippers were losing out on a minimum of 8% to 10% of the annual revenues spent each year. 

However, both carriers have made recent changes to their money-back guarantee for select services, which may just work out in your favor. Here’s everything you need to know about the changes made by FedEx and UPS on their money-back guarantee

Even with the money-back guarantee in the fray, Shipping carriers like FedEx and UPS are often all-too-eager to have retailers sign a waiver of shipping refunds. 

In return for a waiver of refunds, your carrier representative may offer you a discount on your shipping rates. However, you should always avoid signing a waiver of shipping refunds as there are a lot of pitfalls in signing them

Instead of signing a waiver, you can make use of an automated parcel audit service such as LateShipment.com and claim refunds for 50+ service failures apart from late deliveries.

How LateShipment.com Can Help

While having a better understanding of these rates and shipping contracts with carriers is necessary, making use of technology that keeps you in control of your last mile and ensures that carriers always keep their word can help you ace your shipping game.

LateShipment.com is the world’s only logistics cloud tool that helps businesses of every size reduce shipping costs and provide memorable delivery experiences to customers at scale.

Our Automated Parcel Audit and Shipping Refunds solution effortlessly audits your invoices for 50+ service failures and helps save up to 20% on your shipping costs. 

It also helps you gain critical insights into your last-mile logistics (across carriers, services, and geographies) that enable you to identify opportunities to optimize your parcel spend and drive informed shipping choices.

How good is that?

The best part is, it takes less than 2 minutes to see LateShipment.com in action without any change to your existing workflow.

The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand. Try LateShipment.com now and save up to 20% on your shipping costs while providing memorable delivery experiences for your customers.

Still doubtful? You can get in touch with us by scheduling a call with our expert or writing to us at sales@lateshipment.com 

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Everything You Need to Know about the Changes Made to UPS, FedEx and Purolator’s Money-back Guarantee https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-changes-made-to-ups-fedex-and-purolators-money-back-guarantee/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-changes-made-to-ups-fedex-and-purolators-money-back-guarantee/#respond Fri, 09 Apr 2021 12:44:03 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7767 It’s been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic debuted and created panic across the globe, dramatically changing the […]

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It’s been a year since the COVID-19 pandemic debuted and created panic across the globe, dramatically changing the way we live our lives. 

The eCommerce retail industry felt the brunt of the pandemic’s impact, just like every other industry out there.

While many retailers had to shut shop temporarily, others scrambled to deal with the humongous surge in demand. As a result, eCommerce retail – especially the supply chain and post-purchase aspect went under the scanner.

And as if this weren’t overwhelming enough, businesses also faced challenges from shipping carriers through peak surcharges and a suspension on money-back guarantees which have almost emptied SMB owners’ purses in the form of shipping bills. 

While peak surcharges are still levied on packages that are being shipped to certain remote locations, major shipping carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and Purolator reinstating their money-back guarantee for select service types is certainly some good news for eCommerce business owners.

What is the Money-back Guarantee Policy?

The Money-Back Guarantee (MBG) is a clause that is part of a shipping contract that stipulates that major shipping carriers such as FedEx, UPS, Purolator, etc promise to offer you a full refund on shipping charges if parcel delivery is delayed by even 60 seconds except in exceptional circumstances (natural disasters, weather delays, etc). Apart from the Money-Back Guarantee, shipping carriers offer refunds for 50+ service failures & billing errors including late, lost, and damaged deliveries, surcharge errors, etc.

And as you may be aware, due to disruptions in the global supply chain caused by COVID-19, all major shipping carriers around the world had suspended their Service Guarantee, also known as Money-Back Guarantee across all service types.

What are the Changes Made to the Money-back Guarantee?

While continuous efforts are being made to restore normalcy in operations – carriers including UPS, FedEx, and Purolator have REINSTATED their Money-Back Guarantee for some service types, effective April 5, 2021.

This translates to more savings on your shipping bills, given that over 20% of all shipments faced delivery issues in 2020. 

But first, you must stay in the loop of the select services that are now eligible for the money-back guarantee. And that’s why we’ve compiled them for you. 

Want this list right on your device? 

We’ve also presented the list in a PDF format for you to download and access the links at the click of a button.

How LateShipment.Com Can Help You

At LateShipment.com we are committed to ensuring that every dollar in refund claims is returned to you.

Throughout the pandemic, LateShipment.com has been monitoring and filing claims for 50+ service failures on your behalf. With the reinstatement of select Money-Back Guarantee claims, we will be able to recover even more claims (that’s even more shipping cost savings!)

Our automated parcel audit and refunds solution effortlessly audits your invoices and helps save up to 20% on your shipping costs. The best part is that it takes less than 2 minutes to set up and seamlessly integrates with your existing workflow.

That’s not all! Here are some more benefits of using LateShipment.com  

  •  50+ carriers supported – With customers in over 40 countries, we successfully claim refunds from carriers worldwide. 
  •  Highly-trained algorithms – Our exclusive technology is built in-house with algorithms trained from tracking over 100M parcels.
  •  Human-backed automation – Our automated claims system is human-backed to ensure that you never miss any refunds.
  •  Maximum refunds recovery – Apart from common service failures, our systems are built to recover refunds for 50+ carrier errors.
  •  No upfront cost – Zero out-of-pocket costs for your business. Pay only a part of the refunds claimed. 
  •  Refund claims for previous shipments – We don’t wait for you to ship out packages. Our systems can backtrack up to 45 days and claim refunds even for past shipments. 

Feel like you’re missing out? Worry not, it is never too late to start claiming refunds! 

Try LateShipment.com today now and save up to 20% on your shipping costs while providing memorable delivery experiences for your customers (It just takes 2 minutes). 

Still doubtful? You can get in touch with us by scheduling a call with our expert or writing to us at sales@lateshipment.com    

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[eCommerce 2021] The Benefits of User-Generated Content https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/the-benefits-of-user-generated-content-in-ecommerce/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/the-benefits-of-user-generated-content-in-ecommerce/#respond Thu, 08 Apr 2021 08:53:38 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=5923 Is user-generated content (UGC) really worth your time if you’re a retail business owner? Without a doubt. In […]

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Is user-generated content (UGC) really worth your time if you’re a retail business owner? 

Without a doubt. 

In this article, let’s take a look at the advantages of making use of content created by customers on your eCommerce website and social media accounts, as well as find out how important and powerful they can be in the online retail sphere.

We’ll also take a peek at the latest trends in user-generated content and how some brands are leveraging it.

If you own a retail eCommerce business, you’ve probably looked for ways to provide customers the best shopping experience possible while also saving on expenses. Read till the end for a great way to do that.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content (UGC) includes various types of content voluntarily created by people and shared online (on social media for example). 

Such user-created content serves as social proof for businesses and is contributed by people voluntarily without pay.

User-Generated Content is also known as earned media or earned content and takes up the E in the PESO (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned) model coined by Gini Dietrich’s 2014 book Spin Sucks, consists of content in the form of: 

  • Customer reviews
  • Blogs or articles published by customers/users
  • Word of mouth
  • Replies or comments to your social media post

That’s not all! User-Generated Content has a horde of benefits which we’ll see further below. 

How Can User-Generated Content Benefit Your eCommerce Business?

A significant 70% of consumers will consider user-generated content such as reviews or ratings before making a purchasing decision. At least 41% of them will read four to seven reviews to gain important insights on a product.” – Tint

If that’s not clear enough, here’s something more for you:  

  • User-generated content is realistic – Today’s customers are so aware that they see right through the difference between a PR campaign and a review from an actual customer. Marketing campaigns are slick – no doubt but it lacks the honesty in a real person’s real opinion. And people want honesty rather than glossy. 
  • People trust user-generated content more –  Not just paying attention to but people tend to trust the opinions of others more than dry advertisements or the results of pure marketing. Moreover, in this age of social media, customers are expected to trust a stranger online and not just their close friends when it comes to choosing a product.  

With the help of increased brand awareness and credibility, you can also influence purchasing decisions and inspire prospective customers to hit the ‘buy button’. 

This is why placing user-generated content on your customer-facing pages/channels can be a good ploy. 

Which Retail Verticals are Best Suited to User-Generated Content?

To be clear, implementing user-generated content in one way or another will help your eCommerce business regardless of industry. Yet, it’s vital to understand that user-generated content won’t work equally well for all spheres. 

Some retail verticals that should be using user-generated content for sure are businesses that are dealing in apparel, home decor, beauty products, children and pets products, etc. 

And as far as demographics are concerned, with the boom of social media, millennials, more than any other generation, are inclined toward user-generated content. 

Roughly 30% of the time that millennials spend consuming all media is spent on user-generated content. 84 percent of millennials report that user-generated content has some influence on what they buy.” – CrowdRiff

With the basics of user-generated content out of the way, let’s take a look at what the latest eCommerce trends in user-generated content are.

The Latest eCommerce User-Generated Content Trends in 2021

Without a doubt, a big part of the effectiveness of your user-generated content strategy will depend on how well it is executed.

Consistency is among the main points to keep in mind for sure. Similarly, giving something in return to your customers for their content can be a good move (for instance, you could motivate your customers by offering them a discount, coupon, or free product delivery in return for reviewing the product they bought from you).

Here’s how renowned brands are leveraging user-generated content in 2021: 

1. Linking Social Media to Your Website

One of the first places to look for user-generated content is your social media channels.

Posts that your customers make on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, or even TikTok can be useful. Thus, adding functionality to connect your official social media accounts to your online store is the first step you should take.

Importantly, make sure to give credit to content creators, state what should be done to be featured, and think of a way to organize content in such a way to promote what you’re selling.

Here’s what a user-generated content section on the official Puma website looks like. 

Placed right on the home page, the “AS WORN BY YOU” block allows for adding photos to the gallery and also explains how to mention the brand on Instagram. The carousel with the photos shows the name of the contributor.

When a post is clicked, we can see the tagged product on the picture and a button with a CTA that allows us to purchase the item. 

2. Enhancing Product Pages With User-Generate Content

Undoubtedly, placing user-generated content on the product pages of your online store is a blazing tactic too. Not only can you build trust this way but can also showcase how your customers are using a product. The latter can result in the “I want this too” reaction and lead to a sale.

The Prismatic Shadows product page on the official NYX Cosmetics website is a good example. 

First of all, the highlighted pink “@NYXCOSMETICS” heading hints at how to tag a social media post in order to be featured. The “NYX Cosmetics Community” section displays photos of the looks that people have created with the product that’s on sale.

These photos are collected on the website by a widget that pulls out those posts that mention the brand and that have corresponding hashtags and products that were used for creating a particular look.

3. Displaying Customer Feedback With Visuals

Positive customer reviews are immensely effective at convincing someone to make a purchase decision. 

On your site, customers could share what they like and dislike about the product they’ve bought or their impressions of the service they received.

Apart from just submitting text, giving users the opportunity to back up their feedback with pictures makes a lot of sense.

Here’s a tip: To avoid fraud reviews, make sure to verify every review that’s added. You should be certain that every piece of feedback is from a real customer.

Let’s take a look at how the official Azazie website uses this strategy out of user-generated content. 

Since buying wedding dresses online without a physical try-on can be a stressful experience, seeing pictures of other real brides (not just models) wearing the dress can be a relief.

The product page is equipped with a gallery that gathers all customer images featuring a specific product.

Even better, the testimonials include pictures and other important data apart from the comment (the size the customer wears, their body type, the item’s fit, rating, etc).

Azazie - User Generated Content

4. Cross-Posting on Various Social Media Channels

Like we mentioned earlier, it’s worth noting that user-generated content works well not only on eCommerce websites but on social media channels too.

Reposting content in which you’re featured and sharing feedback on your business accounts is a great tactic.

