As the world is shifting online, online stores are increasingly putting more effort into delivering a more fulfilling shopping experience to customers. However, one thing that many dropshippers tend to overlook is that the experience does not stop at check-out and payment confirmation. The post-purchase experience is also crucial because it helps to retain their customers, and business owners should keep in mind that the costs of conversion are generally higher than retention.
The ‘fulfillment experience’ is an important stage of the post-purchase experience. In this blog post, we will discuss all the phases involved in the fulfillment experience and what you can do to leave a good impression on your customers.
1. Order/Shipping confirmation
Communication is an essential part in establishing a relationship between sellers and buyers. Therefore, you should try to keep your customers updated as much as possible about the fulfillment and delivery process. This would make them feel that you care about them and give them some guarantee about their purchases. For instance, once the orders are processed and shipped out for delivery, you should send notifications to your customers. Since most shipping methods today provide tracking, you should also send the tracking number and estimated delivery time to your customers.
This can be done via multiple channels and mediums, but email is most preferred nowadays. SMS texting is also one popular way if you are residing in the same region/country where you are dropshipping.
The unboxing experience that brands deliver to customers is a major differentiator between marketplayers. It is where you can ‘wow’ your customers and give them a long lasting impression, thus encouraging them to revisit your store in the future.
One popular trend is custom and branded packaging. According to a survey, about 7 out of 10 American consumers think that products’ packaging is an influential factor in their purchasing decision. Moreover, this can help to increase your brand awareness as two-fifths of shoppers share photos of unique or branded packaging on their social media accounts. Therefore, investing in the design of your packaging would help you win more customers and stand out in the competition. Depending on your budgets, you can create the designs by yourselves given the abundant resources available on the Internet or hire an artist to perform the task. Besides, you should also discuss the packaging materials with your suppliers to ensure that they are aligned with your brand messages and missions. You can even go further by inserting personalised thank-you cards/notes and free gifts inside the packages to boost customer satisfaction.
Returns and exchanges happen all the time in the ecommerce world, especially given the fact that consumers do not have a realistic idea about the products they purchase. This occurs even more often around (during and after) festive seasons when people are more inclined towards impulse purchases. Many store owners see this as a hassle, but it shouldn’t be viewed that way. In fact, it is a good opportunity for you to show the customers what you can do and how much you care about them.
Therefore, it is necessary for ecommerce stores to have a solid return process, which creates a seamless experience to consumers. You are strongly encouraged to have a designated section/page for your return and exchange policy on your website. This should also be found on your products’ pages and confirmation emails. Moreover, you should dedicate some resources into training and managing a professional customer service team to provide your customers the best support if they have any inquiries or concerns.
Now that you know what is involved in the fulfillment experience, and you also understand that delivering a satisfactory and reliable experience would bring you more revenue consistently thanks to the existing loyal customer base.
Let’s now discuss what you can do to improve the fulfillment experiences for your customers.
As a dropshipper, you should partner up with a third-party logistics provider or a dropshipping agent for many reasons. First of all, they can implement some good inventory management practices into your collaboration to optimise your business operations. Secondly, they have valuable industry insights to advise you on the best ways to keep your customers happy with their fulfillment experience such as customisation of products and packaging. Moreover, you would also have more flexibility over your inventory, especially during peak seasons when you need to stock up the products in advance. This helps to speed up the delivery time, thus providing a better fulfillment experience to your buyers. In short, working with a reliable dropshipping agent ensures that your customers receive more care and attention in every step of the fulfillment process, thus earning you more consistent income.
Do you have a business to grow? Let Xianchao Logistics help you with scaling your dropshipping empire. Contact us today to get all the support you need. With 30+ years of experience in logistics industry and 5+ years in dropshipping sector, we strive to solve your pain points, ranging from product & supplier sourcing to ecommerce order fulfillment, or branded packaging & private labelling to quality inspection & product certification. Please feel free to reach out to us if you need to know any details about partnering with us.
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