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GRAYL

holiday season

Did you forget to add on that purifier when doing your last-minute holiday shopping?

Well, don't worry, because Grayl has got you covered. Our partner, Grayl is currently offering many promotions during this merry season.

Not only is there a 20% discount off of their 24oz Geo Press Purifier, but they have a whole page that goes into detail about their other current promotions!

Learn more about Grayl’s holiday promotions here.

Read more about how Fenix helped Grayl to build their unique brand.

MEN'S WEARHOUSE

Well, now you can get it done in style with Men's Wearhouse!

Our partner Men's Wearhouse is currently offering some wonderful holiday promotions starting with designer suits being $100 OFF and even offering a whopping 25% discount off your complete order with the code 'CYBER'.

Don’t wait till the last minute to do your holiday shopping!

Start looking your best today and take advantage of Men's Wearhouse holiday promotions here.

Jos A Bank

Are you ready to ring in the holiday season in style?

Jos.A.Bank's stylish holiday deals are a great way for you to get your holiday shopping done right now!

Besides the BOGO deals with their men's ties, Jos.A.Bank is still offering an extended Cyber Monday savings with 25% OFF when you spend $150 or more with code: CM25OFF.

Shopping for the holidays shouldn't be left till the last minute, and neither should your fresh look!

Learn more about Jos.A.Bank’s holiday promotions here.

Click here to know about Fenix

For many online customers, the time frame when a package can be shipped and delivered can be the make it or break factor between a conversion or an abandoned cart. In today's marketplace, online shoppers are increasingly demanding not just affordable shipping rates, but also faster options.

That's exactly why we realize the importance of Estimated Delivery Dates. Not only does it provide the best shipping option for customers to meet this new demand, but also for businesses, in both performance and cost-effective manner, but it also meets the growing expectation for the current and new customers. 

Many online businesses still cannot adjust to the current growth and demand, resulting in customers having to settle for longer and more expensive shipping options. This being the case, eCommerce brands that decide to optimize can win over a percentage of unsatisfied customers by providing enhanced shipping options, like Estimated Delivery Dates. According to eMarketer, consumers say that digital retailers often only meet their delivery speed expectations by 50% of the time.

What Exactly Are Estimated Delivery Dates?

Estimated Delivery Dates are the estimated dates when a customer's order will arrive. Typically, Estimated Delivery Dates are displayed on a product page or at checkout. While most brands may have a display of different shipping options and dates, Estimated Delivery Dates give a more precise time of arrival based on both order and warehouse location. 

The shipping date and delivery date are not the same things. While the first one refers to the date when the shipment will depart from a warehouse, the second is the estimated delivery as when you can expect the shipment to arrive at your door. We base the Estimated Delivery Date on multiple factors, ranging from handling time and processing to distance and carrier. 

Why Are Estimated Delivery Dates So Important?

Even with delays in shipment and delivery, it’s still crucial to update customers with the timeframe of their purchase and whereabouts, both at checkout and after. So, why does it matter to an eCommerce brand owner like yourself? 

  1. Reliability and Certainty 

Every business owner tries to help a customer in the best way possible, even during the busiest and roughest times of the year. An example could be that a customer would like to order a shirt just before Black Friday or Christmas. During the holiday season, when the customer needs to feel confident about their shipping, it is essential to display Estimated Delivery Dates on your website to allow them to choose the best shipping method. 

  1. Customer Satisfaction & Brand Loyalty

Build trust with your store visitors by being able to provide accurate Estimated Delivery Dates. As a trusting eCommerce brand owner, we suggest constantly displaying the most accurate Estimated Delivery Dates and making sure you meet these new expectations. With something as simple as optimizing your shipping, you can turn potential customers into loyal fans of your brand. 

  1. Precision With Delivery Time Frames

There are still many brands that are not optimizing their shipping capabilities to the best of their abilities. This not only causes delays because of inaccurate carrier and product information but also causes unexpected delays, unhappy customers, and even chargebacks. If brands can take charge and offer Estimated Delivery Dates with real-time tracking data from carriers, you’re able to provide customers with a precise delivery on their package. 