This way, you additionally expand the content on your accounts and can increase the number of views. To give an example, this screenshot was taken from the Stories of the official MAC Cosmetics Instagram account.

Having run a short survey, they’ve collected feedback from clients regarding their favorite lipstick and shade. Noteworthy, the “See more” button leads viewers to a page where they can order the item (this is possible only if the business account has an Instagram Shop).

MAC cosmetics - User Generated Content

5. Boosting Email Send-outs & Ads

It is a great idea to enhance email campaigns with user-generated content.

Be it a quote from a customer’s testimonial or an image of a happy customer, the click-through rates of a mailer featuring such content will be higher.

Luckily, most email campaign builder tools are already armed with functionality that allows for linking UGC from social media as well as boast various templates that can assist in designing beautiful blocks with customer reviews and content.

Finally, just as in the case with email campaigns, the click-through rates of ads are several times higher if they feature an element of user-generated content. This means that you can potentially cut costs on PPC and save more of your marketing budget.

Final Word

All in all, user-generated content is a mighty marketing resource and weapon that’s especially relevant in retail eCommerce. 

Because people tend to believe the opinions of others and are often moved by the trends that others start, user-generated content is a strategy that can not only spark the interest of your customers but also ultimately result in more sales.

About the Author

Alex Husar

Alex Husar is CTO at Onilab with 8+ years of experience in Magento and Salesforce development services. He graduated from the Czech Technical University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Computer Software Engineering. Alex’s expertise includes both full-stack dev skills and a strong ability to provide project-critical guidance to entire teams

A Little about LateShipment.com

LateShipment.com is the world’s only logistics cloud tool that helps businesses of every size reduce shipping costs by up to 20% and provide memorable delivery experiences to customers at scale.

At LateShipment.com, our focus has remained steadfastly on the last mile, typically the part of the logistics chain that is the most opaque.

Some of our high-impact offerings are :

  • Save up to 20% on ShippingAutomatically audit your shipping carriers’ invoices and recover refunds for 50+ service failures & billing errors including late deliveries.
  • Real-Time VisibilityMonitor your outbound & inbound shipments across multiple shipping carriers on a centralized window, in real-time.
  • Critical Delivery Alerts – Pay attention to daily deliveries with predictive delay alerts and more on a purpose-built dashboard for support reps.
  • Proactive Issue Resolution – Proactively communicate with customers to prevent them from having bad experiences due to delivery failures.
  • Custom Delivery Notifications  – Send custom or automated delivery status notifications for events like “shipped,” “attempted,” & “delivered.”
  • Branded Tracking Pages – Build fully customizable order tracking pages for your customers to improve brand recall and sales.

The best part is, it takes less than 2 minutes to see LateShipment.com in action.

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[eCommerce 2021] 6 Trends That You Need to Watch out For https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/ecommerce-trends-to-watch-out-for/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/ecommerce-trends-to-watch-out-for/#respond Fri, 02 Apr 2021 07:23:02 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7654 Everybody loves memes… It really helps us take a breather from the pressures of work and cool off […]

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Everybody loves memes… 

It really helps us take a breather from the pressures of work and cool off for a moment. And the best part, it’s a different joke that cracks us up every time! 

Every week there’s a new meme trending online – From Bernie Sanders to a ship stuck in the Suez Canal. 

eCommerce works exactly the same way. Now and then there come new trends that shape the industry for the future. 

But you might wonder why we’re talking about change now?

Well, that’s because 2020 (the year of the pandemic) has drastically accelerated these changes, ergo leaving a lasting impact on businesses in the longer run. 

Let’s not waste any more time and dive right into the eCommerce trends for 2021 and how they can help you improve your online business in terms of sales, CX, and customer loyalty – to thrive in 2021!  

eCommerce is Growing (Higher, Further, Faster)​

Like we mentioned earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic has largely accelerated the shift to eCommerce, and guess what? It’s still growing and doesn’t seem to be slowing down even as the world returns to normalcy. 

Amidst the wave of digital transformation and innovation in retail, eCommerce sales grew an astounding 30% in 2020, a number expected to grow in 2021 and in the years to come.

This makes it clear that customers who ordered from an online store for the first time in 2020, don’t plan on going back to a physical store anytime soon.  

Take away – Despite the surge in online orders, it is practically difficult for SMBs like yours to compete with companies such as Amazon and Walmart, which have established dominance over the eCommerce market

But that doesn’t mean you just sit around and wait for things to happen your way! You can start by growing your online presence by enlisting yourself in eCommerce marketplaces of your niche (take advantage of the high traffic reach). 

However, you must keep in mind that entirely relying on these marketplaces can limit your brand’s growth (as you don’t own the customer data).

A good ploy would be to just sell limited products on such marketplaces and drive visitors to your site by intriguing their curiosity. 

Hybrid (Omnichannel) Marketing is the Future Now

Hybrid (omnichannel) marketing

In this IoT era, growing eCommerce brands can follow the footsteps of companies like Amazon and give customers what they want – a seamless shopping experience no matter what channel they’re on. 

And how you can do that, you ask? 

Hybrid marketing (also known as omnichannel marketing) can enable businesses like yours to do just that. 

Take away – With hybrid (omnichannel) selling becoming the norm, you can make use of public cloud platforms, which help you to collect customer data across all platforms. 

You can then make use of headless eCommerce services that enable brands to improve their customer experience and communicate with customers across multiple channels.

Start with the data you have on your customers and create ideal customer personas to guide each customer’s personalized content and platform. 

91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations. – Data from Accenture

For example, you can display a social media advertisement for a user who has just browsed your website and send out retargeting emails to a customer who has abandoned their cart. 

You can also focus on the channels where your customers go the most and sell to them there.

The Battle for Speed (⚡) is Done!

The massive surge in eCommerce has also led to advancements in shipping & delivery as well. 

The pre-COVID trend of same-day delivery is done! Customers no longer eye faster delivery but are now into flexible delivery options. 

If you are uncertain about how you plan to do that, worry not! 

We’ve got the right solution for you 😉I

Take away – While the impact of COVID-19 still in place, businesses are still recovering from the supply-chain restrictions. 

With smaller inventory and a higher no. of orders, businesses can effectively capitalize on the “2-3 day delivery” trend to keep customers satisfied. 

2-3 day shipping

On the other hand, customers waiting in anticipation for their orders would lose their peace of mind, if say anything was to happen to their package. 

They feel that is the responsibility of the business to mitigate their anxiety and keep them informed of their package status. 

And businesses can do just that by making use of last-mile technologies and enable real-time package tracking, to have an edge moving into 2021.

Stellar Customer Support = Enhanced Overall Shopping Experience

Stellar customer support improves overall shopping experience

Despite everything that happened in the past year, one thing that your customers expect to have little or no room for error would be your customer service. 

A recent survey shows that post-COVID-19, 59% of consumers will care even more about the customer experience than they did “before” when deciding to buy. 

That gives businesses of today, all the more reason to invest in great customer service to remain competitive. 

Take away – Customer service’s future will be to provide omnichannel customer support – anytime, across channels. 

Omnichannel customer support – Not just live chat, brands need to connect with their customers on platforms they prefer, be it social channels or emails, or even SMS. 

Customer support will also influence sales – A great customer service will not just help you survive but will play the key differentiator between you and your competitor as 

  • 75% of the customers say they will shop with and recommend a brand they trust rather than a brand i.e hot and trendy. 
  • On the other hand, 80% of consumers will switch to another company after just one poor customer experience

Therefore, businesses will have to keep in mind to provide an excellent personalized customer support experience if they want to develop loyalty and add value to customer retention.  

Sustainability Will Be given Higher Priority

Sustainability will be given higher priority

Sustainability is no longer a USP of select brands to attain popularity. Green consumerism is slowly becoming the norm as 65% of buyers say they will buy from brands that advocate sustainability. 

Take away – Today’s consumers don’t just desire transparency in what they buy but expect it.

Not just in your products, they want sustainability to be your mantra across manufacturing, packing, and even transportation. 

You can start by

  • Rolling out a one-off sustainable product
  • Reducing the amount of packaging waste, and
  • Informing your customers on how they can recycle your product after use.

You can also align your brand with an NGO that advocates for a cause such as sustainability or cruelty-free or partner with an influencer who advocates ethical buying.

The Post-purchase Phase Will Be the Deciding (X) Factor

The post-purchase phase will be the deciding (X) factor

Businesses get 6-8 touchpoints in the post-purchase to interact with customers and engage with them. These critical touchpoints are opportunities to strengthen customer relationships, build trust, and brand loyalty.

However, when you do not pay heed to your customers at this stage, you leave them at the mercy of your shipping carrier. Which in turn widens the CX gap between you and your customers, resulting in far more serious consequences. 

And if you think these are just trivial, you must understand that the post-purchase phase takes up 50% of the overall order experience. 

Take away – There are just 3 common areas that you need to pay attention to in order to take control of your post-purchase experience and plug the existing gaps. 

  1. Keep customers in the loop about orders in transit (more than just sending tracking numbers!)
  2. Be the first to learn about every delivery issue (and act on it!)
  3. Grab every (post-purchase) opportunity to engage with customers. Earns both additional revenue and loyalty!

Provide Outstanding Post-purchase Experiences with Lateshipment.com

For businesses like yours, we at LateShipment.com, have built the world’s only logistics cloud tool that helps you reduce shipping costs by up to 20% and provide stellar post-post purchase experiences to customers at scale – focussing steadfastly on the last mile, typically the most opaque part of the logistics chain.

With our Delivery Experience Management (DEM) Platform, you can effortlessly:

Track parcels in real-time – Monitor your outbound & inbound shipments across multiple shipping carriers on a centralized window, in real-time

Receive predictive delay alerts – Pay attention to daily deliveries with predictive delay alerts and more on a purpose-built dashboard for support reps.

> Resolve delivery issues proactively– Proactively communicate with customers to prevent them from having bad experiences due to delivery failures.

Send out delivery status notifications  – Send custom or automated delivery status notifications to your customers for events like “shipped,” “attempted,” & “delivered.”

Not just that, LateShipment.com additionally helps you:

Provide branded order tracking – Build fully customizable order tracking pages for your customers to improve brand recall and sales.

Receive delivery experience feedback – Gather feedback from customers about their delivery experience. Measure and optimize shipping operations.

Conclusion

With some of its effects still reeling in, 2020 will be a year that nobody will forget, especially people in the eCommerce industry. Stepping into 2021 and almost crossing the first quarter, these trends which have passed on from 2020 are still making waves in the current year. 

Taking advantage of these trends would make 2021 memorable but for the positive reasons. 

When applied, these strategies will surely positively impact your sales, CX, and customer loyalty. 

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Lost Packages 101: How to Handle Them https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/how-to-handle-your-lost-packages/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/how-to-handle-your-lost-packages/#respond Thu, 25 Mar 2021 09:00:16 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/index.php/2017/02/21/how-to-get-a-handle-on-your-lost-packages/ When you ship through DHL, FedEx, UPS, or USPS most packages make it to their destinations intact and […]

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When you ship through DHL, FedEx, UPS, or USPS most packages make it to their destinations intact and on time. But, what about those rare occurrences when packages are lost in transit? Who exactly gets blamed when this happens? The seller or the shipper?

In most cases, it is the retailer who bites the bullet. This is because customers the accountability of the package from checkout to delivery falls on the business they ordered from rather than the shipping carrier, a third party.  

Customers who’ve lost their packages are often aggrieved and take their grievances to social media and call out your brand. Just like this: 

And what exactly happens when posts like this catch the attention of their followers/ your potential customers? 

Your brand reputation takes a huge hit, customer churn rate hits the roof, and staying ahead of competitors becomes next to impossible (Uff 😤)

Worry not!

