Have you ever thought about how your current shipping choices are impacting your ecommerce business? While global ecommerce is on the rise, there are things your company might be doing – or, not doing – that are costing you customers and causing you to miss out on the benefits that this industry has to offer.
Your company’s international shipping process might be standing in the way of gaining new and repeat customers. It is crucial for your business to know and recognize signs that your shipping practices are causing customers to abandon their carts or seek out your competitors.
Global ecommerce sales currently amount to over $3.4 trillion annually, and experts project this number will grow to over $4.8 trillion by 2021. Make sure that your business is able to tap into this growing market by looking for ways to improve your international shipping performance.
The simplest way to determine whether or not your customers are satisfied with your shipping practices is to evaluate your feedback and your website metrics. Making a habit of checking these areas will help you pinpoint any shipping issues so that you can steer your shipping in a different direction.
Evaluating your feedback
The biggest clue that might show that you need to improve your international shipping process is right under your nose. A visit to your website’s comment section, social media comments or public ratings program will let you know exactly how your customers feel about your existing shipping performance.
Look for comments related to shipping fees, shipment tracking, transit time, ease (or difficulty) of product returns, and any other feedback related to delivery. Evaluating this information is the first step toward making improvements because this type of feedback is easy to understand and will help you identify problems quickly. If there are patterns or repeat comments that indicate that multiple customers are experiencing the same issues, you will know exactly what you need to fix.
Here are some specific comments that should immediately grab your attention if you see them within your customer feedback:
Complaints about high shipping fees
This is pretty self-explanatory! If you are seeing several comments mentioning that your shipping fees are too high, you need to adjust your shipping process. Conduct some benchmarking by comparing your practices with those of your direct competitors. Try offering different shipping options so that customers are able to pay less based on whether they want fast, moderate, or slow transit times. High shipping fees kill profitability, so it is important to make changes right away.
Complaints about missed shipping commitments
If you see comments of this nature, it might indicate that your company is not able to process orders and get them ready for pickup as fast as promised. Figure out what adjustments you need to make in order to process orders faster or make sure your customers are clear about your transit times before they make a purchase.
Complaints about shipment tracking
Check your comments for customers mentioning issues with tracking shipments. Although this issue might be rare given the universal expectation of online tracking, the inability to track orders has the potential to upset customers. 88% of consumers want to be able to track their shipments in real-time, so companies that do not offer this feature are likely missing out on gaining and retaining new customers.
If your company does offer product tracking, make sure that the tracking is accurate and that customers are not having any issues figuring out exactly when their package will arrive.
Complaints about unexpected customs duties and taxes
Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than to realize that there are additional, unexpected fees they must pay in order to receive their items. If you ship your packages Delivered Duties Unpaid (DDU), your customers will likely receive a bill for any unpaid duties and taxes that are owed on a product. Because these costs were not paid upfront during the checkout process, customers are responsible for paying these fees upon delivery.
Not only does these fees upset customers, but they also prevent customers from receiving an item if they refuse to pay the fees they owe. This damages the relationship between your company and your customers, and it is a major reason why customers might not make repeat purchases from your ecommerce store.
Evaluating your website metrics
You cannot argue with data! Look at your website metrics to determine the areas that need improvement when it comes to your international shipping performance.
Cart abandonment rates
Your ecommerce store’s cart abandonment rate refers to the percentage of shoppers that leave your site without making a purchase even though they placed at least one item in their shopping cart. The average cart abandonment rate is approximately 69.57%. If your company has a high cart abandonment rate, it most likely has something to do with your shipping practices. In fact, roughly 55% of consumers abandon their carts due to extra or high shipping costs, taxes, and fees.
By tracking cart abandonment rates on your site, you will be able to get a better idea about whether or not you have priced your shipping rates competitively.
Use your website data and analytics to figure out how frequently customers make repeat purchases. While this indicator is tricky because it is dependent on the types of items you sell, it can be helpful if you sell items that customers tend to replenish regularly.
If your customers are satisfied with your products and the experience that had with your business, you should expect to see a reasonable number of repeat customers. However, if their experience was poorly influenced by factors like your shipping rates, delivery time, or unexpected duties and taxes, they are unlikely to return to your ecommerce store in the future. They might even become repeat customers for one of your competitors.
Improving your international shipping process through Zenda
If you noticed any of the aforementioned issues after evaluating your feedback and metrics, you are probably wondering what you can do to solve these problems and improve your customer’s shipping experiences.
The best way to address these issues and take your shipping process to the next level is to use Zenda. Zenda is a shipping provider that works through British Airways to help people like you ship your products from the United States to Europe. Through Zenda, you can eliminate several of the shipping issues that are causing you to lose out on customers and revenue.
Delivered Duties Paid (DDP) shipping
You can help customers avoid surprises by shipping your packages through Zenda’s Delivered Duties Paid (DDP) shipping process. This means that customers are able to pay their total costs upfront when they checkout on your website rather than upon delivery. With DDP shipping, customers are no longer subject to the unexpected shipping fees, taxes and duties, or landed costs that can cause them to cut ties with a business.
Zenda allows customers to track their packages from your warehouse all the way to their front door. With up to 60 tracking updates available, customers will never have to wonder where their package is or how long it will take to arrive.
Because Zenda uses British Airways aircraft, there is no need for your business to worry about paying extra surcharge fees, fuel costs, or other expenses that come with Express providers. Zenda is 30% to 50% less expensive than other express providers, which allows you to offer your customers lower shipping prices.
Fast shipping options
Zenda helps businesses keep their transit times low. With over 40 flights a day out of 20 US airports, Zenda helps guarantee that your customers will receive their products within four to eight days. When you use Zenda, you can avoid losing customers due to slow shipping times and gain satisfied, repeat customers instead.
Find out more about Zenda and how you can use this shipping provider to turn your international shipping around by contacting our team today.