Delivery service strategies can improve online sales. But with 80% of customers saying they will never go back after poor customer experience, your company’s on-time performance must be better than just good.
On-time performance is all about customers and profits. It directly affects sales. Better on-time performance leads to customer satisfaction, enhances your efficiency and draws new customers. Here are some tips to improve your on-time performance:
1. Invest in local warehouses
Most e-commerce sites ship goods across the country. Investing in local warehouses in multiple locations across the country will lessen the delivery time. This might seem a bit extreme for small and mid-sized e-commerce retailers. Identify warehouses at strategic locations that can cater to multiple locations up to a certain distance.
2. Maintain realistic deadlines
In an endeavour to take on a bigger sales load, don’t promise unrealistic delivery service timelines. Instead, set a timeline that is realistic and follow it aggressively. By the same token, don’t be too relaxed about the timeline, or you could end up losing customers, and your loss could be your competitor’s gain. There is a fine line between unsustainable delivery service timelines and relaxed timelines, and that’s the road you must take. How do you know how to decide on realistic delivery times? Analyse your supply chain efficiency level and set a delivery timeline accordingly.
3. Ensure good relationships with your carrier partners
At the end of the day, the time it takes for a shipment to reach the customer will depend on how efficient your carrier service is. Find a reliable carrier service provider who can meet your demands and expectations. Once the carrier has accepted your requirements, ensure that you maintain good relationships with them by making timely payments. Also, help them in their endeavour to deliver on time by providing timely information, such as customer details, stock clearance, and so on.
4. Manage your stocks
Imagine having a product on display online. A buyer buys this product by placing an order and paying for it. Your business has promised on-time delivery of the product. But when it’s time to get the shipment ready, you realise that you don’t have that product in stock any longer.
Ensure that your systems and back-office always reflect on the most recent and current status of your stocks. This will require your back-office staff and your systems to be in sync at all times.
5. Predict production demand
Some goods are more popular than others. Also, some regions have a big demand for particular items. Analysing your data history will give you a fairly good idea of what products are required and which regions would need more of a particular product category. With a fair idea of what products will be in demand, you can stock up accordingly, in sufficient quantities, in the warehouses close to those regions.
6. Partner with reliable 3PL companies
If picking and packing orders is a struggle for you, you can turn to 3PL companies for a bit of help. By outsourcing your order fulfilment process or outsourcing even a part of it, you will be able to ensure your company acquires and retains a reputation of being on time. Outsourcing to 3PL companies can also bring down your over overall transportation costs and ensure speedy delivery service of products to the customer.
7. Real-time order tracking
Customers are satisfied when they can track their purchases online. By letting your customers know where in the delivery journey their purchases are, they know you are working on their deliveries and not sitting on their order. A reliable order management software will also help retailers and shippers track the status of an order and enhance on-time performance.