Here are some tips for retailers on how to handle lost packages, (spoiler alert!) save on shipping costs, and improve customer loyalty.  

Step 1: Determine if the sent packages are really lost

If a package that was en route to a customer goes certifiably missing and has not arrived at their doorstep four or five days after schedule, then it can be officially considered lost.

When you suspect your packages as lost, wait it out a maximum of seven days beyond the day of expected delivery.

Sometimes, there are packages that turn up after being rerouted somewhere along the chain (they might have also been incorrectly scanned or sorted).

In most cases though, the issue is either a wrong address or a weather-related one. Quite simply, it is not unheard of for a package to turn up a day or two late.

In case the tracking number shows that the product has as ‘delivered’ and the customer still files a complaint about the package being lost, then it has to be treated as a stolen package. 

Here’s how you can prevent package theft.

Step 2: The packages are lost. Now what?

In case if your customers’ packages are truly lost, they naturally expect a refund or a replacement. 

If the shipping carrier is unable to locate the packages, you need to file an insurance claim to cover the combined insured value of the lost packages. This requires the tracking number, proof of value of the item, and proof of insurance.

When you’re shipping valuable products, it is always wise to insure the shipments. 

Remember that apart from the insurance sum, the carrier also has to fully refund the shipping costs for failing to deliver the package safely to the buyer. 

Once the claim is filed and investigated, you will receive your dues via the original mode of payment be it through check or credit card.

Meanwhile, make sure YOU send the customer a replacement or a refund with a sincere apology. 

Step 3: File a Refund Claim for the Lost Packages

  • File refund claims for DHL lost packages here 
  • File refund claims for FedEx lost packages here
  • File refund claims for UPS lost packages here 
  • File refund claims for USPS lost packages here

Step 3.1: How do I file a claim for lost packages?

The tracker on your package is usually true to its name and rarely allows packages to get lost. But on the off chance that the shipping label comes off, or the package is torn and the contents scattered, you’ll have no choice but to file lost package claims with the carrier.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind if you’re going to file a claim for FedEx lost packages.

  1. If the contents of the package cost less than $100, you can complete the entire form online and request a refund without documentation.
  2. In the event of the package costing anywhere above $100, proper documentation is necessary for the claim to get processed.
  3. Documentation can include FedEx pickup records, photos of the damaged or lost contents, and proof of value documentation.
  4. Claims have to be filed within 60 days for US shipments and in 21 calendar days for international shipments (with all supporting documentation filed within 9 months of delivery date).
  5. The tracking number that was initially allocated to the package is vital to the process and has to be provided.

After a scheduled inspection, your claim will be processed and you can track its progress.

In the case of other shipping carriers, you can file claims online through the following links and within the following deadlines.

Note: Filing Refund Claims for Lost Packages by Yourself Is a Huge Hassle

Apart from running your hectic business, manually submitting claims with shipping carriers by yourself is a huge hassle for more reasons than one:  

  • Tedious Process – The process to file a claim with USPS is an exhaustive one, you will have to deal with multiple forms, proofs, and document submissions
  • Time-Consuming – After submitting a claim, you won’t get your refund immediately, it takes at least 5-7 days or forever to get a refund for one single package
  • Not Cost-Effective – The amount of time and money you will spend to get a refund will be greater than the compensation you will probably receive
  • Inefficient Use of Resources – This process doesn’t have a definitive output and require lots of back and forth communication along with document re-submissions

Worry not! You can make use of a parcel audit solution such as LateShipment.com to help you effortlessly recover refunds for lost packages while you focus on your core business. 

Step 4: How Lateshipment.Com Helps You Handle Your Lost Packages

LateShipment.com refunds for lost packages

LateShipment.com’s Parcel Audit and Refunds solution effortlessly audits your invoices and helps save up to 20% on your shipping costs. The best part is that it takes less than 2 minutes to set-up and seamlessly integrates with your existing workflow.

Our parcel audit and refunds solution: 

  1. Not only submits claims on your behalf but also constantly follows up till issue resolution. 
  2. Makes sure that all claims are submitted within the timeframe of the carrier(s).
  3. Not just lost shipments, but also helps you recover refunds for 50+ service failures like late deliveries. 
  4. And best of all this, you don’t have to pay anything out of your pockets. We only charge 50% of the refunds you’ve received, that too only when it is successfully recovered.

Sure, refunds are great for your business. But getting them doesn’t help in mitigating the pain of a loyal customer who might have lost  packages such as birthday gifts or an anniversary surprises.

That’s when our other feature Delivery Experience Management (DEM) platform can help. DEM is particularly helpful if you are a bulk shipper who uses multiple carriers and would prefer an efficient automated workflow.

Step 4.2: How Delivery Experience Management (DEM) Platform Works

LateShipment.com dashboard showing lost packages

Delivery Experience Management platform keeps you in check the status of the parcel and helps you stay ahead of lost or damaged packages with ease. It is easy to use and tracks every package you send via major carriers like FedEx or UPS.

When a certain package takes a detour, DEM sends out an alert to the sender and the receiver. This helps you foresee a delay and handle it proactively.

If you send out several packages at once, and some of them are suspected lost by our automated system, you are intimated of that as well.

Since you get to know well in advance if one or more packages are flagged as lost, it gives you an edge when you get in touch with the carrier to resolve the issue or send a quick replacement in case of a time-sensitive delivery.

The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand. 

Try LateShipment.com now

 Or, get in touch by writing to us at sales@lateshipment.com

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The Real Cost of Late Deliveries & How to Deal with Them https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/what-is-the-real-cost-of-late-deliveries/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/what-is-the-real-cost-of-late-deliveries/#respond Mon, 15 Mar 2021 12:00:53 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/index.php/2017/01/03/what-is-the-real-cost-of-delivering-packages-late/ Online shoppers are clear with their order delivery expectations. They want it free, they want it NOW, and […]

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Online shoppers are clear with their order delivery expectations.

They want it free, they want it NOW, and they hate delays.

How much, you ask? 

So much that late deliveries tend to drive customers away

Read on further to know how much late deliveries can cost your business and how you can deal with them in order to spur customers to spend more on your brand!

The Human Cost of Late Deliveries

How would you feel if you were affected by any of the following situations?

  1. Critical medicines being delivered late.
  2. A birthday gift you send reaching the destination a day after the special day.
  3. Santa delivering that particular Peppa Pig life-size toy your child has been coveting for months a day after Christmas.

You would surely not order from the same business again. You would most certainly not accept excuses like “We outsource our shipping needs to FedEx, UPS, or DHL, so please check with the shipping carrier.” Such an excuse would only infuriate you further.

Now put your customer in the same situation.

Needless to say, they would be just as anguished as you would be in their shoes.

You Bear the Cost of Late Deliveries

What makes late deliveries worse is that despite paying a steep price to provide customers a top-notch eCommerce delivery experience, you are held accountable for delivery issues committed by your shipping carrier. 

Since the onus is now on you provide a great post-purchase experience, you end up spending up to 20% more on shipping costs than you should. As if this were not bad enough, many such former customers end up posting damaging reviews on social media and forums that deter potential customers from buying with you! 

And if you are planning to just replace one customer with another, you are in for a shock! 

The hard truth is that acquiring new customers is costly work. It costs as much as seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Also, an existing customer will buy more from you and recommend your business more than a new customer will.

For these reasons, it is critical you retain your existing customers at all costs.

The Impact of Late Deliveries on Key Metrics

You can get an unbiased picture of whether you are investing in the right areas and if you are getting commensurate returns by tracking key metrics like Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Customer Retention Rate (CRR), and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Ready to take your post-purchase delivery experience to the next level?

Download our guide, Supercharge Customer Lifetime Value & Retention Through a Stellar Post-Purchase Delivery Experience’ – for insights on key metrics that matter, and how you can leverage them to ensure a positive and seamless delivery experience.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Are You Spending Too Much on Acquiring Customers?

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Are You Spending Too Much on Acquiring Customers?

In simple terms, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) is the cost of convincing a potential customer to purchase your product/service.

CAC includes the cost of marketing and sales. The higher your CAC, the more you need to charge your customers for using your product/service to make a profit.

The simplest way to calculate CAC is to divide marketing and sales costs combined for a period by the number of customers acquired during the period.

For example, let’s say a small business spends $100,000 in a year on marketing and sales. 2000 new customers buy its products during the year.

The CAC of this business can be arrived at by dividing 100,000 by 2000. The answer is 50, which means this small business spent $50 in marketing to acquire a new customer during the year.

The effect of late deliveries on CAC –  Late deliveries increase the CAC of your business. This is on account of the negative social media reviews and word-of-mouth interactions that need to be countered.

Customer Retention Rate (CRR): Are You Keeping Your Customers Happy?

Customer Retention Rate (CRR): Are You Keeping Your Customers Happy?

Customer Retention Rate (CRR) lets you know what percentage of customers still shop with you at the end of a period compared to at the beginning of it. The importance of customer retention cannot be overstated.

Loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as the value of their first purchase.

Studies have shown that increasing your customer retention rate even by 5% could lead to increased profits of between 25% and 95%

Let’s assume you want to calculate your customer retention rate (CRR) for a particular year. You started the year with 100 customers (S) and lost 5 of them during the period. You acquired 10 new customers during the year (N).

At the end of the year, the total number of customers you have (E) would be 105 (keeping in mind the ones you lost and gained).

Now, let’s apply the formula to calculate the CRR for the year.

CRR = [(E-N)/S] X 100

That is,

CRR = [(105-10)/100] X 100

The customer retention rate for the year works out to be 95%, which is a spectacularly great percentage indicating you have great customer retention programs in place.

The effect of late deliveries on CRR – Late deliveries has the effect of decreasing the CRR of your business. Most customers who experience a late delivery tend to abandon a business rather than stay on.

Another important metric to measure for eCommerce retail businesses is Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): How Much Are Customers Spending on Your Business?

Customer Lifetime Value Cartoon

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a metric that is critical to the long-term viability of a business. It is the measure of how much a business can expect to earn off each customer during their relationship. 

In other words, it is the measure of how much a customer is expected to spend on a business during their lifetime. The inference to be drawn here is that the longer a customer chooses to buy from a business, the greater their lifetime value. CLV is a forward-looking metric.

CLV also helps to make decisions about how much money to invest in the acquisition of new customers and the retention of the ones existing.

How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

How to Calculate Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

The way CLV is usually calculated is using the formula,

CLV = average purchase value for a customer segment X number of times a customer from a segment will purchase each year X average length of the customer relationship for the segment.

Let’s assume you run an eCommerce site selling shoes.

A professional runner who is a frequent buyer on your site might be worth this:

$100 per shoe pair X 4 pairs yearly X 8 years (average professional career length for the segment) = $3200

The mother of an infant might be worth this:

$20 per shoe pair X 5 pairs yearly X 3 years = $300

Now you know you will need to devote more attention to the professional runner than the mother of the infant to boost your bottom line moving forward.

This is the value of calculating CLV.

The effect of late deliveries on CLV – As far as CLV is concerned, it decreases (and drastically) because of late deliveries. Not surprising, considering that customers who experience delivery issues don’t stay loyal to a business.

The Impact of Late Deliveries on Key Retail Metrics

How to Deal with Late Deliveries & Boost Customer Lifetime Value

Here’s how to improve customer satisfaction in the last mile and deal with shipping delays, while ensuring your customers enjoy a near-white-glove delivery experience: 

  1. Create a loyalty program to encourage customers to buy more and often.
  2. Under-promise and over-deliver on delivery dates.
  3. Track your shipments in real-time using a parcel-tracking service.
  4. Keep your customers informed of package location at all times about important parcel-tracking events, including delivery issues. 
  5. Make use of a Delivery Experience Management (DEM) service to manage your customers’ post-purchase experience.
  6. Ensure that your support reps are rightly equipped to handle customer queries and complaints regarding delivery delays across all channels, including social media. 
  7. Make the eCommerce returns process free and as simple as possible. This will contribute to the overall comfort level of your customers.
  8. Compensate customers for late deliveries by offering them coupons or discounts on future purchases.
  9. Audit your shipments and claim refunds for delivery failures, including late deliveries (but remember, refunds don’t prevent customer churn).
  10. For every delivery failure that happens, do a thorough analysis to understand the reasons and track your carrier’s performance.

