Keeping your customers coming back for more is vital for the long-term sustainability of any retail business, making building a loyal customer base a priority, but how do you ensure a positive customer experience when you are serving them online?
As customers’ buying habits continue to evolve, businesses need to focus on the role logistics plays in the customer experience and the important role it has in retaining long-standing relationships.
It is reported that millennials now make 54% of their purchases online[i] and with so much choice and availability, quality of service can offer real differentiation in a fast-moving and highly competitive market.
When building brand loyalty – details such as product features, customer service and after-sales communication are often favoured ahead of logistics – despite its fundamental impact[ii]. Logistics can have a critical impact on customer retention with 55% of customers who have a poor shipping experience stating they won’t order from the same retailer again[iii].
You need to ensure that every aspect of the customer journey is as positive and frictionless as possible.
Here are three key ways in which you can build brand loyalty through logistics:
- Be prepared
Preparation really is key to a successful logistics experience. The first step is ensuring you’re accurately monitoring your inventory levels to avoid advertising online for product you no longer have in stock.
You also need to make sure you have a reliable supplier in order to replenish a product’s stock in a timely manner when it is in high demand.
Review your demand forecasts regularly and ensure your warehouse inventory is prepared. Of course, there is no real way of knowing exactly how much demand a product will deliver – but preparation and flexible and reliable suppliers are key to serving any peaks in demand quickly.
Plan ahead for business growth and work with warehousing and logistics partners that can scale with your business with no disruption.
- Be flexible
Customers like a choice – price, location, precision and speed are four key ways you can adapt your logistics service to tailor it to your customers’ individual demands[iv]:
Price: 58% of customers have added an item to their online basket in order to qualify for free shipping. Offering a promotion such as this can boost sales and encourage purchases.
Location: 24% of customers would like the option to collect their order at a local store. This will enable customers to collect their deliveries at a time which is convenient for them.
Precision: 13% want a specific delivery slot. This avoids customers waiting for long periods of time on a delivery arriving.
Speed: 24% of customers want next day delivery. Often, customers will pay a premium to receive their items quickly.
Although high customer demand may be focused on the same product, different customers have different priorities when it comes to delivery so it’s important to ensure your logistics service caters for them carefully. It is also vital to assess your returns policy and how that impacts on sales vs profitability.
- Be consistent
Consistency is a vital element to achieve when building brand loyalty. Closely monitoring the quality of service you deliver – at every stage of the purchasing experience is essential.
Generally, your customer won’t see the distinction between the carrier delivering the order and the company they’re buying from as for them, it’s all part of the same ecommerce experience[v].
Keeping your promises will also encourage positive reviews for your brand experience.
Building your business
In order to build and grow your brand, customer loyalty is essential.
We have focused our business on helping e-commerce business to scale up and enter new markets. It is a critical time for many businesses that don’t want change to disrupt their current customer relationships and that are keen to improve their bottom line.
It is important that once the decision to outsource logistics to a third party provider that they take your brand experience as seriously as you do and work with you to add value where possible to ensure your business goes from strength to strength.
If you want to know more about how logistics can help improve the quality and consistency of your overall customer experience, get in touch or call 01604 664 300.