Wednesday, October 15, 2014

4 Ways to Keep Customers Coming Back with Shipping




Retaining customers who have previously shopped with you is crucial to success in eCommerce. Its well-known existing customers are both more likely to shop with you and will generally buy more from you. Here are some telling stats on retention:

  • In both Europe and the US, returning customers generate 3 times more revenue than new shoppers (Adobe).
  • Attracting new customers is five times more expensive than retaining existing ones (Marketing Metrics)
  • The average value of a lost customer is $243 (KISSMetrics)
We think these stats demonstrate the point, and there are a lot of different ways to keep your customers engaged. Personalised email marketing strategies, a compelling social media presence and sought-after products all help to keep customers coming back. Even more basic than these strategies is to just offer your customers a good experience the first time round and gain their trust. Simple isn’t it?

Here’s 4 ways to make a good first impression and keep them coming back for more:

1) Set realistic expectations and meet (or beat) them.

This one makes a lot of sense but if you don’t have your shipping processes right it can be very tricky to pull off. If a customer makes an order online and accepts standard shipping, set their expectation to be 4-5 days. Then if it arrives in 3 they’ll be thrilled. Simple. On the other hand, though, if it takes too long for you to process an order once you’ve received it and it arrives in 6 days, then the customer will be disappointed and a whole lot less likely to shop with you again.

2) Give Options

We go on about offering diverse options a lot, but can you blame us? A one size fits all approach to delivery is rarely the best approach. Letting your customers choose when and how they receive the product puts the onus on them when a package can’t be delivered and needs to be collected from the post office or have its delivery re-scheduled. Furthermore, if you can offer click n collect options it gives you an opportunity to create a truly special experience for your customer as you can check sizes and offer cross-sale opportunities in-store.

3) Surprise and Delight

If you can not only meet your customers’ experiences but also exceed them that’s when you’ll gain their loyalty. Whether you choose to throw a goody into your boxes is going to come down to your brand and if it makes sense for you. Lollies, hand-written notes and specially wrapped products add a personal touch to orders and can create a lasting impact with your customer. This connection helps keep your brand front of mind when they next need to make a purchase.

4) Trigger repurchase

Finally, use delivery as a marketing tool. You know that they’re interested in your products so include a brochure of this season’s product or invite them to join your free shipping loyalty program. Any additional marketing materials that help you to connect with the customer at the unboxing stage help to maintain a relationship with the customer and keep them coming back for more.

Shipping isn’t always the first thing to come to mind when you think of winning and losing customers. It isn’t fun, glamorous or aspirational but in the world of online retail, it’s the biggest moment of truth that you have with your customer and it’s so important to get right. Get your shipping right and it not only helps you compete, it gives you an advantage.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Temando's Festive Season Essentials

Number one on this years list? How about keeping your hair?


The festive season is upon us yet again! Historically, the delivery network is full to overflowing during this time of year and miracles are a lot less common in the logistics industry than they are in the movies. To avoid disappointing customers and to save yourself some stress, here are 3 steps for getting through unscathed:

1. Be prepared and advise customers early

We don’t want you to cause mass hysteria with your customers – just be realistic and transparent with them. Work with your marketing teams to update order confirmation emails with realistic timeframes, banner ads on your site, update your shipping policies and include messaging through the checkout process. If you make realistic promises to your customers you won’t upset them.

2. Be aware of your carrier cut off dates

As soon as carriers have advised us of their cut off dates we will pass this information on to you. In the mean-time you need to be aware of facts. For example, if a customer makes and order for standard delivery on the 24th of December they may not receive that delivery until as far out as the 4th of January. This is due to the way Christmas and New Year’s days fall this year.

As for us? We will be open for support from 8am to 6pm on business days right through until the 24th of December and then continuing to operate as usual on all business days thereafter.

3.      Read this guide

It’s long and not particularly fun but it’s a whole lot more fun than getting into hot water in the middle of December. It pays to be prepared so the faster you get on top of your holiday processes, the more successful you will be.


