It’s no exaggeration to say that e-retail, or e-tail, has changed the way people shop. Shopping online is convenient, easy, and safe. Consumers can research products, compare similar features, check prices, read customer reviews, and even locate online coupons before deciding which product to purchase. E-tail has grown to be an enormous industry. In 2019 alone, e-tail commerce totaled more than $3.5 trillion globally, with more than 1.92 billion people shopping online for products and services.
The biggest player in the e-tail market is Amazon. It has changed the e-commerce playing field in numerous ways. Amazon offers more than 12 million products, the majority of which are sold by third-party sellers. More than 197 million people visit Amazon’s website every month. It’s not surprising that other e-com retailers are feeling Amazon’s impact. More shoppers now expect online brands to ship products faster than before, in part because of Amazon’s shipping options. A recent study found that 88% of shoppers say that their shopping experiences with Amazon make them expect faster shipping and delivery from other e-tailers.
That may be bad news for retailers lacking the resources that Amazon has. Savvy e-tailers should keep this expectation in mind, look for methods to increase shipping speeds, and consider other ways to please their customers.
For example, many customers use shipment tracking to ascertain where a package is. Consider using a branding tracking page to help increase brand recognition and improve the overall customer experience.
Also, consider the convenience factor. How easy is it for customers to purchase from your website? Ensure that your website lets first-time users create accounts so they have a quicker way to order when they return. When elements such as billing and shipping addresses can be auto-filled, it saves customers time and makes them more likely to purchase repeatedly.
Studies show that the cost and speed of shipping are highly influential factors in whether a customer makes a purchase. While customers desire products quickly, they typically don’t want to pay shipping costs. Seven in 10 customers would rather wait longer for a package if it means they don’t have to pay a shipping cost, and nearly as many say that the cost of shipping is “high.” Look for ways to mitigate shipping costs, such as employing an automated storage/retrieval system to coordinate warehousing and transportation. The accompanying resource describes more about what retailers can do to make their customers happy.
Author bio: John Hinchey is VP of Sales for Westfalia Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of logistics solutions for plants, warehouses, and distribution centers. He has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and warehouse automation.