The holiday season is indisputably the most profitable time of the year for Shopify retailers as it leads to a record-breaking high volume of sales. But holiday rush and sales spikes often put a strain on delivery causing shipping delays & supply chain issues. If not prepared, such delays can cost you customer dissatisfaction, potential buyers, and lost sales. In fact, 58% of consumers say they would never buy from a brand after a shipping delay.
Even with streamlined retail operations, it’s hard to avoid shipping delays completely. Several factors can cause shipping delays during the holiday season, including an increase in the volume of packages being shipped, bad weather, and limited capacity at shipping carriers.
To mitigate the impact of shipping delays, eCommerce vendors can try to be proactive by communicating with their customers about potential delays and offering alternative shipping options, such as expedited shipping or local pickup. They can also work with their shipping carriers to try to resolve any issues that may be causing delays. In addition, they can try to plan ahead and place orders with their suppliers as early as possible to give themselves plenty of time to fulfil orders and avoid last-minute delays
If you’ve a mobile app for your Shopify store, you can use it to improve the customer experience and make it easier for you to manage orders and shipments, which can ultimately help to reduce the impact of shipping delays on your business. Let’s look at some ways you can leverage your mobile app to provide an enhanced shopping experience with minimal delays:
How mobile apps can help mitigate shopping delays better?
1. Enhanced Proactive Communication:
When it comes to delayed shipping, proactive and early customer communication is one great way to establish trust and build rapport as your customers expect a heads up – especially when they are waiting for their holiday orders. A mobile app comes in handy in communicating delays and order updates effectively. You can start by triggering in-app notifications or pop-ups to let your customers know the products which are more likely to get out of stock soon or may experience delays. You can also add alerts or notices to product pages for any items that may be impacted by supply chain issues based on forecasted delays.
To forecast delays, it’s critical to stay in close contact with your logistics and inventory management team or vendors as they would know which products may face the wrath of delivery disputes. Furthermore, ensure that your carrier is providing ample order tracking-related information and support to your customers.
You can also use this as an opportunity to build brand credibility and trust by maintaining transparency around delayed or out-of-stock items and giving your customers the choice to proceed knowing what they can expect.
Make sure to communicate delays with their estimated lengths within multiple places on your app, for instance, product detail pages, app header, checkout flow, and push notifications. Use multiple channels to inform your customers about
In addition to your & app, product & checkout pages, also provide assistance on email or social media support, live chat, a shipping policy page, or a help center.
Update your FAQ page: If you don’t have one, now’s the time to write one addressing the most common shipping or delivery related questions. Also, modify your cross channel communication sequence ahead of time to maximise the visibility of your message when it’s down to the wire.
2. Order Tracking
Order tracking can be a powerful tool for improving the customer experience and increasing customer satisfaction during the holiday season by providing information about the current status and location of a package. With a mobile app, you can easily help users to track their orders and receive updates on the status of their purchases. Customers appreciate the convenience that comes with order tracking. It gives them the peace of mind and ability to plan their day around the delivery of their order. This can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. The better you communicate available order tracking options, the lesser follow-ups you’ll receive during the busy season.
For example, if you see that a package is delayed or has not yet been shipped, you may be able to contact the seller or the shipping company to ask about the status of the package and find out what is causing the delay. Alternatively, you may be able to make alternate arrangements, such as changing the delivery address or opting for a different shipping method.
- Make shipment tracking available for every order, as early as possible. Adding tracking numbers to all fulfilled orders will save you a lot of questions down the line.
- Provide an Estimate When Someone Selects a Product: Avoid letting your customer go through an entire checkout process only to know the expected delivery time is far ahead of what they expect. Make sure to add estimated delivery time frames on your product detail pages.
- Show tracking information where your customers are likely to look—in post-purchase emails and your Order Status page. Highlight any sort of delay in shipping during the checkout process too.
- Add or customize an order status page on your Shopify store. Once your customers add a tracking number, they’ll be able to get shipping updates from their order page.
3. Seamless Customer Support:
Mobile apps can provide users with an easy way to contact customer service and resolve any issues that may be causing delays. For example, if there is a problem with an order, users can contact customer service directly through the app to resolve the issue. Irrespective of how much prep work you put in for the seasonal rush, there will always be instances when customers reach out.
Provide guidelines and drafted responses for anticipated customer questions and issues to maintain a consistent customer experience. Also, ensure to show empathy in your response’s tone and wording. To anticipate potential follow-up questions, consider mentioning:
- The day you shipped the order as well as the estimated delivery date
- A direct link to the tracking page for the carrier you used.
Shipping disputes can’t be fully controlled, your best bet is to be prepared to provide for your customers when it happens. Even if the delay isn’t covered, it’s a good idea to make up for the tardiness of the shipment, like offering a refund for shipping costs, a discount, or a gift card.
4. Optimised Logistics & Inventory management
By integrating with logistics plugins, mobile apps can also help businesses with delivering & inventory management and keep customers informed about the status of their orders. This can help reduce delays caused by out-of-stock items or other availability issues. Mobile apps can also integrate with inventory management plugins to keep track of stock levels and ensure that there are sufficient products available for delivery. If an item is out of stock, the app could automatically notify the customer and offer alternative products or suggest a different delivery date when the product becomes available again.
- Real-time inventory tracking: Mobile apps can provide real-time updates on inventory levels, allowing businesses to quickly identify when stock is running low and take action to restock.
- Automated reordering: Mobile apps can be configured to automatically reorder products when inventory levels reach a certain threshold, helping to ensure that businesses always have the products they need in stock.
- Product management: Mobile apps can allow businesses to manage and update product information, including prices, descriptions, and images, in real-time. This can help businesses keep their online store up to date and attract more customers.
- Order management: Mobile apps can provide real-time updates on orders, including the status of each order, helping businesses to manage and fulfill orders efficiently.
- Inventory forecasting: Mobile apps can use data on past sales and trends to forecast future demand for products, helping businesses to better manage their inventory and avoid overstocking or running out of stock.
Overall, mobile apps can provide a range of tools and features that can help e-commerce businesses manage their inventory more effectively, improving the efficiency of their operations and the customer experience.
To deliver a great customer experience during the peak season, it’s important to get your shipping strategy on point well ahead to weather the shopping storm as a small business. Having a mobile app is no less than a cherry on top when it comes to dealing with shipping delays and effective communication. Tell us about your holiday shopping strategy in the comments or chat with us for more advice!