How To Communicate Estimated Delivery Dates With Fenix Commerce 

Depending on the number of shippers, alongside your integration, getting the Estimated Delivery Date provided by carriers and communicating it quickly can be challenging. That’s precisely where Fenix Commerce comes in. With the help of AI-Shipping and Estimated Delivery Date solutions, we’re able to help brands convert more online visitors while also providing customers seamless data of where their item is coming from and the date they will receive it under real-time carrier conditions. By utilizing live data given by worldwide delivery carriers, we can easily see real-time updates while calculating your current number of units ready to be sold. It allows up-to-date data for both the business and customer while prioritizing shipment routes, cost-efficient options, and more. 

Want To Learn More?

If you’re interested in learning more, check out another recent post about how you can stay ahead with Estimated Delivery Dates, or check out some of our other blogs here. In addition, if you would like to speak to one of our members of the Fenix Commerce team and learn how AI shipping and delivery can help your brand grow, then please book a free demo with us today! 

About Fenix Commerce

FenixCommerce exists to help brands build and maintain personalized, transparent, mutually beneficial relationships with their customers. We are working toward this goal by developing and developing solutions that reduce friction in the online purchase experience—increasing conversion, reducing cart abandonment, and radically improving customer experience.

Did you know after receiving order tracking details online shoppers track their orders 6-8 times before delivery? Can you believe shipping confirmation emails have one of the highest engagement rates? 

Seriously! It's true.

According to a Convey survey, 99% of consumers expect communication from retailers in the post-purchase phase, which is the most anxious stage in the customer’s journey. During this phase, customers would keep a track of when their orders would be delivered.  So, it's easy to engage such customers with branded order tracking experiences. Merchants should make the most of this opportunity to boost customer retention and generate more sales. 

The importance of branded order tracking in the post-purchase phase

Delivery is the only physical touchpoint in the entire eCommerce customer's journey and therefore it needs to be carefully handled to nurture long-term engagement with customers. However, merchants aren't leveraging this touchpoint optimally and outsourcing shipping services to the carrier partners. 

In the eCommerce world, shipping is still perceived as a third-party job. However, carrier websites may lack the transparency and personalization that modern customers are looking for. Often, a poor delivery experience by carrier partners jeopardizes the business reputation of merchants, which leads to loss of business. Research says that 83% of shoppers won't return after a poor delivery experience. Not only does this turn out to be a missed opportunity, but it also puts them at the risk of high churn rates. 

As acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing customer, it's important to focus on minimizing churn and increasing customer retention. Therefore, by providing branded order tracking experiences in the post-purchase phase, merchants can enhance customer experience and boost customer retention. 

Ways to offer branded post-purchase experience

Extend your brand visibility in the post-purchase phase with our AI-Powered Shipping & Delivery Software, FenixCommerce. It is your smart solution to offer a superior post-purchase customer experience.

Enhance customer experience and boost retention with features such as brand-consistent order tracking pages, customized offers, and automated shipping alerts.

Instead of redirecting customers to carriers' order tracking pages which are overloaded with their branding, empower your customers to easily track their orders on your own branded tracking pages. It also serves as an opportunity to increase your brand recall value and boost customer loyalty.

Re-engage customers even in the post-purchase phase by promoting customer-specific offers or discounts on the branded tracking pages. Make your customers feel special and drive more sales.

Provide complete transparency about their order status from the time the order has been placed till it gets delivered. It helps in eliminating buyers' anxiety around delivery and also gaining their trust. 

Besides, when customers actually know when they will receive their orders, they will make themselves available to receive them and therefore businesses experience fewer failed delivery attempts. Therefore, it's a win-win for both retailers and customers.

The key benefits of offering branded order tracking experiences

The following are a gamut of key benefits of providing customers with unique post-purchase brand tracking experiences: 

Happy customers lead to happy business. Provide a unique branded tracking experience for your customers, delight them, and increase their lifetime value!

Still not sure how to address customer order delivery anxiety and improve your post-purchase experience? Let our smart shipping software enable you to offer exceptional brand immersive order tracking experiences, drive more sales through upselling and cross-selling opportunities, and thereby boost your bottom line. Request a free demo today!

