Online shopping is all about expectations. The customer sees a polished product image that looks exactly like what they have seen on Pinterest, influencers, and celebrities. They pay way before they receive the product—sometimes, without guarantee. Then, they wait for weeks or months before it arrives, building up the excitement and gratification.
This is why customer service in online selling does not end the moment they hit the check-out button. E-commerce shipping is the make-it-or-break-it point of online stores. The delivery experience needs to be pleasant for the consumer because this leads 73 percent of consumers to make another purchase. Otherwise, 50 percent of consumers will consider the purchase as their last.
Because they have bet their money and waited for a long time for it, their expectations need to be met. Therefore, adding a little more effort into the packaging and delivery options enhances the unboxing experience of the customer.
Multiple Delivery Options
Having different delivery options gives customers the freedom of choice. Maybe they’ve had a bad experience with one courier and have sworn not to avail of their services again. Additionally, some delivery companies are cheaper than others. There are also companies that offer tracking services and more convenient options.
Online sellers should also consider the quality of services of their courier options as well as the range of services they offer. For example, one courier might have expensive rates for same-day delivery but cheaper on regular delivery while another courier offers the opposite. Sellers should also guarantee that these couriers provide clear dates of arrival for the products. This is because 20 percent of consumers abandoned their orders because of unsure delivery dates.
Go Extra on Packaging
Social media is a huge driving force in today’s marketing strategies. It’s like the new word-of-mouth in the business world. In a sense, making everything pretty is a marketing strategy, especially because it encourages people to take pictures of it to post on social media. Here are aspects of the packaging that stores can improve on:
- The box — These create the first impression of the product. They also enforce the store’s branding by printing the store’s name and logo on it. Boxes can have different forms in openings and structure, so it’s versatile for any kind of products.
- What they see when they open the package — This is optional, but it’s another aspect of the unboxing experience that emphasizes branding. Some boxes don’t immediately reveal its contents. Instead, when the customer opens it, they see a note or a business card telling them about the company, the product, as well as expressing their thanks for the purchase.
- Fillers — These are the foams, cubes, paper, and the like that cushion the inside of the box. Others make it pretty by topping them with arts and crafts items or adding colors.
People love free stuff, and it takes “thank you” one step further. It also increases customer loyalty because it gives the feeling of reciprocity to the customers. Little insertions are low-cost freebies because they don’t add to the weight of the parcel, and they don’t require adjustments in packaging sizes. Memo pads, stickers, and postcards would do great for freebies. After all, it’s easier to retain customers than to encourage new ones.
Additionally, it’s a great strategy to cross-sell to customers. Giving them free samples allows them to try other products from the store. If the customer likes it, there’s a chance that they will place a purchase the next time they order.
Customization is one of the biggest ways to show appreciation and gratitude to customers. First, they require time and effort since they can’t be mass-produced. Second, they feel personal because the seller does them directly. These can come in different forms:
- a small handwritten note,
- a “thank you” card,
- stickers tailor-made for the customer,
- little artwork,
- or entertaining requests from the customer.
Small businesses can use this to their advantage. Because of their smaller scale reach, small businesses are closer to their customers and community. It allows them to make personal connections and tailor their services to certain types of consumers. As a result, they can add personalized trinkets into the packaging to make their customers feel extra love.
Ensuring the store offers the best customer service until the last minute of unboxing can increase customer loyalty and retention. Packaging should be an investment for online stores because it emphasizes branding, creates a unique customer experience, and protects the product. Hence, going a little extra on the packaging and creating delivery options can pay off for the business.