Over the last year so much of our daily lives have changed. One of the things that seems to surprise people is how difficult it can be, or how long it can now take to receive items. Whether it be a delay due simply to shipping, or a delay due to one or more pieces in the production chain, the way we get things has slowed down over the last year.
While this trend may be widespread, if you have an eCommerce website your customers might not be so understanding. Consumers have been spoiled by services like Amazon and expect their orders to be delivered yesterday. Overnight delivery and free shipping aren’t the default for all orders and it can be easy for customers to forget that.
When there are disruptions, it is best to communicate shipping and supply changes to customers with proactive explanations. A person’s experience on your site will impact any future business with them. It’s likely out of your control, but if it takes four weeks for a customer to receive something they ordered, it will reflect poorly on your business.
The customer service component of a shopping experience is important in both brick and mortar stores as well as online shops. If a customer walks into a store, most businesses would not let them stand staring at products for four minutes, let alone four weeks. Addressing delays related to your website in thoughtful ways can help create a positive customer experience, even if the problems are outside of your control. Here are a few suggestions of ways you can help mitigate shipping delays while creating a helpful eCommerce experience:
- Provide detailed explanations on your website explaining why your process might be different or why there are delays
- Over communicate throughout the customer journey and make sure they know what is going on. It’s okay to remind your online customers a few times about the situation.
- Include notes on affected products so users can make an informed decision before they make a purchase. If there’s a four week lead time, communicate that up front.
- Change shipping settings to reflect the current arrival times. Better not offer certain shipping options if carriers have had trouble providing reliable deliveries lately.
- Offer discounts to customers who are willing to wait and have their orders shipped with slower shipping options
Intentional steps like these can help address any disruptions your eCommerce business is currently experiencing, but creating an atmosphere of helpful communication with your online customers can go a long way. While delivery delays and supply chain limitations may be out of your control, you can meet those problems and let your customers know. By providing a helpful shopping experience, you can impact the situation for the better.