Fenix has seen a steady eCommerce growth which is something merchants have been anticipating for years. However, in a completely unforeseen way, the COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked eCommerce growth, enabling 10 years of eCommerce growth in just three months, during the first half of 2020. Ecommerce demand continued even in 2021, with sales growth up by 95% in June 2021 compared to June 2019, according to ROI Revolution's study

Industry experts opine the eCommerce growth trend will continue in the years to come as well. While this seems to be good news for merchants, increasing competition and dwindling customer retention rates are becoming a cause of concern for many. In an increasingly crowded eCommerce space, consumer loyalty is hard to gain and even harder to maintain.

In today’s all-delivery economy, the most crucial differentiator to gain customer trust is delivery experience.  Offering a range of order delivery options is one of the sure-fire ways to get the delivery right.

Meet your customers’ expectations by offering multiple delivery options

Major eCommerce leaders like Amazon have been driving customer expectations around order delivery. There’s been a paradigm shift in consumer behavior and expectations in recent years. The on-demand economy has brought in a whole new era of customer expectations around speed, cost, and convenience.

Retailers must work towards meeting these growing consumer expectations just to win them over in the first place. Today’s time-pressed consumers expect delivery options that fit directly into their busy lifestyle. It's important to know the facts and figures about how important delivery options are to customers. 

93% of shoppers believe that delivery options are critical to their online shopping experience.

⦁ 50% of shoppers have abandoned their baskets due to unsatisfactory delivery options.

⦁ 70% of shoppers like to buy from retailers who offer more convenient delivery options.

⦁61% of shoppers opted to buy from one retailer over another for better delivery options.

⦁ 47% of shoppers rate free delivery as their number one priority.

⦁ 77% of shoppers expect delivery options to be displayed upfront on the product page.

⦁ 81% of shoppers like to pay more for faster and more convenient delivery options.

The above statistics reveal that if your eCommerce business isn’t offering a variety of delivery options, it could be missing out on many potential customers. Offering multiple delivery options like Standard Shipping, Free Shipping, Curbside Pickup, Same Day Delivery, Express Delivery, Expedited Delivery helps merchants cater to various needs and expectations of customers.

As per the DHL report, merchants offering express shipping options grow 60% faster than those who only offer standard deferred shipping. Though shoppers expect a wealth of choice when it comes to receiving their orders, several small merchants are struggling to offer order delivery options that are faster, trustworthy, and affordable. 

Win more customers with Fenix flexible delivery options

Merchants can easily win more customers and remain competitive in today’s crowded retail space, by partnering with AI-powered shipping & delivery software like FenixCommerce (Fenix). Learn how offering a range of convenient delivery options helps merchants convert their shoppers into customers through Fenix AI platform.

Reduce cart abandonment with personalized options - Display order delivery options that are personalized for each visitor on your eCommerce store to effectively reduce your cart abandonment rate. Also, providing a choice of delivery options at different ;price points helps in lowering cart abandonment rates. 

Improve conversions with real-time rate shopping - Enabling the fastest and cost-effective shipping options automatically with real-time rate shopping. Also, save on your shipping costs and boost your conversions.

Build customer loyalty with positive delivery experiences - 95% of shoppers say a positive delivery experience would encourage them to shop more with that retailer in the future. Enable a positive order delivery experience to help build customer loyalty and drive repeat sales. 

Differentiate your brand by providing the delivery solutions that are much needed to compete in the world of online shopping. As per Metapack research, 77% of shoppers expect delivery options to be displayed on the product page. Offer convenient order delivery options right from the product page to be highly visible to your shoppers. 

Fenix can help you turn shoppers into customers by offering a superior delivery experience. Get a free demo and integrate with Fenix to see for yourself how offering flexible shipping options help you stay at the top of your delivery experience and improve the overall efficiency of your eCommerce operations. 

You might have created an awesome website, gained a strong social media presence, implemented an effective SEO strategy to optimize your website. However, there might be something else that stands in the way of your conversion rate. It’s the shipping/delivery anxiety that most online shoppers would typically experience. Therefore, to reduce the uncertainty surrounding the delivery & compete effectively in the hyper-competitive eCommerce world, retailers are increasingly expected to offer transparency in delivery dates.     

More often, companies provide standard shipping times; but they're not very helpful in figuring out when the item will be delivered. It’s difficult for shoppers to go ahead with the purchase decision seeing the standardized “5 to 7 business days” blurb. It’s one of the most complicated pieces of the puzzle for an average consumer to factor in various variables like weekends, holidays, cut-off times, etc. and - manually calculate an accurate delivery date estimate of his/her order.