Carrier Cut Off Dates

We are currently working with our carrier partners to create a list of cut off dates for deliveries prior to Christmas day. We’ll also be detailing expected delivery timeframes after , taking into account public holidays and reduced carrier trading.

We have been advised by carriers of the following cut-off dates:

Direct Couriers:             23rd December
TNT Road:                     18th December
TNT Priority:                  20th December
Couriers Please:            23rd December
Capital Transport:         23rd December
Hunter Express:             23rd December
Allied Express:               TBA

These cut off dates do not guarantee delivery before Christmas. Especially with orders that need to go cross-country, be prepared and give your customers sufficient warning. As a general rule, we would recommend any orders travelling from the eastern to the western seaboard would have to be sent before December 19 and anything for the eastern seaboard be sent before December 22.

Customer Support

December is the busiest time of the year, especially for the freight and retail industries. Temando Customer Support is here to help and will do our very best to ensure that your enquiries are actioned as quickly as possible. We need your help to ensure that we are receiving all the information required to resolve any issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Before contacting Temando Customer Support, please ensure you have all details on hand:


  • Client ID
  • Carrier
  • Request ID
  • Consignment Number
  • Order Number
  • Booked Date
  • Has the item been collected? Y/N
  • Description of contents
  • Description of packaging
  • Photos (if package has been damaged)
  • Query/Comments
Temando Customer Support will lodge an enquiry / investigation with the carrier in question once all the information has been received (most carriers will not commence their investigation until all the required information has been received.)

We aim to make it as easy as possible to contact Temando Customer Support, and offer you the following channels:


Please note that our preferred method of contact is our Contact Form or email – this way, we can ensure we have all the required information and begin enquiries with the carrier in question before speaking with you.

You will receive a ticket number once you have submitted an enquiry. Please keep this on hand as it will be required whenever speaking to a Temando representative.

Temando Support is available Monday – Friday (excluding public holidays) between 8:00am – 6:00pm Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

Proof of Collection 

We highly recommend keeping a ‘Proof of Collection’ for all freight dispatched. This is simply a signed consignment note or drivers manifest. Having a signed document will help investigations should something go wrong and the driver hasn’t scanned the packages in upon collection.

ETA’s

Temando recommends that the ETA’s for the service being booked and the estimated arrival times of these bookings are double checked prior to dispatch.

Please remember that ETA’s refer to business days, excluding the day of collection. It may be worth adjusting your delivery times on your website for this time period so that you are meeting and exceeding your customers’ expectations.

All freight will be aimed to be delivered within the given ETA, however given the peak period, this may not always be possible. Our carrier partners ask that everyone remains patient and allow for extra transit time. Communication with your customers is vital, as is setting realistic expectations.

The Temando Support Team will be handling a high volume of enquiries daily and are unable to lodge enquiries for consignments that are still transiting within the ETA of the service booked. Please check the tracking and service ETA prior to getting in contact.

You can track your item via the Temando website, your Dashboard or directly with the carrier.

1. Tracking Page
Enter your request ID to obtain up-to-date tracking information for your shipment. The tracking feed is taken directly from the carriers - please contact our Support Team should the information be inaccurate.

2. Temando Dashboard
Log into your Dashboard to view your bookings. In the right-hand column, select ‘More options’ and ‘Track Booking’.

3. Carrier’s Website
Track your shipment directly on the carrier’s website. Simply enter the consignment number (not Temando booking number or Request ID) into their tracking tool:

Rebooking

Courier companies do not automatically rebook any missed collections for the next business day. Please keep an eye on your freight dispatches and if freight has been missed, please email support@temando.com with the relevant information. Temando will arrange to have your freight collected asap. Please note that collections will be made the following day unless we are informed prior to 1:30pm (metro areas only).

Courier drivers will be in high demand over this busy time - please ensure that all freight is packaged and labelled correctly and that someone will be available to pass the freight over to the driver on the day of collection.

It is also essential that all consignments are tracked and confirmed as ‘not collected’ prior to requesting a rebook.

PPU & Manifesting

If you are anticipating high volumes of freight dispatching from one location, we recommend arranging a Permanent Pick Up with your chosen carrier for the festive season.

