How to go the extra mile; shipping as a strategy

Your follower count has increased. Engagement with your content is at an all-time high. Organic traffic to your website has improved. Great! But you’re still not seeing a boost in sales and those who do buy very rarely return. You’ve designed your customer journey to be seamless, so where is the point of friction?

One of the common mistakes made by merchants is not considering shipping in their customer journey or failing to understand how an effective shipping strategy can work in tandem with their marketing efforts. Marketers often talk about the ‘sizzle’ element of digital marketing, which refers to creating a positive and engaging experience with your brand – this can be achieved through how you manage your shipping. In order to determine your shipping strategy, you need to consider your product. Is it something unique and custom, or can it be easily sourced elsewhere? Do you have data that can inform your shipping prices? Can you offset the shipping costs into the product price to offer ‘free’ shipping?

Once you have a clear understanding of the type of pricing you’ll use, you can begin to plot the journey, create even more touchpoints, and find that ‘sizzle’. Here are some easy ways you can use shipping to improve your customers’ post-sale experience.

Set expectations

Setting realistic expectations is extremely important for customer satisfaction. Unfortunately for merchants, we live in an on-demand society where express shipping is no longer a luxury but is expected. However, simple changes to the language used on your site and throughout the checkout process can be helpful to diffuse any impatient customers. Adding custom notes at checkout to give the customer some more information is always advisable and can be another positive touchpoint in their journey. For example, changing the wording from ‘please allow 3-5 business days for delivery’ to ‘we’re custom making this order especially for you, please allow 3-5 business days for delivery’ is likely to make the customer more understanding and willing to wait.

Be attentive post-sale 

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again, the customer journey does not end at checkout. Once a consumer confirms their order, shipping is at the forefront of their mind. Keep in touch by sending updates on the status of their order. We have to admit; it’s pretty exciting when you receive the ‘it’s on its way’ email!

Always opt for tracking 

Always opt for tracking. Giving customers the option to track their order is extremely effective in creating a positive customer journey. Not only does it reduce the number of customer service calls, but it also creates more excitement about receiving the product. Once the customer checks out, they think of it as theirs and so are interested in knowing its whereabouts.

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