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. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Series Wrap: Plug Into Better Shipping



We've now completed our series of blogs dedicated to exploring the intricacies of our Magento extension. The blogs individually are excellent for picking up tips and tricks, however together they form an excellent body of knowledge for anyone using Temando as a part of their Magento store. As such, it seems appropriate to have a quick run-down of what we covered off in the series.

1: Choosing a Plan
In our first post we ran through the features and benefits of our various plans to outline exactly what you get at each level.

2: The Basics
Our second entry explains the ins and outs of setting up your Temando profile and account and linking these to your Magento extension.

3: Packaging Configuration
Next we went through choosing your packaging and saving the details in the system
to benefit from our packaging logic.

4: Multiple Location Management
This entry went through the steps involved in configuring multiple shipping locations within your Temando extension.

5: Rules
The ability to create smart cart and fulfilment based rules is one of the biggest strengths of our Magento shipping extension. Our fifth post went through setting up basic rules.

6: More Rules
You guessed it. As a follow on from the previous post we went and had a look at some more advanced rules you can use to add real value and personalisation to your processes.

7: Value Adding for the Social Conscious
This post explains our partnerships with The Gaia Partnership and The Footprints Network and how you can enable carbon offsetting and micro-donation options within your shopping cart.

8: Click & Collect
In part 8 we took a look at the Temando Click & Collect module and the benefits that businesses can gain by offering this approach.

9: Click & Collect Configuration
In part 9 we delved deeper into Click & Collect, specifically how to set up zones and locations.

10: Getting Orders Out the Door
Our tenth post outlines how to manage orders when they come in. Included in the post is information on booking orders and manifesting.

11: Pick Pack and Label
This post follows on from the tenth entry and goes into more detail on pick slips and consignment labels within your Temando Magento extension.

12: Managing Returns
Last but not least, we had a look at how you can manage returns effectively to boost shoppers' confidence in your business and provide an optimised customer experience.

That's it. A comprehensive run through everything you need to know to get the most out of your Temando Magento extension. As always, if you require more detail on any of these points or wish to discuss your account, please get in touch with our team.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Plug Into Better Shipping Series Part 12: Managing Returns



Not all purchases work out. Things don’t fit, they arrive broken and sometimes the wrong product arrives. That’s a reality of retail. These aren’t issues unique to the online channel by any stretch, however the way in which returns are managed is, by its nature, a very different beast for online businesses. The inflexibility of traditional online retailers forcing customers to ship products back to companies is always going to end in a bad customer experience. It’s expensive, it’s inconvenient and it takes a whole lot longer to get the product you actually want. Returns doesn't have to be a pain point. In fact, 82% of consumers say they are more likely to complete a checkout if a business has a frictionless returns process.

With the Temando Returns Module for Magento, you’re able to remove the friction from a historically poor customer experience and turn it into an aspect of your business that is not only functional, but can also add significant value to your business. This blog post is going to run through everything you need to know about the returns module to ensure you’re making the most out of it.

*This blog post is an educational entry about the Temando Returns Module for Magento. This module is only available for customers on the Business plan. To find out more about returns and upgrading your subscription, contact our Solutions Team.

This post will cover off two main points:
  • The customer experience
  • How to administrate returns


The Customer Experience:

It’s always important to know what your customers have to go through for any business process. Here is no different. The returns journey for a customer is very straightforward.
The process begins in one of two ways. If the customer has a log in, they will be able to view their previous orders, select the relevant one and click the return option within the order view:


If not logged in, a customer can click the ‘Orders and Returns’ link at the bottom of your website and search for the order manually using their order reference number.


Once the customer has located their order, the process is the same. Now the customer needs to fill in a Return Request form. This outlines which items need to be returned, the quantities and the reason why. It also allows for additional comments if required.



After the request has been submitted, the customer needs to await the approval of their request. Once approved, a courier will be booked to collect the item and the customer will receive an email with a consignment label to attach to the package. After the product has been returned and assessed the customer will receive the requested refund or exchange.

How to administrate returns:

To process returns, log into your Magento dashboard and under Sales > RMA, select Manage RMA.


Now you will be presented with a grid of return order requests. Click any of the orders to see more about the request. On the navigation bar on the right of the page, select ‘RMA Items’. This will display the item the customer wishes to return and the resolution that they are after. To decline the return, simply select ‘Decline’ from the status dropdown menu. To approve the order, enter the no. of ‘Requested Qty’ into the ‘Authorised Qty’ field and change the status dropdown to Approved. Then click save.







