If your answer is option A, your focus is on the development and enrichment of the eCommerce application. We have been there, serving fresh eCommerce ideas in our exclusive eCommerce Development Concepts.
Check out eCommerce Add-ons.
If your answer is option B, you trust your resources and strive to train them to make customers feel important by addressing their queries in a timely fashion.
If your answer is option C, you care for your customers just too much by offering them a responsible refund and return policy so they don’t feel intimidated if they are unsure of the product.
Finally, if your answer is option D, you have a perspective about the eCommerce industry and experience.
Well, none of the answers is wrong for the question asked. But we will weigh the delivery experience a bit higher on the scales of customers’ online shopping experience. And you will know why.
Almost 90% of customers shopping online experience the ‘Itch to Track Delivery’ syndrome. Well, that’s just a term we coined for customers who can’t help but visit their eCommerce apps to see where their parcel has reached despite the push notifications.
This implies that delivery is directly related to customers’ digital shopping experience. In addition, unavailability of delivery information or even a slight delay leads them to customer support. As a result, the delivery experience has a distinct connection with customer support. Moreover, there’s a segment of returns, owing to the delay in delivery, meaning, some customers return products back to the company as they no longer need it. As you can see, even return, and refunds are kind of related to the delivery experience.
Our saying that the delivery experience weighs heavier wasn’t an overestimation of the feature.
That’s the reason, today we have come up with another dimension to the delivery experience–Scheduled delivery in eCommerce.
Scheduled Delivery in eCommerce: How Should you Plan it?
Imagine a typical scenario wherein a customer orders a product from the eCommerce application. The delivery schedule shows that the product will arrive in four days. The customer has to go on a trip in three days.
What would he do?
The ideal option is to leave the package to a neighbour, slash a security person or cancel it.
Besides this, the arrival of delivery men at unexpected times may turnmay turn the customers’ schedule upside down. In such a case, customers miss out on any important event or their tasks. This calls for the scheduled delivery software for eCommerce applications.
The scheduled delivery in eCommerce platform option allows customers to have complete control over their shopping. They can decide exactly when and where to receive their deliveries. Here, when we say ‘when’, it does not only imply the date of the delivery. It implies that customers can select the time of their deliveries too.
Basically, there are two features:
- Schedule a Delivery
- Change/Reschedule a Delivery
Schedule a Delivery:
While planning for the navigation, the scheduled delivery feature or scheduled delivery in eCommerce app appears prior to checkout. After a user clicks on the buy option, users can select the delivery address. Upon selecting the delivery option, they can view the tentative schedule of delivery and make forward changes to it.
Given the uncertainties related to the dispatch, users can only schedule the delivery date and time post the tentative delivery date. For instance, before checkout, when a product listed has a delivery date for the 18th of January, users will be able to use the scheduled delivery feature for 18th of January or post that. This is because of the distribution cycle.
One of the distinguishing features of scheduled delivery in eCommerce app is that users can even select the time of their delivery. This implies that customers will no longer have to log in to their eCommerce apps and websites to track their orders. The last-mile delivery operations will be planned based on the scheduled delivery option set by the customer.
Change/Reschedule a Delivery:
Want to go another extra mile for your customers?
Offer reschedule a delivery/change delivery option to your customers.
In scenarios, when customers find sudden plans in their schedules, they can easily change or reschedule deliveries. In such cases, customers don’t have to take the hassle to call the delivery man again to receive the delivery. However, the eCommerce owners can decide the reschedule time bracket.
For instance, users can’t modify their deliveries two hours prior to the schedule. As a result, users can enjoy and be mindful of the scheduled delivery feature. Besides this, the business benefits of rescheduling the delivery can help save you on the last-mile re-delivery expenses.
Why Should you Let your Users Select their Delivery Schedules?
Are you suffering from the dilemma of why scheduled delivery in eCommerce app is the right feature for you?
Scheduled delivery in eCommerce is a way for your customers to get back in the cart game and spike up your sales. Let’s look at scenarios why customers would resonate well with your eCommerce application when you offer them a scheduled delivery feature:
- Kills Wait Times for Customers:
Customers are taking a paradigm shift from physical stores and malls to eCommerce websites and applications, given the setbacks regarding wait times. If something is too urgent, customers would rather prefer to check the rush hours and then proceed to go to the physical stores.
Clearly, nobody likes to wait in the long queues if that option is offered. Similarly, customers have become so accustomed to online shopping that even a slight delay in delivery makes them anxious, which calls for a scheduled delivery software for customers to sit back and relax.
