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Delivery Transparency: What is the Estimated Delivery Date?

As an e-commerce brand, your ability to deliver orders on time and with clear communication can make or break customer experience. Shipping metrics such as ship date, delivery date, and estimated delivery date are crucial components of this experience. But what do they mean, and how do they affect your customers?

In this article, we'll explore the concept of delivery transparency and how it relates to e-commerce shipping. We'll also discuss the common terms related to shipping transparency and how they factor into the customer experience. Finally, we’ll detail how FenixCommerce can help your e-commerce brand achieve greater shipping efficiency and transparency by more accurately predicting the shipping timeline than carriers and simplifying the decision making process so you can focus on attracting and retaining customers through other channels.

Understanding Delivery Transparency

Delivery transparency refers to the level of visibility and communication that a brand provides to its customers about the shipping process. This can include information about shipping times, delivery dates, tracking numbers, and any potential delays or issues that may arise during the shipping process.

Why it Matters

By providing clear and concise information to customers about their order status, brands can build trust and confidence in their ability to deliver on their promises. This can result in increased customer loyalty, reduced cart abandonment rates, and ultimately, increased sales and revenue for your e-commerce brand. After all, according to Forbes, at 48%, the most common reason customers abandon carts is due to additional fees like shipping charges. And 22% of shoppers abandon carts due to slow shipping rates. That’s a lot of potential revenue lost! 

We’re More Accurate than Carriers

FenixCommerce’s automated decision making saves your brand time and brainpower. While a ton of e-commerce brands utilize inexpensive shipping services like UPS Sure Post or FedEx Ground Economy, these carrier options don’t include accuracy or transparency with their shipping timelines. These are the hardest to predict, meaning that customer experience is liable to suffer without precise timelines. Instead, FenixCommerce’s AI triggers earlier in the shoppers process, and using the customer’s IP address we more quickly and more accurately pinpoint the shipping timeline. 

Common Terms Related to Shipping Transparency

To better understand the concept of delivery transparency, let's take a look at some common terms related to shipping and what they mean:

  1. Invoice Date

One common misconception about shipping is that the moment a customer purchases, the invoice is created and the order ships. While automation and AI systems can reduce the time between invoice date and ship date, there is still time between the creation of an invoice and the actual shipment of orders. 

  1. Ship date

In an ideal world, this is the date that orders are shipped from the warehouse or fulfillment center. It's important to communicate this date to customers so that they know when to expect their order to be in transit. However, often a shipping date is triggered by label printout, which means an order typically does not leave fulfillment at the moment that customers receive a shipped notification.

  1. Estimated delivery date

This is an estimate of when the order is expected to be delivered, based on the ship date and other factors. It's important to note that this is not a guaranteed delivery date, but rather an estimate based on current information. This is where FenixCommerce can set your e-commerce brand apart: By ensuring the most accurate information by pulling data from more channels, our AI-decision making model enhances estimated delivery.

  1. Actual delivery date

Naturally, the next step in the shipping process is delivery date or actual delivery date. This is the notification e-commerce brands love to send. Estimated delivery accuracy is one of the biggest drivers of customer satisfaction with regard to online ordering, and when the delivery date matches the estimate, your brand can deliver wins to customers.

  1. Carrier delays

These are delays that can occur during the shipping process, such as weather delays or capacity constraints. It's important to communicate these delays to customers as soon as possible to manage their expectations and prevent frustration.

FenixCommerce Helps E-commerce Brands Achieve Transparency

At FenixCommerce, we understand the importance of delivery transparency for e-commerce brands. That's why we offer AI-powered solutions that optimize Carrier service & rate decisions on each order, based on speed, destination, packaging, cost, etc., that determine EDD accuracy.

With Fenix calculating the Carrier Rate decision at checkout, EDDs displayed to customers automatically incorporate the best Carrier service for that specific order.  Then, recalculating Label-printing factors in the most up-to-date conditions along with optimized cost, particularly when a less-expensive Carrier service will meet the same expected delivery date, enabling brands to provide accurate and real-time shipping information to their customers.

Reducing Cart Abandonment and Increasing Conversion

One of the key benefits of delivery transparency is its ability to reduce cart abandonment rates and increase conversion. By providing accurate and real-time shipping information like competitive rates and accurate estimations, brands can help customers make informed decisions about their purchases and reduce the risk of surprises or delays during the shipping process. This removal of friction during the order process successfully addresses two leading causes of cart abandonment earlier referenced in the Forbes article and ultimately increases conversions. 

Managing Delivery Date Promises and Shipping Delays

But delivery transparency isn't just about pre-purchase decision points. It's also about post-purchase communication. Once the customer has placed their order, it's important to keep them informed about the status of their package. This means providing regular updates about the estimated delivery date, any delays or issues, and ultimately the delivery date itself. By communicating clearly and proactively, brands can build trust with their customers and improve the overall customer experience.

Delivery Transparency is Critical for E-Commerce

Delivery transparency is crucial for e-commerce brands looking to improve their customer experience and reduce cart abandonment. By providing shipping metrics like ship date, estimated delivery date, and date delivered, brands can keep customers informed about the status of their order. FenixCommerce helps e-commerce brands with delivery transparency by providing AI automation of certain carrier rate decision-making. These decisions are better informed and more efficient than ever before, which reduces shipping costs and provides fast, reliable delivery metrics. By focusing on both pre-purchase decision points and post-purchase communication, brands can build trust with their customers and improve the overall customer experience.

Akhilesh Srivastava

Author: Akhilesh Srivastava
Founder and CEO of FenixCommerce

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