5 Ways to Use Shipping Data to Enhance The Customer Experience


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The term “shipping data” can refer to many different aspects of your delivery system. The time it takes for your items to arrive and the route they take are both types of shipping data. The delivery fee you set is too, as is the number of parcels you send and how you send them.

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When you’re trying to use this sort of data to improve the customer experience, you need to consider everything. Shipping is innately tied to customer satisfaction. Even if an item arrives in great condition and does exactly what it needs to, a purchaser may still be annoyed if it turns up late or costs too much to deliver. 

You can examine the data you get from shipping your products to avoid these problems and enhance the customer experience. Below, you’ll find a few different areas where you can apply this information.

1. Accurate Delivery Times

When a customer is ordering an item from you that they can get elsewhere, you need to make sure they have a reason to pick your company over the competition. A good place to start is ensuring on-time delivery. To do this, you’ll need to examine your shipping data.

Your data will tell you how long your packages take to get from your warehouse into the hands of your customers. This will provide an estimated delivery time, which you should use to create a target. 

Receiving items on time is a must for customers, with successful businesses prioritizing consistency. For example, Amazon recommends that sellers try to deliver over 97 percent of deliveries on time.

Being able to provide an accurate estimate of delivery times can hugely improve the customer experience. You should be able to estimate this down to a range of a couple of days. The more specific you can be, the more information a customer will have and the easier it is for them to plan. This means they’ll be more confident when ordering from you.

2. Order Tracking

As stated above, the more delivery information your customers have, the better their experience. If you’re looking to further enhance this, you should also provide some form of order tracking. This can be done by analyzing shipping data. 

With most postal and courier systems, you can mark packages with a barcode, which is scanned at each point the parcel arrives at. Understanding barcodes is therefore the first step in creating a reliable order tracking system. You need to make sure you’re familiar with the barcode scanning system and the data it provides, so you can find out where your items stop on the way to your customers. 

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The next step is making this information available to them. You can create a tracking page on your website or app. The most common method is to provide a tracking code for customers to input that shows the location of their parcel. 

If you use a courier or public postal system to send your products, you may be able to use their tracking system instead of having to make your own. 

3. Preventing Fraud 

Fraud is a huge roadblock in the order to cash process i.e. the process of receiving payment and then fulfilling customer orders. A problem that affects this process can destabilize your entire business, and this instability negatively impacts the customer experience. 

As such, eliminating fraud is in you and your customers’ best interests. Luckily, you can use shipping data to minimize this.  

Although you can’t prevent all types of fraud with shipping data, you can minimize fraud related to shipping rerouting. This is when an order is made with a stolen card and sent to an undeliverable address. Once the delivery fails, the fraudster arranges the delivery to be sent to their address.

If you keep a close eye on your shipping data, you can see when this happens and institute checks to stop any rerouting that appears to be fraudulent. By cutting down on fraud, you improve customer confidence in your business, which in turn improves the customer experience when shopping with you.

4. Decreasing Cart Abandonment

Cart abandonment is a common problem for eCommerce retailers. In 2020, 57.6 percent of created shopping carts were abandoned before purchase. Although this number may not be as high for your website, reducing cart abandonment is a key part of improving sales figures. Shipping data can help with this.

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In 49 percent of cases, carts were abandoned because extra costs were too high. You have direct control over your shipping prices, so if you find you have high cart abandonment, try reducing these. Similarly, carts can be abandoned due to slow delivery times, so use whatever resources you have to make your deliveries as fast as possible.

Using shipping data to reduce cart abandonment indirectly enhances the consumer experience, as the fixes you make to reduce abandonment – namely faster, cheaper shipping – are sure to make your customers happier. 

5. Price Comparisons

When looking to improve the customer experience, try to draw inspiration from all sources. For instance, there’s a lot you can learn from looking at your competitors. When it comes to shipping data, specifically examine their delivery prices and times.

Using your competitor’s shipping data is valuable as it gives you a target for your own shipping with regard to speed and cost. If you can offer faster, cheaper shipping than other retailers in your market, you’ll quickly see an increase in sales.

Again, this will enhance the customer experience indirectly. Your customers may not benefit from the analysis of your competitor’s shipping data, but they will benefit from the changes you make because of this. 

Focus On Customers

If you’re looking to make drastic changes to your shipping and logistics based on shipping data, it might be wise to utilize process discovery tools after these changes are made. This will help you to map out your new shipping procedures and identify any obvious flaws that have arisen due to them.

However, don’t undo anything if you’ve not checked the impact it’s had on the customer experience first. Slight inefficiencies or even slightly reduced profits are sometimes worth a large increase in customer satisfaction and the long-term benefits this can deliver.

Nick Shaw
Nick Shaw has been Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of Brightpearl, the number one retail-focused digital operations platform which encompasses sales, accounting, logistics, CRM and more, since July 2019 and is responsible for EMEA Sales, Global Marketing and Alliances. Before joining Brightpearl, Nick was GM and Vice President of the EMEA Consumer business at Symantec and was responsible for a $500m revenue business.


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