3 key tips for e-commerce retailers in 2019

In 2016, 65 billion packages were shipped worldwide. By 2025, this number will be more than 300 billion – primarily B2C. With a market share of 54 percent, the B2C retailers benefit especially from continued e-commerce growth. This makes logistics an increasingly competitive factor for online and cross-channel retailers. For online orders, successful deliveries are a deciding factor in customer happiness and retention. Retailers looking to grow and dominate in the coming years need to stay ahead of logistical and customer trends. For this reason, we have put together this checklist, to help your business thrive.  

Key trends in e-commerce 2019

In order to pinpoint key trends in e-commerce, and to provide you with the most relevant advice, we have investigated the practices of top brands. We discovered that delivery in rural areas has 3 – 5 times more delivery problems than those in more urban areas. If e-commerce retailers want to create loyal customers out of cities, they must address this issue. Furthermore, deliveries on Saturdays are 9 times more likely to be missed than deliveries during the week.

To prevent this, retailers should ask for alternative delivery addresses or a safe place if no one is available to receive the package. In fact, in 20-30% of deliveries the customer had a very specific needs (package delayed, leave in safe place or delivered elsewhere). A huge number of customers that rely on this, so make sure yours is in place.

To add to this, 5-15% of orders are delayed or not delivered directly. And, 5% of the shipments exceeded a critical lead-time. In summary, deliveries do not always go to plan – far from it. Brands need to prepare for this eventuality proactively to deal with it in the best way possible, both for them and their customers. As a result of our findings, we have created three key tips for e-commerce retailers in 2019: 

Carefully select your logistics providers  

Selecting a shipping service provider should be done carefully by any e-commerce company. It pays off in many ways to work with multiple shipping service providers. On the one hand, this gives you an alternative in case of strikes or price negotiations; on the other hand, you can offer customers the delivery service of their preference.

Deliver a good customer experience 

As an e-commerce retailer, your goal should be to make package delivery as easy as possible for your customer. If your customer has to wait for too long to get their package and has to pick it up in a parcel shop, this will result in frustration. Nothing is more annoying than picking up a parcel from a collection point 10 km away from the delivery address. In addition, the recent debates about working conditions at carriers are resulting in consumers preferring one carrier over another. Two out of three online shoppers confirm that they prefer a certain retailer over another because of more attractive delivery options. Our parcelLab delivery study also proves that every carrier has different levels of customer satisfaction.

Provide delivery options 

Additional delivery options such as overnight and same-day delivery, in-store pick-up, or pick-up stations are a must-have to remain competitive. Customers want flexibility depending on their situation and personal needs, and they want control over the delivery method. In 2018, the marketshare of same-day and instant delivery was still less than one percent. However, we recommend any e-commerce retailer think about addressing this issue. 

Prepare for the future of e-commerce  

The retailers who successfully make their customers feel important will leave a lasting positive impression. During the shipping experience, there are a variety of shipping events which can be used for proactive customer communication. parcelLab offers you the opportunity to send event-related automated notifications (email, SMS, Facebook Messenger).

For the 500+ brands we work with, this results in fewer ‘Where is my order’ inquiries, more repeat purchases and larger online baskets. To see how this works first-hand, find more information about our platform or request a demo here.  

 

About the Author: Katharine
Katharine is Head of Marketing Communications - EMEA. An avid shopper, Katharine is passionate about helping retailers understand the importance of efficient post-purchase communications. When she isn’t looking for the latest trends for our blog, Katharine loves discovering new restaurants in London.