Consumers shop online more than ever before, and online retailers continue to improve the customer experience. Creating loyalty can still be a challenge for online retailers. eCommerce retailers have a limited and significantly less tactile offering that creates for them additional obstacles beyond those of a traditional retailer.
To combat these challenges, online retailers and eCommerce brands should find ways to mimic the in-store experience to build brand loyalty. A strong, positive brand image is one of the many ways customers connect and create strong ties to a retailer.
Here are three ways that online merchants can partner with their third-party logistics provider to build a brand image that excites your audience and maintains customer loyalty.
It’s easy for eCommerce retailers to let packaging become an afterthought, assuming consumers don’t care. In fact, according to our 2015 eCommerce Packaging Study, almost 70 percent of consumers said plain brown box packaging has no effect on their desire to purchase from a retailer again.
However, eCommerce retailers should still prioritize the quality and appeal of their packaging. Packaging is often a consumer’s first physical interaction with a brand, and first impressions are crucial. Our survey found that 60 percent of consumers believe that branded, gift-like packaging makes a brand seem more upscale. Because of this, packaging should reflect the brand.
To build a memorable experience, consider working with your 3PL to go beyond the brown box. Use packaging that mirrors your brand. If you sell beauty and spa products, for example, your packaging should be in a calming color with simple graphics to invoke tranquility.
Similar to brick-and-mortar retailers, online brands experience high demand during the holiday seasons and other peak periods and often face the unique challenge of order fulfillment.
The retailer is not done pleasing the customer until the order arrives on time and intact.
Doing this well depends on a well-managed logistics operation. To cultivate your brand image and customer loyalty, it’s essential that online brands keep track of inventory and process orders quickly and accurately. Brands should be able to forecast demand to determine the amount of product they will need on hand during busy times. Real-time insight into inventory is also crucial. This helps to identify what products to restock, what to put on sale and when to liquidate old product.
Your eCommerce site may be fun and flashy, but that means very little if you can’t deliver a shopper’s final purchase. If a customer doesn’t receive their order on time, they will no longer be able to trust you for a quality shopping experience and may take their business elsewhere.
As a way to build trust, online brands should keep customers informed throughout the delivery process. The customer will have increased confidence in your brand to provide a quality service and become loyal in response. Our packaging report found that consumers feel they get the least amount of communication when their order is placed and when it is in transit. They also indicated that more information throughout the journey from online order to doorstep would make them more likely to order from the retailer in the future. Work with your 3PL to ensure that you can provide real-time updates for customers throughout the journey and easy customer service options in case of questions or emergency.
Online retailers face many challenges in order fulfillment, inventory management, and building customer loyalty. But with the right partner, creating a unique and excellent customer experience is attainable.
To learn more about you can build and cultivate your brand image, don’t hesitate to contact us.