It is an unfortunate fact that around nine in 10 e-commerce start-ups will fail, while a recent survey suggests the majority of these in the UK will do so within their first 120 days. But what are the reasons for such damning figures?
Is it a lack of good marketing? A poor product? Competitors holding a monopoly on the market? Different start-ups will fail for a variety of reasons, but it doesn’t have to be the case and having an excellent delivery strategy can make all the difference. So, what do ecommerce start-ups need to do to ensure they don’t become just another statistic?
Time is money
Any businessperson worth their salt knows that time is of the essence. If your start-up is slow in delivering its product, or frequently encounters unnecessary delays, customers are unlikely to keep coming back for more. Offering a timely, efficient and reliable delivery service will enhance your reputation and is likely to result in repeat business.
Part of that delivery process is allowing your customers to keep tabs on the progress of their parcel right the way from order through to collection, transit and finally, delivery. If your customers are always aware of where their product is during the course of delivery, they’ll be able to make plans for receiving the package and will appreciate a clear and concise procedure.
If parcels are consistently being delivered as dented, broken, bent or damaged in some way, customers will stop coming to you pretty quickly. Swiftly establishing a policy of packages arriving unscathed will help to build your business, so choose your delivery partner wisely.
Communication is key
Try to maintain the channels of communication with your customer throughout the delivery process – the transaction does not start and end with their purchase of your product. If, for whatever reason, their package may be delayed or if there is an issue of any nature, ensure you are managing expectations by keeping them informed as quickly as possible.
Offer a range of delivery options
If you can provide greater versatility in your delivery service, you may attract a wider customer base. Offering a variety of options that can be tailored to each individual can make all the difference. For example, some customers may not be in during the expected delivery window and need their parcel leaving in a certain place or with a neighbour, some may request recorded delivery, or some may ask for the delivery to be made at a specific time. If, within reason, you can cater to these needs then your start-up is more likely to flourish than fail.