Final Word

Taking proactive measures to handle late deliveries helps provide a positive eCommerce customer experience and improves metrics like CRR, CAC, and CLV.

Improved customer service in the last mile translates to an improved bottom line for your business.

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[Inspiration 2021] Celebrating the success of 21 women-owned eCommerce businesses https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/celebrating-the-success-of-women-owned-ecommerce-businesses/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/celebrating-the-success-of-women-owned-ecommerce-businesses/#respond Mon, 08 Mar 2021 12:00:32 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=2355 Women leaders have made their mark in this world. They’ve broken norms and stood for the values they […]

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Women leaders have made their mark in this world. They’ve broken norms and stood for the values they believe in. They’ve bucked the trend and become an inspiration to millions of other women (and men). 

Resilience, tenacity, and hard work have brought them where they are now. These are women who have chosen the path less traveled and came out unscathed despite the hurdles. Here’s to every single woman who has inspired many in the course of their journey. 

This Women’s Day, let’s train the spotlight on 21 retail businesses with strong-willed, highly successful women in the driver’s seat.

The Brave Collection

The Brave Collection

The life-changing journey of New York-based designer Jessica Hendricks Yee began when she noticed that many Cambodian women lacked dignified job opportunities and were forced into sexual slavery. This pushed Yee into deciding that she had to help empower these women. And she certainly did make a difference!

Yee started The Brave Collection of bracelets with the twin aims of providing job opportunities to survivors of human trafficking and shining a light on the plight of vulnerable Cambodian women.

Artisans who work with The Brave Collection are paid above-average wages and provided fair and dignified working conditions at a studio in Cambodia. Many of them are young mothers who work from home. All of them are provided health insurance and stipends for their children’s education.

Such a noteworthy effort ought to be appreciated!

The Oula Company

The Oula Company

Founded by Erika Dalya Massaquoi; who is well-versed in fashion, art, and cinema; The Oula Company highlights sourcing textiles responsibly, globally, handcrafting them, and, made in the USA on its homepage.

Oula’s signature garments are patterned both vibrant & colorful and are made with Ankara (African Wax Fabric).

The garments are hand-cut and are sewn locally in the USA – resulting in a smaller carbon footprint. The pieces are durable, long-lasting, and can be worn throughout the year, giving them more value than fast fashion.

The brand believes that style can liberate and empower and its design ethos is particularly influenced by the Black Is Beautiful movement and inspires the iconic natural beauty.

Wildfang

Wildfang is a brand that is out there to create a home for badass women, who are bold, unafraid, and in tune with their identity. 

In 2013, founders Emma McIlroy and Julia Parsley started this brand with the “radical” belief that a woman has the right to wear whatever the hell they want and be whoever the hell they want.

Since then, the brand has been vocal in spreading the message of emancipation and female pride and given back over $500k to charities and organizations that support reproductive, immigrant, and queer rights.

Wildfang makes a real-world difference by contributing to organizations that further women’s causes: ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Malala Fund to name a few.

Otherwild

Otherwild

If you step into an Otherwild store, the first thing that greets you is the fresh quirkiness of the space and its merchandise. Apart from funky apparel and ceramics, you also have your pick of a good-natured dose of LGBT-friendly merch thrown in. 

The woman behind this radical, fun store is Rachel Berks. An artist and graphic designer by profession, Berks has created her concept store intending to provide a space for events and a platform for upcoming design artists to showcase their wares.

Instagram has been her go-to place to advertise anything new her team has brewed. The most easily identifiable objects in her store are “the future is female” tees that have gone crazy viral on Instagram.

As Berks, herself says in an interview, the focus is on LGBTQ, artists, and designers.

Dôen

Dôen

The attitude behind Dôen is casual and bohemian. 

Sisters Margaret and Katherine Kleveland started the direct-to-customer site as a means to celebrate all it means to be a woman. Exasperated with a state-of-affairs in which men called the shots at most levels in fashion, they started a company that would be run entirely by women.

The Kleveland sisters are so intent on female ownership in a business that even the factories they source from are either owned or co-owned by women. This is what real-world emancipation looks like!

Dôen has amassed a cult following for its dreamy aesthetic. The website lists categories such as tops, knitwear, footwear, and sleepwear, among others.

Yelani

Yelani

Yelani was founded in 2009 by Yetunde Jude, a recognized veteran black hair care expert, to develop hair care products of the highest quality for women.

The brand states its purpose to ‘uplift black women’, by making it easier for them to take care of their hair. Its gentle products are designed to reduce shedding, detangling time, and breakage while focusing on softening and strengthening the hair. 

Yelani’s products are 100% free of chemicals that can cause cancer and hair damage. And is known for using herbs, essential oils, and plant-based ingredients, that are tailor-made for women with natural curls and give healthy, and soft hair.

Apart from its niche of catering to women with natural curls, the brand also has a wide range of products, with the focus of providing healthy hair for kids and helping men grow fuller, thicker beards.  

Mulberry & Grand

Mulberry & Grand

“Inspiration is everywhere we look. My goal is to bring that inspiration to life with this brand, and to inspire women to celebrate themselves,” says Emily Guggino, the founder of Mulberry & Grand

The NY-based boutique offers a unique selection of jewelry, accessories, clothing, gifts & more that are hand-made, trendy, and affordable. 

Along with its passion for unique style, the brand strongly believes in and spreads the message of diversity and inclusivity as they always look to hire and collaborate with a diverse group of people from all over the world.

They are currently offering a 15% discount for students and free shipping on US orders above $35. Check them out! 

ByChari

Established in 2012, ByChari is a reflection of designer Chari Cuthbert’s approach to life and style. More than a jewelry line as they state, it’s a way for women to create and share their stories. 

Handmade sustainably in Los Angeles, Chari and her team remain committed to supporting local small businesses so that each BYCHARI piece can be worn with confidence.

Started just as a concept of creating effortless, unique, and modern designs that aren’t found anywhere else, BYCHARI is now worn by household names including Kate Hudson, Rose Huntington-Whiteley, Aimee Song, Chiara Ferragni, and Rocky Barnes.

If you are someone who appreciates simplicity but demands luxury in their jewelry, BYCHARI is your cup of tea in style and fashion. 

“There is something so subtle and beautiful about jewelry. I love how each piece, and how it’s worn, tells a story about the woman who wears it.” –– Chari Cuthbert, Designer & Creative Director

Natural Earth Paint

Natural Earth Paint was founded in 2011 by professional artist Leah Fanning, after searching for non-toxic yet high-quality art supplies and finally decided to create the products she desired herself. 

Not just products, NEP is committed to being 100% eco-friendly, even in their packaging (made with biodegradable plastic bags and recyclable glass bottles.) and a solar-powered production facility. 

NEP received the prestigious Gold certification from Green America – the highest rank for a green business, the Cribsie Award in 2016 after receiving 40,000 votes, and has been featured in over 100 blogs, reviews, and magazine articles, including Forbes and Huffington Post.

Then I Met You

Then I Met You

Founded by Charlotte Cho, Then I Met You is inspired by the Korean concept of Jeong, a deep feeling of empathy and affection that one can develop for people, places, and things. 

Jeong is what drives the brand to put others ahead of themselves and work towards the greater good of the community. 

The name ‘Then I Met You’ is synonymous with the moment of interaction when customers try out the product for the first time, which will impact their lives forever. 

The brand is known for its suite of unique products of the highest quality ingredients such as the radiant orange of sea buckthorn, the deep brown of cocoa, and licorice, etc without artificial colorants, parabens, silicones, and alcohol (‘product perfectionists’ seems so apt now). 

Following its journey towards the greater good, the brand also focuses on sustainability in its formulations, production, and packaging. I Gotta say, excellent stuff! 

The Lip Bar

While the concept of Lip Bar may be trivial, the story and the cause behind it make it so much inspirational and show us why the brand has grown so much since its inception in 2012. 

Melissa Butler started Lip Bar over frustration caused by the media and the beauty industry in defining beauty standards even in shades of lipsticks. She realized that despite high standards and unnecessary chemicals, the industry had low diversity and a lack of inclusivity. 

That’s when she decided to kill all the birds with one stone. 

The Lip Bar is a vegan and cruelty-free beauty brand that exists to change the way people think about beauty and remind them that there are no beauty standards and they are enough to be beautiful!   

The Lip Bar has been featured in various magazines such as Elle, WWD, Glamour, Essence, etc.

Ettitude

Ettitude

Founded by Phoebe Yu, Ettitude’s brand stands by one thing and one thing only, comfort with a conscience. 

And how do they do that, you ask? 

Ettitude uses their own fabric CleanBamboo, which uses 500x less water (saves 8,189 gallons – as much as 93 Americans use in a day!) and emits 50% less CO2 (saving 25.9 Kg – equivalent to driving 64.3 miles!). 

Apart from the effort with their products, Ettitude has also been donating to various causes such as anti-racism, gender equality, bushfires, and climate change, etc.

The W Marketplace

The W Marketplace

The pandemic has negatively impacted millions of lives across the world, with women comparatively more affected more than their male counterparts. A survey shows as much as 45% of the permanently-closed women-led businesses may never set up shop again.

That’s when the team led by Kate Isler and Susan Gates decided to step up and create a platform where women could launch or grow a business, find resources to help them succeed, and meet other women entrepreneurs and business owners. And Voila! The W Marketplace was born. 

Apart from just providing a platform to set up shop, the marketplace also has a blog section, where womentrepreneurs share their inspiring success stories. Have a read at them.

The Honey Pot Company

The Honey Pot Company

The Honey Pot Company is the first one that is out there to provide a complete feminine care system with their feminine hygiene products. 

Founded by Beatrice Dixon, Honey Pot Co’s products are made with herbs that are 100% natural, without any chemicals or toxins, are biodegradable, and are made in a cruelty-free way.  

The brand further steps up its game by providing menstrual care for women who are homeless, low income, or living in poverty. 

They also offer you personalized recommendations based on your answers. Check out for yourself

Beauty Bakerie

Beauty Bakerie

After a successful fight with breast cancer, Cashmere Nicole founded Beauty Bakerie in 2011 when she became extremely conscious about the products she uses and decided to share them with the world. 

The Beauty Bakerie brand is a direct reflection of Cashmere’s perseverance and passion for both high-quality and healthy ingredients, cruelty-free, all-inclusive cosmetics that enhance the beauty in everyone, every day.

The brand has also been instrumental in setting up Sugar Homes, an initiative that supports the needs of orphaned children worldwide and has been vocal for various issues such as addressing the disparities within the beauty industry and the Black Lives Matter movement, etc. Check out their collections here.

Redwood Classics Apparel

Redwood Classics Apparel

Founded by Kathy Cheng, Redwood Classics Apparel strives to provide its customers with the highest level of quality fabric available.

Their garments feature flatlock stitching which weaves in an extra thread to provide greater strength and durability and their entire process from sewing and dyeing to packaging and shipping combines traditional, handcrafted practices with state-of-the-art technology and computerization.

The brand stands for promoting and facilitating diversity and continues its efforts to help aboriginal and minority-owned businesses in Canada and strengthen a nationwide movement toward a more equitable, globally responsible industry. 

Their website has beautiful behind-the-scenes videos of their factory. Take a look at them here.

