These days, it may seem an impossible task for small to mid-sized companies to successfully compete with the large e-commerce companies, many of which are household names. However, with a well-optimized supply chain, combined with excellent customer service, it can be done.
Ensure the Customer is King
Whenever a customer visits your website, make sure they receive excellent service, right from the moment the order is placed to its delivery. Look at the process objectively and ask yourself if any changes will improve that experience or make it unnecessarily complicated. Be upfront about shipping costs and delivery times to avoid customers abandoning an order at checkout. If they need a refund or wish to return an item, ensure the entire process is smooth and easy-to-navigate.
Use Reverse Logistics
The average return rate can be as high as 40% or as low as 8%. In 2015, total product returns equated to a $260 billion loss in sales. It is essential to ensure your products can be returned effectively and economically, and still in perfect condition.
Talk to Your Customers
When needed, pick up the phone and talk to your customers. This type of human touch is frequently lacking in today’s high-tech environment but is usually greatly appreciated by customers who want to feel valued.
Provide Real-Time Tracking
Once an order is ready for shipping, provide your customers with real-time tracking. Also, offer them different shipping options. Look into using different shippers to reduce costs or to save time. These solutions provide your customer with more control over their order.
Think Like the Big Guys but Offer Something Different
E-commerce giants operate well-run companies, but they often fail to offer more unique products and services. Learn from the way these companies are run, but whenever possible, provide different services for your customers that they cannot get anywhere else.
Learn to Judge Your Inventory Level Correctly
If needed, invest in a good inventory management system that will also help with forecasting orders. This should link inventory in physical and online stores. Sales are often seasonal, so make sure you are prepared to fulfill extra orders or to cope with a slump in sales.
Minimize Shipping Costs
Make sure every order is packed efficiently into the right sized cartons, ensuring every order is received undamaged. If you do not have a system, investigate software solutions to help you. Our BlackBox software can be seamlessly integrated into existing warehouse systems and will provide optimal results, order after order.
Contact us to find out how our BlackBox software could assist your business, enabling you to compete more effectively with the e-commerce behemoths.