A permanent pickup will ensure that your dispatch site has a dedicated driver and an allocated collection time. Please note that over the holiday period, your preferred pickup times may not be possible. If the courier cannot guarantee a dedicated driver to be at your location at your preferred time, a Temando representative will contact you directly to organize the next best option.

There are a few minimum requirements that must be met. All permanent pickup requests can take up to 7 (seven) business days to be put into effect.

Manifesting is also a way to streamline your processes and reduce administrative tasks – it is a way of consolidating bookings into one ‘manifest’ document for all or specific carriers prior to a scheduled permanent pick up. The process will also send through the booking data at once, rather than individual bookings. Manifesting can only be enabled by Temando IT through a request from the Sales Solution team. Please contact your Sales Solution Manager or support@temando.com for assistance

For further information and to request a PPU, please visit the link below:

Permanent Pick Up & Manifesting

Truck Sizing

Truck sizing must be taken into consideration when dispatching in large quantities in December.
Although carriers such as Couriers Please and Fastway will display quotes for your larger items, they won’t always take the quantities into consideration when dispatching a driver for collection. Their truck or van may be near full when they arrive to collect your items, resulting in an unsuccessful collection.

We recommend setting up a Permanent Pick Up if you’re planning on sending large quantities over the busy holiday period. Alternatively, please contact the Customer Support Team when you have placed your booking and we will work with your chosen carrier to ensure all your items are successfully collected.

Satchels

Please keep in mind all satchels are in high demand over the busy festive period!
To ensure you have enough supplies to dispatch your freight, please place all high volume satchels orders in November. This will ensure that the couriers can fulfil your order requirements and have your satchels sent to you in a timely manner.

Any request for satchels in December will be at the discretion of each carrier and delivery time frames are not guaranteed. Don’t be caught out - please submit your orders ASAP.
NB: Final satchel orders for 2014 must be received by 15th December. Any orders placed after this date will be processed in the New Year.

Order your satchels now.

Accounts

Temando’s Accounts Team are also very busy over the festive season; below are a few tips & tricks to ensure your Santa shipping credits don’t run out.

Direct Deposit

If you direct deposit money for credit on your Temando account please bear in mind it is only applied once received into our bank account. These transactions may take up to five business days and unfortunately even with a remittance, we are unable to apply the credit until it is in our account. Therefore, please ensure you deposit money prior to running out of credit to avoid being stuck with no credit.

Trade Accounts 

Please send through your office closure dates and payment cut offs for the holiday season to the Finance team (accounts@temando.com) as soon as you have finalized these.

Need to increase your limit over the holiday season? No problem! Contact our Accounts Team. Please note that increases are subject to standard credit procedures – please leave plenty of time for your increase to be approved.

From mid-December our accounts team will be operating on skeleton staff - please bear this in mind when lodging queries. We will endeavor to respond as soon as possible.

Insurance

Integrated Insurance Solutions are available throughout December, excluding public holidays. Please submit any insurance claims as per usual and they will be in processed as normal


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Our New Education Centre




Our software helps to streamline your shipping processes and provide better solutions to your customers. Shipping isn't always simple though - even when you have best-in-class software to help you out. For this reason, we've revamped our entire education centre with the aim of providing more useful information to both new and existing Temando users.

Our education centre now provides:

Updated FAQs to act as a first point of reference
Detailed configuration guides to help in the setup process
A comprehensive onboarding guide to take you through the ins and outs of the Temando system
A collection of video tutorials running through tips and tricks to optimize your setup

Our FAQs have been edited, added to and more thoroughly categorised to better act as your first stop in navigating any potential issues or misunderstandings. These now include specific FAQs for our Magento and WooCommerce extensions as well as more general questions about Temando processes and the shipping industry.

Our resources section is where you will likely find the most relevant information for existing users. Our onboarding guide provides a comprehensive run through of general Temando processes such as who to contact if you run into trouble, how to order courier satchels and how to use the Temando Dashboard. This is definitely the best place to start your Temando journey.

