Depending on which industry you’re in, and which studies you believe, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. So while building brand awareness is important, particularly for start-up sellers, keeping your existing customers happy can prove an even more valuable return on investment.
Based on seeing what works, and what our most successful clients have asked of us, here are five suggestions on how effective fulfilment could encourage customers to return.
We see countless plain brown cardboard boxes go out of the door. But from our point of view, packaging is another opportunity to showcase your brand and stand out from the others.
Some of our fastest-growing clients are leading the way with branded packaging of different colours. If your packaging makes a good initial impression this is the first step to getting a repeat customer. Our team enjoy especially picking and packing those orders – imagine how much more excited your customers would be to open these over another brown parcel!
If you’re worried about it standing out to a potential thief in the post, or your customer may not want to draw attention to the product they’ve ordered, you can get boxes that are coloured on the inside to give that wow factor once the box is opened.
Another consideration of course is sustainable packaging, particularly if you’re a brand built on fair trade, organic materials, and other ethical business practices. If you’re marketing sustainable and practical clothing, for example, everything in your supply chain needs to reflect this or customers will find it much more difficult to buy into your brand.
We all appreciate something personal to us, and it is a nice step to thank your customer for making the order.
Using the customer’s name is a nice touch which shows care and effort on every purchase. This doesn’t just have to be an automated email or order confirmation: a handwritten note on nice branded stationery can make a customer feel like effort has been put in. This is something that Vdepot can do for you, so you can continue to add a personal touch to your deliveries even when outsourcing your fulfilment.
Particularly if you are promoting yourself as a growing start-up or a family run company, these personal touches can tie in really well with this idea and make customers feel more connected to your business. And if they make a connection, they will most likely return!
If appropriate for your product, providing a gift wrapping service can have several benefits:
- Making your customers’ lives easier
- Offering additional value over your competitors
- Showing your brand’s personality through unique stationery
All of these things will of course make your customer more likely to remember you the next time they need a product like yours. And if you use an order fulfilment service like Vdepot, you can maintain this level of care and effort on every order without you having to give up your time or hire more staff!
Fast and Accurate Fulfilment
The efficiency, care and accuracy of the order fulfilment process can make all the difference to your customer’s experience. If orders arrive later than expected, or contain the wrong items, this can overshadow all the work you’ve put into developing and marketing your products, and deter your hard-earned customer from buying again.
You should never settle for a substandard order fulfilment service. If you’ve gotten to the point where you cannot dedicate enough time or staff to the growing challenge, or requirements fluctuate over the course of the year, then it’s time to consider outsourcing your fulfilment.
And of course, it almost goes without saying that offering next day delivery shows you are reactive and can meet their needs. As consumers ourselves we expect to be able to order most products to arrive for the following day if needed. Typically with a fulfilment house such as Vdepot, orders received before 2:00pm will be dispatched on the same day. Stating the cut-off time for next-day delivery on your website can also add a bit of urgency with new and existing online customers.
The work doesn’t end once the order has been fulfilled. Putting in a loyalty card or discount code in with the order can incentivise repeat business. If you sell on marketplaces and pay fees, try and direct to the customer back to your own website for next time.
Ensure your online checkout process gives your customers the opportunity to sign up to your mailing list, so you can continue to remain on their radar until they’re ready to buy a product like yours again. A database of engaged people who you know have/will engage with your brand is one of the most valuable marketing assets you can have. Note – do not automatically add them to your mailing list as this contravenes GDPR regulations. They need to opt-in to receive marketing emails from you.
Did you know that 92% of consumers will consider buying from you again if your returns process is easy? Do everything you can to ensure that returning an item is as painless as possible. Fulfilment providers such as Vdepot can manage your returns for you, so that returns are minimum hassle for you as well!
Make sure that your returns policy is clearly stated on your website. For sectors with high return rates, such as clothing, consumer electronics, and beauty products, this can make a significant difference to your likelihood of retaining customers.
Trying some of these simple steps can turn a simple transaction into an enjoyable and memorable brand experience. This in turn will make your customers more likely to return, and/or recommend you to their friends and family.
Contact us today to implement some of these options or to learn more about what Vdepot can do for you.