Customer Experience

Selling online: 3 ways to deliver on delivery

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Even as COVID-19 restrictions ease in most states, many consumers are still choosing to shop online instead of in store. But are you delivering when it comes to delivery?

Man packs a van with delivery boxes

Aussie small and medium businesses are meeting consumers online – many in response to the urgent need to go digital as a result of COVID-19. As restrictions forced physical stores to close, websites popped up overnight or were upgraded to include eCommerce functionality. But the online shopping journey doesn’t end at the click of ‘place my order’. Delivery is a vital consideration and arguably the most memorable part of an online purchase. In this round-up, we look at delivery and pick-up options that businesses are using to meet customer expectations.

Self-managed delivery

Many businesses have opted to absorb delivery runs, some offering the service for free to their immediate locality. Research by Lewers found that Australian consumers are doing what they can to keep local businesses afloat by trying to buy less imports*. Letting people know you are a local business that’s offering free delivery drop-offs to the neighbourhood could help to attract new or repeat customers.

Antipodes, an independent bookshop and gallery on the Mornington Peninsula, has adapted its delivery offering during COVID-19. Sorrento and neighbouring suburbs receive free delivery, which could encourage locals to spend with the business and to help make up for sales usually attributed to foot traffic.

Third-party delivery

Outsourced or automated shipping can be a great solution for your business, especially if you are looking to scale up or if your business is already growing. If your online orders have increased during COVID-19, subscribing to a third-party shipping provider for your delivery needs may help to take some weight off your shoulders.

Australian fashion label Kloke uses shipping provider Shippit for its domestic orders. The brand was trading online long before the pandemic, but its shipping needs increased as physical retail stores were forced to closed in Victoria. Many third-party services offer discounted rates and parcel protection – so, if like Kloke, you are shipping a high volume of orders, or expect to in the future, this option might be a good fit for your business.

Click and collect

Click and collect allows customers to order online and pick up their purchase at a time or day that suits them, instead of waiting for their delivery to arrive. It’s a popular choice for made-to-order items, such as specialty food.

Iggy's Bread in Sydney attracts lines around the block on most weekends. By offering a pre-order option, customers can avoid the crowd and ensure they won’t miss out on their pastry preferences – and it can help the bakery effectively manage its supply chain.

If you are selling online then you should be thinking about the best methods of delivery or pick-up for your business – there might be more than one. Delivery is an important part of the online shopping experience and if you can get it right, customers could be more inclined to shop with you again.

*Australian Consumer Behavioural Survey: Part 3 – Opportunities for growth in local online shopping, Venture Insights, June 2020

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