Customer satisfaction should be the top priority for every business, whether it provides goods or services – and whether it operates at physical outlets or via the internet.
For e-commerce businesses, logistics plays a vital role in bringing people and products together. Accordingly, it has a direct and significant impact on customer satisfaction.
The need for differentiation through better customer service
Most e-commerce businesses have multiple competitors, offering the same or similar products and services. With increased competition comes an increased need to find ways to stand out and be different.
Offering products and services for lower prices can boost sales in the short term.
In contrast, providing excellent customer service can give a business a long-lasting competitive advantage. It improves your chances of repeat business and referrals, and fosters customer loyalty.
Analysts from Forrester.com – one of the most influential research and advisory firms in the world – believe that customer service is a company’s only truly sustainable source of competitive advantage.
Logistics as a key to customer satisfaction
A study conducted by Ipsos MORI – the second largest market research organisation in the United Kingdom – highlights how important it is for e-retailers to have dependable logistics systems and fast, flexible delivery services.
99 percent of the participants in the Ipsos MORI survey said that they expect to receive their products no later than a week after placing their order, with 53 percent indicating that they expect to be offered a delivery window of no more than three hours.
About 91 percent of the 800 consumers surveyed indicated that they explore the delivery options provided by an e-retailer before looking at the specific products being offered.
Of this 91 percent, just under half said that they have previously abandoned a potential online purchase due to undesirable delivery options.
Customers are willing to pay more for better delivery services
The good news is that 40 percent of those surveyed by Ipsos MORI indicated that they’re happy to pay more for superior service.
Numerous other studies and surveys from recent years support these findings. For example,
- the 2011 Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, compiled by market research agency Harris Interactive, found that 86 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience
- in a study by Defaqto – an independent researcher of financial products – 55 percent of consumers said they’d pay more for better service
- 81 percent of consumers surveyed by Oracle – a provider of cloud applications, platform services and engineered systems – indicated they’re willing to pay more for a better customer experience
- in the United States, a study by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that 80 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service to ensure a superior customer experience.
How ACT Logistics can help
The bottom line is that e-retailers need an effective logistics solution and fast, flexible delivery methods to satisfy customers’ expectations.
ACT Logistics provides businesses with comprehensive logistics support – including warehousing and a professional pick and pack service – and reliable, cost-effective deliveries, within South Africa and internationally.