With the convenience of online shopping, it’s no surprise that eCommerce markets within every niche have become extremely competitive. The initial strategy for most brands to stand out from their competitors include targeted media spend, an optimized website, and membership discounts.
But that’s not enough anymore.
With all the internet marketing channels available to promote your brand’s products, it’s easy to lose sight of what truly separates a successful direct-to-consumer brand from the competition. The most successful direct-to-consumer brands have loyal, returning customers that can only be obtained by incredible customer experience. And this type of experience can only occur when brands optimize the ‘back-end’ of eCommerce operations.
What is the ‘Back-End’ of eCommerce Operations?
The ‘back-end’ of eCommerce operations is the work that occurs behind the scenes to ensure online orders are picked, packed, and shipped efficiently. Streamlining your supply chain, monitoring the security of your credit card collection, improving fulfillment operations, maintaining address hygiene, and more.
Put simply; the ‘back-end’ is where revenue on your brand’s sold products is made or lost.
Let’s dive into why you’re reading this article, debunking the idea that “Fulfillment doesn’t help your sales.”
Shipping Options Help Increase Online Transactions
Brands must treat shipping as a pivotal component of their business, especially for brands trying to compete in the eCommerce market. Your brand’s shipping options can carry as much weight as the marketing of products.
“Free shipping” is often the top reason why shoppers choose to purchase products from certain eCommerce stores, but it’s not the only reason. According to a Fulfillment Service survey, 58% percent of those surveyed want free and discounted shipping, while 28% want shipping options. The way to offer these types of discounts is by optimizing your fulfillment operations on (you guessed it) the back-end.
Many direct-to-consumer brands don’t offer free or discounted shipping because shipping is typically one of the most expensive parts of operating an eCommerce store. For this reason, it’s essential to find and work with your fulfillment partner to optimize shipping routes to decrease postage rates. To see if you can save money on your fulfillment operations, we encourage you to request a free quote and explore new fulfillment partners to streamline your processes.
Ontime and Accurate Deliveries Increase Returning Customers
Providing a stellar customer experience is the utmost importance, and a big part of that experience is the day of “unboxing.” If your eCommerce store proclaims that purchased products will be delivered in 2 days, that’s precisely the time scale within which it should be delivered. If your brand fails to deliver within the stated time frame, you will have lost credibility to your customers, and hinder them from returning to your site for another purchase.
Of course, there is a lot that occurs behind the scenes that can contribute to delayed deliveries. Inaccurate inventory counts or delayed products from the brand’s manufacturer can attribute to backorders and delayed shipping. Or an incorrect sales forecast during peak seasons can cause fulfillment centers to be understaffed and delay shipping. The best way to avoid situations like these is to ensure your brand has a consistent communication with your fulfillment partner to prepare for peaks, supply chain delays, and inventory management.
Enhance Customer Support
The primary task of customer service is improving the eCommerce experience, and the days of 9-to-5 support are over. Having a support window requires customers to look up time zone information, put off a call, and generally wait to have their needs met. In today’s world, where customers’ expectations are at an all-time high, waiting to report a damaged or an inaccurate shipment is unacceptable.
However, you can’t optimize and improve customer service if you don’t know how you’re currently doing. Benchmark your customer satisfaction rates before you implement improvements and then take another measurement after you’ve put service systems in place. By calculating the increase in customer sentiment, you can set goals, identify obstacles, and improve the ROI of future initiatives.
Fulfillment operations cannot be an after-thought for brands who want to grow their eCommerce presence. As online shopping continues to grow at a rapid pace, your brand must now start to explore how to make operations more efficient. This will help your brand cut costs without sacrificing your customer’s experience with your brand.
For a guide to begin your journey, please download our WhitePaper, The Complete Guide to Direct-To-Consumer Personalization At Scale.