We have also developed dedicated guides pages for our WooCommerce and Magento extensions. Our extensions provide the best Temando experience and give a lot of options for customising your customers’ shipping experience. Here you’ll find a selection of written guides as well as video tutorials to help you not only get set up but also influence conversion rates and increase productivity through best practices and smart configuration.

Our vision is that the new Education Centre will be a base from where you should be able to maximize the potential of your Temando products. To make this happen, we’ll be adding much more content to our education centre in the weeks and months ahead. To be the first to know of any updates make sure you follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Visit the new Education Center now.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The hidden financial benefits of offsetting carbon emissions in the shopping cart


At Temando we support the vision of a more sustainable future. That’s why we can enable carbon offsetting on all shipments booked through our platform. With more and more online businesses now giving their customers the choice to offset the emissions from the shipping of their goods, the question that must be asked is; do consumers want this option? A growing number of environmentally aware consumers are saying yes.

Just as importantly for the merchant is determining the return on the investment from offsetting. Christopher Sewell from The Gaia Partnership has written an article for TrinityP3 that will help you understand how a business case can be prepared to justify embarking on a sustainable pathway. As well as the 'feel good factor', Chris also cites brand image, staff engagement and winning new business as key areas that companies have seen benefits from carbon offsetting.

Click here to read the full article.



Monday, September 8, 2014

Paddy Pallin overcomes shipping challenges with Temando


Challenges

When Paddy Pallin first approached Temando they were having issues effectively managing their online shipping. Having access to only one carrier was restrictive as they sent items ranging from t-shirts through to tents. Additionally, they did not have a technology solution to manage their shipping process and as such, relied on manual data entry with minimal carrier compliance.

Solution

Temando's Magento Extension has provided Paddy Pallin with a powerful tool to manage their fulfilment process. They now have access to multiple carriers in one system, allowing them to reach all of Australia and benefit from excellent rates at the same time. Temando has given the Paddy Pallin team visibility over their orders and streamlined their fulfilment process. Now, Paddy Pallin enjoys:

  • No manual data entry
  • One-stop fulfilment
  • Faster, more consistent order turnaround times
  • Increased order visibility
  • Reduce head count required to process orders
  • Pick slip and label generation
  • The ability to choose from multiple carrier quotes for each order

Looking Forward

Since integrating, Paddy Pallin has also activated Temando's Click & Collect functionality. This allows them to drive their online audience in store and provide a more personalised level of service to their customers. As they grow and look to move into a central fulfilment center, Paddy Pallin is confident Temando will continue to enable them to surprise and delight their customers.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Putting shipping tips into practice



We recently posted about reducing cart abandonment with simple shipping tips. In this post, we’ll take a more practical look at how businesses are using these strategies to improve the appearance and flow of their customers’ purchase experiences.

With the examples, note the way in which the various shipping messaging is prominently featured on the site. This goes a long way to building trust with the customer and allaying concerns about purchasing goods online.

Offering Choices

Offering choices not only allows your customers more freedom, it can also help you to stand out against your competitors. In the highly competitive online fashion space, The Iconic’s 3 hour deliveries allows it to not only compete with other online retailers but also against traditional retailers as well. Notice that they display options for both 3 hour and standard overnight at the top of the page. Something for everyone!



Shorty’s Liquor on the other hand often gets orders for specific events and therefore, by allowing pick-a-day delivery, the order gets to the customer when they want it, not before. They also offer cold deliveries as an option which is a no brainer with alcohol because really, who wants to receive their beer warm?



Finally, be sure to utilise your strengths when choosing your delivery options. Dick Smith offers both standard delivery and collect from store functions to both give options and also leverage their physical footprint.




Transparent Costs/Free Shipping Threshold

Making delivery costs visible is very valuable. It prevents any confusion and means customers won’t baulk at prices when they reach checkout. This can generally be done in one of three ways: offering free shipping, offering a flat rate for shipping or displaying exact quotes for shipping.
The Iconic and ASOS both display their free shipping thresholds at the top of their webpages, just beneath the navigation:




If you don’t want to offer free shipping and aren’t comfortable picking a flat rate, consider incorporating a shipping calculator into your product pages and checkout. Our shipping calculator, for example, allows the customer to input a postcode for delivery and creates a dynamic quote of the actual shipping cost. With this method you don’t lose money on shipping and your customer understands what they’re going to pay.




