May 8, 2023
- Written By
Modern retail is all about convenience. With 43% of customers saying they’d pay more for greater convenience, hassle-free and frictionless shopping experiences have become the norm.
However, despite numerous ecommerce advancements, one issue continues to plague them: order delays. 20% of online shoppers express frustration when their orders take longer than expected to arrive.
Reasons for this often originate from lead time uncertainties and a lack of order visibility. Fortunately, reliable ecommerce shipping strategies can provide a solution while promoting long-term customer loyalty. With real-time tracking updates and prompt fulfillment, you can inspire confidence, encourage repeat purchases, and increase customer loyalty.
This guide will help you examine why and how to nurture first-time and repeat customers. We’ll also equip you with practical strategies to leverage your shipping and logistics practices to achieve it.
73% of consumers prioritize the overall experience they have with a brand when making purchasing decisions. Therefore, consistent and trusted services can’t be overstated in growing your ecommerce.
Imagine a new prospect coming to you for a last-minute gift. You fulfill their requests and ship out the order right on time. They’re in a pinch; you delivered. In this case, it’s only natural for them to revisit your store for future purchases.
That’s customer loyalty in a nutshell. It refers to the degree of attachment, trust, and repeat patronage shoppers have toward your brand.
Here are the five most commonly used key performance indicators (KPIs) for tracking and assessing it:
Customer Retention Rate (CRR): The percentage of customers who continue to make purchases over a specific period. The higher the CRR, the stronger customer loyalty and satisfaction.
Repeat Purchase Rate (RPR): The proportion of customers who make multiple purchases. A high RPR means customers value your products or services and will return for more.
Net Promoter Score (NPS): It’s the customer loyalty score based on the likelihood of recommending the brand. The higher the NPS, the better customer loyalty and word-of-mouth.
Customer Lifetime Value (CLV): The total revenue generated by a customer over their relationship with the brand. A high CLV implies frequent and high-value purchases.
Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): It’s the overall customer satisfaction with the brand’s products, services, and shopping experience.
These KPIs are key to fostering long-lasting customer relationships and building thriving online brands.
By monitoring them, you can find out how you can make existing customers happy at each touchpoint, from product browsing and payment processing to shipping and post-purchase support.Best of all, it helps you discover ways to transform first-time shoppers into loyal advocates.
4 ecommerce benefits of customer loyalty
Loyal customers become brand ambassadors, driving more traffic to your shop.
This organic growth is valuable, as it affects your sales, expenditures, financial position, and market reputation over time.
Here are some reasons to build a loyal customer base:
Happy shoppers are big spenders. They splurge an average of $132 monthly on average with retailers who have earned their trust. That’s nearly twice as much as the $71 per month they spend on brands they give lower ratings to.
They’re also willing to explore other products or services, opening up more opportunities for you to cross-sell and upsell. Ultimately, this will help meet your sales goals, even when new competitors enter the market.
The Net Promoter Score’s creator, Frederick Reichheld, emphasized the importance of customer retention for cost savings and profitability.
His research revealed that an ecommerce apparel brand won’t profit from a single customer unless they shop 4 times. Meanwhile, it took an online grocer 18 months of customer retention to recoup over $80 in customer acquisition costs.
Acquiring new customers requires extensive marketing efforts. Think of first-time buyer discounts, free shipping advertisements, sponsorships, and influencer collaborations. Real profits only come after retaining new customers and breaking even on these disbursements.
Regardless of market fluctuations, over 65% of consumers who were satisfied with their purchases said they’d purchase from the same brand again. Among them, 43.4% will participate if the brand has a loyalty program.
This steady income stream can help you create more accurate financial forecasts and resource allocation plans. You’ll know when to replenish inventory, pay third-party vendors, and invest in ecommerce promotion strategies while maintaining a secure financial position.
Customers who have an excellent shopping experience are more likely to recommend your brand. Luckily, 88% of shoppers trust recommendations from people they know. This synergy of positive experiences and trusted referrals creates a powerful brand perception.
In a saturated market with fierce competition, ecommerce businesses compete for the same customer base. Loyal shoppers’ recommendations can amplify your otherwise limited reach, influence purchasing decisions, and perpetuate the positive word-of-mouth effect.
Customer loyalty favorably affects your sales, costs, financial position, and reputation. Now, here’s how shipping and logistics can help establish and strengthen that loyalty.
Impact of shipping and logistics on customer loyalty
Shipping and logistics aren’t only about moving products from Point A to Point B. It involves the intricate orchestration of various stages, from order processing, packaging, and tracking to timely communication.
Each step of this process can leave a lasting impression on customers and increase their brand loyalty. That’s where promotional shipping takes the lead.
