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nShift Study Pinpoints Five Steps to Success for Retailers Ahead of Peak Shopping Season

  • 95% of shoppers have abandoned their cart

  • 63% of shoppers say delivery choice is the most important factor when shopping online 

  • High delivery costs compel 62% of shoppers to abandon purchases 

With retailers’ preparations for peak shopping season well underway, nShift, the world leader in delivery & experience management (DMXM) software, underscores the importance of the delivery experience for customers. A new consumer study, conducted by Retail Week in partnership with nShift, uncovered just how critical this element of ecommerce is to the success of retailers.

‘Shopper Unlocked: inside the minds of 1,000 consumers’ finds that 95% of shoppers have abandoned a shopping basket. High delivery costs are by far the most popular reason for basket abandonment with 62% of shoppers citing this reason. Almost a quarter (23%) of shoppers blamed a complicated checkout process while poor delivery timeframes and unsatisfactory returns policies were also highlighted as an issue for around 20% of shoppers.

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The study finds customers prize convenience above many other aspects of the customer experience. Being able to choose the time and date of delivery is by far the most influential factor for respondents, with nearly two-thirds (63%) deeming it important. A similar proportion(62%) agreed they would not buy again after a single bad delivery experience.

David Carey, SVP Customer Experience at nShift, said, “These results hammer home just how little patience most consumers have for bad delivery experiences – and how important it is for retailers to get deliveries right every time. As we move into the second half of the year, and the peak shopping season, the most successful retailers are likely going to be those that focus on delivery & experience management as a business-critical point of difference.”

Five steps to peak ecommerce success

To best prepare for the forthcoming peak shopping period, nShift offers the following five tips for retailers:

  1. Offer a broad range of delivery choices – To delight all customers, retailers must offer a broad range of fulfilment options, with a choice of delivery cost, time and location. Doing so can increase conversions by 20%
  2. Clearly communicate on returns – Despite being overwhelmingly popular with shoppers, offering free returns may not make good business sense to all retailers. But, whatever your returns policy, it must be clearly communicated and well-signposted on your website.
  3. Use returns to your advantage – Returns over peak period are inevitable. However, with the right processes in place that provide a slick and seamless customer experience, retailers don’t need to take a hit on revenues and, instead, can convert up to 30% of returns-related refunds into exchanges and repeat custom.
  4. Take ownership of the post-purchase experiences – The relationship with the customer doesn’t end at the checkout – that’s just the start. Tactics like personalized communications, branded messaging and real-time tracking all contribute to creating a joined-up post-purchase experience that builds customer loyalty and creates repeat customers
  5. Ensure your core delivery management capability is up to scratch – Retailers must have access to multi-carrier capability to ensure transport capacity during busy periods. They need to make sure they give shoppers the range of delivery options they seek, including a local pick-up point.

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Carey concluded, “Customers expect delivery to be sculpted around their lifestyle. It will be no different as peak season draws near. Being match-fit for peak season depends on taking the right steps now, so retailers can truly differentiate through deliveries.”

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