E-commerce retailers have become experts in every step of online shopping. From product displays to cart abandonment and checkout experiences, they’ve got it covered. But what about after customers click “Buy”? That’s where Operations Experience comes in.
What is Operations Experience? It describes how customers experience your retail operations. That includes everything from choosing a mail carrier to parcel tracking, packaging, delivery slots and returns.
Each one of those elements is essential. While retailers have focused on increasing online sales, Operations Experience has been comparatively neglected. But these statistics and quotes show that for customers in 2021, the experience of shipping, packaging and returns can make a huge difference to purchase intent and repeat purchases.
That represents a major opportunity for e-commerce. Improving the Operations Experience for your customers could mean improvements to sales value, customer retention and brand reputation. What’s more, based on these statistics, you’ll be firmly ahead of the curve.
Shipping and delivery options can affect purchase decisions
74% of shoppers say that shipping is important to their overall experience with a brand. And 83% will give up on a brand if they have a bad delivery experience. (Convey)
73% of customers want to be able to track their order across all touchpoints. (Unified Commerce, Shopify)
“People want the same immediate gratification and delight from a delivery experience that they got in a store—no matter where they are.” (Accenture)
However, 87% of retailers leave all communication and order tracking to their mail carrier. And only 24% of retailers offer branded tracking pages. (UK Operations Experience Study 2021, parcelLab)
Some industries are worse than others: 92% of health and beauty retailers ignore customers completely during shipping. And between 2019 and 2020, the percentage of retailers who neglect customers during delivery actually increased! (Operations Experience in the UK’s Health and Beauty Industry, parcelLab)
“Customers want to know when their package is on the way, when it’s going to arrive, what’s the time slot—having all that information presents a huge opportunity to build loyalty, retain customers and reduce abandonment.” – Darren Lacey, sales manager SAAS at Scurri (Fashion Connect Report, IMRG)
Consumers want control over their Operations Experience: over 60% would pay to be able to choose a delivery time.
Consumers care about the environment, too. Over 70% would choose a “carbon-friendly” delivery method over other options—and they’d be prepared to pay more for it. (Consumer Home Delivery Review, IMRG)
Packaging is an important customer touchpoint
Just 35% of customers say they’ve received items in packaging that matched the brand image they expected. Overall, 38% of deliveries have no branded packaging. (Macfarlane Packaging)
62% of consumers think better of retailers who try not to overuse packaging materials. (Engage Customer)
40% of customers say they’re more likely to buy again from merchants with premium packaging. Why? Because premium packaging creates a more upscale experience, and increases excitement for those parcels to land on the doorstep. (Dotcom Distribution)
“Online retailers have fewer touch points to deliver delight compared to physical retail… That’s why it’s important to pay special attention to the touch points you do have.” (Product Packaging, Shopify)
As online shopping and customer expectations grow, the product packaging industry is getting bigger. It’s predicted to reach $61.55 billion in market value by 2025. (Mordor Intelligence)
Returns are an essential part of Operations Experience
Almost 80% of consumers check return policies before deciding on a purchase. (UPS)
And 84% of shoppers are more likely to buy again after an easy return experience! (Retail Touchpoints)
Returns are baked into how people shop in 2021. 10% of all fashion orders include multiple sizing, showing that many consumers plan to return at least part of their order each time. (Fashion Connect Report, IMRG)
“[The] new breed of growth leader… gets ahead by completely disrupting and reinventing the treatment we’ve come to expect out of companies as consumers. I call them experience disruptors.” – Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO & Founder (Hubspot)
But only 40% of retailers include a return label with their deliveries, and only 39% of health and beauty retailers inform customers when returns are received. (Operations Experience in the UK’s Health and Beauty Industry, parcelLab)
“Improving the processes you use to process, ship, and measure satisfaction of your order fulfillment might result in reduced costs, increased efficiencies, and saved time, but also in an increase in trust.” (Make Better Fulfillment Decisions with Order Analytics, Shopify)