What is promotional shipping?
Promotional shipping refers to strategic efforts to incentivize customer loyalty and satisfaction through shipping-related benefits. It involves exclusive free shipping ads, expedited delivery options, or additional perks like gift wrapping or personalized notes.
Analyze consumer behavior, research competitors’ offerings, or conduct direct customer surveys. These are some methods for determining the types of shipping-related benefits that will most appeal to your target audience.
But for reference, 62% of customers expect free shipping orders to arrive within three days. So offering something similar or better is one way to earn their goodwill.
4 shipping factors that can influence customer loyalty
Besides promotional shipping, several other non-marketing factors can help shape customer loyalty. Make sure you plan and optimize these 4 areas to enhance your buyers’ shipping experience and keep them coming back.
Do customers contact you with queries because they don’t know where their packages are? 86% of Americans believe transparency from businesses is more critical than ever before. It builds trust and alleviates anxiety, particularly among first-time buyers.
Consider investing in a reliable order-tracking system that provides real-time updates to customers. This tracking information should be easily accessible on your website or via email notifications.
This refers to the overall quality of the shipping process, including package condition, on-time delivery, and the delivery personnel’s professionalism. It influences customer loyalty in terms of reliability and care.
Select reliable shipping partners with a proven track record of on-time deliveries and excellent CS teams. Then, set your expectations and monitor their performance to ensure a consistent delivery experience.
Pro tip: regional parcel carriers can often provide a better delivery experience compared to national carriers. This is because they have a deeper understanding of their specific areas, can offer more personalized service, and are generally more flexible with handling unique delivery scenarios or challenges. They can also typically achieve quicker transit times due to a smaller geographical focus.
Returns and exchanges
A customer-friendly return and exchange policy fosters loyalty and encourages repeat purchases. In fact, this policy impacts 71% of American purchasing decisions.
Clear instructions, prepaid return labels, and a generous return window will help streamline your return process. Address each request as soon as possible. Above all, note the reasons for returns and identify any common issues or patterns to avoid them in the future.
82% of shoppers are willing to pay more for sustainable packaging. Well-designed, branded packaging not only protects the product, but also enhances the unboxing experience.
Use lightweight, eco-friendly packaging materials to reduce shipping costs and carbon emissions. Partner with shipping carriers that prioritize sustainable practices to align with your commitment to sustainability.
These factors ensure a smooth, hassle-free process from order to delivery. They make a good first impression, increasing the loyalty of both new and repeat customers to your brand.
Top ecommerce shipping strategies for building customer loyalty
Logistic challenges are often beyond your control once the package leaves your premise and is en route to the customer. Luckily, ecommerce shipping strategies can help you overcome these obstacles while facilitating healthy customer relationships.
Invest in reliable, timely shipping
Experiencing a lost package during delivery can be disheartening, causing frustration and eroding trust. Surprisingly, 19% of shoppers would cease shopping with a retailer following such an incident.
Tusk highly recommends leveraging regional parcel carriers for this exact reason. Unlike UPS, USPS, and FedEx, regional carriers offer faster last-mile delivery at lower costs. With their localized operations, they understand the local terrain, traffic conditions, and optimal delivery routes.
Does your business operate with multiple distribution centers and rely on various regional carriers? Tusk can streamline those processes for you. Our platform features full visibility and control over your shipments, ensuring they’re moving as expected to reach customers on time.
Regional parcel carriers
Can typically deliver in 1-2 days max.
Deliveries can take a day or over a week, depending on distance and shipping method.
Streamline tracking and communication
Not receiving purchase information like shipping dates and order details can be a major letdown for 45.1% of customers. Keep your customers in the loop throughout the order and shipment process. Send updates upon order confirmation, shipment, or if there are any unexpected delays or issues.
Tusk takes proactive measures to address potential issues before they escalate. Our team closely monitors the movement of packages, promptly flagging even the slightest delays. We keep you informed about customers’ parcels, so you’re never caught off guard if delivery challenges occur.
Leverage the power of free shipping
High delivery costs can deter customers from making online purchases. Statistically speaking, 62% of consumers won’t buy from a retailer without free shipping.
Investing in shipping advertisements through targeted free shipping emails is a savvy move to capture and retain customers. 47% of online shoppers don’t mind spending a certain amount to unlock free shipping—capitalize on it. Set a minimum order threshold for free shipping to meet customer expectations while increasing their AOV (Average Order Value).
With Tusk, you can also access pre-negotiated rates from top-tier regional carriers. Offer enticing free shipping ads while saving over 40% on per-parcel costs. Enhance customer experience, build lasting customer loyalty, and drive long-term success with us today.
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