Retail Expert shares industry insights on how to master fulfilment experience

Dec Connolly Editor

Email business@thebusinessjournal.co.uk

person holding cardboard box on table

Gilson Pereira, Head of Marketing at leading 3PL provider, Zendbox, has shared six key considerations for eCommerce businesses to ensure they are providing the best fulfilment experience (FX) to their customers.

“Online retail giants like Amazon and ASOS are currently dominating the eCommerce space. What sets them apart from competitors is that they’re mastering FX.

“FX – otherwise known as fulfilment experience – is all about putting customers at the heart of fulfilment logistics and it’s on track to be the biggest trend for business innovation in 2023. Where once fulfilment was a commodity service led by operational and cost concerns, fulfilment operations and customer experience now meet to create FX. 

“FX is essential for the commercial success of an eCommerce business, and encompasses more than simply picking, packing, and shipping an online order. It focuses on ensuring customers have a 5-star experience from the beginning to the end of their online shopping journey.

“I believe that eCommerce businesses are at risk of falling behind and losing customers to competitors unless they are providing the best fulfilment experience. It’s crucial to adapt to the standard of the modern-day consumer to remain competitive. Here are six considerations for providing the ultimate FX to your customers and ensure transactions turn into repeat advocacy.”

  1. Give customers the chance to buy from you when they want

“According to the National Research Federation, 97% of shoppers have abandoned a purchase over a lack of convenience. That’s a lot of potential customers that your business could be losing because you’re not giving them what they want. Convenience could be something as simple as the ability to order from you at any time of the day. This includes the evening, which is when 35% of all online orders are placed, according to our research at Zendbox.”

  1. Shipping must be at the forefront of your FX strategy

“Thanks to Amazon, shoppers have got used to the idea that online orders should be delivered in two days or less. In fact, research from BigCommerce found that a whopping 77% of consumers have abandoned a purchase due to unsatisfactory shipping options. To prevent shipping from becoming a barrier to sales, eCommerce businesses need to be offering greater choice and flexibility in shipping. This could lie in providing free next-day deliveries or eco-friendly options. Again, it all goes back to convenience.”

  1. Sustainability can set your brand apart

“Consumers are more conscious than ever of how their lifestyles are impacting the environment, which is why they are actively using their purchasing power to support businesses that prioritise sustainability. This could be the key to setting your brand apart from the competition, so it’s vital that sustainability is part of the fulfilment experience for your customers. Using sustainable packaging wherever possible is a given, but you may wish to go one step further by offering carbon offsetting or eco-delivery options at checkout too.”

  1. Personalise the online shopping journey

“eCommerce businesses can’t underestimate the impact that personalisation can have on their customer retention rate. Indeed, Epsilon’s research shows that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalised experiences, so make sure you go that extra mile for your online orders. When they are fulfilled, present your products as though they are a gift as this will ultimately create an enjoyable unboxing experience for your customers. Small details like branded tissue paper or a handwritten thank-you note can also go a long way in adding to the fulfilment experience.” 

  1. Expand your reach to other markets

“It’s important to not only focus on mainland delivery, but also ensure that you’re capitalising on lucrative markets like the EU and US by offering fast and affordable shipping options. Naturally, shoppers will abandon their cart due to excessively high shipping costs, particularly if they weren’t stated until the purchase stage, or if estimated delivery will take weeks.

“It’s crucial that you’re not missing out on these market segments, so adjust your fulfilment model for EU and US customers accordingly.” 

  1. Make customer returns as easy as possible

“Customers want to feel safe in the knowledge that they can easily return their order if it doesn’t quite meet their expectations. When 92% of consumers will buy from an online brand again if their return process is easy, it’s important to provide an efficient and convenient service. This will increase the likelihood of repeat custom and decrease the chance of any problematic negative reviews that can have a lasting impact on your business’ reputation.”

Zendbox is a leading fulfilment provider who believes that FX is the future of fulfilment. The team uses game-changing technology like Zendportal, which provides complete control and visibility over orders and inventory – all with ongoing support from dedicated Account Managers.