E-commerce: 5 tips to improve the customer experience during peak purchase times

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The sale seasons, or year-end periods, represent a busy time for all e-merchants, they also account for a large part of their annual revenues! As an e-merchant, you need to be prepared for this. Take advantage of these crucial times by following our key shipping tips to make your sales a success during these shopping peaks.

Best practices to prepare your e-commerce activity

Whether it’s the holidays or the sales season that’s approaching, online purchases are multiplying. Customers are fleeing crowded stores and queues to shop online. You have to be prepared to provide for their needs. In this article, we will give our recommendations to prepare your shipments properly and optimise your sales during your commercial operations!

1. Be on top of things when it comes to delivery

Making sure customers receive their orders on time and allowing them to return them simply is the best way to retain them. Offer different delivery methods (including click & collect, if you have a physical store; home delivery, and pickup points). Offer shipment tracking and notifications with every change in order status. You can also offer free delivery for purchases above a certain amount.

2. Offer and respect delivery deadlines before busy periods of activity!

Reassure your visitors with shipping deadlines so that they can benefit from guaranteed delivery before Christmas or a specific date, and fast delivery the rest of the time.

Centralise orders from different marketplaces on a single platform, such as Lengow or ShipStation. Then, you can visualise and manage all your orders using a standardised and automated system. You can save time in sending your packages, thus meeting the expectations of the increasing demands of customers in terms of deliveries.

Article Lengow x ShipStation

3. Offer favourable return and exchange conditions 

Returns are an excellent opportunity to retain your customers during times of high commercial operations. Offer returns for free with easily accessible labels. In exceptional cases, you can also extend the return and exchange deadlines. For example, for Christmas purchases, you can offer an exceptional period of one month or more. 

Offer your customers several possibilities for returns: at a post office, pickup point, through a mailbox drop, etc.

Inform your consumers about your return policy before they order, so they feel reassured. For example, set up a page or FAQ on your website dedicated to returns that are easily accessible.

4. Check your inventory

Running out of stock would be a huge inconvenience at this time of year! Make sure you have enough inventory for the products you’re selling. You can also indicate the number of products remaining in stock to your visitors, this has the benefit of being clear and informative, and generally helps to encourage purchases.

5. Provide attentive service and real-time communication 

Offer gift wrapping for a set price. The ability to bill to a different address is also helpful. It allows you to have a gift delivered directly to the recipient. In addition, don’t forget to communicate with your customers about the tracking of their packages, keep them informed right the way from the time they make the order, through the shipment and to the final delivery.  With things like personalized email deliveries and notification by text message, there are so many possibilities to stay in touch with your customers and satisfy them. 

Practical implementation: Concrete solutions

Is your online store ready to direct your customers to your flagship products? Once everything is in place, it would be a shame not to let all this potential go to waste because of a logistical setback. 

That’s why placing this process in the hands of an expert can be a winning solution. ShipStation is a logistics management solution dedicated to e-commerce. It takes care of managing your orders and deliveries for you. The ShipStation x Lengow connector allows you to centralise all orders from Lengow on the ShipStation platform. Once this connection is established, the importing of the orders is done automatically and the transport labels for each of the orders can be generated automatically.

That way, you ensure your customers will have an optimal experience, and you’ll also save time so you can focus on your site, your communications strategy, and your marketing!

Image: Pexels

Contact

Andrew Norman, Managing Director - ShipStation International

Andrew is responsible for global expansion within the Stamps family of companies in EMEA and ANZ, overseeing the sales, marketing and go to market plans for the ShipStation and ShipEngine products. Andrew has held sales and marketing leadership roles in Europe, North America and Asia over the last 25 years in VC backed, high growth technology companies including Volo and MessageLabs (acquired by Symantec). He began his career at Gartner Group in London working with European technology companies before transferring to Silicon Valley, working with the major US hardware and software vendors.

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