Increase customer loyalty with a few simple steps
Most e-commerce professionals know that you cannot maintain or grow a business purely on new customers alone. The key to success is on the ability to build a loyal customer base that will buy from you time and time again. It has been quoted within the industry, that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer, than to keep an existing one. Therefore, with ever steeper competition forcing sellers to work harder for their wins, prioritising retention and customer loyalty is a smart strategy.
When we talk about customer loyalty, most people think about of product features, price, customer service and afters ale communication. Yet the impact of logistics and fulfilment of the order seem to be forgotten as a key to customer retention.
55% of customers who have had a bad shipping experience say they won’t order from that retailer site again.
Therefore, to ensure your customers come back time and time again – build an efficient and reliable logistics strategy in conjunction with a cloud Warehouse Management System.
So where to start?
Preparation is key
Managing your inventory correctly with a WMS and choosing reliable suppliers are the first steps in the logistics chain. It may seem obvious but if you don’t have the items that you are advertising on your website in your warehouse, you will inevitably disappoint your customers and result in the loss of future sales and customer loyalty.
Tracking is key – keep an eye on your stock with regular stock counts and make sure to also regularly review your forecasts and sales. Consider also implementing a live stock counter on your store, activated when an item is low in numbers- this not only encourages conversion through scarcity, but means shoppers are more aware of when a product might run out, preventing unexpected disappointment.
Save time on your stock takes with a cloud WMS that gives you a real-time view of SKUs by location and status. Advanced and efficient cycle counting tasks are programmed to be compliant with your needs.
Be clear on shipping prices and conditions
The loyalty of your customers begins (and sometimes, ends) with the trust they have in your business. It is therefore transparency in key areas such as price and shipping that earn the loyalty of your customers. In order to achieve this make sure to specify your different delivery options (including any possible delays such as bank holidays), expected dates for delivery, associated costs and return conditions. In other words, give the customer all the information they need to have realistic expectations and avoid unwelcome surprises.
Offer multiple delivery options
As previously stated, transparency is an absolute must but flexibility is key. Customers expect retailers to offer the options that fit in with their lifestyle and needs as well as within a quick time frame.
Many customers abandon their shopping cart when choosing the delivery option if their expectations are not met. You need to consider both delivery/pick up options and speed.
Industry surveys have shown – 83% of consumers want to see a door to door shipping option, while 66% also felt that a pick up option was important. In terms of speed, you can offer them standard and express and even next day delivery. This also allows you to offer different price options to meet the customers needs
Choose the best 3PLS and logistic tools
Your shipping partner will be a direct reflection your brand. So choose carefully. A bad experience at this stage will undo all your previous good work.
The main factor when a business selects its partners is, of course, the price. But while important it should by no means not the only aspect you look at: you can and should search for information on a company’s successful delivery rates, delay rates, complimentary insurance and statistics about their customer support.
Alternatively, consider using an e-commerce solution with an integrated shipping module – these will offer a review of shipping services / costs and will save you time from researching and contacting couriers individually.
Think about your returns policy
If your customer receives their order and isn’t 100% satisfied you will soon find that the item they bought is winging its way back to you. While this is not ideal situation for anyone involved it does pose an opportunity in relation to customer loyalty.
89% of shoppers declare that they would shop again after a positive returns experience and it is your job to make sure that is what they experience.
In terms of practicalities and in order to simplify the process as much as possible, consider providing a pre-filled returns label. Then, do not pressure your clients with a tight deadline. Be flexible and give them time. The standard is 30 days and it depends on local legislation, but retailers offering more show that they really care about their customer satisfaction.
Don’t forget—it’s not just about cutting costs. It’s about improving the way you do business
You’re probably familiar with many of the arguments in favour of third party logistics (3PLs) to cut costs and shift some of the headaches of admin away. However, did you know they’re also a great way to improve your overall customer satisfaction? By placing your logistics in the hands of trained experts, you can deliver a more effective, more satisfying experience to people who order from you.
By putting your logistics in the hands of a highly experienced order fulfilment centre, you guarantee your customers are receiving the care of a team with a highly specific set of skills: warehousing and distribution. That means fewer mistakes, less damage, and better results whilst increasing customer loyalty.
Speak to one of our team to understand how Clarus’ WMS system can cost effectively support best practice warehouse management processes, better customer service and highly efficient working for a range of warehouse operations with pay per month options and no IT infrastructure needed.
Our platform can scale from a one user, small depot system to a 100’s of user distribution centre operation. The ClarusWMS platform will cost effectively scale with your business based on demand.
ClarusWMS is a UK based supplier of warehouse management solutions with a wealth of industry experience in third party logistics, wholesale / retail distribution, online fulfillment and manufacturing warehousing.