As online shopping and online retail popularity continues to soar, more and more organizations are struggling to keep up. While it’s true these methods have resulted in large amounts of success, they also require a great deal of effort from the organizations providing them. This is even more true with COVID-19 restrictions remaining. Providing a means for customers to safely shop gives them all types of options not thought possible in their physical retail location visits. All of these capabilities are what makes the online retail experience so successful, with nearly $3.5 trillion dollars contributed globally in 2019.
Online retail would be nothing without Amazon’s efforts. Breaking the mold of traditional shopping through e-commerce, their 12 million different products are just enough to serve nearly 200 million monthly shoppers. With such a wide reach, Amazon is limiting the way in which their competing retailers can find success with their customers. Expectations like accelerated shipping or free shipping have become standard but are not always offered by smaller online retailers.
These smaller retailers face a major issue with these expectations. Inability to provide two-day shipping on each of their orders can result in much less business overall unfortunately. This leaves these retailers scattering to find ways to provide additional value to their customers. One of the ways this is accomplished is through robust tracking information for online orders. Customers are able to visit a branded tracking page that will detail each step of the processing and delivery process for their orders. So despite having to wait a bit longer for their packages, customers remain informed.
Any method for these online retailers to try and gain some advantage over Amazon is going to be used. For example, many of these smaller online retailers will begin by revitalizing their website and customer experience. Making adjustments when necessary to improve the convenience and user friendliness of their website. This may include unique benefits for creating an account such as saving their shipping and payment information for future purchases. Perhaps even some individualized discount codes exclusive to users who create accounts. The more opportunities you create for your customers to take advantage of, the more likely there are to make repeat purchases.
Most of the time these businesses just take a hard look at the way they’re shipping products to their customers. Making adjustments to the cost and speed of shipping are difficult, but achievable goals for these smaller online retailers. While shipment speed is important, cost of shipping is even more important for customers. Seven in ten customers would rather wait longer for their product if it meant not having to pay a shipping cost. One way to decrease both the cost and shipping times of your products is through an automated storage and retrieval system meant to improve warehousing and transportation situations for businesses. Hoping to learn more about these systems? Take a moment to review the infographic featured alongside this post for more information.
Author bio: John Hinchey is VP of Sales for Westfalia Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of logistics solutions for plants, warehouses and distribution centers. He has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and warehouse automation.