Consumer delivery expectations for eCommerce are constantly shifting and becoming more demanding by the day. Your customers deserve better; they deserve a great online shopping experience at every step of their purchase journey.  

Set clear expectations with a delivery promise 

While free and fast shipping options are still table stakes, date-certain delivery is certainly gaining more prominence. ECommerce behemoths like Amazon initially invested in a delivery promise, which saw a demonstrative increase in cart conversion rate. With consumer expectations hitting an all-time high in recent times, shoppers are increasingly keen on buying from retailers who make delivery promises they can keep. 

Did you know that 83% of shoppers expect a guaranteed delivery date and yet just 40% of retailers show them on their online stores? Most of the eCommerce retailers deliver faster than the standard shipping speed range that they advertise. For instance, retailers can deliver orders within just 2 days, even with cheaper ground shipping methods, to customers who are geographically closer to their fulfillment centers. However, by not offering a delivery promise, they miss on a major opportunity to merchandise that speed.

Having said that, it’s no easy task to arrive at an accurate EDD and make a guaranteed delivery promise; there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes actions that take place in real-time to make a delivery promise and ensure that orders are delivered in time. Nevertheless, choosing the right eCommerce delivery platform like FenixCommerce would enable retailers to easily provide EDDs by applying artificial intelligence to more than 30 different variables across the 5 crucial data feeds (real-time info of product, inventory, customer, operations & carrier). All this would be done in real-time to display accurate EDDs on all the relevant pages.

How Estimated Delivery Dates can help grow your business

Let’s see how providing and meeting estimated delivery dates are key for eCommerce businesses to survive and thrive.

Improve conversions by providing accurate delivery estimates upfront

“Order within 1 hr 10 mins, get it by Sep 23 ”

This message with a simple yet effective brain technique creates a sense of urgency among shoppers and demonstrates its ability to improve conversion rates. By communicating EDDs upfront right from the product page, through cart and checkout pages, retailers can gain the trust of customers and improve conversions significantly.  

Deliver on your promises and stay ahead of the curve

In the age of increasing eCommerce volumes and rising consumer expectations, delivery promises impact buying decisions and brand loyalty. FenixCommerce empowers you to stay ahead of the curve by setting realistic and deliverable expectations for your customers, time and again. 

Request a demo to learn how FenixCommerce enables you to increase your conversion rate by up to 19% and bring down ‘WISMO’ calls by up to 75%. Integrate your Shopify store with FenixCommerce to have fewer customer support calls, higher sales, and happier customers.

Do check out our Fenix intelligent delivery app on Shopify app store

Thanks to the economic impact of COVID-19, businesses and consumers across the globe increasingly went online – according to UNCTAD global review report – raising the eCommerce share of global retail trade from 14% in 2019 to about 17% in 2020.

Even the 2021 data released by IBM highlighted that the pandemic has accelerated the shift toward eCommerce by roughly five years. With the acceleration of eCommerce, direct-to-consumer (DTC) business models are also gaining mainstream momentum. 

As Amazon Prime Day is just around the corner, it’s a great opportunity for DTC brands to acquire new customers, which is vital for their growth. However, for brands to grow sustainably, it’s just not enough to acquire new customers through marketplaces.

According to Business Insider, 48% of eCommerce sales come from repeat customers who are twice as likely to make a purchase as first time buyers. Therefore brands need to have access to customer data to target repeat customers and maintain long-lasting customer relationships. 

To make it a reality, smart DTC brands need to gear up to take back control and tap into their own channels to create compelling marketing experiences. Here are certain strategies that DTC brands need to adopt to make the most of this annual shopping extravaganza and drive some Prime Day traffic your way: 

Engage customers proactively

Amazon prime dtc sales

Amazon Prime Day debuted on July 15th, 2015 as a single-day event; but soon expanded in size and scope to become a marquee event to kick off a shopping spree during what is usually a summer season shopping lull. In 2021, Prime Day is slated to be held even earlier than usual: on June 21st and 22nd

As shoppers will already be in a mood to purchase, it will be easy for you to drive traffic to your website, so long as you engage them proactively. Running personalized campaigns would certainly help to keep your products and deals on the top of their mind. You can also leverage your social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, etc. to drive sales.