Mented Cosmetics

Mented

A glass of pinot and a conversation between KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson on how hard it was to find the perfect shade of lipstick was what sparked the idea of creating Mented Cosmetics.  

Each of the brand’s products is perfectly pigMented to match your skin tones because the brand wants all women, from light to tan to dark skin tones, to feel like they have makeup that actually works for their complexions. 

All lipsticks are vegan, paraben-free, non-toxic, and cruelty-free. Explore their full collection of makeup products.

Vital Pet Life

Started by Donie and her partner Kyle, Vital Pet Life’s story began when they were unable to find a soothing, non-GMO, toxin-free product for their dog Tuxedo. 

All of their products are clean, sustainably sourced, and toxin-free. 

After you purchase a VPL product, you’re not only a customer but a part of the community that unlocks their happiness, vibrance, and longevity for their fur-babies.

The brand strives to always give you quality products and the best customer service and is committed to the health of your furry loved ones and your satisfaction. Much appreciation!

Black Girl Sunscreen

Black Girl Sunscreen

Black Girl Sunscreen’s story begins with the need for melanin women to have a sunscreen brand that caters exclusively to them.

It all started when founder Shontay Lundy grew frustrated with either having to carry expensive umbrellas or neglecting to go outside altogether due to white residue from regular sunscreens. That’s when she decided to create a natural non-white residue sunscreen brand for women of color.

Black Girl Sunscreen uses NO parabens, or other harmful chemicals while infusing the finest ingredients to shield and moisturize your melanated skin without the dreaded white residue common with most sunscreen.

Apart from sunscreens and skin care products, they also offer cool coffee mugs and sweatshirts. Check them out!

The Herbs and Bees

The Herbs and Bees

Founded by Noha Soliman, The Herbs & Bees is a business with a mission to bring safe, fresh skincare products into every household and overall, make the world a better place. 

They are an ethical and environmentally-conscious brand that uses flower extracts, plan-based and seed oils instead of petroleum-based oils, parabens and sulfates, etc so that your skin can detox and heal itself.

The products are fully produced in the USA, and their packaging is 100% reusable and recyclable as they believe in making their carbon footprint as small as possible.  

The brand uses ingredients such as activated charcoal, bergamot, bentonite clay, etc, and has been certified as organic, vegan, and cruelty-free by organizations such as PETA.

Universal Standard

Why does it have to be so hard to shop when you’re a plus-size? Why do you not get the same options like everybody else? Why do you have to forgo the pleasure of shopping due to a lack of options?

These are some of the questions that enabled Alexandra Waldman and Polina Veksler to create their own brand: Universal Standard.

Their clothing line has all sizes (0 to 40), catering to any woman who walks into the store wishing to buy a garment. Nobody will be turned away as their size isn’t available.

They not only have clothes sizes up in their collection but also down. Gotta love the all-inclusive policy!

Good quality stylish clothes that fit perfectly should certainly be available to everybody! Way to go!

The post [Inspiration 2021] Celebrating the success of 21 women-owned eCommerce businesses appeared first on Lateshipment.com Blog.

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WISMO: What it means and how to reduce it? https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/wismo-what-it-means-and-how-to-reduce-it/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/wismo-what-it-means-and-how-to-reduce-it/#respond Fri, 05 Mar 2021 09:42:58 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7503 You’ve done all the hard work – attracting netizens to take a look at your website, encouraging them […]

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You’ve done all the hard work – attracting netizens to take a look at your website, encouraging them to add products to their cart by providing value, getting them to take a step further to make a purchase decision, and hit the checkout button.

This person who entered your eCommerce store as a stranger is now a valued customer who’s amped up to try your product.

Another day, another satisfied customer? 

Well, it’s not that simple. 

The customer journey consists of two major stages – namely, the pre-purchase stage that we just talked about and the all-important post-purchase stage. 

The post-purchase stage begins when an order has been placed, all the way to when the order is delivered at your customer’s doorstep. 

Once an order has been shipped, retailers tend to hand over the reins of their customers’ journey to a third-party shipping company who may not share the same level of commitment as you do – which could prove to be fatal to your customer’s overall experience.

This stage is crucial to boost customer loyalty by ensuring a hassle-free order delivery experience with your brand and reward you with more future sales. Customers love to stay in the know and receive updates on their delivery status and expect you to proactively do so.

And when you fail to do so, your customer service teams are flooded with tickets from anxious customers, all with the same question – WISMO?

So, what is WISMO?

This acronym reads out to “Where IS My Order?” – a phrase that is much too common to those in a customer-facing role, namely customer service teams. 

Your customers tend to get anxious, and that’s understandable. Especially when they have limited visibility into the exact whereabouts of their order and have to often depend on poorly built carrier tracking pages for clarity about their order’s ETA. 

But the problem here is that carrier tracking pages don’t really disclose the depth of the situation when it comes to delayed packages.

What do WISMO calls mean for your business?

To the layperson, WISMO stands for “Where Is My Order?” and that’s about it.

However, WISMO calls take up about 40% of your customer support queries and according to a study by Gorgias – a customer service agent spends an average of 10-minutes per ‘where is my order?’ request. 

Do the math, if your business receives 1000 WISMO queries a week – at 10-minutes per ticket, that’s about 160 hours of your customer support’s time. Multiply that by the average hourly wage you pay your customer service agents and that’s how much you could be saving per 1000 WISMO calls.

Now that’s an alarming number! 

What is it you can do as a business to reduce the number of WISMO calls and save those big bucks in operating costs?

How to reduce/avoid WISMO calls and save money in the process?

1) Be transparent about your delivery dates :

Always provide your customers with realistic delivery estimates – taking into account all possible delays and discrepancies. Make use of delivery experience management software to predict delays, if any, and keep your customers informed.

WISMO : Be transparent

As an outcome of the pandemic, logistics has taken a hit as well – causing more unexpected delays than usual. Keep your customers informed that there’s a possibility of a delay in their package being delivered to avoid giving them unpleasant surprises. 

During peak shopping season like the Holidays, make sure you explicitly let your customer know that there might be delays with their order – on your website and your checkout page.

2) Over-communicate delivery information :

You send out an order confirmation email once the order is placed but do you keep your customer informed at every checkpoint after that?

Once their order is packed and shipped – send out a notification with an estimated delivery date and an order tracking link. But don’t stop at that, keep sending out regular order status updates (even if there is a delay) to keep your customers informed and help them avoid any anxiety. In case of delays, you can reward your customers for being so patient and understanding – to encourage brand loyalty.

3) Provide self-serve, real-time order tracking :

Send a self-serve order tracking link out to your customers once their order has been shipped. Make sure that your website boasts an order tracking page that is easily navigable as well.

In addition to this, if you employ a chatbot on your eCommerce store, you configure automated responses that include a tracking page link to hot-key triggers such as “WISMO” or “where is my order?”

WISMO : Real Time Order Tracking

Since a tracking page is self-serve, its benefits are two-fold as it can significantly reduce the number of WISMO calls coming at you and also reduce the wait time for customers trying to find out more about their order.

4) Build a branded order tracking experience :

You can go one step further and provide a branded order-tracking experience to your customers on your website to improve their overall customer experience.

WISMO : Branding Tracking

This also enables you to leverage post-purchase touchpoints as a means to drive sales. Utilize real-estate on your order tracking page to run relevant promotions and campaigns.

5) Include a ‘where is my order?’ section on your customer service/FAQ page

Some customers might not be aware of the self-serve order tracking feature you offer and may try to reach out to you through your customer service page.

It’s a good idea to include delivery-related FAQs on your website to make sure that your customers are aware of how to track their orders. If you don’t have a tracking feature, you can reiterate your typical delivery times.

6) Make sure your customer support teams are equipped with the right information to handle WISMO calls with ease :

You provide your customers with a self-serve order tracking system and send out regular delivery notifications apart from giving them a real-time delivery estimate but they still choose to reach out to your customer support regarding the whereabouts of their order.

What do you do?

Integrate your help desk with your order tracking system to ensure that your customer service agents can pull-up order tracking information with ease and save time on such queries.

How top brands leverage LateShipment.com to reduce/avoid WISMO calls and cut down on operational costs :

A high-volume in WISMO calls from your customers is a cry for more communication throughout the post-purchase stage. 

At LateShipment.com, we’ve built the world’s only logistics cloud tool that helps businesses of all sizes reduce shipping costs by up to 20% and provide stellar post-post purchase experiences to customers at scale – focussing steadfastly on the last mile, typically the most opaque part of the logistics chain.

With our Delivery Experience Management (DEM) Platform, you can effortlessly :

> Track Parcels in Real-Time – Monitor your outbound & inbound shipments across multiple shipping carriers on a centralized window, in real-time

> Receive Predictive Delay Alerts – Pay attention to daily deliveries with predictive delay alerts and more on a purpose-built dashboard for support reps.

> Resolve Issues Proactively– Proactively communicate with customers to prevent them from having bad experiences due to delivery failures.

> Send out Delivery Status Notifications  – Send custom or automated delivery status notifications to your customers for events like “shipped,” “attempted,” & “delivered.”

> Provide Branded Order Tracking – Build fully-customizable order tracking pages for your customers to improve brand recall and sales.

> Receive Delivery Experience Feedback – Gather feedback from customers about their delivery experience. Measure and optimize shipping operations.

The best part is, it takes less than 2 minutes to see LateShipment.com in action.

The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand. Try LateShipment.com now.

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Tackling the Most Important FAQs During the Customer’s Post-purchase Journey to Offer a Stellar CX https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/tackling-the-most-important-faqs-during-the-customers-post-purchase-journey-to-offer-a-stellar-cx/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/tackling-the-most-important-faqs-during-the-customers-post-purchase-journey-to-offer-a-stellar-cx/#respond Fri, 26 Feb 2021 11:01:49 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7377 It is no surprise that a lot of businesses today are paying attention to their customers’ post-purchase experiences, […]

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It is no surprise that a lot of businesses today are paying attention to their customers’ post-purchase experiences, given that it is critical to ensure hassle-free delivery experiences that encourage your customers to reward you with repeat purchases. 

The post-purchase phase is also the most exciting part for the customer as they are extremely eager to get their hands on their orders. The anticipation and excitement before order delivery often leads to high customer anxiety. And this anxiety can sometimes lead to customers stressing about what is going on with their orders, particularly when they sense their orders are likely to be delayed. 

This heightened sense of anxiety accompanied with lack of effective customer communication and engagement is the retail pundits call, the big post-purchase customer experience gap’.

In order to help retailers close this existing gap, we’ve analyzed a lot of common questions from customers and on your mind and hope to answer them, to ultimately help you provide a stellar post-purchase customer experience.

FAQs from customers during their post-purchase journey

#1: When will my order be dispatched and how long will it take to arrive?

The first question that is on a customer’s mind as soon as they hit the ‘BUY’ button is “when will I get the order on my hands?”

Today’s customers are so keen to get the order on their hands that they expect to be kept in the loop of their order delivery – to avoid worrying over their package going haywire due to delivery issues. 

What you can do – Customers are highly anxious in the order delivery phase. You must keep this in mind and over-communicate with them wherever necessary. 

A realistic estimated delivery date for their delivery is a good place to start with (considering all external factors) so that they keep their expectations in check and refrain from blaming you in case the delivery timeline gets extended by a day or two.    

Estimated delivery date

You can then mitigate their anxiety by sending out automated and personalized shipping notifications via emails and SMS at various stages of the delivery cycle such as ‘order shipped’, ‘delivery attempted’, ‘order delivered’, etc.

order confirmation

#2: Where is my order? / How do I track my order?

Apart from being constantly notified, customers also expect the ability to track their parcels at will, from the moment it leaves the warehouse – and when they can’t do that, they bombard you with WISMO (Where Is My Order?) inquiries. 

