Amazon is currently dominating the online shopping experience, but here’s what retailers can do to keep customers loyal.
There’s been constant news of how Amazon is ruling the online shopping experience, causing retailers of all sizes to worry about their future in the e-commerce world. Since Amazon began booming, more and more retailers are filing for bankruptcy. According to a survey done by Smarter HQ, bankruptcies have been increasing year over year by 24%. Not to mention that shoppers are moving from shopping at brick-and-mortar stores to shopping online. But with Amazon as the leading online retailer, how can other retailers compete on the same turf as the online retail giant who has made $136 billion in US sales? Retailers must understand why shoppers prioritize Amazon above the rest.
Shipping is Key
As we well know, consumers look for free shipping when shopping online. According to Smarter HQ, 84% of shoppers demanded fast and free shipping. This is something that Amazon offers its shoppers with a Prime membership (50% of its customers). That’s why 310 million active Amazon shoppers flock to the e-commerce giant, for their fast and free shipping options. Without their iconic free, two-day shipping, Amazon would stand to lose 82% of their Prime members.
How to win them back:
Sure, for many retailers, free shipping doesn’t seem like a feasible option because of the high cost; however, many issues point back to the shipping system itself. Take a look at your current shipping solution. Are you utilizing carrier-specific shipping software provided by commercial carriers? When you use these systems to handle the bulk of your shipping, it’s more difficult for shippers to switch carriers seamlessly and access more favorable pricing. In fact, 85% of all parcel shipping systems are composed of a single-carrier (yikes). Re-evaluating your shipping solution and using a carrier-agnostic multi-carrier shipping software can alleviate these pains and help you provide your customers with free-shipping.
On top of this, there are some other shipping tactics that retailers can leverage. Remember, you don’t have to offer free shipping to everyone. Think of offering free shipping to your highest spend customers, or offer free shipping to those with a high cart abandonment rate.
BOPUS is Winning
Amazon has parcel lockers. So instead of shipping orders to unsecure locations, such as a front-door steps, Amazon provides their shoppers with convenient click-and-collect locker systems. These are strategically placed at gas stations, grocery stores and even competing retailer brick-and-mortar stores (hey, if you can’t beat them, join them, right?) Wrong. Carrier agnostic Amazon Lockers are even starting to be installed at the largest apartment complexes in the US. This means that Amazon will have information on your customers.
How to win them back:
If you utilize Amazon lockers in your retail store you might gain some foot traffic, but your own customers won’t be able to make use of them. Instead, provide your own parcel lockers to your shoppers. Today’s customers are part of the “I want it now” generation, and they don’t want to wait in lengthy lines for in-store pick-up (think Black Friday), they don’t want to wait for a delivery truck and to pay for shipping (think Cyber Monday) and they want convenience. Parcel Lockers provide all of these things while saving you space, time and money. They also can be installed outside for convenient 24/7 pick-up.
The Box Matters
Ever wonder how Amazon manages to ship your items in boxes that seem perfectly made for them? Well, Amazon uses manual 3D parcel volume reduction technology to help them create a perfect fit-to-size box for each item shipped. This is extremely important when it comes to the customer experience. 40 percent of online shoppers receive deliveries in oversized boxes and 52 percent of customers are more likely to make repeat purchases from an online retailer that delivers premium packaging.
How to win them back:
Go a step beyond Amazon. Install automated 3D parcel volume reduction technology and get rid of the manual process all together. Automated packing solutions are the ideal answer for reducing parcel dimensions and optimizing all steps of order fulfillment, while enhancing the customer experience. When an order is inducted, the automated packing solution scans the order, creates, folds, secures and labels each order into a fit-to-size parcel in as little as seven seconds - the output of 7 – 10 manual pack stations!
By creating this fit-to-size parcel, an automated packing solution even reduces or eliminates void fill. It also reduces the amount of corrugated material used by up to 20%, producing major cost savings with a quick return on investment. Additionally, you get to watch your customers gleam with joy in future “unboxing” videos.
Amazon may seem like they are taking over the online retail world, but there are a few tips and tricks that retailers can implement to keep their customers coming back and making sure they stay loyal. As Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon said, “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little better.” Make it your job too.