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Matching your order fulfilment with your service level is critical to your eCommerce success. When you study the most successful businesses you will find that they have a lot in common. Things like great branding, great products, great service, and great order fulfilment. They have also optimised a sales cycle and refined it for the best customer satisfaction experience, quite often delighting and exceeding expectations. Various KPI’s prove a consistent record of accomplishment that eventually lead to enormous growth; showing that what they’re doing is working. From service businesses to online shopping, there are parallels of a sellers promise that match with a customer’s expectations.
McDonalds revolutionised the food industry by innovating and streamlining a repetitive system – An assembly line style order fulfilment distribution system for food that was faster and cheaper. It became a staple in our culture which set the standard for what we know as the “fast food” industry. Great fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Versace also set a standard for premium clothing.
Top-quality products like clothing shape our culture. They are a reflection of our values and our beliefs. Customers seek out these goods as part of their personal identity. These industries are a small example of a history that have set standards and expectations around consumer buying. An unspoken agreement that says, “I want what you have,” and “I expect you to deliver the goods.”
As an eCommerce business owner, when you think of your customer journey, you need to be thinking about what your brand says, and if it aligns with what you deliver. Quality and brand value are important and always will be. What is also important, especially nowadays, is speed. It is a value that people expect when ordering online.
People want quality, but they also want convenience. In such a competitive marketplace your business should be ticking all the boxes of excellent quality, brand value, and quick delivery. Let us discuss how aligning your order fulfilment with your services will drive more sales for your online business.
THE UNBOXING EXPERIENCE & IMPORTANCE OF BRAND INTEGRITY
If you watch YouTube, you can see the growing phenomenon that is known as “unboxing videos.” There are literally thousands of user-generated videos online where people unbox a product. It’s the modern commercialisation of simply opening packages, which has basically become a form of consumer entertainment. There are more than 20 million search results on YouTube for “unboxing.” What does this tell us? People value the gratifying experience of receiving products that they are excited about, even if it’s done by other people! It also taps into the childlike anticipation for something shiny and new.
Not only do people like to see someone else view and test a product, but they like to hear their reviews. Reviews and social proof matter – in fact 56% of consumers read at least four reviews before buying a product. So, what should a brand reflect on and adhere to when creating custom packaging?
CUSTOM PACKAGING FOR ORDER FULFILMENT
As discussed in our article “eCommerce fulfilment tips from the experts to drive sales,” custom packaging is all about first impressions. Your brand reflects how people feel about you. It reflects how they feel about themselves. Is it premium and sophisticated? Is it simple and clean? What is the lifestyle of the people who connect with your brand?
You want to fine-tune these details within your fonts, your colours, and your physical packaging. Perhaps a small presentation style box, unique angular design with attitude, or designer ribbons. It all matters. Just imagine buying a premium product like a watch (one of the biggest sellers of fashion accessories online), however, when the watch arrives, it’s simply thrown in a standard box with some paper packaging and tape around it. Wouldn’t exactly feel like a premium product, would it?
Being effective in your packaging design is critical for successful marketing. It is the only physical point of contact with a customer, conveying all aspects of your brand. Being strategic means satisfying customers, but also standing out from the competition.
Here are some notable examples of boxes with very simply custom branding on it.
Courtesy of UPrinting
This is great presentation quality. Nothing fancy, plain brown as a simple neutral background colour that makes it feel rugged whilst also drawing out the sharp colour and fine design of the razors! It then has a funny quote that reads, “I like shaving with a dull razor, said no one, ever.” It’s humorous and displays values. They believe in high-quality sharp razors that won’t dull you. That creates an emotional connection for people who have had problems in the past with dull razors that irritate the skin their target audience.
This presentation box as you can see is very high quality with a premium signature feel to it.
It’s classy and sophisticated. It draws in a feminine, sexy quality.
The smooth cover reminds you of silky sheets or silk launderette, providing that ”wow” factor.
Adding simple thank you messages as shown here to the right also helps to give a more individualized touch to your brand, providing that emotional connection to customers.
Rules for creating effective custom packaging
1) Reflect your brand – Every brand has a “brand personality.” Your packaging and design should make it completely apparent what you are representing. You want to be identifiable to your customers and be authentic. Remember that packaging plays a key role to communicate your brand’s story and will determine how customers perceive you.
2) Know your audience – If your product is a luxury item, your customer might expect that custom-printed packaging with a sleek feeling and minimal design. If you’re in the market of selling baby products, you may want to develop a more nurturing, clean, simple look that appeals to moms who look for natural products for their babies.
*Selazar’s features allow custom packaging solutions for all our clients. Let us know if you have any questions about it by setting up a discovery call now.
QUICK DELIVERY TURNAROUND
Have you ever thought about how delivery reflects on a brand? Do you think it matters? Well… it does, massively!