While WISMO inquiries seem trivial, they are a huge concern as they account for over 30% of the support inquiries, thereby consuming most of your support team’s time, preventing them from tending to other important things like product-related concerns. 

What you can do – While responding to a WISMO call may mitigate the issue, it is still not enough to put out the fire as customers are keen to track their orders. 

The ideal response would be to enable real-time tracking for customers to track their orders right after the parcel gets shipped out. 

All this time, you might’ve been sending your customer to the carrier’s tracking page, which is good but it can be better. 

You can consider adding a ‘tracking button’ or sending them a ‘tracking link’ at your website and make order tracking ‘self-serve’ with your OWN branded order tracking pages

When you enable your customers to track their orders, they are less likely to bombard you with delivery-related customer inquiries.

#3: My order is delayed. What should I do?

Shipping carriers often do not provide complete transit information and are known to withhold information regarding delays to prevent them from being shown in a poor light. 

While doing so, they don’t really care that your customer is likely to hold YOU accountable for service failures such as delays and they get away with it. 

And what makes it worse is that frustrated customers don’t just stop shopping with you but also take their grievances to social media, which negatively impacts your brand’s reputation and prevents other potential customers from shopping with you as well. 

What you can do – Just like informing your customers of their order status, you can also send out delivery notifications even when their order is delayed (you can follow the same for packages that are lost or damaged in transit) as it is always better when you keep them informed about it (rather than the other way around). 

Order delayed apology email

You can proactively identify and resolve these issues before your customer is impacted by them and exceed your customers’ delivery expectations.

This way, there is an opportunity to show how much you value them and turn unhappy customers into brand advocates.

#4.1: How do I return my order?

Returns are becoming more common in this eCommerce era, with 30% of all products returned compared to just around 9% in brick-and-mortar stores

Customers return their products for various reasons – ranging from the product not meeting their expectations to delays or damages. Either way, the onus falls on you to offer a great return experience as it still plays a major role in the post-purchase phase of their journey. 

What you can do – Just like all the previous queries, the ideal response would be to create a situation where the customer already has the answer to this question. 

And how, you ask?

Mention your returns policy ahead of the purchase on your website. Sometimes this even works to give your customers the slightest push towards making a purchase, so it is a good ploy to provide free returns by bearing the costs of it. 

Order returns

Not just that, returns play a more vital role as 92% of repeat sales are a result of seamless return experience and there is a 40% drop in support calls with timely return status updates.

Check out our blog, 5 Tips for a Great eCommerce Returns Process by 3Dcart’s Jimmy Rodriguez to get a more hands-on approach on returns and streamline your store’s returns process.

#4.2: How do I claim a refund for my order?

A customer who has returned their order after it had not met their delivery expectations, may want a refund as well, considering they’re not looking for a free replacement.  

Refunds too like returns act as a huge differentiator between you and your competitor. That being said, it is high time for you to focus on a clear refund policy as well. 

What you can do –  Apart from a clear refund policy, businesses must also take a step ahead and fulfill your customers’ refund requests and bear the costs themselves. 

In case of a refund due to delivery issues such as delays, you can offer a complete refund on the product and send out a new one via an expedited shipping option at your own expense to show your customers that you value them – making them repeat customers. 

Order refund

This way, you can show your commitment to offer a great post-purchase experience for your customers and manage to alleviate their frustration. 

If you are worried about the costs, you need not be. Bearing these costs is less expensive than acquiring a new customer.

Bearing these (refunds and returns) costs is less expensive than acquiring a new customer. 

Phew! A series of questions from customers, done and dusted. 

You can follow these responses in case to close the gap in your post-purchase experience and prepare yourself for the worst.

But what about the questions that are on your mind? 

Let’s take a look at them as well.

FAQs from retailers to improve their customers’ post-purchase experiences

There are some specific issues that retailers encounter throughout the year. We’ve decided to put ourselves in the shoes of a retailer and suggest fixes that will make a difference to their processes. 

So read on, especially if you are in a customer-facing role.

#5 Can my support team proactively resolve delivery issues?

This is a question that arises from the lack of real-time visibility. 

Having a hands-on approach with each parcel that is dispatched is the ideal way to overcome it. 

“Prevention is better than cure” might sound clichéd, but it holds true in this context.

You can make use of a delivery management solution that predicts delivery issues even before they occur and offers help desk integrations. This will help optimize your time and also allow your support-mates to reach out to customers quickly if needed.

Proactive customer support

Various help desk integrations with a delivery experience management platform can help you trigger automated tickets for delivery-related issues and quickly resolve them. This improves various customer key performance indicators (KPIs) such as customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter score (NPS).    

#6:How do I build my own order tracking page for my customers to track orders?

 Online shoppers track their orders 6 to 8 times before delivery.

Sending your customer to the carrier’s tracking page just means you’re losing out on these touchpoints, which can otherwise be leveraged to drive delight, inspire loyalty, and increase sales. 

This is because the carrier tracking page is devoid of certain elements that can help you do just that. 

This is why it is better to make use of post-purchase solutions that enable you to build your own on-brand order tracking pages

Branded tracking page

Your ‘branded’ tracking page can contain your logo, domain, other brand elements, and product reviews which can act as an extension of your brand experience.

You can also utilize the real-estate on your order tracking page to run relevant promotions and marketing campaigns.

#7: Is it possible to know how my customers’ delivery experiences were?

Of course, yes.  

All this time, you might be wondering how can you improve your customers’ delivery experience if it is not in your hands? 

Well, it’s time to take out the guesswork. Simply ask your customer to know what they think of their delivery experience.

Add a delivery satisfaction rating at your order tracking page or ‘order delivered’ notification and capture your customers’ feedback after each delivery which can be done with the help of a delivery management software.

Delivery feedback

This can help you make better delivery choices to consistently improve your brand’s post-purchase experience and help you earn fierce customer loyalty in return.

#8: Can I get a refund? The delivery was late

Each package shipped through carriers comes with a service guarantee. It’s an assurance that the package will be delivered by a committed time. Regularly auditing your invoices and claiming refunds for service failures such as late deliveries ensures better service quality by your shipping carriers.

So, retailers must consider refunds, not as an option but rather as a right as it’s only fair to hold your carriers accountable for their mistakes.

However, manually auditing your invoices and claiming refunds can be a headache as it is a tiresome process and may cost you more than the refund amount itself. 

There’s a better way to do this. 

That is, making use of a parcel audit solution that automatically audits your invoices and claims refunds for your shipping carrier’s service failures and billing errors. 

Having an automated parcel audit solution in place lets you focus on core business processes while the refunds are directly credited to your account.

Like we said earlier, the ideal response for these queries would be to close this existing gap with the help of a working post-purchase strategy and preventing such questions from arising. 

You can do just that by making use of a post-purchase CX success tool that helps you to take control of your customers’ post-purchase experience and build a loyal customer base.

Ready to take your post-purchase customer experience to the next level? Download our guide, The eCommerce Leaders’ Guide to Post-purchase Customer Experience Success, for insight into your customers’ post-purchase experience, and what you can do to ensure a positive, seamless, and on-brand delivery experience.

LateShipment.com - your one-stop solution to take charge of your customers’ post-purchase journey and ensure outstanding delivery experiences

LateShipment.com is the world’s only logistics cloud tool that combines shipping refunds with everything you need to create well-managed, branded delivery experiences despite the odds.

LateShipment.com drives savings in your shipping spend, gives you new revenue channels, better repeat purchase rates, and offers your customers premium delivery experiences. Here’s how we elevate the game for your business

At LateShipment.com, we aim to transform your customer’s post-purchase journey and make it a memorable experience that encourages fierce customer loyalty. 

Our Delivery Experience Management platform powers post-purchase CX success for your business by helping you: 

  • Stay on top of delays by tracking your in-transit parcels across carriers in real-time.
  • Resolve delivery issues proactively with predictive alerts for shipments facing delays.
  • Over-communicate with customers facing critical delivery issues.
  • Send automated delivery status notifications via email and SMS to reduce your customers’ anxiety.
  • Build beautiful, branded order tracking pages, personalized for your customers.
  • Capture your customers’ Delivery Satisfaction (DSAT) rating after every order delivery.

 

Our DEM platform also seamlessly integrates with all your tech-stacks such as eCommerce platforms, CRM systems, Help desk, and Email marketing tools, etc without any change to your existing workflow.

Now, how good is that?

The best part is, 

In addition to helping you elevate your customers’ post-purchase experiences, you can also SAVE UP TO 20% on your shipping costs with our Parcel Audit and Shipping Refunds solution, which can help you: 

  • Audit your monthly shipping invoices for 50+ service failures 
  • Submit refund claims to your carrier(s) on your behalf
  • Deposit the refunded amount directly into your account
  • Save you up to 20% of your overall shipping spend.
  • Get better service-quality from shipping carriers 

The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand. 

Try LateShipment.com now

 Or, get in touch by writing to us at sales@lateshipment.com

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Post-Purchase CX : 8 Strategies to Implement in 2021 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/strategies-to-improve-post-purchase-cx/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/strategies-to-improve-post-purchase-cx/#respond Thu, 11 Feb 2021 06:33:08 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7176 Post-Purchase CX Amidst the Rise of eCommerce 2020 has been a watershed year for retail. With eCommerce sales […]

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Post-Purchase CX Amidst the Rise of eCommerce

2020 has been a watershed year for retail. With eCommerce sales growing more than 30% in 2020, the trend is expected to continue in 2021 as well.

To keep up with the rise in eCommerce and the sound change in consumer behavior, businesses need to put post-purchase CX at the center of their growth and retention strategies. 

Unfortunately, for most eCommerce businesses, there is very little control over the post-purchase phase of the customer journey.

The post-purchase CX gap (as it is called) is a result of businesses like yours losing control over the experience you provide to your customers after parcels have been handed over to third-party shipping carriers/partners, who may not share the same level of commitment towards ensuring a delightful and frictionless delivery experience.

The Big Post-Purchase CX Gap in Online Retail (And What It Really Means to Your Business)

post-purchase cx gap

Businesses get 6-8 touchpoints in the post-purchase to interact with customers and engage with them. These critical touchpoints are opportunities to strengthen customer relationships, build trust, and brand loyalty.

The post-purchase journey is of high importance because it takes up 50% of the overall order experience. 

However, when you do not pay heed to your customers at this stage, you leave them at the mercy of your shipping carrier. Which in turn has a domino effect, widening the CX gap between you and your customers, resulting in far more consequences. 

The Impact of Post-Purchase CX Gap on Consumers

High customer anxiety before order delivery

Although the post-purchase phase is the most exciting phase of the customer journey, it can also be the most anxiety-inducing phase of the customer journey. 

The excitement of receiving an order coupled with the distress of any potential delivery issues such as delays can keep customers really really anxious. 

An average customer tracks their order 6-8 times before delivery, making the post-purchase phase the most anxious stage of the shopper journey.

Irrespective of who your shipping carrier or partner is, customers expect YOU (the business) to take responsibility to keep them informed about their order delivery status and mitigate any delivery-related issue with their parcels.

A surge in the volume of WISMO calls

Customers expect to be kept in the loop of their order’s status at every stage of the delivery lifecycle.

On average over 30% of the support inquiries were shipping & delivery related.

Their anxiety at this stage leads to a huge volume of WIMSO (Where Is My Order?) inquiries, which takes up most of your customer service team’s time.

Customer frustration over order delays

Of all potential delivery issues, order delays are the most common and are most likely to cause customer frustration.

As a business, you run the risk of losing even your most loyal customer to your competitor after just one bad delivery experience. 

1-in-5 parcels are routinely delayed and over 55% of the customers won’t not return to a brand or retailer after one bad experience, indicating that today’s consumer has nearly zero threshold for delivery failures. 