Once saved, you will see a confirmation in green at the top of the page.
In the Temando tab, enter the Manage Returns option. You should now see the order in this grid with the status ‘pending’. Clicking on the order will take you into the booking view, identical to the one you would see when managing shipments. The difference here is that the pick-up address should be listed as the customer address. At the bottom of the page you will be able to view quotes for the shipment and book your preferred option. Once booked, your customer will receive an email with the consignment label to attach to the item and to wait for the carrier to collect it.

It’s that easy. Hopefully this post has been useful in demonstrating both the benefits and the practicality behind the Temando returns module. Enabling easy returns for your customers goes a long way to providing an excellent customer experience as it takes a process that is so often a nightmare and turns it into something that gives your customers confidence in your brand.


If you’d like more information about the Temando returns module please get in touch with our Solutions team

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Importance of Shipping






We’re always looking to future proof your fulfilment solutions and optimise your customer’s experience. This inspired us to reach out to the delegates at Online Retailer 2014 and film their responses to the challenges of shipping in commerce. We interviewed a number of industry experts and retailers and gathered some insights into how crucial shipping is to online customers and the way they see it evolving in the future.

Shipping’s impact on customer experiences

Many of the respondents saw shipping as one of the most crucial and also least understood components of the ecommerce puzzle. Part of this confusion stems from retailers assuming that the customer’s journey with the brand finishes when the package is picked up as opposed to when it’s been delivered. “For an online retailer that is your interaction with the customer…that’s when they touch the business for the first time. It’s the most important step.” This physical element of the transaction is key to delighting customers as good and bad experiences can both effect a customer’s likelihood to repeat purchase.

The Future

We heard a range of imaginative responses to the future direction of shipping. From dispatch by drones through to crowd-sourced delivery services and delayed fulfilment. A large amount of our responders also noted the growing importance of offering same-day delivery and click and collect options. This all comes back to the important point that all of our respondents acknowledged; that consumer choice and the ability to select how a package gets to you is a crucial component of building fulfilment processes for the future. Customer expectations around online retail and shipping are only becoming more demanding and the more options you can give to a customer, the more likely they are to have a positive experience and remain loyal.

Congratulations to our winner!

Thank you to all of the delegates that took part in our video competition at Online Retailer. Josh Emblin from IE Agency won 2 tickets to the Cirque Du Soleil in Sydney for his unique perspective on crowd-sourced deliveries and the significance of meeting customer expectations. Congratulations Josh!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Plug Into Better Shipping Part 11: Pick, Pack and Label



In our last blog entry we took a look at getting your orders out the door. This week, to truly cap off that final stage of the fulfilment process, we’re going to pay closer attention to picking, packing and labelling. By using Temando, you are able to streamline this entire process by generating pick slips, booking shipments and printing consignment labels directly from the backend of your Magento store. Temando is also able to assist in provisioning partial shipments and distributing tracking emails to your customer. Here’s a rundown on just how easy it is to pick, pack and label your orders.

This blog will be broken up into 3 parts:
  • Printing your pick slips
  • Packing and labelling
  • Advanced Pick/Packing

Printing pick slips:

Once an order has been placed by a customer it will appear in the ‘Manage Shipments’ menu located within the Temando tab on your Magento dashboard. Clicking on an individual order from this list will present the order details. Clicking ‘Pick Slip’ in the top right corner will download the pick slip for the order.



The pick slip gives details for the order such as the order number, delivery details and most importantly, the SKUs and quantity of SKUs required to fill the order.

Packing and Labelling:

Now that the order has been picked and packed into its packaging (Satchel, Box, etc.) all that is left to do is book and label the shipment. To book, simply scroll down to the bottom of the order summary page. Here will be a list of available quotes with the Cheapest and Fastest options indicated. Simply click ‘Book Quote’ to confirm the booking.



Now in the top right, a button to ‘View Consignment’ will be available. Click the button to download a pdf file with the consignment label. Simply print this off, attach it to the package and it’s ready to go.



Advanced Process:

In addition to the above processes, Temando’s Business extension for Magento removes the need to pick, pack, book and label orders individually by enabling you to print multiple pick slips at once. To do this, simply navigate to the ‘Manage Shipments’ grid and check the shipments you wish to print pick slips for. Next, click the drop-down on the right hand side and click ‘Retrieve Pick Slip’.





This will generate a single PDF document with pick slips for all of the selected orders. Then, when you’ve packed the orders you can book shipments and print consignment labels from the same dropdown menu. Once they’re labelled it’s just a matter of waiting for collection!


This edition of our Plug into better shipping blog series has hopefully demonstrated the benefits that Temando provides with regards to pick, pack and labelling. By generating pick slips and booking shipments directly from the Manage Shipments grid of your Magento dashboard, Temando removes manual entry and guesswork from the fulfilment equation. This reduces the chance for human error and can provide significant time savings to your operation.


To find out more about picking and fulfilling multiple orders with our Business extension, get in touch with our Solutions team.