Online consumer purchases are increasing, and this means more shipping. And according to the latest research from ShipStation, more consumers are demanding shipping transparency from retail businesses.
Consumers Demanding Shipping Transparency
It is only natural for consumers to want a better shipping experience as they make more online purchases. And part of this experience now demands transparency in how retail businesses ship their products. ShipStation says, “COVID-19 and the supply chain issues of 2020 have heightened consumers’ expectations for visibility into their shipping and delivery.”
According to its research, more than 85% of consumers want full visibility into shipping timelines before making any online purchase. Simply put, they want to know when they will get their item before they buy anything. Furthermore, they also want better visibility into the cost and timelines associated with shipping.
So, what is a retailer to do? The report says businesses have to provide real-time shipping rates and delivery estimates during the checkout. This will encourage more sales and inspire customer loyalty because they can better gauge when they will get their items.
Consumers also have higher expectations from the companies they do business with. In a similar survey from ShipStation, 87% say shipping and delivery experience directly impacts their decision to shop with the merchant again. For retailers who are seeing more of their sales coming from online purchases, shipping is going to be the new customer service measuring stick.
The survey goes on to reveal online spending is trending upward as well as:
- 57% feel more financially stable than last year and more comfortable spending.
- 74% of consumers say they will prefer to shop online vs. in-store even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
- 43% of consumers say they are less likely to shop with brands not offering curbside pickup options indefinitely.
- Even after the pandemic is over, more than half say they expect brands to offer free shipping.
Offering More Options
The key, according to the ShipStation report, is to give customers more options when it comes to getting their products. For local small businesses that are not shipping, offering curbside pickup is a great option. Likewise, you can also use local delivery services to get your products to your customers. You can add a surcharge for the convenience to customers that are willing to pay for it. The key is to provide the option.
The report says providing these options is responsible for increased customer satisfaction. Adding, “Retailers should continue to find ways to incorporate these options as standard practice to keep consumers long-term.”
This article, “More Consumers Demand Shipping Transparency from Retail Businesses” was first published on Small Business Trends