This year will be the first time many people across the UK will be celebrating Mother’s Day in person in two years. And although it means hugs are back on the agenda, delivery issues are threatening to spoil any gift plans, says Rob van den Heuvel, CEO at Sendcloud.
Retailers are already on sharp alert, but with supply chains continuing to be disrupted meaning items still being delayed, retailers will have to show a bit of love of their own for their delivery providers.
Nobody wants anyone going empty handed this Mother’s Day, so to help minimise disruption for retailers and reduce bottlenecks for delivery providers, I wanted to offer my own spot of ‘Motherly’ advice by sharing some top tips for retailers to avoid delivery issues:
1. Offer a flexible checkout
The last thing you want is to have delivery drivers showing up at the doorstep when nobody’s in, which is why choice of delivery time is one of the biggest priorities when shopping online for Mother’s Day.
When delivery attempts are missed, parcels are returned to a parcel point or even directly to the sender, which can lead to a lot of frustration and wasted time for both customers and retailers. But if retailers could offer the customer flexible shipping options you can increase the chance of first-time delivery attempts and boost customer satisfaction.
You could even go one step further and allow customers to choose the delivery time or place themselves, or provide parcel lockers and pick-up points to also guarantee first-time deliveries. The benefits go beyond just the customers though, as it can also provide a cheaper shipping method to the retailer while easing the strain on the parcel network, making the lives of delivery drivers just that little bit easier this Mother’s Day.
2. Don’t put all your chocolates in one box
We know from experience that many online orders for Mother’s Day will come at the last second, placing a heavy burden on same-day and next-day delivery services at a time where providers are already struggling to cope with an ever-growing backlog.
The answer for retailers is to spread out their delivery options among multiple carriers, helping to reduce the chance of any delivery bottlenecks and keep customers (and their relationships with their Mums) happy. While working with one delivery service might seem convenient and more cost-effective, retailers are only limiting their options, especially if looking to expand and ship parcels internationally.
Multiple carrier options also provide greater flexibility in deliveries, as the last thing customers want is to miss a delivery time – or worse, they deliver unwrapped items straight to the receiver.
3. Keep your customers in the loop every step along the way
It’s not just your warehouse that will have to pull out all the stops during this busy time, but customer service is often swamped too. You want to avoid your support team being constantly bothered about the status of a parcel, so why not provide customers with the ability to check the status of parcels whenever they want?
By automating your tracking updates, you can also ensure customers receive real-time updates in case shipments are delayed. With all of the disruption delivery services are witnessing right now, clear and accurate communication is so important in keeping customers happy on an important day such as this – you really don’t want to keep your customers in the dark.
Timing will be everything this Mother’s Day, so make sure you can deliver the good feeling this year and that your customers get the gifts they need on time!
Written by Rob van den Heuvel, CEO at Sendcloud.