25th January 2022 -

[Partner Blog] Perfecting The End-to-end Online Shopping Experience – A Focus On Shipping & Delivery

Understand where you are losing customers and why

Are you managing to drive more traffic to your site, but not seeing your sales revenue and conversion rate go up? This could be down to a lot of different things, nevertheless more times than not this can be put down to an overall poor customer journey. Today’s online consumer expects the perfect end-to-end online shopping experience. From the moment they enter the store, to the moment they receive their items, and beyond. 

If you are having trouble establishing where the leaks are happening on your site you need to firstly review your Google Analytics. GA allows you to easily see how many visitors pass through each checkpoint and where they drop off the funnel. Once you have this data you can begin making changes to  your website for better results. 

On average there are 5.5 ecommerce touchpoints between an online consumer and retailer before a purchase is made. A touchpoint can be described as an interaction a customer has with your brand. You can have on-site touchpoints (e.g. interacting with your live chat, reading a blog, engaging with a pop-up etc.) or offline touchpoints (e.g. social media campaign). Regardless of the touchpoint, businesses need to appreciate that each is an opportunity and, therefore, needs to work as hard as it possibly can to help convert that customer.

In this blog we will review how to create the perfect end-to-end online shopping experience with a focus on how to improve your shipping and delivery. Before we go any further let’s take a look at the main initial conversion steps in the online customer journey on an ecommerce website. 

Want to optimise your digital customer experience?

3 main conversion steps in the online customer journey on an ecommerce website

Awareness

This is the moment when an online visitor first enters your website. They’re beginning to get a sense of your brand, products, and service. Usually visitors will enter through the homepage or a landing page. Typically brands experience the majority of their drop offs at this point. 

Consideration

You’re one step closer to conversion, the visitor hasn’t immediately abandoned ship, which means they are potentially considering making a purchase with you. During this stage the customer is browsing through your content and products. 

This is usually the longest stage of the funnel and is where a lot of customer touchpoints occur. Example goals that they have met to reach this phase include clicked on, reviews, interacted with your live chat, or added items to their basket. 

Here you will be able to establish low intent and high intent customers based on their actions and engagement with each touchpoint. A high intent customer will add items to their basket and begin the checkout process. 

At this point a lot of customers tend to drop off due to a number of reasons. The main being delivery – 60% of online consumers abandon their shopping carts due to delivery costs. And nearly 20% abandon their shopping carts when there is a slow delivery. This is a huge chunk of a business’s custom lost due to the delivery options in place (more on how to prevent this later). 

Acquisition

Congratulations you have made the sale! The customer has decided to make a purchase with you. Although, from here, as we know, the process doesn’t end, there are many steps required to retain this customer and entice them to return again and again. 

Why is delivery an important touchpoint in the overall customer experience?  

Traditionally people shopped online for convenience and to avoid the hustle and bustle that comes with a brick and mortar shopping experience. However, now online consumers have stated that they are looking for something more. They want to feel special and valued by a brand, easily find what they are looking for and – receive their product quickly and cost effectively

This may sound like a lot to deliver. But unfortunately having a well rounded and functioning ecommerce site is no longer enough. Marketers need to focus on creating a solid customer experience that matches and even outperforms their competitors. This includes, but is not limited to; a seamless onsite user experience, offering multiple payment options, a good returns policy and, of course, efficient and cost effective product delivery. 

Product delivery is a vital touchpoint in the overall customer experience, which sometimes can be slightly overshadowed by other marketing activities.

According to BigCommerce the top five influential elements of a customer experience to persuade a customer to convert, in order of importance, are:

  1. Product quality (56%) 
  2. Free shipping / delivery (49%) 
  3. Easy returns (35%) 
  4. Customer reviews (33%) 
  5. Great navigation (26%) 

Overall, a well-structured and positive delivery experience improves customer loyalty and advocacy, which in return will increase online sales and revenue. 

3 ways to improve your shipping and delivery experience

Offer free shipping

It is no secret that everyone loves free shipping. It is common for customers to get all the way through the consideration stage of the funnel, see that the delivery costs are more than they are willing to pay and leave. 65% of consumers check to see if the site has free delivery options before browsing the site.

That is why businesses that have free shipping see much less shopping cart abandonment. Although, as we know shipping is never really free. To make free shipping sustainable you could increase product prices to cover the costs of shipping or offer personalised discounts to certain customers (new customers or VIP customers) for free shipping. The discount could be a free shipping threshold – spend over £30 and get free shipping – this way you increase average order value too. 

Charge a flat rate shipping price

Many online businesses try to use flat rate shipping. The best way to approach this is to try not to undercharge or overcharge your customers; so that they feel they are getting a fair deal and so you don’t miss out. 

This works best when you have products that are all similar weights and sizes. If you have a range of products of all different sizes and weights, it can become much more complicated and less effective as a strategy. 