Optimize inventory management

Inventory Management

There’s nothing more annoying than missing a sale for an inane reason, such as a product being out of stock. So be sure to forecast demand for your products, and ensure that you stock enough inventory to satiate the forecasted demand. Only promote such products that you know will be well-stocked.

Review product listings

Products listing

It’s highly unlikely that a shopper who lands on a listing with incomplete product information and low-quality images will be converted into a buyer. So, ensure that your listings are up to par. Review and refresh your product listings. 

Make sure that product titles, copy and descriptions are accurate, complete, and top-notch to clearly communicate the envisioned message to the consumers. High quality images can make the product more appealing to them. Adding interesting graphics and videos to the product listings is also a proven strategy to increase conversions.

Leverage your unique value proposition

Unique selling proposition

Though many shoppers have been eagerly awaiting this season of sales, there will be quite a few who are averse to purchasing from big platforms like Amazon, to avoid any risk of getting poor-quality counterfeit products. This will prevent them from being able to cash in on the shopping bonanza like others. With a well-timed email or SMS notification, you can convert such shoppers into customers by offering unique, high-quality and limited-quantity products. 

If your business focuses on local markets, this will be a good selling point to lure such shoppers who wish to spend their money on brands that contribute to the economic growth in their local markets. Leverage this opportunity to highlight your brand and convert such shoppers.

Take advantage of halo effect

Halo Affect

One of the common mistakes that brands make, after completion of Prime Day, is slowing down their marketing efforts. Nevertheless, it should be noted that even after the event is done and dusted, shoppers continue the shopping spree with high volumes, for at least two weeks afterwards.  

Therefore, you should leverage this halo effect and promote flash sales or Missed Prime Day deals, etc. This will help your brand to re-engage with your new customers at scale for re-sell, cross-sell & up-sell opportunities; and to re-target lost customers. This will help you to bring those new and returning customers into the loyalty loop.

Key for a successful order fulfillment experience 

Order Fulfillment

Getting ready to cash in on the biggest eCommerce events of the year with effective planning, is by itself half the battle. Additionally, DTC brands must be geared up to create a seamless customer experience throughout the customer’s journey from the website, to check-out, to the last-mile delivery.  Brands who want to create their own “Amazon Prime-like” delivery experience can leverage our AI-Powered Shipping & Delivery platform. Drop us an email at info@fenixcommerce.ai for an amazing order fulfillment experience.

Read more about what DTC brands need to know About Selling on Amazon

For the past few years, the common wisdom when it comes to delivery experience in eCommerce which has been “customers want fast and free”. While you’re unlikely to find a lot of customers who prefer to pay for shipping and receive their packages later rather than sooner, there’s certainly a gap between “fast and free” and what most shoppers find to be acceptable in terms of shipping cost and timing. The million (or more) dollar question is: how does an eCommerce seller strike the right balance between shipping cost, timing, customer requirements, and shipping budget?

While we can’t provide a formula for achieving that balance, the available research does indicate four areas you can focus on in order to provide a better delivery experience to the customer, improve conversion, and stick to your shipping budget--even if you can’t give every shopper “fast and free”. Let's take a closer look.

delivery experience
  1. Upfront Costs: Looking at the graph above, Baymard found that the first deterrent to customers were costs that weren’t mentioned while they were shopping--and shipping generally dominates these costs. That’s why we built the FenixCommerce Intelligent Delivery Platform to be easily configurable to display ship costs as early as the Product Detail Page--as well as on the Cart and Checkout pages.
  2. Specific Shipping Information: Moving onto the delivery experience to the customer aspect of delivery options, we saw that while fast shipping is great, providing specific shipping timeframes can be just as powerful at driving conversion. Think about the common timeframe estimate format “5-7 business days” given by many eCommerce sellers; by using this type of messaging, you’re requiring the shopper to do math involving determining business vs non-business days to figure out the range of dates when the package should arrive--that’s too much work, and our internal data on customer behavior proves this point: among our clients who offer a Free shipping option without a date alongside an option with a specific date that costs $3-$5 more, 10% of shoppers on average choose the option with a date--and happily pay the upcharge.
  3. Shipping Options: Customers love having options, who doesn’t? When businesses offer more than one delivery option to customers, they can choose a delivery mode and date that suits their level or urgency and budget. Businesses need to stay on top of their delivery experience because customers expect it as part of the product nowadays. One way a business can expand on this would be to provide multiple specific dates for different specific prices.
  4. Target the Acceptable Timeframe: According to this study by Pitney Bowes, the “sweet spot” of acceptable delivery timeframes is 3-4 days for free delivery which can create a good impact on delivery experience; if you want to offer a free option, hitting this timeframe will be much less expensive than hitting a more aggressive 2-day timeframe, and it’ll be acceptable to a large majority of your customers. To further lower the cost of offering this option, you can leverage lower cost services like USPS Priority Mail and First Class Package Service (for items that weigh less than 1 lb)--both of which will arrive to most destinations within the contiguous 48 state within 4 days--and even UPS SurePost and FedEx SmartPost, which will make it to some near-zone destinations within 4 days at extremely reasonable rates. FenixCommerce’s zone-based real-time rate shopping can actually allow you to only offer a free option (of whatever timeframe you pick) when you can be confident it’ll arrive by the predicted dates via one of these low-cost services.
delivery experience

