Guest post from isendu - shipping platform for the growth and automation of e-commerce stores.
Have you ever heard of e-commerce logistics touch points? Even if the name might not ring a bell, its definition is quite straightforward: we are speaking of contact points between brands and their customers. More specifically, we are looking at those contact points that involve product shipping and returns: it is in fact crucial to communicate effectively once the products ordered online leave your warehouse, or are returned to you.
In order to build a smooth, simple post-purchase journey, it is important to consider that there are many services specialized on the touch points we are analyzing today available on the market. But why managing shipping correctly is such a key-factor in your e-commerce success? And what are these logistics touch points?
What does shipping management mean?
We want to begin by saying that managing product shipping and e-commerce logistics touchpoints is not easy. Many are the obstacles on the way, and customers have become more and more demanding when it comes to a timely, easy-to-track delivery process.
The Italian consortium Netcomm highlights that during the pandemic in 2020 the logistics demand has grown up to +150%. During periods with softer restrictions we are still speaking of an increase of +69%. This leads to the following two considerations:
- Opportunity: for those that already have an e-commerce business the possibility to sell online and ship is there.
- Risk: who is going to manage shipping and all its related challenges?
People expect to receive the products they buy in a short time and without setbacks along the way. 62% of Italian customers, as stated by Casaleggio’s report in 2021, rate as the first reason for a negative purchase experience “the delivery on a different day from the one promised”.
It therefore becomes fundamental to start thinking of shipping not as a problem to overcome, but as a marketing opportunity. Timely deliveries, low - or free - shipping costs and a mindful management of logistic touch points can become a strong selling point and increase customers’ trust in your business.
What are the logistics touch points?
In e-commerce, the touch points are those moments when brands and customers meet each other and interact. Where they cross paths. When we speak about shipping and logistics touch points are usually quite easy to identify.
The challenging part is finding the right balance between reassuring customers about the status of their delivery and sending a limited amount of notifications. It is very important to identify the right touch points, for example:
- Order confirmation
- Pick-up-in-store booking
- Shipping courier selection
- Delivery and unboxing
Customers expect to be informed on the status of their order, but there are also alternative ways to engage them: for instance giving them the option to pick up their order at the store, or allowing them to choose which shipping courier will be assigned to their order. For certain items it might also be useful to ask for feedback after unboxing, or confirm with the courier the successful delivery.
Increase your Gross Margin thanks to a winning shipping process
To guarantee a smooth delivery experience it is crucial to provide a tracking code to your customers, in order to let them know where their package is at each stage of the shipping process.
The tracking updates can be sent via email, whatsapp or chat. These last two options create a conversational feeling: as suggested in this article by messengerpeople.com, WhatsApp is a flexible tool used by customers in their everyday life that allows them to reply or receive updates anytime without opening their email inbox.
When using chats and whatsapp to communicate with customers, a question comes up: shall we reply to all the messages we get? Finding a balance between different channels like email and whatsapp and building the right automations is crucial in order to build an efficient customer service. The correct management of the key touch points is fundamental to build a long-term relationship with clients.
How can such conversations be leveraged? They offer the chance for upselling and cross selling offers, collecting feedback, reviews and user generated content (i.e. unboxing).
In the long run, all these options help increase your gross margin (net sales - cost for producing and selling goods).
How to automate shipping and reduce cost and time: isendu
What we have discussed in this article might seem too complex and hard to handle, but there are tools that can help you automating and monitoring your store shipping process like isendu. Isendu, cloud platform focused on e-commerce shipping management, can help you manage your shipping and logistics touch points in a professional and effective way.