Offer local & flexible delivery

Local delivery, ‘curbside pickup’ and ‘click and collect’ options are now becoming more popular. This kind of option is great for businesses looking for a simple and reliable way to deliver their products to their customers. It makes meeting a quick delivery demand much more doable. In fact, at the beginning of 2021 during lockdown, 6,500 UK SME businesses adopted a curbside pickup option to compete with the next day delivery demand – this figure is only expected to grow. 

Ship smarter with Starshipit 

Let’s face it, shipping and delivery can be a headache. It can be a complicated and costly process and many things can go wrong. Lost packages. Damaged products. Streams of paperwork. Then, of course, dealing with returns. 

Thankfully there are solutions, like Starshipit, that provide businesses with software that takes care of all of this.. Starshipit makes it much less complex and easier for businesses to offer and fulfill great product delivery; one less thing to worry about and one step closer to achieving the perfect end to end customer experience! 

To help you understand more about how our Partner, Starshipit, can help online businesses we compiled a quick Q&A with them.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about Starshipit and what you offer? And why do you do what you do? 

Starshipit has everything you need to effortlessly manage your online orders so you can spend more time working on your business, not in it. 

Starshipit is the leading provider of integrated and automated fulfilment solutions for online businesses of every age and stage. Integrating with a large range of couriers and eCommerce platforms, Starshipit streamlines every step of your fulfilment process, reduces handling time, minimises human error, and improves customer experience. Whether it’s dispatch, checkout, or post-purchase customer engagement, Starshipit’s feature-set automates every step of the fulfilment process so retailers don’t have too. 

Q: What are the main challenges faced by online retailers? And what are the solutions that you offer? 

1. Being able to manage orders and couriers all within one platform 

Starshipit connects to your eCommerce platform, warehouse management system, inventory management platforms and couriers so all you need to do is plug in and play then start shipping straight away. 

2. Lack of resource to manage and the cost of  human error   

Starshipit automatically generates shipping labels, packing slips, and manifests, submit customs documentation and autocorrects invalid addresses in bulk saving so much time for the retailer. 

3. Being able to offer multiple shipping options within checkout

With Starshipit retailers can offer different options at checkout like same day, express or international, so your customers can choose the delivery option that suits them best.  

4. Save on your shipping costs using automation 

Shipping done manually can be expensive and time consuming. With Starshipit you can automatically assign orders to pre-specified couriers according to rules you have set around price, shipping location, product descriptions and more.  

5. Reduce customer parcel queries 

Send branded tracking pages and SMS or email notifications during delivery, so customers stay informed at every step of the fulfilment journey, reducing “where’s my parcel queries”. This allows retailers to have more time to focus on other important jobs, whilst building the customer’s trust in the brand. 

Q: How do you set yourself apart from the other market providers? 

A: Starshipit is a plugin and play solution allowing retailers to quickly integrate with existing online platforms and various domestic and international couriers, ensuring minimal downtime to allow orders to keep flowing out the door. We are an award-winning platform with a robust rules engine and a dedicated Customer Success Team who are solely focused on retailers business success. Our supportive team of customer success experts helps retailers set up their account with an easy-to-follow on-boarding process that helps guide them through all the settings until they are processing shipping orders successfully. 

Q: PureClarity & Starshipit are partners. How is this partnership beneficial to you? 

A: Starshipit prides itself on becoming an extension of our partner’s business. PureClarity, a trusted personalisation provider, shares similar types of clients as us. Therefore, PureClarity’s intelligent technology adds another string to our bow, by offering the perfect end-to-end customer experience that our clients can utilise to help their business grow. 

Want to optimise your digital customer experience?

Invest in digital customer experience to secure more online sales with PureClarity and Starshipit 

Intelligent ecommerce personalisation tools, like PureClarity, offer online retailers the opportunity to perfect their digital customer experience. Powered by AI technology PureClarity uses machine learning to produce accurate and unique user journeys for individual visitors based on their real-time behaviour and customer data on and off the store. This in return is proven to increase customer engagement and loyalty, which then optimises conversion and accelerates revenue. 

Combine this with Starshipit’s shipping app and you have two perfect plug-in solutions towards creating the ultimate customer online shopping experience. 

Starshipit’s details: 

Book a call or get in touch with one of their experts. 

PureClarity’s details 

Book a personalised discovery call or try our 30-day free trial

Learn more about PureClarity’s ecommerce personalisation solution

PureClarity is quick to install and provides access to all features, in true real-time, including product recommenders, pop-ups, truly personalised content and more, and all at a clear, competitive rolling monthly price.  And all on a 30-day free trial allowing you to see the fantastic results for yourself.

Features included: 

  • Personalised content 
  • AI-driven product recommendations
  • Live chat & chat bots 
  • Pop-ups 
  • Customer segmentation
  • Customer insights & analytics 

Sky rocket your revenue

Start a no-commitment 30-day free trial and enjoy all PureClarity features on your website.

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