4 ways to strengthen your shipping and post purchase processes during the recession

10/26/2022
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5 min read
eShipper
ReturnBear x eShipper

Win customers in the long run by stepping up your pre and post purchase customer experience. 

Holiday spending is predicted to fall by 17% this year as recession concerns tighten the wallets of Canadian shoppers. Average household spending for the holidays will decrease to $1520 as predicted by Deloitte Canada’s 2022 Holiday Retail Outlook. This decrease in discretionary spending could create challenges for your business.

Reducing prices on seasonal items is the first step to winning customers - but we want you to retain and win in the long run. We’ve partnered with eShipper to share 4 tips on how to strengthen your business operations by improving your shipping and post-purchase processes.

Tip #1: Automate fulfillment to increase efficiency

Box being handed to person scanning it

Even in an economic downturn, your business needs to be primed for growth. That’s because you want to come out on top when things pick up again–and a great place to start is improving the efficiency of your fulfillment processes.

Many online shoppers expect to receive their items within 2-3 days, and 22% abandon their carts if they see that it will take too long to get their orders. What this means is that you need to start fulfilling orders almost as soon as they come in! Look at the growing demand for speedy fulfillment as an opportunity to step up your services for your customers, and remember that having the competitive edge will help you weather the downturn and emerge stronger. 

eShipper has the pick & pack automation capabilities that can get shipments out the door quickly, efficiently, and more accurately. Automation ensures that staff spend less time fulfilling orders and reduces the chances of human error, bringing down your overall operating costs. Your customers will be happier too; not only do they get their orders more quickly, but the savings get passed on to them as well. It’s the simplest way to get things done and keep your business running – and winning.

 

Tip #2: Use third parties to simplify and streamline your business

People organizing fulfillment of orders close to loading bay

Working with the right logistics service provider can significantly influence your brand reputation, customer happiness, and profit margins – and that’s what will sustain your business through the recession and beyond. eShipper offers end-to-end eCommerce solutions and gives you access to cheaper and faster shipping, which is always good for business – but it’s especially important in a recession, when shipping cost and delivery speed will be one of your biggest differentiators. In fact, it's the key to beating the competition.

 

48% of consumers abandon checkout when extra costs like shipping are too high. As a 3PL provider, eShipper leverages their experience and size to negotiate courier rates, bringing you great discounts with reputable shipping companies, all while servicing your ground-level logistics. You’ll save up to 70% on your shipping costs, with the added benefit of knowing you have a true partner in your corner. With competitive shipping options such as air shipping for the price of ground, expedited cross-border shipping, zone skipping, and next-day delivery, you’ll be able to get your products to your customers faster and for less, so you can scale your business and meet customer expectations even in tough market conditions.  

Tip #3: Drive sales with a hassle-free return policy for your customers

Someone using their tablet to initiate a return for a product they purchased

Customers are more conscious of how they spend their money as we enter a recession. One of the best ways to combat consumer fears is to create a safe and trustworthy shopping experience by publishing an easy-to-find and hassle-free return policy. Clarity, transparency and convenience are key for winning the trust of your customers. In fact, over 60% of consumers said they check the return details on a product before they make a purchase, and without a clear and competitive return policy you could be losing out on a lot of sales. 

Include the following in your return policy to reduce anxiety and complications for your customers:

  • Eligibility for refunds and exchanges. For example, clear details on how many days after a purchase an item can be returned, specific eligibility criteria (condition, discount rules, proof of purchase, etc.) 
  • Shipping details. Make it clear to the customer if they pay for return shipping, or if your brand does. It’s not easy to offer free return shipping, so if you can’t, then do you have other lower-cost ways for them to make a return? ReturnBear’s Canadian drop-off network helps you reduce the costs your customers (or brand) have to cover for return shipping. Make it clear to your customers how this works.  
  • Automated return requests. Customers may be scared when they see that they need to contact your team to initiate a return request. If you can automate their ability to request a return, you not only make their lives easier, and help solve their problems faster, you also reduce the customer service effort your team needs to put in to handle returns.
  • Offer easy exchanges and store credit. Show your customers that you want to keep their business by making it clear the exchange and store credit options you have. Use a platform like ReturnBear to make it easy for a customer to exchange items. Reward customers for choosing store credit refunds by offering an exciting credit bonus.

ReturnBear helps you automate your returns and provide convenient services for your customers like a national network of package- and label-free drop-off locations. These are the sort of experiences that demonstrate how you’re finding new ways to make your customers’ lives easier, and that will win you trust in the long run. This is a win-win for your brand and your customers - you can reduce your shipping costs, offer drop-offs as a Free (or low-cost) return option, and make things more convenient for everyone at the same time.

Tip #4: Use micro-forward fulfillment to reduce cost and overhead

A customer heading to the ReturnBear drop-off point

On average 15-20% of sales result in a return for ecommerce businesses, think about the total number of returns your team manages on a monthly basis; it’s tedious and time consuming. Automating your returns is an effective way to cut down the time your team spends approving, inspecting and sorting returns. 

In the new era of ecommerce, return inventory is no longer a pain point, but rather a profit centre. With ReturnBear’s forward fulfillment capabilities, you can process returns and move inventory faster while saving money on shipping. Forward fulfillment can save you up to 40% on shipping costs as a result of returns. One of the top success factors for any ecommerce brand is fast delivery, forward fulfillment enables businesses to do this effectively. 

ReturnBear will accept and approve your drop-off returns at any affiliate drop-off locations across Canada and process them in a day so that your returned goods are ready to be resold. Instead of paying extra to ship items back to your warehouse only to be repacked and shipped to the next customer, you can save on shipping costs and reduce carbon emissions. 

Conclusion

Businesses that will successfully push through the recession are focused on improving their operations, cutting costs of inefficient processes, and spending more time focusing on improving their customer experience. With eShipper and ReturnBear, you can be confident that your shipping and return management partners are taking care of the details while you continue to run your business. From pick and pack to micro forward-fulfillment, we’re covering the most crucial parts of your customer journey. 

Below you’ll find direct links to sign-up for a demo to learn more about: 

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