Use your shipping partner’s delivery services to increase customer satisfaction. Because happy customers are customers who keep coming back. Here are the five most important tips for a perfect delivery experience – put together by our partner DHL.
Many customers have dramatically altered their shopping behavior in recent years. The tendency to do more shopping online began before the pandemic and has risen sharply over the past two years. In 2021 alone, DHL delivered an average of 5.9 million parcels a day across Germany. And despite the fact that the HDE Online Monitor lowered its sales forecast for 2022 by a billion as a result of the Russian war in Ukraine, ecommerce in Germany is still expected to enjoy a significant 12.4 % increase over 2021 this year.
A positive delivery experience is the key to success
Happy shoppers are shoppers who come back. Customer satisfaction is therefore the key to business success. In ecommerce, customer satisfaction is inextricably linked to a positive delivery experience. When surveyed, most customers say that their decision to buy is influenced by the faith they have in the store’s shipping partner. The Sendcloud study “E-commerce Delivery Compass 2020/21” notes that: Almost three quarters of Germans see the shipping partner as an important factor when deciding whether to buy. Around half prefer certain shipping partners on the basis of positive past experience. As a rule of thumb: Customers who are happy with the last mile delivery service don’t tend to change online store. But poor experiences have a considerable impact. According to Metapack’s “Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report”, 37 % of those surveyed don’t give a retailer a second chance after a poor shipping experience.
If you want to rate highly with your customers, you need to keep a closer eye on shoppers’ delivery needs and desires. These focus on three areas:
- Transparency and planning: 69 % of online shoppers list the ability to track their order as one of their three top priorities when deciding whether to buy.
- Custom delivery options: 56 % of those surveyed feel that the most important factor is being able to select a delivery option. 
- Flexible returns: 57 % of shoppers come back to stores with straightforward returns options. 
Five key tips for keeping customers happy
1. Offer custom delivery options
Customer satisfaction is indisputably at its highest when the first delivery attempt is successful. DHL regularly carries out customer surveys that prove this. By offering a choice of different delivery options, you are giving every customer the power to select their preferred option. Customers working from home will probably prefer to have the parcel delivered directly to their door. Others may prefer to have it left in a safe place such as their garage or to select a specific delivery date.
Extra tip: Name your logistics partner of choice in your store before the customer places their order and point out the option of registering with the company. This usually allows the customer to access significantly more services. With so many people currently returning to the office after working from home, delivery options are becoming an even bigger deal for your customers.
2. Make use of parcel lockers
For many customers, the simplest way to get their parcel is to collect it on the way to work or when running errands. For this group of customers, delivery to a parcel locker is a huge bonus and it pays to make sure this option is communicated prominently. If you include a locker locator in your store or point out the option in the FAQs, you can make it even easier for your customer to collect their parcel whatever the time of day.
Extra tip: Parcel lockers are also extremely convenient for your customers when it comes to returns. All they have to do is drop the return parcel off here – any time, no registration needed.
3. Keep your customers in the know
Online shoppers attach huge importance to transparency. And the most important question they have is: When is my parcel going to arrive? The more information they are given about the shipping status, the happier they will be. So offering live tracking provides a key boost to customer satisfaction. It means customers can schedule the delivery date and help ensure that the first delivery attempt is successful.
Extra tip: If customers use the shipping partner’s app, they can access all of the services on a phone or tablet at any time. With DHL, for example, users who are logged in can see updates regarding their delivery over a 90-minute window and are reminded 15 minutes before arrival.
4. Offer attractive returns options
Online customers have high expectations not just when it comes to parcel delivery but when it comes to returns too. If you want to be sure of meeting customer expectations, you should offer a range of options: an enclosed returns sticker, a downloadable option to print out, and a QR code for mobile returns. This allows customers to print out a label at the parcel locker or in the parcel store or to have one printed by the courier.
Extra tip: Many customers find mobile returns particularly easy and, as a result, an attractive option. The return parcel can be handed directly to the courier.
5. Make sure shipping is sustainable
More and more online customers are interested in green shipping options such as DHL GoGreen. With programs like this, CO2 emissions produced during transportation are offset through investment in certified climate protection projects.
Extra tip: Tailor boxes and packaging material to the size of the product. Avoiding oversized packaging protects the environment and is appreciated by customers.
The customer experience does not end when the order is placed. Seamless delivery is at least as important as a positive shopping experience. Customers reward satisfaction by returning to your online store. It’s therefore worth making full use of the options offered by your shipping partners so that you can cater to your customers’ service expectations, ensuring that they enjoy a perfect delivery experience.
You can find further information in the white paper “How to score big with perfect parcel delivery” (german).
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