If you want to experience high returns on investments for your online store, then you need to maintain a proper flow in your order fulfillment process.
Order fulfillment, in general, refers to receiving, processing and delivering orders to end customers. Anything above and beyond customer’s expectation can badly affect the bottom line of the business. Therefore, order fulfillment is a critical part of any retail customer experience.
In today’s blog, we are going to discuss on order fulfillment tips that will help you keep your customers happy.
1. Shipping offers
The word “Free Shipping” itself will please your customers, but with carrier rates on the rise – retail businesses are completely sure that there are no ways they can ship products to customers for free. But, thinking the other way around, customers love free shipping, and they tend to shop more from sites that allow them this effective incentive. But, it is not at all feasible to offer free shipping to every customer who shops from your site. Instead, identify your loyal ones and offer free shipping coupon that they can use it for the next purchase. Continue this tactic to increase sales opportunity and gain a good word-of-mouth. If you still feel that you cannot afford the free shipping tactic, offer complimentary upgrade from a 3-day shipping to overnight or something similar.
2. Customized packaging
Product packaging influences customers. So, by creating a customized packaging you will not only cut down calls complaining of the damaged product received , but also create a long lasting impression on your customers. Consider using recycled materials for your packaging as such material will look good from which you can create different styles and pattern as per the product size. Also, the cost involved in preparing packaging using recycled material outweighs any regular packaging used by most retail businesses. Customized packaging is a smart way to make your customers feel that they’re are receiving something special.
3. Free stuff/cash back reward
Whenever we walk into a retail store, I’m sure most of us first look up for products that offer a freebie. Similarly, adding a free product or even a cash back reward with the customer’s order will surprise them when the open the packaging. Customers never expect free gifts or discounts coupons with the order, but when they actually receive it they are on cloud nine. So, if you come up with a new product or want to promote an existing product include samples in customers shipment. By doing this, you will not only please them but also gain feedbacks and encourage customers to purchase from your site repeatedly.
4. Personal touch
Adding a personalized message with the shipment will make customer’s shopping experience a memorable one. Therefore, it is always suggested to know your customers well in order to take an advantage of this potential strategy. For instance, the date for the delivery happens to be the customer birthday or anniversary, therefore adding that as a message will make them feel special who can then be converted to loyal ones. A personalized message along with the shipment create a psychological push that will encourage customers to select your store whenever they want to shop online.
5. Offer something special to prior unhappy customers
Delay in delivery, wrong products delivered, and many such annoying scenarios can directly affect the bottom line of your business, if not attended in a right way. If you know your customer has had a bad experience earlier shopping from your site and you receive another order from the same customer, it’s time for you to act wisely and profitably. Offering free gift voucher/cash reward/discount coupons/upgraded shipping method together with a note apologizing for the bad experience will make them feel that they are cared.
6. Return policies
Online shoppers are unable to get a live view of products and services your offer, hence they have no other option other than checking the product on delivery (after paying for it). You have a return policy on your website, but when the customer receives the order they may not be in front of the system, hence adding a returns form with the shipment will make it easy for customers to follow the steps to request for a return process on-the-go (if any).
7. Honor deadlines
If you have promised a 3-day delivery date, ensure that your product reaches the customer within those three days. This will create a trust for your brand in their mind and will always shop from you again and again.
8. Embrace technology
If you really want to please your customers you need to ensure a smooth and accurate flow in your order fulfillment. Adopting an order fulfillment service you’ll be able to track all processes in real-time ensuring each moment (the moment the order is placed until product delivered) is fulfilled efficiently.
Order fulfillment is no doubt one of the most challenging process, however it if the key for a successful online retail business. Following the above tips, you’ll not only increase customer experience but also gain repeat clientele like never before.
Savio Fernandes is a writer who influences. Writing for over three years at Orderhive, he is currently focused in offering eCommerce and retail solutions for start-ups and medium business owners.
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