Service & logistics: improving conversion through efficient payment and customer service methods

One of BFCM's biggest challenges is payment and post-sale logistics.
The goal is to improve the conversion rate and sales performance of your Ecommerce site: find out how to satisfy your customers through all these activation levers.

Welcome to this section, which is dedicated to logistics and after-sales service so that you prepare well for your Black Friday. The goal is to be ready for the big day – Friday, November 25, 2022 – as well as for all the holidays that follow it. Improve the conversion rate and sales performance of your Ecommerce site!

Let’s discuss the logistics of Black Friday: one of the many cornerstones of a successful operation. How will the payment, delivery or return conditions improve the conversion rate? You will have to be clear and comprehensive in order not to lose any conversion opportunities on your e-commerce platform, and thus compensate for a probable drop-off at the payment stage, which can often be due to the return conditions or fee. You should also know that the cost of returns can represent up to 4% of e-tailers’ revenue (see thearticle on promotions and stocks). Finally, what communication solutions should be put in place to ensure the best after-sales service? And how should you manage them?

Improve conversion with payment, shipping and product returns

Silvr already talked about it in this article on how to use financing as a growth vector, and here we'll take a closer look at how payment, delivery or pickup methods and solutions will help your online conversion. To improve your conversion: offer multiple payment and billing methods.

Delivery and pickup:

There are now multiple methods to suit every taste: pickup points, home delivery, click and collect, etc. So try to source the right number of delivery partners to cover the whole spectrum of demand (and not lose any conversion opportunity). Whether it's about delivery or pickup: more than 80% of consumers say they abandon their shopping cart to avoid high delivery costs. Be aware that implementing a return fee policy will limit returns, but will not increase your average basket. Conversely, free or simplified return policies will add a logistical challenge, but will improve the customer experience and make them one of your biggest customers.

What delivery methods are available to you?

  • The traditional method: a logistically demanding delivery method, but one that has historically proven itself;
  • The pickup point: chosen by 83% of the French public in 2019, it allows for latency in product pickup at a selected location, and is therefore a customer satisfaction factor;
  • Express delivery: 42% of French people under 35 years of age prefer it, and it is suitable for the emergency period that is BFCM (Black Friday-Cyber Monday).

If you have a brick-and-mortar outlet, then go down the omnichannel route! Why deprive yourself of an additional option that can be convenient for your customers? Then offer click-and-collect as a complement to the previous options.

Product return:

Sticking with a philosophy of customer satisfaction, it is important to offer easy return conditions. While it’s usually around 20%, the return rate can rise to 50% during BFCM. Before all that, offer favorable return conditions in order to push the purchase more easily and convince even the most doubtful. In addition, 33% of e-buyers consider this to be an important aspect in their decision making, and 89% think that free returns are normal.

Display these conditions in an obvious way so that your site visitor – and future customer – clearly understands, avoiding disappointments that can damage the relationship you have with them. Shopify made a list of the essential elements to include in the return conditions. Namely, the eligible products, the deadlines of items eligible for returns and/or exchanges, the terms (pickup point, label, in the original packaging, etc.), but also if it involves a refund, exchange, credit, etc.

It is good to remember that the strategy of 
“Try before you buy” is booming. To overcome the essential advantage of brick-and-mortar that is the tangibility of products in front of us, Ecommerce has managed to adapt. So, no more fitting rooms; today, we choose articles, we receive them, we try them and we pay only for those we decide not to return. If the average cart can grow, analyze beforehand if this offering is suitable for your products, your business and your financial health, because the cash flow hole can theoretically become significant. By doing so, some brands have seen their conversion rate increase by 20% for an average cart that has jumped by 45%. Obviously, you should analyze if this strategy applies to your products, and if your withdrawal logistics allow it.

Payment methods:

Offering secure payment methods helps you to avoid fraud, but also serves as an element of reassurance for your e-customers. Silvr already talked about this here in this article about accelerating your growth with different payment methods. So, what options do you have?

  • Payment in installments: already used by more than 60% of French people, this method increases the average cart twofold with an option of 3 or 4 monthly payments. This seems an appropriate spot to mention our partner Scalapay, which allows you to pay for your purchases in three instalments and without any fees;
  • BNPL(Buy Now, Pay Later): a fast-growing solution the use of which has doubled over the last two Black Fridays of 2020 and 2021. It is a real conversion lever.

After-sales service: text messages are an excellent way to maintain the after-sales relationship
After-sales service: text messages are an excellent way to maintain the after-sales relationship

After sales service, communication platform and questions about future purchases

 

Allow buyers to follow the entire delivery cycle (text messages, etc.), and do the same for returns, reassuring customers with regular and precise follow-ups detailing the procedures. Why send texts at each delivery stage? Mobile devices are used most often for online sales; they are omnipresent in our daily life. So take advantage of this as an obvious information channel. Remember that 90% of texts are read less than 3 minutes after they are sent for an opening rate of nearly 98% vs. 20% for emails. This explains this excellent opening rate. Read the article “Black Friday: which onsite, outbound and inbound marketing methods should you activate?" to learn more about text messaging.

5 progress updates to offer by text message:

  • Upon confirmation of the order;
  • When the product is shipped;
  • Each time there is an update (delivery points, problem X or Y, etc.);
  • Upon confirmation of delivery;
  • And confirmation of the return.

For a quality after-sales follow-up, use our partner Onepilot and increase your support (as with payment).

  • Conversational pop-up on your site;
  • You can also develop blog posts and onsite categories that answer frequently asked questions. This will unclog your other after-sales channels and handle the influx of recurring questions;
  • You can also use your social networks via chatbots. Include enough scenarios to cover the widest spectrum. Customers will experience a very low response time, which will encourage loyalty.

Logistics management and partner trust

We talked about inventory, but the fluidity of your logistics flows is also a key element for your BFCM. Use a supply and return management platform to optimize the relative cost of these procedures, which are often at irreducible rates. Hive will allow you to manage and visualize these inventory flows. You will then be able to efficiently manage the relationship with suppliers and carriers. Therefore, it is also preferable to capitalize on stable commercial relationships. As BFCM approaches, suppliers and logisticians will also be going through a very intense period, so if you are not familiar with their working methods and their usual deadlines, avoid them.

Companies are faced with the need to supply each channel equally and to better manage omnichannel logistics operations during these shopping holidays. From a CSR perspective, too, there is a business challenge. The trend towards a smaller carbon footprint makes the choice of your logistics partners crucial.

- Published
November 2, 2022
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