- Reduces the Need to Communicate:
Even with the most sophisticated eCommerce application, there is no way for last-mile operators to determine whether the customer is at home or not. In such a case, when a customer is not at the delivery location, either the delivery man would contact the customer to inform that he’s there for delivery or customers will have to contact the delivery man to tell him to drop the parcel some other time.
This is a typical scenario, wherein there’s a lot of to-and-fro communication without the actual delivery. Going back to the roots, the eCommerce platforms have been incepted to reduce communication and help customers avail products efficiently, and the scheduled delivery in eCommerce option puts that in place.
Not many eCommerce channels are flexible when it comes to deliveries. And, it is due to their partnership with the third-party delivery companies, who handle the deliveries for them eCommerce owners, given the tight schedule of the delivery companies, can’t guarantee the delivery timelines.
Gifts on special occasions are time-bound. After all, there’s more excitement if a gift is delivered on the D-day. Scheduled delivery in eCommerce can prove as an efficient feature for sending over gifts to friends and family.
The very reason customers use eCommerce apps and websites is owing to the broad categories and options that it has to offer. Going by the same rule, when you offer your customers with multiple delivery options, you are sure to have delighted customers.
Let’s learn from the eCommerce giant–Amazon. Amazon introduced a Prime delivery option at an additional cost. Despite this, Amazon Prime recorded 95 Mn users in the U.S. by 2018. The fact shows that customers love to be in the priority list for eCommerce companies to have an updated experience. As a result, when you mirror the behaviour of customers and delight them with multiple delivery options, it is going to be a profitable feat in the long run for your eCommerce business.
- Same-day and Next-day delivery are the New Normal:
Amazon, the giant among the eCommerce cohort, has been investing and planning to decentralize its warehouses to turn next-day delivery into the standard delivery and same-day delivery as an option for its customers. When Amazon sets the trail, it is obvious that other eCommerce owners will delightfully walk the path, meaning, the same-day and the next-day deliveries are going to be the new normal.
However, the scheduled delivery in eCommerce offers more flexibility and control to customers. As of today, the scheduled delivery feature is not implemented at scale, which will turn out to be a novel feature for customers to use.
- Scheduled Delivery Encourages Customer Confidence:
Customers usually prefer to buy online, and they already have a set time for its arrival in their mind. When this time of product delivery matches with that of the expectation of customers, businesses often find customer retention rate spiking up. With the delivery date and time under the hood of customers, they find more confidence in the brand and shop more.
When the product to be purchased is very event-specific, customers know that they can rely on the scheduled delivery option to shop for products. For example, when there’s a wedding of a best friend around the corner, an individual would want to have that dress along with the accessories on time. After the trial, when the individual feels that there’s some uncertainty about the size of the outfit, he/she can plan it well and proceed with the return and arrival. Hence for event-specific purchases, scheduled delivery can make an impact on the sales of an eCommerce store.
Time to Reform the Delivery Practices is NOW!
The world saw strict lockdown in 2020. Well, even 2021 started with the news of the mutated coronavirus strain. So, as far as the physical stores are concerned, nobody actually can predict the future for them. There lies an opportunity for the eCommerce owners to attract a wider customer base and spoil them with a choice.
The modern customers are on-the-run right from the start of their day. They have their work and personal lives scheduled. In such a case, even a little change in their schedules can make all their plans go haywire. This is the reason why the feature, scheduled delivery, can run on the two wheels of convenience and flexibility.
A product delivered in poor condition has an impact on the business of the vendor. However, a product not delivered on time can impact your eCommerce business. No matter what quality products you sell, delivery is an integral aspect of customer satisfaction.
Underlying Challenge with Scheduled Delivery for eCommerce Businesses
Less flexibility to customers regarding product delivery implies more flexibility to last-mile operators. Since there’s no timeline to follow for the logistics company, it becomes easy to fulfill the deliveries. On the contrary, when it comes to scheduled deliveries in eCommerce, customers have this control over the date and the time of delivery, which means that the last-mile operators have to now plan their deliveries and connect the dots to follow customers’ lead.
In such a case, besides the eCommerce portal, even the last-mile delivery portal also needs to be updated. The route planning feature in the last-mile delivery solutions will have to be integrated with the feature to sync the proposed schedule of deliveries. As a result, delivery men will be assigned the orders to fulfil, and they will have the ‘Leave now’ reminders to manage the deliveries on time.
Changes in the scheduled delivery feature on the eCommerce website and app will reflect on the last-mile delivery operations. Given this perspective, the inclusion of the feature will mean 360° advancement in the eCommerce arena, as you will be able to satisfy your end users and your logistics stakeholders.