Returns

The window that businesses can give customers to return goods obviously depends largely upon the type of products. In online fashion, recent trends are towards longer times with companies generally choosing anywhere between 4 weeks and 100 days. If a customer is unhappy, it’s unlikely they will wait until the 99th day to return a good, but offering a generous amount of time will allow your customers to feel less pressure when making the purchase. EverMe, for example, offers 100 day returns and broadcasts it from the top of their home page:

Oscar Wylee has built a part of their business model around offering simple returns. That’s obviously not going to work for everyone, but it does demonstrate the value of a simple to navigate returns process. They give an option for a free home trial of 5 pairs of glasses for 5 days, after which you arrange to return them. Free shipping, free home testing of the products and then a small payment to return the glasses. Their returns portal is very simple as well. It allows the customer to pay for and print their shipping label and either drop their return into a post box or arrange for a courier to collect it. Easy!




Regardless of what you feel you can and can't realistically offer, it pays to be upfront with your customers. Make sure information about shipping, options and returns are easily accessible and understandable - it's definitely not going to lose you any sales.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Abandon-proof your purchase process



Online retail is very similar to traditional retail. We still need to persuade customers and build trust. Yes the methods have changed – we can use Facebook, Instagram, Google and PayPal to do these for us now – but they’re still an important part of getting customers to complete purchases with us online. Arguably the most difficult skill to transfer to the online experience is handling objections. As we don’t get to speak to the customers as we would in a store, we have to rely on our purchase process being as smooth as possible to ensure we maximize our conversions. As shipping is consistently the number one reason for cart abandonment, here’s how you can update your processes to stop pushing customers away.

Offer multiple shipping methods

With some surveys indicating as many as 50% of responders have abandoned a purchase based on a lack of shipping options the message is clear: customers want choice. Offering multiple options isn’t all that hard to do either. Simply offering both express and standard shipping methods could have a significant impact on your conversions. This allows you to appeal to those after the best price as well as impatient customers who are happy to pay to receive their goods faster. To really give your customers choice, however, you could look at incorporating 3-hour shipping, delivery to secure parcel lockers or a click and collect option if you have physical stores.

Display accurate shipping costs

Several of the top reasons for cart abandonment involve shipping costs. Shipping costs inflating the total cost of an order, not qualifying for free shipping and showing shipping costs late in the checkout are all huge contributors to abandoned orders. Be clear and upfront about your costs. If you have flat rate shipping, let everyone know and if you have a free shipping threshold, make that clear – you’ll increase average cart value and convert more sales. So long as customers know from the beginning they will be paying a flat rate for shipping or that there is a threshold for free shipping then they won’t be surprised come checkout time.

Have a simple returns policy

86% of customers check shipping and returns policies as a precaution before buying online. By providing clear instructions or having a simple process that doesn’t require the customer to jump through hoops you build trust and allay any possible concerns the customer might have about a product. That’s not to say you need to offer free returns – it’s a good option for the right business but it’s also hugely expensive. A really simple way to make your returns simpler is to stop hiding your returns policy in an obscure page full of fine print. Prominently advertise it on your website and state the amount of time customers have to return items – at least then customers know that you have a returns policy. The next step is to provide your customers with all the tools they need to return an item. Shipping with re-usable satchels or boxes means customers don’t have to find or buy their own. Being able to provide customers with a method of printing their own shipping labels is even more helpful and saves customers having to visit a post office.

Make it faster

Yes faster deliveries would be nice, however making the order process faster for your customer is a good start. A one second delay page response time can result in 7% fewer conversions. This means that you want to have as few checkout pages as possible and make sure there is nothing to slow down the process. One of the more common delays can come from websites querying courier companies for rates which can take up to several seconds depending on the company. To solve this you could either hedge your bets and set a flat rate for shipments or engage with a shipping solution partner that holds all of the shipping rates in their logic.