ProShip’s shipping experts dive into why every customer’s shipping experience matters.
The shift to e-commerce, driven by the pandemic, has offered retailers incredible opportunities to grow their customer base and increase sales, but these opportunities are not without their challenges. Limited carrier capacity, rising shipping costs, and labor and material shortages have woven their way into the supply chain landscape, and many retailers are struggling to overcome these obstacles. With these disruptions living outside of the realm of control for retailers, brands must focus on making adjustments when possible.
As the retail industry is expanding, the competition among retailers gets fiercer and fiercer. Many brands utilize analytics and business intelligence tools to benchmark their brand’s flexibility to meet and exceed customer expectations, especially the Customer Experience (CX).
The Supply Chain and the Customer Experience (CX)
Regardless of the importance or popularity of your product, delivery is one of the most vital parts of the CX for online retailers. When you can ensure a positive shipping experience for every customer, you establish a competitive advantage. If a customer has a positive shipping experience with your brand, it will be more likely that they become a repeat customer.
We know that the purchase process can be overwhelming by the vast amount of product options that customers come across when browsing. In fact, almost 50% of online shoppers have failed to complete a purchase online because there were too many options. This however changes when it comes to shipping options – the more options for delivery, the better. If customers have a positive shipping experience with your brand, that is one less reason that they have to look for an alternative.
Does one bad parcel shipping experience matter?
While one negative shipping experience may seem small when compared to all of your positive experiences, the effects of losing one customer is likely far greater than you would expect. When you consider the fact that 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience and that on average they will tell 15 people when they have had a poor customer service experience, the cost is far more damaging that initially considered.
To get a better idea of just how much each customer is worth to your brand, it’s important to consider Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), which is essentially just an estimation of how much profit you could expect from a customer during their lifespan with your brand with the formula: CLV = (transaction value x purchase frequency x length of customer relationship).
CLV = (transaction value x purchase frequency x length of customer relationship)
This is how the CLV equation works
For this exercise, we will look at industry averages. Let’s crunch the numbers:
- The retail industry’s average value of an online shopping purchase in the United States is around $133.
- The average purchase frequency for e-commerce shoppers is 3.28 per year.
- Shopify and analytics guru, Avinash Kaushik, determined that 3 years is a reasonable customer lifespan.
CLV = $133 x 3.28 x 3= $1,308.72
This means that for every customer you lose from a negative shopping experience, you aren’t just losing that instant cost of the product, you are losing $1,308.72. Multiply that number by the average amount of customers you lose each year, and you might be in a world of hurt. (Keep in mind that the average Customer Retention Rate for Retail is 63%, meaning attrition sits at 37%.)
How to Ensure a Positive Shipping Experience
To keep customers satisfied and returning for repeat purchases, here are several ways (of many) that you can utilize to improve the CX during the shipping stage.
Give them options.
Customers have made it clear that the baseline for “fast” shipping has moved. With many retailers offering 2-day, next-day, and sometimes even same-day, you need to keep pace with competition to make sure that you are meeting customer delivery expectations. Shippers should have carrier options that include a wide variety of services that they can extend to the consumer.
Keep your promises.
This strategy includes delivering an accurate order, i.e. what was ordered and delivering it on-time. Having the right fulfillment software in place with real-time inventory tracking will ensure order accuracy. This also extends to delivery promises. Advanced carrier rate shopping initiatives within your shipping software allow shippers to promise delivery dates to customers and execute on those promises. Omnichannel fulfillment initiatives will also facilitate shorter transit times for shipments with multiple inventory locations available to ship products.
Provide shipment visibility
Support your customers with access to real-time tracking of their shipment and relay those updates to them, including any delays or other circumstances that may affect their delivery. When the process for providing shipment tracking updates is automated, you can save time within your internal customer service team to focus on more important issues.
Implement a multi-carrier shipping software solution to achieve CX tactics
A multi-carrier shipping software solution simplifies and streamlines all of these CX strategies to be accessible and reliable for brands looking to improve their CX.
Because brands need a variety of shipping options to offer customers, they can utilize a multi-carrier shipping solution’s advanced functionalities, like Automated Rate Shopping, to calculate the most cost-effective service for delivery that still meets customer delivery expectations. An automated and integrated Enterprise Software Stack (ESS) will optimize the way that your ERP, OMS, WMS, eCom Suite, automated processes and shipping software work together to ensure your supply chain is at its most efficient. Omnichannel fulfillment strategies, hazmat shipping, and Business Intelligence solutions are easily implemented with a streamlined approach and elite technology partners.
Are you ready to elevate your CX with ProShip?
For now, the simple CLV formula can prepare you to understand not only the value of your customers but inform your supply chain decision-making. If you realize how crucial delivery and the fulfillment process are to the CX, the next step is to supercharge your supply chain with ProShip’s flexible and reliable multi-carrier shipping. ProShip is here to help by providing:
- An authentic ProShip-built product for the enterprise shipper. We own the core technology, managing the foundation of your software – development, integration, services and support in-house. [Learn More]
- Millisecond transaction times on an automated and streamlined shipping platform, with the flexibility to scale when volume is high (peak season). [Learn More]
- A certified and compliant solution, support by close carrier relationships. Our 9-time FedEx Diamond Solution status speaks volumes. [Learn More]
- In-house shipping and IT experts who know your unique business to be able to introduce advanced and personalized functionalities, like complex business rules. [Learn More]
Schedule a Discovery Call with ProShip
ProShip has shipping experts who are ready to dive into your business to solve your complex parcel shipping problems. Reach out to Dave Salter to schedule a demo to hear why top brands who ship parcel trust ProShip to deliver on customer delight.