5 ways that Delivery Experience can improve your E-commerce checkout
Anyone who has followed the checkout pages of leading online retailers in recent years will see a steady expansion of delivery information and options. Delivery experience is suddenly of vital importance to e-commerce, but what information and options do we need to consider? It’s imperative to ensure that your checkout experience isn’t losing you customers, so to inspire you, we collected 5 best-practices to consider for your ‘delivery checkout’.
- Address validation, with manual overwrite
- Auto-select the cheapest delivery option as default – with an indication of time period
- Offer a choice of pick-up points (from multiple carriers), with the nearest one selected as default
- Provide a same-day delivery option
If the quality of data entering your system is poor, your final delivery will also be. So, always validate address entries in advance. The quickest and easiest way to achieve this is an auto-fill option that completes the street name and city, based on zip code and house number. This can be done using Paazl’s API (or that of Postcode.nl for example). NB: always give customers the option to change this address manually because every address database can contain errors.
Consumers are critical about delivery experience. Choice and control are mandatory, however the greatest wish remains free delivery. In many cases, free delivery is a stronger criteria than paid delivery in less time. So by default, have your free (or at least cheapest) delivery option pre-selected in your check-out. You can help customers even further by providing an indication of the delivery timeframe for this option. Most carriers are now able to use their API to indicate the delivery timeframe (of several hours) in which they will be visiting a specific area.
If free delivery is the cake, then a same-day delivery experience is the cherry on top. This option is especially suitable for more expensive products that customers may need quickly, so shipping costs are relatively reasonable. Think of a new TV just before that important football match, or a new game on the day it comes out. You can offer the option nationwide (often with same-evening delivery) but this usually involves higher shipping costs, and an earlier cut-off time. What we have seen more and more often is that retailers are offering hyper-local, same-day delivery via local couriers (like Packaly, Budbee, fietskoeriers.nl, Trunkrs, and Red je Pakketje. Not only is same-day delivery very competitively priced – it also shortens the delivery time even further.
Control doesn’t have to cost too much. Offer your customers a choice of multiple delivery days, presented in a drop-down menu or calendar overview. While delivery on Saturday is an absolute must, delivery on Sunday is a great added value. Again, give an indication of the time period per day in which the courier usually comes by, or offer custom options with delivery in short time periods (up to 2 hours). This increases the chance of a successful first delivery. Tip: always clearly indicate the date, as well as the day of the week.
Pick-up points are the alternative for customers who do not have time to wait for a delivery driver at home, or prefer not to pay for ‘custom logistics’. A modern check-out therefore always has a pick-up option. Preferably with a choice of pick-up points from multiple carriers, so no one has to cycle or walk more than 5 minutes. The majority will still choose the pick-up point around the corner, to make their delivery experience more convenient. So by default, tick the nearest pick-up point and complete the process by indicating when customers can pick up their shipment. E.g. “available tomorrow from 15:00”.
Although same-day express delivery accounted for approximately 249 million packages shipped in the USA in 2018, it is still largely a niche product that is only likely to work for specific products, when you are able to have a very clear overview of your inventory. With that being said, in the current (uncertain) e-commerce climate, having the ability to use your physical stores as mini DC’s to move stock is also a valuable insurance policy to have in place, especially if another lockdown period should arrive.
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