Consumers won't be "COVID shopping" forever. Make sure your delivery options continue to meet their needs.
Only 21% of consumers in a recent survey said they expect to keep shopping online as much after the pandemic as they do now, but a different study concludes many people will stick with e-commerce because it’s safe and convenient. The truth is, no one knows exactly how buyer behavior will change in a world with COVID because the last time we lived through something like this, computers and cell phones and the Internet didn’t exist.
But suppose you take technology out of the picture and focus on the majority of shoppers’ primary goals. In that case, things get clearer: most people prefer to buy from businesses that let them purchase (and return) products they want, when they want them, in any way that’s easiest for them.
Reliable and transparent delivery solutions win loyal customers
Purchasing online should save the consumer time and effort, right? For millions of people who live in high-density markets and congested urban neighborhoods, getting things they’re buying online successfully delivered actually creates a dilemma, not a solution.
What can your business gain by solving their delivery problem? Many people decide where to shop based on how easy it is to get a delivery, and many more prefer to shop in-store to avoid delivery challenges altogether. So offering better ways to fulfill orders through every channel can boost your brand’s reputation and earn you loyal customers.
- Freedom to place an order and know they can have it in hand quickly. Customers often want orders delivered as soon as possible — sometimes the same day.
- Worry-free delivery. Nobody wants to be concerned about their package being stolen from their doorstep or adjusting their schedule to be home to ensure safe delivery.
- Real-time information. Clearly stated delivery date estimates and real-time tracking can boost customer satisfaction and reduce cart abandonment.
Fill urban delivery voids, offer ease and convenience
Let’s assume you’ve always wanted the opportunity to reach new customers in “undeliverable” high-density markets, and that the people who live in those markets want easy access to your product. This year, a significant uptick in online shopping and buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) behaviors makes flexible delivery options in these locations more valuable than ever.
If this sounds right, you might want to look into how a local customer pickup center can be the foundation of a seamless buying experience in densely populated areas.
Customer convenience centers are easy-access, walk-in locations where distributors (for a direct-sales business, for example) and consumers can pick up online orders on the same day they order them - no delivery required.
To open a convenience center:
- First, find a full-service outsource partner who has experience choosing ideal site locations based on specific customer demographics in high-density markets.
- Make certain they have experience managing all phases of required site remodeling or construction.
- Invest in full-service: your new partner should manage your new convenience center’s total operations once construction is complete. Make sure they can handle human resources, inventory management, cash-flow, and hiring and training staff.
- Tailor the business model — anything from a quick package pick-up center to a members-only, fee-based center — to your company’s specific needs.
- Maximize profits by accepting cash payments. You’ll avoid credit card transactions, gateway payments (applied to most e-commerce transactions), and chargeback fees — as well as the actual chargebacks if a customer says they never received the product.
- Put your company name on a physical building and build brand awareness in your community.
Meeting customers’ needs is the easiest way to gain their trust and repeat business. A walk-in customer convenience center can be a game-changing opportunity to provide fast, simple, local delivery in order to attract and retain loyal customers.
About Cura Group
Cura Group helps retailers navigate local distribution challenges by building and managing fully-staffed Sales Centers. We currently operate in New York City, Chicago, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, and Puerto Rico. Contact us today to discuss a local strategy to get closer to your customers and make product access a more positive experience.