We could spend all day talking about shipping tips, so instead, let’s focus on a single suggestion that can distinguish your brand from the pack: make the user’s experience personal.
Here are ways to use shipping to create personal experiences for your customers.
Use quality packaging for a positive first impression
When an online order arrives, I’m always excited to unpack it. From there, my enthusiasm can multiply or drop.
For example, the last two things I ordered online were a wall decal and a Glif tripod mount and stand for my iPhone. The decal arrived in a plain mailing envelope that held a flimsy damaged box containing the decal. The product served its function, but I don’t remember the brand and therefore won’t seek it out for future purchases.
In contrast, it was clear that thought had gone into packaging the Glif. In developing its packaging, co-founder Dan Provost explained, “We wanted it to be simple (unsurprisingly) and include instructions for using the Glif [...]. In the end, it became a simple die-cut craftboard card, printed on both sides with black ink. The shape of the Glif allowed it to stay in the card without any additional adhesive or attachments.”
The Glif could have been tossed in a plain envelope, but the product would have seemed cheap, thus communicating a negative message about the brand. Instead, the attention toward design speaks for itself. Upon receiving it, I felt like I had purchased a quality product from a brand that cares — that’s how loyal customers are born.
Communicate throughout the process and afterward
Once an order is placed, communicate through every step of the fulfillment process. Send notifications at these stages:
1) After purchase - Confirm the order and literally say ‘thank you’ for the customer’s business.
2) Once shipped - Send a notification when the order has shipped. Include expected arrival and tracking information.
3) After delivery - Confirm the order arrived. Say thanks again for their business and ask them to return, tell their friends, and write a review.
4) Stay in touch - Maintain customer relationships with periodical emails (announcements, special offers, discounts, etc.).
Say thank you
Consider including thank you notes with orders. The best crafted emails don’t hold a candle to personal thank you notes (depending on the size of operations, handwrite or templatize them). The extra effort will be noticed.
And if you’re dealing with an insert, use the opportunity include information about the purchased product or your company history. These small gestures demonstrate that you value the customer’s business and are interested in maintaining it.
Implementing these tips to personalize customer experience requires extra consideration, but a little more thought can result in big payoffs. Give it a try and see what you find. And let us know if you have any ideas to add to ours!
About the Author
Lauren Jow is a marketing analyst at Shipwire, a global fulfillment services provider with fulfillment centers in the USA, Europe, Canada, and Asia. Shipwire lets brands of all sizes grow sales, expand into new markets, and delight their customers by eliminating the hassles of shipping and storage.