The Delivery Promise

Retailers can win customers with three delivery essentials

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We all know that first impressions matter. That’s why retailers focus on optimizing the online experience. It’s where shoppers form their first impressions as they look at products, compare prices, consume content and ultimately (hopefully!) place their orders.

However, while first impressions matter, it’s the last impression that leads to repeat sales. In the case of e-commerce, that means delivery.

As Canada Post has transformed its business to serve the needs of online retail, we’ve learned about the importance of delivery to the online shopper, and that every retailer today should have what I call a delivery promise. The best promise has three key components.

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Precision

Did you know that 70 per cent of online shoppers say it’s important to see shipping times before buying? More significantly, 11 per cent – more than 1 in 10 sales – are lost if they aren’t provided. Precision allows customers to make choices based on their schedule and lifestyle. It makes shopping online easier. But how does a retailer achieve it?

Providing a shipping window at checkout is as easy as integrating our Web Services, which are available through most major platforms. Narrowing down these windows, though, is the next step, and that requires communication.

It’s important to ensure that the delivery company, distribution centre and third-party logistics provider are in sync with each other. For example, what are the operating hours of your distribution centre? What is the cut-off time for your delivery company to ship the same day? This affects the cut-off time for shoppers to place an order and be within a given shipping window.

Speed

Not all retailers can deliver as fast as the retail heavyweights that have national networks of stores and distribution centres. But all retailers can optimize their fulfillment and logistics processes to move products from point A to point B as efficiently as possible.

It’s important, however, to ensure the logistics team or solution provider is closely engaged with the marketing department, so promises made to customers are promises kept.

Convenience

It’s about one thing: choice. One-third of Canadians are not home to receive a parcel during the day. Our research shows 48 per cent of frequent shoppers would buy more if they had more delivery choices, and 67 per cent would be more inclined to buy items of great value when offered delivery options.

Knowing this, Canada Post has made delivery options a focal point of our e-commerce solutions. Our services like Deliver to Post Office and FlexDelivery™ allow consumers to control where they pick up their packages; while Delivered Tonight offers same-day service in Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal. We’re also looking to redefine the pickup experience in our post offices.

Retail operations, fulfillment, shipping and delivery may not be the most glamorous side of online retail, but a solid delivery promise can grow your online channel, build loyalty and ensure that your customers’ first impressions last all the way to the next purchase.

 

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