Odds are good that if you deal with e-commerce, you probably know that your site has about 3 seconds to load before people look elsewhere. It’s a telling statement about customers’ patience with not getting what they want. That impatience, unfortunately, can transfer over to shipping.
With companies like Amazon touting their “free” two-day shipping through Prime, it sets up expectations that most businesses believe they cannot meet. While it’s true that most businesses cannot float shipping costs until things even out the way Amazon does, you can customize your delivery options for better results with customers.
Not sure how? Keep reading for a breakdown of ways that you can improve customization options.
It’s very tempting for a business to develop a relationship with one primary delivery service. After a while, you know their offerings almost as well as they do. Plus, most delivery services offer small business programs that can get you discounts.
Despite those advantages, one of the ways that some businesses customize delivery options is through carrier choices. They let the customer decide which carrier will deliver their package. Sometimes that might mean the USPS, and sometimes it means the customer goes with UPS delivery options.
Giving the customer choices about the carrier helps get their buy-in on the choice and reduces friction over the pricing.
A lot of businesses shy away from offering more than one or two speed choices. It’s often a choice between standard delivery of around a week and some kind of priority delivery that happens in two or three days.
This takes some of the pressure off of small businesses that may not have the staffing for rushed delivery preparation every single day. Yet, offering expedited options like overnight again gives the customer a sense of control over the process and encourages buy-in on their part.
The above two options make a few assumptions. The biggest assumption is that any packages you send out are for home delivery shipping.
That means packages that are small enough that any carrier can realistically deliver them. While true for most small businesses, it’s not true for every small business.
If you deal with particularly heavy loads, it can drastically limit your options. Instead of multiple carrier choices, your customers might end up choosing between things like LTL, rail, or hot shot trucking. Even if those are the only choices, letting the customer decide or customize will almost always make them happier.
Delivery Options and Your Business
Customers show a lot less patience with things than they did even 15 or 20 years ago. Websites should load almost instantaneously. Delivery should happen fast and preferably free.
While your average small business can’t offer fast and free shipping, it can do the next best thing. Let your customers customize their shipping.
Whether you let them pick their carrier, pick the delivery speed, or both, offering delivery options brings them into the process and improves their satisfaction.
Looking for more business management tips? Check out the posts in our Business section.