How Shipping Notifications Enhance the Customer Experience

05 July 2022
by Cieron Bradbury

Customer Experience

Your customer experience is one of the most powerful ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a loyal customer base.

It’s also easy to lose customers if it isn’t up to scratch. In fact, almost one-third of customers will leave their favourite brands after a single bad experience.

The importance of improving the retail customer experience is huge. As you will know, the customer experience doesn’t stop at check out, in reality, it’s only just getting started.

A customer’s decision to shop with you again can hinge on how quickly you deliver their products and how well you communicate with them. That makes shipping notifications a key part of the post-purchase experience and an easy way to improve customer satisfaction.

What Are Shipping Notifications and Why Do They Matter

Shipping notifications (also called shipment notifications or delivery updates) are messages sent to customers that update them on their order status.

The type and quantity of shipping notifications vary significantly between brands. Some will only send a single update after an order has been dispatched. Others will notify customers at every step of the journey.

Why Are Shipping Notifications Important?

A great shipping strategy is key if you want to build trust with customers and convert one-time buyers into loyal customers. The vast majority (98%) of shoppers say delivery impacts brand loyalty, and just one poor delivery experience can be enough to make eight in 10 shoppers unlikely to trust a brand.

Getting products to customers within your specified timeframe is obviously a key part of what makes a great shipping experience. But equally important is regularly updating customers about their shipping. As we’ll see, proactive updates can even make the best of a bad situation, improving the experience when everything else goes wrong.

How Do Shipping Notifications Improve the Customer Experience?

Most customers (82%) care about retailers communicating with them at every stage of their order. They also want a wide range of tracking methods, including email and SMS. Shipping notifications don’t just improve the customer experience by giving your users what they want. They also do the following…

Reduce WISMO Calls

WISMO stands for “Where is my order?” It is one of the most common questions your customers will have if they’re having a poor customer experience. But that’s not the only issue. Higher volumes of WISMO calls put more pressure on your customer service team, which can increase customer support costs.

Regular shipping updates keep customers abreast of their order status, allowing them to track orders themselves without having to contact your customer support team. Even if customers aren’t happy with the time it takes to receive their product, at least they aren’t left wondering where their product is in the process.
You don’t want the last interaction you have with customers to be a request for payment or an order receipt. A lack of meaningful communication beyond this hardly makes customers want to shop with you again.

Increase Customer Engagement

Sending timely reminders to customers about the status of their order is an easy way to meaningfully engage customers and reinforce the fact that you care about them. These messages also prime the customer to receive future messages from your brand.
Whether it’s because of the rise in package theft or the fact that they’re ordering from a foreign brand, some customers will worry about the state of their purchase until it’s safely in their hands.

Reduce Buyer Anxiety

You can reduce that anxiety by providing regular updates on their order status. An order confirmation email will immediately dissuade any fears about making their purchase. A dispatch email will reassure them their product is on its way, and regular updates will continue to delight them until their parcel turns up on their doorstep.
The last thing you want is an undeliverable notification from your carrier. Undeliverables increase costs and significantly reduce customer satisfaction. And they are much more likely to occur when you fail to give regular shipping updates.

Prevent Missed Deliveries

Multiple shipping notifications let customers know when their parcel is arriving, allowing them to ensure they’re home to receive it. If they won’t be, they have enough time to make alternative arrangements like describing a safe place for the courier to leave it or rearranging the delivery date completely.

How to Make Your Shipping Notifications As Great as Possible

Sending regular shipping updates is only the start of using post-purchase communication to improve the customer experience. Take things to the next level using the strategies below.

Send Multiple Messages

A single shipping notification when the order has been dispatched or is about to be delivered isn’t enough. Not only will this fail to give customers all the information they need, but it’s easy for a single email to get missed in a busy inbox.

Instead, send shipping notifications when the order is:
Mistakes happen. Delays occur. Your shipping experience will never be perfect, but you can take the initiative when things go wrong. Being proactive and notifying customers of potential delays in advance is the best way to minimise the damage and ensure the customer still gets the best experience possible. Far from being angry, most customers will appreciate you reaching out. You may even be able to improve the perception of your brand despite the delay.
Customer delivery demands have changed. Long delivery times and wide delivery windows are no longer acceptable. Customers want to know when they are receiving their orders immediately after placing them. The longer it takes to provide a delivery date, the more frustrated they become.

  • Received
  • Dispatched
  • Handed over to the carrier
  • Out for delivery
  • Delivered

Be Proactive With Your Shipping Alerts

Communicate the Delivery Date as Soon as Possible

Use shipping notifications to provide an accurate delivery date as quickly as possible. You may not always be able to meet this delivery date, but the beauty of regular shipping updates and notifications means you can always communicate to customers if this date changes.
If you send goods abroad, go out of your way to ensure delivery notifications are in the customers’ local language. This may be tricky for automated messages from your eCommerce platform — like order confirmation emails — but it should be standard for all final-mile delivery messages.

Send Order Updates in the Customer’s Local Language

If you send goods abroad, go out of your way to ensure delivery notifications are in the customers’ local language. This may be tricky for automated messages from your eCommerce platform — like order confirmation emails — but it should be standard for all final-mile delivery messages.

The Power of Pro Carrier’s Shipping Notifications

Here at Pro Carrier, we understand the impact that seemingly simple shipping notifications can have on the customer experience. That’s why we guarantee a minimum of six shipping updates — allowing customers can track their parcel every step of the journey.

What’s more, all shipping notifications are sent in the customer’s local language, and there are plenty of alternative delivery options for customers to choose from (like Pick Up Drop Off) should customers need to change.

Find out more about our commitment to customer service or speak to one of our consultants today to get started shipping with Pro Carrier.

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