In the last decade, consumer expectations and customer loyalty have been taking up a new shape. We are starting to see a drastic shift in the commercial market as ongoing technological advancements increasingly influence it. Convenience, costs and time-saving have collectively forced commerce to migrate online. In 2017 alone, eCommerce accounted for 18% of the total revenue sales in the UK. This was a 3.4% increase since 2016.
Figures such as these show businesses can no longer rely on the antiquated ‘products speak for themselves’ model to earn customer loyalty. At the same time, however, more modern tools that helped businesses stand out from the crowd are increasingly becoming redundant.
Pioneering technological developments mean that in 2018 good websites and robust marketing strategies have become commonplace commodities. Companies are thereby increasingly turning to order fulfilment to set themselves apart from competition. Packaging and delivery have become imperative in client retention. Here’s a thorough breakdown of the reasons why:
To establish customer loyalty you need to ensure your products arrive in good condition.
Presentation and safety are key. No one likes to open a box of messy or damaged items. Even if your customer service and returns process are fairly painless, the customer will not be rushing back.
To prevent this from happening, make sure you choose your packing materials and carrier carefully. A good practice would be to test the packing and shipping process prior to dispatching the items to customers.
At Dimensions this comes as standard. Our experienced operations staff repeatedly test packaging before shipping the products to ensure they reach the end customer intact. We also work with a network of trusted carriers, so we are always able to pick the right one for your needs.
Honing packaging quality and delivery reliability will inevitably incur extra costs. At this point most businesses believe they are presented with two options. Absorb the extra costs or increase handling and delivery costs. Both would cripple profits in the long-run: research has shown that 56% of online shoppers abandon their online basket if they are presented with unexpected costs at the checkout.
What businesses rarely realise, however, is that there is a third option: outsourcing your order fulfilment.
Fulfilment companies, like Dimensions, are able to quote lower shipping rates because they dispatch greater volumes of items and are therefore offered lower shipping fees. But economies of scale do not stop at carrier costs. Fulfilment companies also have great purchasing power when it comes to packaging materials. So it’s easier (and more cost-effective) for you to provide a quality, personalised end-to-end service that will grant you valuable customer loyalty.
Green Order Fulfilment
Companies and consumers alike are growing increasingly conscious of their environmental impact.
Too wary to get on board with eco-friendly business practices? We don’t blame you. Environmentally-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing are not terms people often put together. Alienating luxury-seeking customers must be the price businesses have to pay to reduce their environmental impact and appeal to an environmentally-conscious market, right?
In 2018, packaging manufacturers are creating green packing materials that look and feel good. It has never been easier to both opt for plastic-free, fully recycled or recyclable packing materials and keep your target demographics happy.
As an eco-friendly fulfilment company, Dimensions has partnered with green packaging suppliers, such as Blake Envelopes, to ensure our clients’ commerce activities have minimal impact on the environment. We provide high quality ecological packaging so your items can be presented well while you ensure environmentally-conscious customers have a guilt-free shopping experience.
Go the Extra Mile
To sustain consistent customer loyalty and stay on top of competition, businesses who take their success seriously have to proactively anticipate what the consumer will want next.
Research has shown that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. This means that in less than 2 years, outstanding packaging and shipping won’t be enough of a reason for customers to remain loyal to your brand.
The proactive thing to do (once you have honed packaging and delivery) is invest on enhancing your customers’ experience. From their online visit, up until your products reach their doorstep, your brand should take consumers on a journey. Through our Marketing Logistics division, we are able to create highly personalised order components, such as labels and inserts, that aim to make your customer feel valued. This service also gives businesses the ability to re-engage with lapsed customers via personalised direct mail campaigns.
The Bottom Line
There are several factors to establishing a good fulfilment process that keeps your customers happy. From speed, packaging quality and costs all the way to your environmental impact; these are all variants that businesses with a loyal customer-base have managed to hone. In an ever-evolving market, however, it is proving to be just as important to attune your fulfilment process as it is to anticipate market trends if you wish to get ahead of competition. From eCommerce fulfilment to direct mail marketing, promotional printing and kitting, Dimensions has the full extent of expertise required to make your customers feel valued at every stage of their buying cycle.
For industry-specific advice on how to build customer loyalty using fulfilment, speak to one of our experts!