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Shipping & Returns: What the Customer Wants

Posted on 25/06/14, filed under eCommerce tips, Transport | 1 Comment

How often have you decided against buying products online just because of the cost of shipping, unclear delivery times or an awkward returns policy?

Today customers want to save their time and money for products not postage and if you don’t meet their expectations you run the risk of losing sales and their loyalty.

What Customers Want

Free Shipping

Offering free or discounted shipping is always a great way to increase sales, customer satisfaction and returning customers.

  • 93% of shoppers have taken some form of action to qualify for free shipping e.g. searching for a promotional code. In fact 70% of customers were inclined to buy more products if it guarantees them free shipping.
  • More than half of customers who don’t qualify for free shipping or who find the cost of delivery is higher than expected will abandon their basket full of products.
  • Over 80% of shoppers are willing to wait for an extra two delivery days to save money on shipping, while 33% will wait five.

Delivery Tracking

Customers will sit on their hands a few extra days to save money but will still be wary of making a purchase if they can’t track their order or don’t have an expected time of arrival.

  • 60% of people say an estimated or guaranteed delivery date is important
  • 40% want to be able to keep track of their delivery either on the retailer’s website or by email or text notifications
  • 79% are satisfied if they could track their order

Clear and Convenient Returns

A clear returns policy can lead to recommendations and recurring business from online shoppers. The clarity and convenience of a returns policy can affect a customer’s decision both before and after purchases.

  • 63% of customers look at the returns policy before they making a purchase
  • 62% of shoppers expect a returns label and an automatic refund if they return a product after purchase
  • 66% say paying for shipping is the biggest problem when returning goods

It is clear that shipping and returns policies are now major factors in a consumer’s decision whether to buy from a business in the first place and then become a returning customer.

Make your shipping and returns more customer-focussed by calling RT Page now on 01903 736300 or contact info@rtpage.co.uk

How to Choose the Right 3PL Provider

Posted on 12/06/14, filed under 3PL, Pick and Pack, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics, Transport, Warehousing | 1 Comment

Outsourcing to third party logistics (3PL) companies is something a number of growing companies are doing in order to become leaner, flexible and gain a competitive advantage. But this is only possible by having the right 3PL provider for your business.

Choosing the Right 3PL Provider

Services on Offer

Do they provide the services you require? Not every provider will offer the full supply chain package, such as

Outsourcing to multiple companies can be more time, money and hassle than it is worth, so try to keep it all under one roof where possible

Resources

Check to see if the 3PL provider is able to adapt and have the resources should your business expand or have busy seasonal periods, particularly if you are a start-up business. For instance, it is worth using a 3PL provider who has up-to-date IT systems such as a warehouse management system (WMS); these streamline and improve their quality of service they deliver to both you and your customers.

Geographical Location

Consider the geographical locations of warehouses and where they are willing to distribute your stock to. If there is not a warehouse close to the network you cover then you risk limiting the amount of customers you can ship to or, even worse, lose customers where you cannot offer quick delivery times.

Experience and Reputation

As your ecommerce business grows your supply chain can become complex, making delivering a good quality service to your customers difficult. Ensure your 3PL provider is highly experienced and has a good reputation in dealing with larger supply chains and networks, check out their client list and testimonials.

At RT Page we have 50 years’ experience within warehousing and distribution, we know how important it is to pick the right 3PL provider to suit your business. Our expert team offer a complete logistics service tailored to the needs and future objectives of your business.

Whether you are a start-up business or an established ecommerce company planning to expand, we’re here to help improve the efficiency of your supply chain, saving you costs and gaining you profitability and a competitive advantage. Simply call RT Page on 01903 736300 and discover how outsourcing can help grow your business.

Ecommerce: Should you expand abroad?

Posted on 29/05/14, filed under eCommerce tips, Transport | No Comments

The UK is the fastest growing and most developed ecommerce market to date. Now more online retailers are planning to accelerate their growth by expanding their businesses overseas.

But is this what everyone should do?

Britain Makes the Most Online Sales

Britain’s success in the ecommerce market is being largely driven by its compact size, making delivery more cost-effective and having high internet penetration. The United States may have the biggest ecommerce market by absolute turnover, but Britain makes up a larger proportion of internet sales (11% in 2013 compared to 7.3% in the US.)

