Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

The power of personalised delivery: 3 ways to be the very best at ecommerce

By David Grimes, Founder, Sorted

The past few years have paved the way for a new age of retail — checkout has become as simple as a click of a button, shops have transformed into omnichannel-driven showrooms, and teeming competition has driven retailers to create curated experiences for their customers. This is where personalisation is taking centre stage. To gain that much needed competitive edge, retailers are finding new ways to contextualise the messages, offers, and experiences they deliver, according to each and every customer preference.

No doubt, the pandemic and the rapid shift to ecommerce has driven this new wave of innovation. Online giants who are already going above and beyond (Amazon in particular) are putting pressure on all brands to compete on personalisation and offer more convenient delivery experiences. This is being accelerated by the customer too, as according to Segment, 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal. With all this in mind, brands that do not prioritise creating a tailored experience run the risk of getting left behind.

Consumers want what they want, when they want it, and in the most convenient way to suit them. But how exactly can this be achieved?

1. Personalised experiences give customers more convenience

In ecommerce, it’s never ‘one size fits all’. If brands extend personalised experiences right through the customer journey, more value can be achieved in terms of conversion, satisfaction, and returning shoppers. A tailored experience is no longer simply about putting their name on the top of an email – it means ensuring that they have access to the information they want, through the channels they choose. As such, having a clear omnichannel strategy is vital for communicating with consumers where they want, and this will do wonders for brand loyalty. In fact, customer retention rates are 90% higher for omnichannel vs. single channel.

Going a step further, by using branded multi-channel communications across various social media platforms, as well as through retailer owned websites and apps, retailers can offer an enhanced cross-platform digital experience. In our recent survey, one of the most valued aspects of the delivery journey was receiving delivery updates from the retailer in their digital channel of choice and having a choice of convenient delivery options. While an email may cut it for some, a number of customers will prefer an SMS text, an app update, or live chat. However, 51% of retailers we researched only send updates to their customers through a single channel, rather than offering multiple channels for convenience and transparency. Offering choice can make all the difference to personalise the experience around the customer. From SMS to live chat, you need to be where your customers are.

2. Stay connected to get proactive with comms

Allowing customers access to accurate, branded delivery tracking on demand should be hygiene but it’s relatively uncommon. Although IMRG discovered that over 80% of customers expect tracking to come from the seller, our research found that only 36% of retailers offered their own branded tracking. If retailers are sending customer updates via third-party carrier tracking pages, this effectively takes customers away from their app and away from the brand experience too. This leaves room for a huge competitive advantage for retailers who can hold on to customers by creating a connected personalised tracking experience.

As order volumes surge, along with customer expectations, automated branded tracking becomes a vital component in making sure teams and customers have sight of every delivery journey in real-time. This is especially important as 97% of customers say knowing where their delivery is, is ‘important’ to them. So if you want to get proactive with communication, keep customers happy and stay one step ahead, automated personalised tracking ensures the customer know about any exceptions or changes to their delivery without customer teams having to lift a finger.

This reducing the pressure on contact centres too, as customers know about the status of their order before they even have a chance to reach out to your teams. This is a great way to ensure all customers know their delivery journey is valued and a top priority. A simple, yet accurate update can go a long way for customer satisfaction.

3. Customise the delivery journey based on your consumer insight

Almost four out of five consumers agree that the more personalisation tactics a brand use, the more loyal they are to that brand. While branded tracking is great for keeping customers informed and happy, these timeline pages get a captive audience. It’s the perfect place to impress customers with tailored content or product recommendations to different personas or segments and take those all-important insightful learnings.

With the right data insight, you can continually adapt and mould the post-purchase experience, strengthening the journey around your consumer’s behaviour. Every retailer should have the power to look at consumer behaviour by owning the whole customer journey. These insights are key. For example, what ads are resonating most after the buy button? Where in the delivery journey are most customers looking for an update? Which comms are being read the most or driving the most site visits, resulting in additional upsell revenue? Having visibility of this actionable insight is valuable to make more informed optimisations, drive revenue with upsell opportunities and boost customer retention.

The power of personalised delivery: the bottom line

With the ecommerce industry in a state of ‘do or die’, brands and retailers are competing more than ever for share of mind and wallet. Customers are not just buying goods anymore; they’re buying experiences and it’s so easy for customers to run off to a competitor in just a few clicks. To get a competitive edge and stay on top, you need to make your brand stand out and a personalised CX sits at the very core of this. Use personalised delivery to make your customers feel valued, wrap them in your brand and offer a unique experience, completely tailored to them.