When you are unable to resolve delays or even inform your customers of it, you end up losing your “hard-earned” customers to delivery issues, which are often committed by your shipping partner and not you. 

Your brand's reputation takes a massive hit

Social media and word-of-mouth play a key role in improving your brand’s reputation in the form of positive feedback and influencer promotions. 

On the other hand, it is a double-edged sword that can also be used by disgruntled customers to vent out their frustrations against a failed product or in this case, delivery. 

Above are very few examples of unforgiving customers expressing their outrage on social media channels. 

Handling negative reviews is all the more important, especially when 93% of the customers say, they read online reviews before buying a product.

These irate customers won’t just stop shopping with you but also take down your brand’s online reputation. 

In the event of failed deliveries, every negative review causes irreversible damage to your brand and far worse, demotivates their followers, friends, and family from shopping with you. 

You lose the opportunity to drive repeat sales during post-purchase order tracking moments

Customers track orders 6-8 times before delivery! That’s 6-8 customer interactions you can leverage to strengthen relationships and encourage repeat purchases. 

Leveraging post-purchase order tracking moments by presenting relevant product recommendations, sales campaigns, or simply a discount coupon on the next purchase can help you increase repeat revenue from customers. Which is now a lost opportunity due to the existing CX gap. 

1 in 4 customers click product recommendations during order tracking

The aforementioned points evidently bring to light the existing gap in the post-purchase phase of your customer journey and its potential impact on your online business. 

With that said, it’s imperative for you to focus on closing the post-purchase customer experience gap by adopting technology solutions that help you take control of your customers’ critical order delivery experience. 

8 Proven Strategies to Ensure Post-Purchase CX Success

Planning a post-purchase CX strategy is not rocket science! 

There are just 3 steps to be followed to ensure post-purchase CX success! 

  1. Over-Communication
  2. Hyper-Engagement
  3. Proactive Issue Resolution

By adopting the following strategies, you can enhance your customers’ post-purchase journey to ensure a positive impact on both your customers’ lifetime value and the retention rate

1. Optimize your checkout page

Your checkout page is the first thing your customers come in contact with after they hit the “BUY” button.

Optimize your checkout page with the following features to make sure that the customer doesn’t abandon their cart and quit half-way through their purchase: 

Customers can’t wait to get the product on their hands. Make the checkout process quicker by offering a guest checkout option for those who don’t want to sign-up and a membership option with additional benefits such as discounts.  

Make checkout easier by: 

  • Displaying a clear order summary during the entire checkout process to make sure that the customer has picked up the right order.
  • Displaying a visual indicator to show the steps completed/ left to make sure that the customers are aware of the process.
  • Offering a single page checkout and an edit option for seamless transitions between the other stages of checkout. 
  • Integrating with multiple payment gateways

You can conclude this stage by sending an ‘order confirmation’ notification to your customers via email or SMS and start working on your post-checkout experience. 

2. Monitor your parcels in real-time; learn about delivery issues before they affect your customers

The key to controlling your post-purchase experience lies in being completely aware of your parcels in transit.  

Once you are aware, you can keep customers up-to-date regarding their order’s status as well.

Real-time tracking

But first, you must gain visibility into your post-purchase, by monitoring your in-transit parcels in real-time and being in the know of all your parcels across carriers, locations, and service types. 

Real-time tracking data gives you predictive analysis and an intuitive, 360-degree view into your post-purchase, so that you may know where you need to intervene. 

3. Enable your support team to proactively handle delivery issues

Enable your customer support team to handle delivery issues and step in where necessary to resolve customer angst and offer stress-free delivery experiences.  

Proactive customer support

With the help of real-time tracking, you can empower your support-reps to stay-in-the-know of your customer’s parcels which are error-prone and proactively resolve them before they impact your customer. This will forge strong customer relationships and foster brand loyalty. 

Businesses can also provide omnichannel support in their website, social media, etc, to avoid the issue being escalated and reduce the number of support-tickets being created.  

4. Build branded post-purchase assets that are visually appealing

Provide post-purchase experiences that are on-brand, which can help you take a step further in your path towards meeting customer expectations and delight them. 

Branded tracking page

Make order tracking an extension of your brand experience by keeping your tracking pages aligned with your brand elements. 

Instead of sending your customer to the carrier’s tracking page, which is often dull, you can create your own branded tracking pages that are both beautiful and brand-consistent. 

Make order tracking self-service – You can also embed an “order track” button onto your website and transactional mails and make order tracking self-serve, thereby reducing the number of WISMO inquiries.  

Self-serve Order Tracking

5. Send automated shipping notifications via email and SMS, when it matters the most

This is a stage, where you can revisit things and implement the strategies we’d previously talked about. 

Shipping transactional mails

Send out order confirmation notifications that align with your brand’s guidelines to keep them immersed in a complete branded experience and display that you still value them to make their next purchase. 

You can also use “order delivered” notifications to thank your customers and collect valuable feedback, which we’ll see below in detail. 

6. Get customer feedback around their delivery experience

Collecting delivery feedback is just as important as recording your product feedback. It tells you how your delivery experience fared and gives you important insights into your carrier’s performance as well. 

Delivery feedback

These delivery satisfaction ratings work as an index of your brand’s performance in the post-purchase phase. You can leverage this data to make better delivery choices and consistently improve your brand’s post-purchase experience, to earn fierce customer loyalty in return.

Capturing these delivery satisfaction ratings will also in turn reflect on your overall customer satisfaction metrics such as CSAT and NPS. 

7. Drive repeat sales with product recommendations

The carrier tracking page is devoid of any brand personality or tone of voice, visually boring, and a marketing dead-end (not encouraging any further brand interaction).

There is a better way to do this.

Product recommendations

Use your order tracking pages real-estate to run relevant product promotional campaigns and upsell/cross-sell your products, thereby boosting your bottom line over time. 

While each of these strategies may seem challenging to be implemented in the long-run, it can be relatively easier with the help of post-purchase CX success tools such as LateShipment.com.  

8. Make returns hassle-free and offer refunds

Today’s customers are spoiled for choice and their expectations have gone high, making it difficult for brands like yours to meet them. 

Free returns too, like same-day or free shipping, which was a USP a few years ago, have now become a mandate for businesses to provide to stay in the competition (Thanks, Amazon! 😤). 

LateShipment Returns

Inform your customers about your refunds and returns policy early in the game to make sure they’re aware of what they’re buying into.

Having a smooth returns policy by making them free and frictionless is not an expensive process but instead works to your advantage in influencing your customers’ loyalty and sets them up for their next purchase. 

92% repeat sales as a result of seamless return experience. 40% drop in support calls with timely return status updates.

How Lateshipment.Com Helps You Drive Post-purchase CX Success

LateShipment.com is the world’s only logistics cloud tool that helps businesses of every size provide memorable delivery experiences to customers at scale.

At LateShipment.com, our focus has remained steadfastly on the post-purchase phase, typically the part of the logistics chain that is the most neglected.

Here’s how our Delivery Experience Management platform powers post-purchase CX success for your business.

  • Stay on top of delays by tracking your in-transit parcels across carriers in real-time.
  • Resolve delivery issues proactively with predictive alerts for shipments facing delays.
  • Over-communicate with customers facing critical delivery issues.
  • Send automated delivery status notifications via email and SMS to reduce your customers’ anxiety.
  • Build beautiful, branded order tracking pages, personalized for your customers.
  • Capture your customers’ Delivery Satisfaction (DSAT) rating after every order delivery.

 

BONUS: Save you up to 20% on your shipping bills.

LateShipment.com allows you to have your monthly shipping invoices automatically audited for 50+ shipping carrier service failures and claims refunds on your behalf. The claimed amount is directly deposited into your account. This can save you up to 20% of your overall shipping spend.

Our automated refunds solution 

  • Audits your monthly shipping invoices
  • Submits refund claims to your carrier(s) on your behalf
  • Deposits the refunded amount directly into your account
  • Gets you better service-quality from shipping carriers 

Now, how good is that?

Plug-&-Play Integrations

LateShipment.com seamlessly integrates with all your tech-stacks whether CRM software, eCommerce platform, order management system (OMS) or customer support helpdesk solution.

Our pre-built integrations work seamlessly on the backend to help you take charge of your customers’ post-purchase journey and ensure outstanding delivery experiences.  

Additionally, LateShipment.com also has the capability to integrate with custom-built tools and platforms. Our API makes it easy to enable such integrations.

LateShipment.com integrations

The best part is, it takes less than 2 minutes to see LateShipment.com in action without any change to your existing workflow.

The value we add to businesses is most evident when experienced first-hand. 

Try LateShipment.com now

Or, get in touch by writing to us at sales@lateshipment.com

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eCommerce Success: Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing in Logistics & Shipping for Emerging Businesses https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/ecommerce-success-pros-and-cons-of-cloud-computing-in-logistics-shipping-for-emerging-businesses/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/ecommerce-success-pros-and-cons-of-cloud-computing-in-logistics-shipping-for-emerging-businesses/#respond Fri, 08 Jan 2021 05:07:42 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7075 You might have come across many technical terms being hyped by tech-enthusiasts, but ‘cloud computing’ rightfully deserves the […]

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You might have come across many technical terms being hyped by tech-enthusiasts, but ‘cloud computing’ rightfully deserves the attention it has been getting over the last few years. 

Cloud computing is revolutionizing technology that has created a buzz in many business areas due to its ease of accessibility and flexibility.

According to the recent cloud computing statistics, the global public cloud market will exceed estimated expectations worth $330 billion as the year 2020 wraps up. 

After looking at such exponential figures, there is no doubt that companies worldwide have outgrown the outdated technologies and expanded their investments towards cloud computing.

Undoubtedly, the advanced technology has been successfully integrated into the logistics and shipment industry as well. 

Today, cloud-based logistics software is considered much more efficient to fulfill commercial needs and provide value-added services to customers

Let’s find out what pros and cons the revolutionary technology has for the logistics and shipping companies.

Cloud Computing in Logistics & Shipping for Emerging Businesses

Advantages of Cloud computing in the Logistics Industry

The following are some of the best benefits one can reap by integrating cloud computing in the logistics industry.

1. More accessibility to real-time pricing updates

Various elements can directly affect pricing when it comes to transportation and warehousing. 

External factors like market conditions, customer demands, sales fluctuations, weather changes, and other such volatilities have the power to make or break your margins. 

 

Not every person can have real-time access to such fluctuations and call the next big trend change that could affect the pricing. Cloud computing does precisely that for you. It provides more accessibility to real-time pricing updates. 

 

Like for instance, you receive immediate notice that freight rates have changed, but if you are out of the station, you can still communicate the necessary changes needed to be made to accommodate the sudden change of rates in your favor.

2. Helps your business expand to accommodate customer demand

A smooth supply chain is essential for a company’s operational efficiency. 

Given the customer-centricity and the significance the supply chain provides to it, a streamlined supply chain can do a lot more to match customer demands. It can give your business a boost across all the associated supply chain channels without costing the business a fortune.

Organizations require flexibility and integration to survive the competition in the market. And cloud computing can be the right answer. 

Cloud computing is a game-changer for businesses to expand and meet customer demands by deploying new agility services.     

 

Data from Accenture

3. Easy collaboration at every step of the supply chain

Logistics has been transformed ever since technology has been integrated every step of the way. 

Where the supply chain has become more complex and dependent on every step, a smooth and streamlined collaboration has become vital for sustaining your business operations. 

 

Because the supply chain quickly multiplies the cost down the value stream, even the slightest change that can help you save through access to real-time pricing information is a significant win for the company. 

Therefore, cloud-based logistics is the key to breaking down communication and pricing issues in the supply chain. It will help create a more predictable supply chain by connecting the process through the cloud.

