For retailers, the end of the summer holidays is one of their biggest peaks of the year. It is an essential period for consumers who look for excellence throughout the buying journey, from connecting to your marketplace right through to delivery. This last step, particularly management of the last mile, is now vital to the perceived quality of the customer experience: delivery satisfaction is a guarantee of loyalty!
Delivery is a buying criterion not to be overlooked
It is an integral part of the customer experience. Product prices and delivery times are the most decisive of all buying criteria. More than half of customers have no qualms about turning to the competition for quicker delivery, and 49% buy more frequently online for same-day delivery.
Although this trend had started to emerge before 2020, the pandemic has only boosted it. As a consequence, speed is not the only requirement that you must take into account: the majority of customers (76%), for example, favor free delivery over speed.
The health crisis has altered the behavior of millions of consumers, emphasizing the importance of the entire logistics chain. Buying factors include:
- The diversity of options: nearly all (92%) European online buyers order more readily online if they can choose their delivery type and location: pick-up point, at home, at the office. It is up to the retailer to adapt and offer a myriad of options.
- Carrier transparency: 72% like to know the name of the logistics provider at the time of purchase.
- Real-time tracking: 24% of Europeans like to receive delivery updates directly from the carrier’s tracking application.
- Cross-border delivery: the number of purchases made abroad is growing. Nearly 6 out of 10 online buyers (58%) have already made purchases on foreign sites.
- The environmental impact: consumers are also increasingly sensitive to this issue, especially when it comes to the last mile: 70% of them are prepared to wait up to five days for a more environmentally friendly delivery.
Wherever there are deliveries, there are product returns policies. Here, as elsewhere, consumer expectations are particularly high concerning the transparency and simplicity of returns procedures: 97% of consumers will continue purchasing on the platform that offers them a positive returns experience.
Fulfillment: the foundation of a successful delivery service
While delivery is now a key buying criterion, the earlier stages of the supply chain must be optimized to ensure a successful experience end to end. This is the value of fulfillment.
To find out more about fulfillment, view our article “The essentials for effective marketplace operations”.
Many critical points can affect the integrity of the product or delivery times. However, effective management of these stages will enable you to transform a pain point into added value.
Simplify your international deliveries
Worldwide shipping volumes should reach 200 billion parcels by 2025, which represents a 170% rise on 2017. Marketplaces provide retailers with the opportunity to step up their international growth with customers and sellers in several countries.
However, when you ship your own products, cross-border deliveries can quickly become complex. Some of the primary critical points are:
- Customs duties, which must be included in the shipping costs.
- Currency management: shipping abroad also means knowing how to convert costs into the local currency to maintain your margins. International online payments sometimes incur banking costs, which must be included in the starting price!
- VAT: again, each geographic region has its own rate, and it is not always easy to apply it without making a mistake.
- Compliance with national or regional regulations: which products are authorized or banned in a territory, what type of packaging is required for a specific product, what information should be included on the shipping label, and what about penalties for counterfeiting? These are all points that need to be taken into consideration, otherwise you may find your parcel blocked at customs!
- Other factors can also affect the quality and speed of delivery. Multiple carriers and border crossings, for instance, may make it more difficult to accurately track the parcel end to end.
And let’s not forget that the same procedures have to be repeated in the event of a customer return. While the risk of a bad experience is real, proper management of these stages can make all the difference to your consumers.
Delivery is without doubt an essential step in your marketplace development and is a key success factor that gives you a competitive edge and helps you stand out from the crowd by providing a higher quality of service than your competitors. Likewise, poor management of your logistics chain can rapidly lead to customer loss. To ensure your customers enjoy the best possible buying experience on your site, setting up a Fulfillment solution will allow you to significantly reduce stock shortages, optimize your delivery times and effectively manage customer returns. Not only that, but consolidating the preparation and shipment of your parcels will help you cope more easily with peaks in business and optimize costs.