Last-Mile Delivery is Reshaping the Consumer Buying Experience
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Nov 11, 2022
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Most e-commerce sellers have figured out that the consumer buying experience extends beyond checkout. Today, doorstep delivery is the final touchpoint in an online sale, and the quality of that delivery experience can have a huge impact on a consumer’s perception of a brand.
The bare minimum expectation for consumers is getting the package delivered to the right door on the right day. But in a world where a growing number of brands are competing for the same consumers, why would brand’s risk their reputation by offering the bare minimum?
That is where AxleHire comes in. The last-mile delivery company helps e-commerce businesses extend the brand experience right to the consumer’s doorsteps, reshaping the customer buying experience and delivering superior communication that retail consumers crave.
Simple Ways Brands Can Enhance the Consumer Buying Experience
There are some relatively simple ways that brands can enhance the customer buying experience and boost their brand reputation.
Customized packaging enhances brand reputation
The first thing your customer sees when they open their box is the packaging itself. Is your product inside plain, utilitarian packaging? That’s so 2010. Apple knows better. Their attention to packaging is legendary, to the point that they spawned a whole new category on YouTube—unboxing videos. The unboxing is part of the customer experience, and it aligns with Apple’s brand image.
You probably won’t spend the money Apple does on design, but you can learn from their example. Your packaging is an opportunity to communicate a message about your brand—your attention to detail, your corporate values, etc. For example, is your packaging and void fill made of recyclable materials? If so, why not print a message that prominently displays your logo and commitment to sustainability somewhere inside your package?
If you’re skeptical, or you think thoughtful packaging is only relevant to big ticket items or luxury brands, pick your favorite meal kit brand, go to YouTube, and search for unboxing videos. Watch carefully how the packaging and unboxing experience influences the reviewer’s perception of the brand. Those videos routinely get tens of thousands of views.
Real-time shipping tracking and branded tracking page
So why, when I want to know where my package is at any point in time, are you sending me to your carrier’s website to track my package?
In 2022, the ability to offer white-label tracking should be entry-level table stakes for last-mile delivery providers. For you as a seller, tracking is another opportunity to directly connect and communicate with your customers on a branded page with your logo and your messaging.
It’s not difficult to provide e-commerce businesses with simple APIs to retrieve package status updates. You provide your consumer with a link that brings them to your branded tracking page, invoke a web service that retrieves package statuses, and then your customers can see the status of their packages in near real-time. And while you have the consumer on your page, you can communicate more than just the package status. It’s another opportunity to boost your brand.
Real-time communication solves last-mile delivery issues
Most of us don’t avoid looking at our phones when we get a message alert. In 2022, SMS is the most direct way to communicate with your customers about delivery status changes or issues. So, the question becomes, should those messages come from a third-party carrier, or directly from you?
Sending SMS messages is a given, but does your carrier provide the opportunity to customize and white-label those messages? Does your proof-of-delivery text include a delivery photo and a “thank you for your purchase and hope to see you again soon” message? If not, is that by choice or is that option not available from your current shipping carrier?
Taking it a step further, allowing your customers and drivers to communicate directly by SMS in real time can reduce or resolve delivery issues as they occur. Giving customer service reps visibility to issues in real time can reduce undeliverable returns. It’s just a matter of having the right technology and integrations in place to move messages back and forth between the shipper, the carrier, and the customer. The absolute best way to maintain your great brand reputation is to solve a problem before it happens.
Delivery windows add convenience to the customer shipping process
It may seem like a small thing, but picture yourself sitting around all day waiting for a package that arrives at 7 pm, and then think about what your day might have been like if the morning’s message had said, “Your package is out for delivery and should arrive between 5 and 8 pm.”
Giving your customer a smaller, more predictable 2- to 3-hour delivery window is yet another way to make the delivery more convenient and to boost your brand’s reputation. You need only look for a delivery company that can provide your customers with delivery windows, such as AxleHire.
Importance of a good consumer delivery experience for e-commerce retailers
A poor delivery experience can result in customer service calls, one-star reviews, and possible customer churn that can quickly damage your brand reputation. In fact, one recent survey suggested that more than 80% of consumers would consider walking away from your brand after a bad delivery experience. However, customer satisfaction for delivery of goods can translate to repeat and loyal customers and an overall better consumer buying experience.
Today, e-commerce businesses’ delivery process is key to a positive consumer buying experience and the consumer’s overall experience with the brand. Thinking about what happens at your customers’ doorsteps provides a great opportunity to reinforce brand messaging and set your brand apart from your competitors. Carriers such as AxleHire can partner with your brand to provide a great customer delivery experience that is memorable for all the right reasons.