4. Better data mobility among various departments involved

Logistics and shipment require real-time access to data from various departments. 

Deploying cloud computing allows better data mobility through the organization’s various departments to streamline the supply chain and make better decisions. This not only saves time and resources but instead directs the use of resources towards other innovations.

 

Cloud computing allows speedy data deployments of departments like management, maintenance, IT, and other upgrades that are involved in the supply chain. It affects efficiency and productivity through tangible means as it takes open and seamless integration of all the other departments involved to work together.

5. Create better transit models for efficient shipping

If your supply chain requires coordination from several suppliers spread on a larger scale, then it should be seamlessly aligned and synchronized. And cloud computing can help you do just that with regards to your logistics.  

Cloud-based logistics solutions easily provide real-time monitoring access to create better transit models for efficient shipping

The real-time data is not only remotely accessible, but it is available for the entire team regardless of time or location.

 

Even if you want in-transit models spanning on a global scale, cloud-based logistics solutions can be integrated to efficiently cover, optimize, and manage such formidable and complex trails.

It is easier to deploy and less-costly to initiate.

6. Supply chain transparency for better operations

Cloud solutions allow you to connect with multiple dimensions of your organization. 

You can connect with internal and external departments, your partners, and even the services that you have outsourced. 

As you integrate cloud in the supply chain and connect all of your inter-departmental partners, it provides real-time transparency at every supply chain level.

 

It allows you to keep your supply chain inbound functions, outbound operations, and logistics data process under control and your customers satisfied. 

The visibility at every step makes it easier and quicker to deploy the means that can carry forward the process, ultimately making it more streamlined.

7. Access to inventory and warehouse capacity figures

Inventory is the starting point and probably the full-circle endpoint of a supply chain. That is why on-hand inventory is the most direct way through which you can easily control the risk factors and optimize your costs. 

 

Cloud allows you to instantly access your on-hand inventory figures and information to maximize your ability to respond to the on-going fluctuations. 

The consistent inventory data flow through the cloud allows you access to specific details like profit margins and highest seller figures etc. 

Such valuable information can impact your sales significantly and allow you to make better orders to fulfill customer demands. 

Disadvantages of Cloud computing

Where cloud computing can be a shining gold armor for logistics and supply chain management, organizations should understand that there are just as many unique risks involved with cloud adoption.

1. Requires a lot more efficient access management

Cloud computing in logistics can lead to inefficient access management in two ways. 

One happens through an inefficient credential policy where there is no need for strong passwords to protect the data. 

There are no frequent updates in the system to counter any territorial breaches. 

The other one happens when risk is known as shadow IT or a rogue IT system that makes use of systems, devices, software applications, and services without a clearly defined IT approval.

2. Countering unauthorized use

It requires countering of unauthorized usage, whether the breach has been made through intentional or unintentional means. 

However, the main reason behind the breach is the irresponsibility of the employees who might be using untested and unauthorized means to access the cloud servers that harm the entire logistics and supply chain system.

3. Limited structural control

Due to the risk involved, the companies are advised to protect their systems to every extent possible. 

This minimizes the structural control but also closes the access to endpoints that can be exploited. 

Limiting potential attack surfaces can be detrimental to the overall supply chain structural integrity, but there is no other way to ground the operations safely.

4. Multiple clouds and interface issues

If the cloud system is accessed through an application program interface or API, it can automate almost every transaction your organization has ever made and expose it to the world. 

Such issues stem from several factors involved in the overall system.

 

Configuration and deployment of multiple clouds require the assurance that they are compatible with each other. 

Negligence towards and lack of investment made in this regard enables more APIs that can then become potential entry points for hackers.

5. Dealing with numerous stakeholders

As a logistics company, you would be having multiple suppliers, clients, and stakeholders in general.

Therefore, logistics companies must know the main stakeholders in freight distribution and how different actions can impact their corporate relations with them.   

The sharing of your resources and cloud system data among your stakeholders, tenants, and customers is risky.

Resources are vulnerable to leakage, and anybody with ill intentions can get easy access if they want to use such information against you.

Wrapping It Up!

All in all, there is no doubt that cloud-based solutions are here to stay when it comes to logistics, shipment, and supply chain companies. 

These companies can easily achieve better operations, execution of tasks, collaboration within the business circle, and overall high functionality through cloud computing.

 

Therefore, in the upcoming future, we will see many logistics companies moving towards and adopting such cloud practices and generally advancing in the digital realm of performing company operations.

Cloud computing may not be regarded as groundbreaking anymore due to its high adaptability in every business format. 

Still, it is breaking barriers when it comes to making seamless supply chain management processes for companies adopting it.

This article is a guest contribution by Samantha Kailee

Samantha Kaylee is currently working as a Planning Manager at Crowd Writer, an excellent platform that offers services like write my assignment UK. She has gained significant experience in logistics due to her previous job in a renowned shipping company. You can check out her blog for recommendations and expertise.

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How eCommerce Businesses Can Make Holiday Shopping Frictionless https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/how-ecommerce-businesses-can-make-holiday-shopping-frictionless/ https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/how-ecommerce-businesses-can-make-holiday-shopping-frictionless/#respond Fri, 18 Dec 2020 08:07:28 +0000 https://www.lateshipment.com/blog/?p=7044 In 2020, we are witnessing an explosive growth in the popularity of online shopping. According to Forrester’s brief, […]

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In 2020, we are witnessing an explosive growth in the popularity of online shopping. 

According to Forrester’s brief, the volume of online commerce has grown by more than 18.5% over the past 12 months. It is primarily due to the introduction of quarantine precautions that have influenced buyers all over the world. 

Annually, business owners, marketers, and eCommerce business managers employ tailored strategies to guarantee frictionless holiday season shopping. 

As the number of purchases increases considerably around holidays, it is easy to make critical mistakes and not withstand the competition. But in the challenging world of business, nobody wants to miss a tasty piece of the pie, right? 

In 2019, the trade volume on Black Friday and Cyber Monday was about $16 billion. 

In 2020, particularly on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the larger half will undoubtedly go to eCommerce Businesses. 

We have prepared some useful tips and recommendations from top managers, marketers, and other leading experts in online trading, which will help to organize holiday shopping smoothly. 

The following information will be of great relevance to owners and managers of online stores and trading platforms as well as marketers, support, and finance departments at eCommerce businesses.

How eCommerce Businesses Can Make Holiday Shopping Frictionless Blog Image

Where to Start?

First, you need to make sure that the online platform in question can withstand a massive inflow of customers. The traffic on your website can increase by 100-200% due to delays and hanging carts on holidays. 

Slow website performance leads to the loss of potential buyers as no one likes to wait. 

 

According to Unbounce surveys data, up to 70% of users may refuse to buy if a website is too slow. 

Google stats confirm this. 

According to research, when it takes more than 3 seconds to load a page of an online store, up to 50% of users will close the tab and move to another offer.

 

What to do in this case? 

 

  • Check the loading speed of website pages;
  • Simulate high traffic on your website pages using web tools (e.g., LoadRunner from Micro Focus or Loader) to understand how your online store is optimized for high traffic;
  • Set up monitoring services to monitor website performance in real-time;
  • Optimize pages and increase loading speed if necessary.

According to Unbounce surveys data, up to 70% of users may refuse to buy if a website is too slow. 

Your Ordering Process: How Simple Is It?

One of the most common mistakes of all online retailers is setting a complicated and unclear shopping process. 

Abandoned carts are a serious problem that reduce revenue by up to 40%! 

There can be several reasons for abandoned carts, for example, a complicated data entry process to purchase with mandatory registration, unexpected additional costs, or difficulty with adding new items to the cart. 

 

What should you do? 

 

  • Analyze the user’s path from the main page of the online store to the design page (use Google Analytics or any other tool for this);
  • Identify holes in the conversion funnel, due to which some users do not complete the purchase;
  • Analyze “heat maps” to understand where users click most often and what they are having trouble with.

Such analysis often reveals common mistakes in web design and website structure that hinder the process and otherwise are difficult to detect. 

For example, the button to add a product to your shopping cart may be way undersized, or it may be located in an inconspicuous place. Reduce the percentage of failed purchases by eliminating the complicated mandatory registration procedure. 

And also, make your shopping cart in the online store dynamic so that you can return to it and continue shopping at any time.

Think Out Your Promotions in Advance

Buyers usually plan their purchases, so you also need to think about marketing campaigns in advance. 

To increase the effectiveness of promotion, it is worth using smart marketing. The most convenient way to track outgoing traffic is to use the UTM parameters. 

These are special tags that can be added to URLs and shared in advertising letters, social networks, and various advertising banners. Thus, in a short time, you can find out where you get more traffic and customers. 

 

It is crucial to get a campaign promotion going pronto, as you will have to spend more on holidays advertising on social networks and search engines. 

This way, you make sure you make your product visible, optimizing your marketing budget without overpayments for seasonality and reaching out to your target audience before a planned sales rush. 

 

Do not forget about retargeting. 

Up to 35% of visitors to online stores come to a site to make a purchase, but finally, something stops them. 

Use emails and other targeted interactions to offer discounts or appealing offers. Your target audience is potential customers that previously visited the site or even left purchases in the shopping cart but did not pay. 

 

We should not forget about other marketing technologies as well. You can attract thousands of potential customers to the online store through guest posting.

In order to ensure high quality, aim for the best site to buy backlinks on the market. 

Guest posts in popular shopping blogs effectively attract new leads, as in articles with backlinks, users can find useful tips on choosing gifts, festive decorations, affordable accommodation, and so on. 

Mobile Device as the New Most Crucial Shopping Tool

According to available data, in 2019 on Cyber Monday, more than 33% of all purchases in online stores were made through smartphones or tablets. 

Mobile shopping revenue exceeded $3 billion for the holiday weekend alone. Therefore, the importance of the mobile version of the site should not be underestimated. 

If you don’t launch advertising for mobile devices and don’t optimize the site with a shopping cart for such buyers, you will lose one-third of the weekend revenue by our rough estimation. 

How do you avoid this?

  • Make sure that the mobile version of the site and the shopping cart are equally well and correctly displayed on devices of any display size;
  • A software tester should check how easy it is to place orders through Safari, Chrome, Firefox, MS Edge, and Opera browsers;
  • Reduce friction when buying with mobile devices (people often make purchases with smartphones and tablets at work, public transportation, or at home, so they want to do it as quickly as possible).

Too many registration fields and the lengthy procedure of registration is repulsive.

Optimize your Logistics

Mass quarantine restrictions in 2020 changed logistics. During the holiday weekend, delivery services are expected to be under heavy strain, which is most likely to delay processing and delivering goods from stores. 

 

What should be done in such a situation to avoid mistakes?

 

Develop a delivery plan in advance. It may be rational to sign additional contracts with several courier services and transport companies. 

If there are no couriers in your staff, it is reasonable to hire them for the holidays. It will allow you to process your purchases and deliver it to customers faster, optimizing the warehouse’s work.

Conclusion

In 2020-2021, the revenue of eCommerce Businesses will increase by tens of percent compared to last year. 

According to opinion polls, about a third of Americans plan to stay at home and make purchases online without visiting shopping centers. 

It is vital to make sure that everything works well on your end, not to sabotage your own business during these unpredictable times. 

Let’s sum it up:

 

  • Optimize your user experience and make sure that nothing prevents you from buying quickly on your site;
  • Work on your logistics, as in 2020-2021, the sales volume may be higher than expected;
  • Develop festive marketing campaigns well in advance of the vacations;
  • Measure traffic and make sure you manage to increase the number of customers without losing quality.

 

 

Online store owners, together with developers, marketers, and managers, need to prepare for an active holiday shopping period, which is, due to the pandemic, steadily shifting to online stores.

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