Focusing on these four areas may not get you to “fast and free” shipping for every order, but our clients that use the FenixCommerce Intelligent Delivery Platform to optimize their shipping options--and fulfillment operations--around these points see an average 10% increase in conversion and 9% increase in shipping revenue.

Get in touch if you want to join them!

Improve customer shopping experience, conversion and profits with the advanced Fenix Intelligent Delivery Shopify app.

Along with the many unprecedented changes brought upon by COVID, we are seeing a shift in how DTC companies operate and deliver their products to their customers. There have been 6,378 retail store closures thus far and Coresight estimates that this number will continue to rise to 12,000 by the year end--with a lot of that sales volume migrating online. Brands that traditionally only sold through marketplaces and/or retail stores are finding new opportunity in DTC eCommerce--and those that have always gone DTC are finding increased demand on their existing DTC channels.

Currently, less than 5% of CPG sales are represented in the eCommerce space according to Shopify. On the flip side, DTC movement accounts for 40% of the sales growth in the sector. Looking at these numbers, DTC eCommerce seems like the next frontier for the CPG companies to master. In fact, in the last 3 years, the eCommerce growth for many categories has been exponential compared to other channels. See the chart below.

DTC brands

Even before the effects of the pandemic, CPG companies were beginning to explore DTC as a way to form closer customer connections even while leveraging the likes of Amazon and retail stores as major channels to increase volume.

We believe that the COVID-19-related increase in this migration to DTC is becoming table stakes for CPG companies that want to grow and stay relevant in the “new normal”. Those companies that take the leap to see benefits including:

  1. The ability to collect consumer data: Direct customer connections allow the collection of more, better customer data that then facilitates personalization and--as a result--customer loyalty.

  2. More effective marketing campaigns: With both marketing and selling on the same eCommerce platform, it’s easier for businesses to integrate their digital marketing strategy.

  3. More control over brand image and reputation: By being DTC, businesses do not have to rely on retailers or other eCommerce channels to properly represent their brand.

  4. Speed and agility: Since going DTC gives the brand complete control over both infrastructure and everything that lives on it, changes in anything from online assortment to user experience to tech stack components can be made more quickly and efficiently than they ever could with retail/eCommerce selling partners.

One of our clients, Spiceology Inc located in Spokane, Washington, recently shifted their marketing to match consumer needs in the time of a pandemic. Since many restaurants (Spiceology Inc’s main B2B market) were closed due to COVID19, they had to focus on a new customer base and new channel (DTC) to drive sales.

In an interview with Forbes, CEO of Spiceology, Chip Oversteet said, “Messaging to consumers during the quarantine is challenging, but imagine messaging to chefs, who are shuttering their restaurants in record numbers. Practically overnight, chefs across the country were just trying to avoid bankruptcy. There’s no way to know the situation any individual chef is in, and therefore no way to reach out appropriately to offer them fresher spices, a better organized kitchen, or whatever your value proposition might be. So, we decided to completely shut down our outbound marketing and sales efforts focused on food service and respond only to inbound requests. At the same time, we had to turn 180 degrees and put all our energy into the consumer segment. We broke the golden rule of marketing — only change one variable at a time.”