“56% of online consumers between the ages of 18-34 years expect to have next day delivery, whereas 61% of consumers are willing to pay more for next-day and same-day delivery.”
Have you ever waited in a fast-food drive thru that normally takes 5 minutes, but for some reason, it suddenly took 20 or 30 minutes? You’re furious! Right? How about waiting for a package for 5 business days when you’re used to getting packages that arrive next day or 48 hours? That waiting period feels like forever!
As a society we adapt with technology, and as a result get use to certain norms. We have new levels of expectations. Ten years ago, people did not mind waiting five to seven business days for their products, in fact, they expected it. Fast forward to today and that sounds ridiculous. People want their products fast! Part of this is due to new expectations caused by the Pandemic. During the lockdown 14% of customers revealed they expected their deliveries to be delivered in no more than two days.
Coronavirus greatly impacted eCommerce, order fulfilment, and shipping in general, not to mention shopping habits. Many people have grown keen of the online shopping that were not as keen prior. Many started shopping online just out of necessity. The online grocery retailer Ocado reported a 35% revenue growth in 2020, showing the rising demand for online food solutions. Research by PFS has confirmed that 61% of Gen Z consumers and 52% of Millenials found themselves online shopping for new categories of goods during the pandemic that they normally would have previously bought in store. Consumer perceptions have changed and adapted.
The fact is that the UK is an eCommerce powerhouse with an annual worth of £233 billion. The marketplace is ripe for competition, forcing companies and brands to provide customers the best delivery service options. If your business does not adapt to a quick delivery turnaround model you will be left behind.
Based on one eCommerce survey, 41% of customers said long delivery times are grounds for cart abandonment. Another reason for cart abandonment is for excessive shipping costs. This is the number one reason UK shoppers cite abandoning their online carts – 61% in fact! You need to be partnered with a company that delivers your products quickly at prices your customers are willing to pay.
Two of the biggest reasons that Selazar innovates delivery turnaround in the UK is because of late dispatch times and efficient pick and pack fulfilment. We also have a strong delivery network with refined systems for optimal final mile service benefits.
A reliable delivery network is essential to your business and your customer. Working closely with the best companies in the UK ensures that we can offer you the best possible service when it comes to sending, tracking, and delivering your customers’ parcels to their front door. 24 – 48 hour delivery is standard for Selazar services.
You can have the best products around, but if your speed and delivery options are not up to par, your customers will quickly find another solution. E-commerce businesses need to realise that delivery is a major touchpoint for customers; in fact, they see it as a reflection of your brand.
It may not seem like a startling statistic, but what is 17% of your business worth? For larger retailers that could easily be millions. However, that number increases the more it happens.
So, what does unstable or slow order fulfilment, and delivery, say about your brand?
Slow = Unreliable
Fast = Reliable.
Late deliveries will decrease customer retention, not to mention can cause negative online reviews, further damaging your brand. So, how do you increase quicker delivery turnaround? Well, that is easy – partner with Selazar!
Not only do we ship anywhere in the UK in 48 hours, but your business and customers can track shipments and stay up to date. Our easy-to-use portal gives you (the business owner) the tools to easily manage and control all your shipments. Using our courier network, your customers can rest assured of the precise day and time their packages will arrive.
with another 35% preferring to use the courier’s app and 17% preferring WhatsApp.
Swift delivery, easy portal management, easy tracking. That is how a brand stays competitive and profitable.
Next Day Delivery
Many retail companies have listened to the drums pounding in the streets for years of the importance of next-day delivery, and many are taking it seriously now. Why? It’s what the market wants! It integrates the convenience of eCommerce with the immediacy of brick-and-mortar stores.
More than 51% of retailers offer next-day delivery and 65% plan to offer it within two years.
Many companies are beginning to examine the models of order fulfilment and next day delivery, and how to navigate the best courier networks. This is good for service and good for the bottom line as many consumers have said that they are willing to pay same-day delivery costs to get items. As innovation keeps continuing in shipping and logistics, it is important for your brand to keep up with the trends. As with innovation, it’s only a short amount of time before trends turn into the new normal/expectations. That is why Selazar is the best solution for UK based eCommerce.
Rather than simply meeting expectations based on “standard delivery rates,” you always want to go above and beyond for your brand. You want to WOW your customers.
Selazar injects your order directly into your chosen courier’s distribution network to save time and unnecessary trips to and from depots. The deadline for same-day dispatch is 7 pm, and next-day delivery is available on orders received before 9 pm. Our network of UK based, and international couriers can easily and efficiently deliver your orders to your customers globally.
Being able to retain customers for your brand in other countries is a great way to increase your profits while gaining more brand awareness. However, it’s a process that can be challenging to navigate, especially after Brexit. Since January 2021 came along there are lots of new rules and regulations that must be followed by sellers. You can read about the Brexit consequences for eCommerce here.
With Selazar you can easily navigate the hurdles that many retailers are facing. Things such as customs forms, EORI Numbers, and VAT (Value Added Tax) changes.
