We live in an age of instant satisfaction. Instead of driving to the video store, we stream videos through Netflix. We have our meals delivered, subscription services bring us household goods, and we expect our packages to be shipped quickly. Today's on demand economy means that ‘time is money’ has never been truer: your product might be better than your competitors, but if it takes too long to arrive, you might still lose customers.
Studies show that 56% of customers between 18-34 expect next day delivery and 40% of customers cancel their orders if they realize shipping will take too long. While that might sound shocking, there’s good news: 61% of customers are willing to pay more for the quick shipping service.
It’s always best to provide them with options, and always be transparent about how long they’ll take. There’s no use tricking your customers into a sale by hiding shipping times – the studies show they’ll simply back out once they realize.
So it’s best to offer two clear options. Standard shipping, with a clear expected arrival date, and expedited or overnight shipping, depending on your area and what is available to you. While some customers will continue to prefer cheaper standard shipping rates, by incorporating an express option you can capture customers who might have bought elsewhere otherwise.
There are perks of overnight shipping beyond everyday convenience. Once you offer it, you can also add to your marketing tactics to appeal to a new demographic: those who leave things to the last minute. You can market your products as the perfect last-minute gifts for anniversaries, birthdays and holidays, and – unlike your competitors – your products will arrive on time. For many who leave Christmas shopping to the last minute, buying online isn’t an option due to wait times. By offering expedited shipping, you can be the hero.
There are a few additional services customers have begun to expect in the delivery process. These are accurate tracking, and proactive communication. Customers want to know where their items are and when: offer them a way to know. Many delivery companies offer tracking for an additional price and host all the information on their own websites. Feel free to charge your customers extra for optional tracking.
If you can collect their telephone numbers during the order process, you can also give them the offer of automated proactive text updates: let them know when their product has been packed, sent, is due to arrive and has arrived. Keeping them in the loop will make them trust you more, and will increase their customer satisfaction: resulting in more repeat sales, and higher profits.
Better service means happier customers, and happy customers make for a healthy business. By offering speedier delivery service and tracking options, you can help win customers over for the long run.