The company took many measures to revamp and re-direct their efforts to everyday customers. Some of the changes the company made included adding cooking tutorials, recipes, product reviews, smaller container sizes with new packing and even changing the look of their website. And, of course, implementing the FenixCommerce Intelligent Delivery Platform to provide delivery date estimates on product, cart, and checkout pages.

Forbes reported that  after these efforts, 80% of the company’s sales are now due to consumers with 10% being from wholesales and the other 10% from chefs. Spiceology took charge and explored new markets and the hard work (and risk) paid off!

We at FenixCommerce couldn’t be more proud to work with Spiceology--and dozens of other DTC brands--to help them adapt to the challenges and opportunities of the pandemic-related “new normal”. If you are a DTC brand looking to leverage the power of accurate delivery date estimates to increase conversion and improve customer experience, get in touch today to see how we can help!

In a short span of time, COVID-19 has altered everyday life for everyone. With social distancing guidelines, people have reconsidered and changed how they shop and get their goods which has led to a shift in consumer mindset. People have now moved to shopping online, even more so than before, because of all the closures due to COVID-19 leading to new consumer ‘norms’ when it comes to E-commerce.

delivery

But with this online shopping trend comes a shift in expectations. With being in lockdown for months and states finally reopening slowly, customers now have different ways to obtain what they need than before which requires retailers to adapt accordingly. One result is this unforeseen rapid rise of e-commerce. But with this new online shopping traffic, stores must do all they can to provide the best customer experience and also keep up and predict trends in purchasing and act accordingly.

Amidst this global pandemic, there are many more consumers now experimenting with E-commerce. E-commerce is seen as a reliable and safe option for consumers. In fact, Gordon Haskett Research reported that one-third of shoppers bought food online during the early phase of pandemic shopping.

A Shift  in Delivery Expectations

As a result, one expectation that consumers have as a result of COVID is updates in their normal delivery process. Now, being stuck at home, people want faster delivery while also being able to track their packages. Customers know that due to the pandemic, there will be issues but they are much more likely to respond positively if they know where their packages are at any given point in time. Companies can provide alerts in the shopping cart and product description of the available delivery options for different products. For example, companies can allow for a ‘curbside pickup’ for consumers that want to be proactive. Customers want to know as much shipping information as possible and this requires transparency from the retailers end. For example, there can be changes in the delivery time and having a heads up makes the consumer more tolerable of changes. These options also allow an opportunity for consumers to pay for different shipping options that can carry into a post-corona world.

Another trend to notice that has been adopted by many companies is contactless delivery. With the rise of coronavirus, there has been an emphasis on social distancing and avoiding as much contact as possible that is changing our world's regular norm. In response to these changing norms, food delivery services like Grubhub, and chains like Dominos have placed a huge deal of emphasis on the ‘contactless’ part of their delivery by allowing consumers to direct exactly where they want their food left on their porch or garage. The delivery drivers also take a picture to guarantee that the product was left in the said spot which brings the customer ease. Additionally, these marketing efforts highlight how strictly they try to maintain sanitary conditions by making workers wear gloves and masks throughout the process.

On the flip side, many people are also opting for curbside pickup as they want to minimize the amount of contact that their packages have, which again reflects this new ‘clean’ norm that the pandemic has brought in. Businesses need to find a way to differentiate their delivery processes (ie. like creating different options for their customers that include these clean procedures.) and adhere to these new norms to be successful post-corona and have a competitive edge.

During Corona

Businesses should be focused on...

A perfect example of extra communication with consumers is showcased below by  Sephora. They let their customers know to expect delays and have tracking options after people have placed their orders! The email that they send highlights their position with Corona, notifies consumers that there might be delays, and provides easy access to tracking packages.

delivery

Post Corona

Businesses can…

All in all, consumers want more communications in regards to the delivery process of their purchases. It is expected that there will be hitches in delivery processes during this unprecedented time due to backlogged orders, running out of stock, maintaining a sanitary environment for their workers, hard times due to the pandemic and other reasons. But by providing different delivery options, prioritizing tracking and other information, and emphasizing the cleanliness of the delivery, retailers can riverside their strategy. Retailers can conform to new and different consumer behaviors and adjust to their platforms accordingly.

