customer retentionWe’re living in the middle of an ecommerce boom. Online retail was expected to grow 16.5% in 2020, but it ended up exploding by nearly 28%. In some parts the world we saw 10 years of ecommerce growth in the space of 3 months. 

High demand is great news, but couple that with increased competition and shrinking customer retention rates and things get more complicated. In today’s All-Delivery economy, delivery experience is the most important differentiator. In our Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report 202164% of retailers say that post-purchase experience is a high priority for them in 2021. Here’s why it should be for your brand too, and where you should start. 

Convenient delivery options 

There’s a reason why ecommerce has been steadily growing for decades: it’s convenient. So it’s no surprise that the most convenient delivery options have been shown to increase conversions by 38%. The challenge is, convenience means different things to different customers. This is especially true for retailers trading across borders. According to our Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report 2021cost is the most important factor for consumers in the US and the UK, while speed is more important in France in Germany. 

Increasingly, sustainability is becoming an important deciding factor. In the same report, 32% of consumers say they value sustainability more when shopping online than practical factors such as cost and speed. As lockdowns gradually start to open around the world, more environmentally friendly options like Click and collect, PUDOs and lockers, will become more and more popular. 

Offering a range of convenient delivery options is a winning strategy to ensure a delivery experience worthy of customer retention. Ideally these should be personalized for each shopper based on their location and preferences. 

Dependable delivery timeframes 

It’s not just the delivery mode that matters, but also the delivery timeframe. We’ve already mentioned that speed is the most important delivery factor for consumers in Germany and France. What we haven’t mentioned is that its importance is rising. In our Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark report last year, 19% of French consumers and 17% of German consumers ranked it as the top factor. This year those figures have risen to 37% and 41% respectively, while 33% of people overall ranked it as their key delivery consideration when ordering online. 

Displaying accurate delivery timeframes alongside delivery modes give customers peace of mind they’ll receive their order when they need it, and incentive to buy nowBut it also builds confidence in your brand, helping to increase customer retentionOf course, this requires a delivery management system perfectly synchronized with your warehouse management system. 

Easy to follow tracking 

Consumers may be flocking online, but that doesn’t mean they’re having a great time of it. In our Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report 202181% of consumers say they had a bad delivery experience last year. That’s 5 times more than the year before. Consumers were understanding of shortages and delays at the beginning of the pandemic, but their patience is waning. 

Delays are frustrating enough as it is. Lack of transparency is unforgivable. In fact, it’s experiences like these that lead customers to turn their back on brands for goodUser-friendly tracking enables customers to follow their order from start to finish, leaving them feeling informed about its progress at all times. Indeed, the same report showed tracking is overwhelmingly valued by consumers, with 87% saying it is important or very important to them. 

In the All-Delivery economy, delivery experience is your chance to stand out. Accurate delivery timeframes, a range of delivery options (including more sustainable ones), and user-friendly tracking  these have long been important factors for customers, but in 2021 they will be indispensable to retail growth. As for retailers lucky enough to have acquired new customers during the pandemic, these factors will be crucial to retaining them. 

For more insights to thrive in the All-Delivery economy, read the Metapack Ecommerce Delivery Benchmark Report 2021.