How fast shipping programs help eCommerce sellers compete with great customer service?
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For eCommerce sellers, competing on price means hitting a point where you just aren’t profitable anymore…or at least not enough to justify your hard work.
Not only is it tough to compete on price, eCommerce marketplaces lose out on revenue as well if prices drop.
That’s why marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and more have shifted towards providing great customer experience instead. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for better service and 75% have spent more with a company thanks to a history of positive customer service experiences.
If marketplaces and sellers with their own online stores can get customer experience right, they gain a competitive advantage without having to drop prices. It enables you to deliver a better quality product, work with happier customers, and increase loyalty.
There are different components of customer experience, including after-purchase support, ease of use, and fulfillment. In this article, we’ll be focusing on how to use fast fulfillment to boost your customer service, stay competitive, and increase conversions.
Why is fast shipping so important?
Simply put, fast shipping contributes to the customer experience. It gets conversions, reduces cart abandonment, and protects your pricing. Here are some statistics about fast shipping that all eCommerce sellers should pay attention to.
- 25% of shoppers would abandon a cart online if same-day shipping wasn’t available (Source)
- 96% of shoppers would shop with a retailer again after a positive delivery experience (Source)
- 61% of shoppers are willing to pay more for same-day delivery and 49% are says same-day delivery makes them more likely to shop online (Source)
- 26% of shoppers abandoned their carts due to long shipping times (Source)
- 18% of shoppers say that fast delivery is the biggest factor for choosing their favorite store (Source)
Fast shipping programs: What does fast fulfillment mean in eCommerce?
To understand what constitutes as fast shipping today, let’s take a look at the fast shipping programs across marketplaces. Amazon Prime promises 2-day shipping, same day delivery, and even 2-hour shipping for eligible zip codes.
eBay and Walmart have emerged with their own fast shipping programs as well, called eBay Guaranteed Delivery (eGD) and Walmart Free 2-Day Shipping.
Walmart’s fast shipping program, as the name implies, promises free 2-day shipping on eligible items. Getting this tag is valuable for visibility, search rankings, and is an indicator of a good, reliable customer experience. It shows up in three places; search results, item descriptions, and above the “Add to Cart” button.
Looking more closely at the search results above, you may also notice that 8 out of the 10 top results have the green 2-day shipping tag, even without having filtered for it. This is a key finding, as we discovered that marketplaces reward fast fulfillment with higher search result rankings, even if shoppers don’t specifically filter for it.
eBay Guaranteed Delivery provides guaranteed delivery dates of 4 or fewer days.
Tip: For the best results, aim for 3 days or less to get through the 3-day filter.
Now that there’s an option to Group Similar Listings on eBay, sellers need any competitive advantage they can get to stand out in the search results or make it past customer experience filters.
This feature allows shoppers to group items from different sellers, reducing the number of listings but also reducing the visibility of many sellers.
How to achieve fast shipping?
The big question regarding logistics is: To outsource or fulfill in-house?
Getting items to customers is not necessarily a difficult thing, but it is complicated and takes a lot of moving parts working together to avoid mistakes. However, getting items to customers quickly is harder.
If you decide to handle fulfillment in-house, not only do you need to have a great infrastructure set up, you’ll have to deal with fluctuating demand and talent management.
You also need to select your warehouses carefully, figure out where your demand is greatest (and when), and negotiate your own rates with carriers. This option gives you the most control, but comes with the most risk.
Tip: If you want to focus on speed, forgo those branded boxes!
Outsourcing fulfillment to a reliable partner is your other option. Amazon sellers can go with the reliable FBA, and multi-channel sellers might choose to go with a 3PL or Deliverr. Study your fulfillment costs for each of these options to protect your profits.
- FBA is a quick, reliable, and easy way for Amazon sellers to fulfill quickly and get on Prime. However, it works best for Amazon. FBA does have a multi-channel option, but their rates are higher than the Amazon-exclusive FBA, which can cut into your profit margins as well. They also use Amazon-branded boxes, which means sellers cannot use this option for other popular marketplaces.
- A typical 3PL can be a good choice to take fulfillment off your hands, but watch out for hidden fees. It’s also important to find a 3PL that can accomodate your fast shipping orders at a reliable rate, since all the fast shipping programs have ongoing service level agreements to remain eligible.
- Deliverr is an outsourced fulfillment solution that is focused on fast shipping. We built our infrastructure and processes around programs like eGD and Walmart 2-day, and we integrate directly into these platforms to make getting those fast shipping tags as easy and straightforward for sellers. We also provide flat-rate, all-inclusive fees so you’ll understand your costs from day 1.
We hope these tips will help you boost your eCommerce business, get more sales, and ultimately help you grow.
More from CedCommerce:
- How to reduce fulfillment time?
- International Shipping Tips to make it Easier this festive season
- Here is why you should join Walmart’s 2-day delivery program?