Online shopping has become increasingly popular over the years, especially due to the covid-19 pandemic which meant consumers were having to turn to online stores since physical stores were mostly closed. 

Before online shopping became as popular as it is currently, retailers and businesses had the ability to express and create a superior shopping experience for their customers to help attract more sales and to build brand recognition. Now you may be wondering, ‘how do you actually improve your customers’ experience without a physical store?’ Let’s see in detail below.

How to improve customer experience without a physical store

Things (obviously) operate differently when it comes to eCommerce selling- to be honest. It really is about establishing a smooth and seamless post-purchase experience for the customer, from the supply chain to the unboxing experience, everything needs to be seamless. 

First impressions matter. If you are using a 3PL, your customer probably doesn’t realise that they handle all of the behind-the-scenes work, the delivery, etc – they’ll think it’s you. That’s why the order fulfilment process is so important when it comes to improving your customers’ experience.

What is the ‘fulfilment experience’?

In a nutshell, the fulfilment experience is basically the process of picking, packing, and shipping orders to customers in an efficient, timely, and correct manner. Ensuring you have an efficient fulfilment experience will help to improve the customers’ experience, and will help to build brand loyalty and brand recognition. Your fulfilment experience, or rather how good it is, can give you a competitive advantage within your industry. 

What are the stages of order fulfilment that can affect your customer’s overall experience?

Order Confirmation, shipment details, and tracking

Too often, eCommerce sellers tend to focus more on the pre-purchase experience rather than the post-purchase experience, despite the fact that the post-purchase experience is what encourages customers to keep coming back to make more purchases. 

Communication is KEY. 

You can greatly improve your customer’s experience through your communication process, such as sending them an order confirmation email/notification/text message and providing tracking for their order. Not every business offers shipment tracking so this may be hard if you don’t, but customers want to have updates on the status of their order. 

Not only this, but it will also save you some time since you won’t have as many customers asking where their order is, if its on it’s way, etc.  So always remember to communicate with your customers, even if you feel it’s not important. 

Speed of delivery

Thanks to the likes of companies like Amazon who have contributed to the reconstruction of customer expectations, customers now want their order delivered as quickly as possible, they don’t want to wait around.

This is why the amount of time it takes for your customer to receive their order is extremely important, but that’s easier since most couriers now provide 24–48 hours tracked/signed for delivery options. 

The main decision you have to make here is choosing whether or not you want to cover the extra cost of shipping in order to provide a secure, tracked service, or if you would rather pass the cost of tracked delivery onto your customer, meaning you risk lower sales due to expensive delivery charges. 

From your packaging to order accuracy, there are numerous ways you can improve your customers’ experience through your fulfilment process. One thing you can do is to utilise fulfilment and order management technology. 

For example, here at TSP, we have special technology and software that allows our clients to integrate all of their orders from across multiple channels and marketplaces into one space, making it easier to manage orders. This aims to improve the overall accuracy of your orders, as well as things like inventory management. 

Unpackaging experience

The unpackaging experience is the first real experience your customer will have with your brand. So many businesses put a lot of effort and time into perfecting the unboxing experience because it can help your brand stand out from others. 

An excellent unboxing experience means your customer may be more inclined to make another purchase (brand loyalty) and they are more likely to share their experience online with others. Word of mouth can have a huge impact on businesses. 

Returns/exchange management

No matter how good your product is, unfortunately, returns can be inevitable. But, returns don’t always mean you’ve lost a sale- sometimes people return things because they ordered the wrong, size, colour, etc. 

Nonetheless, your returns process will help to shape your customer’s experience, whether they have a good or bad experience is completely dependent on how efficient and easy your returns process is. 

How TSP can help

Here at TSP, we are experts in all areas of order fulfilment. Outsourcing your process to us will help to improve not only the overall process but your customers’ experience too. Here are some more reasons…

  • We have strong relationships with a range of couriers so we can help you get cheaper shipping options 
  • We offer custom packaging options
  • We offer customer service management to all of our clients (this too is an extremely important aspect of your customers’ experience)

Contact us today and find out we can help scale your order fulfilment.