With the ability to shop anytime and anywhere, customers have higher expectations about their overall buying expectations, especially fast and/or free shipping. To retain customer loyalty and increase customer satisfaction, online retailers should leverage shipping data to ensure the best experience for their customers from the moment they check out all the way through delivery.

For every online shopper the experience starts with their shopping cart and is complete once their item(s) are delivered, which mean it’s crucial to have a great shipping experience since this is the most tangible part of the online purchasing experience for the shopper. More often than not customers have unrealistic expectations about shipping, so it is important to set clear shipping expectations at checkout to avoid disappointment during fulfillment, which could ultimately result in negative customer reviews or the customer looking for alternative eCommerce options.

This begs the question: how does an online retailer meet their customer’s high expectations for both checkout and delivery? Utilizing shipping data is the easiest way to access information about the consumers’ expectations for shipping and how to deliver a seamless buying experience. This type of shipping data includes knowing the best carriers to use based on their customer expectations—free shipping, expedited, lowest cost, and specific service levels like blanket wrap, curbside, or white glove. Another form of shipping data that an online retailer could use is their existing customers’ most popular shipping preferences and simplifying the buying process by limiting the type of shipping options available. Lastly, retailers should constantly seek customer feedback about their shipping and fulfillment experience. This type of feedback include any type of damages to goods or packaging, on-time pickup, on-time delivery, and overall status tracking. This feedback can be used when evaluating the best type of shipping services to offer and the most reliable carriers that will meet their customers’ requirements for a great online buying experience.

In response to the customer’s demand for quality service and transparency during fulfillment, cart-to-customer distribution platforms, like ShipHawk, allow retailers to access shipping data and provide a seamless customer buying experience, which leaves a lasting and positive impression of your brand.