We have automated these hurdles for eCommerce businesses, making the whole process streamlined and error proof. If you want your brand to thrive in various countries, it’s critical that you know precisely how to sell to other countries and automate your process.
Should there be any issues with your products and your items need to be returned; Selazar also handles this. Whether returning internationally or domestically, we got you covered.
Increase automation. Better order fulfilment. Increase sales. It’s as simple as that.
Product returns can be a leading cause of frustration for many online retailers. Fifty – seven percent of retailers say that dealing with returns has a negative impact on their business’s day to day activities. Why so? The truth is that when customers are shopping online looking rather than holding an item to examine it, it’s prone for mistakes. Returns are a major issue and will continue to be.
In fact, 54% of UK shoppers regularly return items bought online, while 32% do so sometimes. What this means is that nearly 90% of UK shoppers will deal with returns at some point. Research has shown that UK shoppers have very distinct preferences about how they want to return products.
44% surveyed said that they prefer to drop off their returns at a carrier’s service point, while 30% prefer the carrier to pick it up from their home or place of work. The most popular goods purchased online in the UK are clothes, shoes, and accessories, at a staggering 55% of online sales. Retailers in this part of the industry will be dealing with returns on a very regular basis.
Again, every step of the customer journey always reflects on your brand and how they perceive you. They will either have a good or bad perception of your company based on how easy you make every step of the process. A UPS online shopper survey showed that 68% of shoppers view returns policies before making a purchase. So, it is a big deal!
TIP: Consider offering free return shipping for your customers. 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is their number one incentive to shop online more.
Using our returns portal, Return Robin makes managing returns easy. You will exceed your customers’ expectations with an improved returns experience. Your customer can easily generate a label online and find their local drop off points.
Once a return is received back at the Selazar warehouse, it can be inspected and processed in under 2 minutes. Your products are placed back on the shelves ready to be dispatched when re-sold.
It is important to make sure that this is accurately reflected in your returns policy. Getting returns might feel like you’ve lost a customer, however, not true! 92% of people will purchase again if the returns process was easy.
Once a return is received back at the warehouse, it can be inspected and processed in under 2 minutes. Your products are placed back on the shelves ready to be dispatched when re-sold. How easy is that?
This frees up your time to focus on emails, phone calls, and customer management.
When you invest in an above-and-beyond customer model, you will be rewarded for it. 84% of consumers say customer service was one of the key factors helping them decide whether to buy or not from a company. That is one of the greatest advantages of outsourcing your product fulfilment to a 3pl like Selazar. With more free time, you can focus on handling incoming calls and online chats.
Innovations in technology have revolutionised logistics, specifically, robots and AI (Artificial Intelligence) for warehousing. However, the one customer touchpoints that are not eradicated by technology is good old-fashioned human customer service!
Harvard Business Review showed findings that customers with the best past experiences spend 140% more with a company than those with the poorest past experience. As companies have found ways to streamline their workforce, perhaps even cut costs by outsourcing customer service to another country, that is not necessarily a good thing. The business may save money in the short term, but the long-term effects will be more damaging – because the service won’t be as good most likely – plus different accents create suspicion. If someone in England calls a company with a local address, yet it’s obvious someone further afield picks up, it doesn’t match the “shop local” brand affinity you’re searching for.
Not all interactions are on the phone, however. Online chats have increasingly grown over the last decade because they are a direct way for customers to connect with you online.
Surprisingly enough 63% of millennials prefer to have their basic customer support queries answered via a live chat widget vs. traditional channels. 36% of Gen Zer’s also like to use live chat when contacting a company.
So, if your brand is a premium brand, don’t you think your customers deserve a premium service all around? That’s the magic in branding. All around, from the website to the service to the final mile delivery. It all needs to match, and it is all a reflection of your brand. From the first impression to the last impression, you’re always on stage with a customer. It’s the same way you view a business when you buy anything.
If you go into a fancy suit shop where you are about to spend a lot of money, wouldn’t you expect to at least be greeted hello and perhaps asked If you could use any assistance? Yes, you would.
If you go into a car dealership and the dealer is rude, doesn’t acknowledge your presence, or doesn’t even seem like they care, do you think you’d want to buy a car from them? Definitely not. There’s an expectation there that comes with you spending your money. Keep that same attitude with your own customers. Give them a service you would expect from anybody else.
Customer service is everything to them. Your brand is everything to you. Make them everything to you.
As you can clearly see, matching your order fulfilment with your service level is a must! Order fulfilment is a well-rounded and complete customer service experience idea. From custom packaging to delivery to customer service, these are all important key factors towards the success of any great business. Take care of your customer and they will take care of you. No detail should be overlooked when it comes to your brand. High levels of service correlate to higher rewards and more sales. Schedule a discovery call with us today if you have any questions on how Selazar can help your fulfilment and level of service.