Opportunities Overseas

British retailers have experienced huge success abroad including clothing retailer Next, who deliver to 60 countries from a UK warehouse, experienced 86% growth of online sales last year and are expecting it to rise a further 50% in 2014 to £150 million.

UK retailers are beating competition because they offer

  • A wider choice
  • Competitive prices
  • Quick and reliable delivery

In 2012 British retailers made £4 billion worth of sales but this is predicted to increase to £28 billion by 2020.

In just the first quarter of 2014 there was a 13% rise in overseas customers browsing for UK apparel, with the growth strongest in China, Germany, France and Russia.

With the state of the ecommerce market in this country, the popularity of online shopping and interest coming from overseas, ecommerce businesses are in prime position to retail their goods abroad, even from just a single warehouse in Britain.

Will you join the action? Discover how you can start shipping your goods abroad and accelerate your business growth by calling RT Page on 01903 736300 or contact info@rtpage.co.uk.

4 Downfalls of DIY Warehousing & Distribution

Posted on 14/05/14, filed under 3PL, Pick and Pack, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments

Outsource or manage your stock and warehousing yourself? There’s a lot to consider when making this vital decision – which could make or break you – you need to think about cost, time, resources and your capabilities.

Managing your stock and distribution entirely on your own can have its own stresses and disadvantages, without the expertise of an experienced warehouse team it can become more expensive than outsourcing.

Here are some of the most common downfalls when it comes to managing your own stock and distribution

  • It’s Time Consuming – managing your entire supply chain will take up a lot of your time, meaning you’ll have even less time to focus of your business. Outsourcing to a third-party logistics (3PL) company relieves you of the responsibility, freeing you up to focus on what you’re good at – your business.
  • Lack of Experience Can Cost You – have you ever managed your own stock to this scale before? Could you really afford to risk not delivering good quality of service, damaged goods and unhappy customers? A 3PL company will have the expertise, specialised processes and resources to minimise errors and increase productivity and turnaround time, saving you money in the long run.
  • Insufficient Space for Stock Levels – Warehouse management and 3PL companies often offer flexible warehouse facilities, so should you need additional space (at Christmas for example) it’s covered.
  • In-house Logistics Costs Money – managing your own logistics means investing in a logistics infrastructure including storage space, racking systems, manufacturing setups and hiring staff. All of these aspects can cost more money than partnering with a third-party-logistics company.

No matter what your requirements are there is always a way that outsourcing with a 3PL company can work for your business, from warehousing or pick and pack to taking care of all your entire supply chain logistics including returns, shipping, and even customer service.

Find out more about the cost effective, stress-free solutions RT Page can offer you. Get in touch with us now on 01903 736300 or email us on info@rtpage.co.uk.

How a Warehouse Management System Takes Care of Everything

Posted on 01/05/14, filed under 3PL, Pick and Pack, Storage Space, Supply Chain Logistics, Warehousing | No Comments

Imagine being able to manage your stock more efficiently, without the boring stock-taking or human errors. This is where using a third-party logistics (3PL) company with a Warehouse Management System (WMS) can take care of everything for you, without you having to invest a large sum of time and money.

A Warehouse Management System:
• Tracks the location and movement of inventory, orders and manufacturing resources in the warehouse.
• Processes other associated transactions e.g. shipping, organising storage, pick and pack and monitoring stock levels and breaks orders into groups based on the products’ locations.
• Provides handheld scanners, computer software and label and invoice printers in order to efficiently track shipments and products throughout the supply chain process.

The Rewards:
• Improves the visibility of your stock and management of your storage capacity in the warehouse, in turn increasing speed and productivity and reducing mistakes and errors.
• Enables you to see which items you sell more of than others, improving the organisation of your stock.
• Improves stock management accuracy by minimising extra stock, lost stock and shipping errors.
• Improves efficiency and reduces paperwork, saving time and resources.

Using a 3PL company that has a Warehouse Management System will not only benefit the warehouse staff but your business and ultimately your customers by streamlining the order fulfillment process, resulting in satisfied customers and saving you time, money and concern.

Start reaping the rewards of having a Warehouse Management System to streamline your business by contacting RT Page on 01903 736300