Introducing four crucial steps to earn loyalty, win repeat business and drive growth
Towards the back end of last year, we postulated that “organising your warehouse like a shop is damaging to your customer experience.” With the potential for picking inaccuracy and delays that traditional, standardised warehouse layouts cause, this mentality has seen many an unhappy shopper fall foul of a good-looking but underperforming fulfilment operation.
It’s got us thinking more and more about the keys to satisfying your customer once they’ve placed their order online. You might think that the hard work is done once the website looks uniquely brilliant and is getting record traffic, your best deals are popping up all over the screen, your conversion rates are soaring and you’ve just implemented a ‘Buy Now Pay Later’ set up that’s going to transform your business.
We reckon you’d be wrong. Much like warehouse layout, here again with overall ordering experience, looks aren't everything.
Waiting for your order
Those painstaking, torturous 1-5 business days between hitting “buy” on the site and opening your order by the front door mat are the ultimate battleground when it comes to customer satisfaction, retention, and relieving volume on your support teams.
The anxiety of shopping somewhere for the first time runs a little like this:
- They’ve got my money, I really hope they don’t have to cancel my order
- I’ve got a date / event / party / book club in 4 days and this is the ONLY thing I can wear, it better show up on time
- If they send me the wrong size, I will rage
- I hope I get notifications when the order has been received, processed and is on its way, for my peace of mind so I don’t have to call up customer support.
Fail on any of these points, and the customer either silently disappears, never to shop with you again, or, leaves you with a lovely 1* review about how terrible your business is.
First-time versus Lifetime
First-time buyers come and go. Their value is relatively small, despite being an attractive metric. The smart money is on nurturing lifelong fans, loyalists and supporters of your brand, as the following stats suggest:
- Customers who had a very good experience are 3.5x more likely to repurchase and 5x more likely to recommend the company to friends and relatives than if they had a very poor experience.
- On average, a customer’s fifth purchases = 40% larger than first. Their 10th purchases =80% larger
Bain & Co.
- Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
Harvard Business School
- 84% of organisations working to improve CX report an increase in revenue.
Therefore, when considering how you want to run your e-commerce fulfilment, and knowing what we know now about the genuine revenue potential of remarkably happy punters, I’d start with the four factors our nervous shopper mentioned earlier. How can you guarantee:
- Never having to cancel orders
- Getting orders to customers on time
- Accuracy of each order
- Keeping your customer updated with the progress
A veritable tidal wave of customer experience obsession is coming in 2020 as the tangible benefits become increasingly evident. Chances are, customer experience will overtake both pricing and even product itself as the key differentiator for a brand. With fulfilment excellence such a crucial element of every online shopping journey, what are you going to do to ensure you're ahead of the curve?