The good news is that FenixCommerce is already helping retailers tackle these issues because we think ahead! In fact, businesses that have used our services have seen significant benefits, like having a 14% incremental conversion rate and having over a 75% reduction in customer queries. We do this by providing accurate delivery estimates on the product, cart and checkout pages which is a crucial component  for consumers today. Here at FenixCommerce, we go beyond delivery and strengthen retail-consumer relationships!

If you sell both on Amazon and Direct To Consumer, one potential silver lining in the current coronavirus pandemic is the opportunity to shift more sales to DTC--and to strengthen your customer connections in the process.

How Quickly the World Can Change

In February--before pandemic-related social restrictions, panic buying, and the concept of "essential products" were a thing--ScaleFast released the results of a study indicating 43% of consumers chose Amazon over DTC brands because Amazon offered faster or cheaper shipping.

Fast forward to earlier this week, when Digital Commerce 360 reported that "36% of retailers say they are making adjustments to their marketplace strategy as a result of the coronavirus pandemic"--mostly by shifting attention to their own DTC sites and bringing fulfillment back in house for their Amazon-listed products that used to be FBA.

The incentive for brands to do this is, of course, related to Amazon's central role in eCommerce--and the tough business decisions it has been forced to make as a result of that role.

A Tale of Two Essentialnesses

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard that Amazon instituted an "essential items" policy on March 17, limiting the products it would accept at its warehouse to be fulfilled via FBA to the somewhat-less-than-precisely-defined "household staples, medical supplies, and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and deliver these products to customers." As announced, the policy was to be in effect through April 5; however as of this writing, Amazon is no longer committing to a specific date to end the policy. From its Seller Central FAQ on the topic:

"Given that the impact of COVID-19 is still developing, we do not have an exact date when operations will be fully restored. Instead, whenever possible we will allow more products to be received, while still ensuring our fulfillment centers are able to process high-priority products."

So, if you sell non-essential items via FBA, you're kind of out of luck until further notice. While delivery timeframes for these items seem to be improving, they are still quite a bit longer than the pre-virus standard of one or two days we're accustomed to; these sunglasses--which I viewed on April 8--are showing a delivery date of April 14:

FBA sunglasses show delivery date 6 days out from order date

But even if you sell essential items via FBA, you may also be out of luck--actually maybe more out of luck--like this toothpaste seller (also viewed on April 8):

Free delivery is 8 days from order date for this FBA toothpaste

Taking Back Control

As mentioned, many brands that sell on both Amazon and their own sites are addressing this by ramping up their direct channel. And some of our favorite brands (and Fenix clients) appear to be doing this quite effectively.

Felina

While one can probably debate how essential intimate apparel is, our friends at Felina are beating Amazon at its own FBA game--by fulfilling their products directly, more quickly. Recently (April 7) Amazon was showing a 5-day delivery timeframe for these leggings:

Felina product fulfilled by Amazon, showing 5-day delivery timeframe

While if you ordered from Felina's DTC store, you could get them in just 3 days:

Felina product on their DTC site, showing 3-day delivery timeframe

Uber Soccer

Home fitness equipment falls into a category we'd call "semi-essential"; even under quarantine, it's important to exercise. And if brushing up on your soccer skills is your exercise of choice, our client Uber Soccer USA can help--especially if you order directly from their website, where they are offering two day shipping to me (as of April 7--based on the FenixCommerce IDP's understanding of my proximity to their warehouse):

Uber Soccer does not do FBA, and this points out another issue with selling on Amazon, especially today: it's hard to keep inventory in synch, so you have to pad delivery estimates to the point of making them almost meaningless:

Give Your Shoppers What They Want

Whether you're selling essentials, non-essentials, or something in between, ramping up your DTC business in today's environment is a no-brainer; it provides:

Remember that ScaleFast study metric we started out with: 43% of consumers used to chose Amazon over DTC brands because Amazon offered faster or cheaper shipping. Today you have the opportunity to out-perform Amazon in this area that used to be one of its key differentiators.

And FenixCommerce can help. As we've seen, some great brands are using our AI-driven Intelligent Delivery Platform to beat Amazon at its own shipping game. If you're ready to do the same, get in touch at info@fenixcommerce.com. And please let us know your thoughts on DTC's re-emergence in the comments below!

Copyright © 2021 FenixCommerce Inc.| All rights reserved.
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