In e-commerce, optimizing the “post-purchase experience” – or what happens after checkout – is critical to turning first-time customers to repeat buyers, growing order frequency and AOV, and subsequently reducing operating costs.
Download our checklist to understand best practices relating to:
How to set up post-sale communication/engagement
How to create a delightful delivery experience
How to offer a high-end customer service and support
85% of online shoppers look for better options when delivery speed is too slow.
Within the last couple of years, delivery speed has become a top priority for online shoppers and a huge opportunity for retailers. The evolving preferences of the savvy shoppers, their increased reliance on online shopping and need for instant gratification have propelled the rise of various instant delivery platforms like Ohi and marketplaces like GoPuff, Instacart. These next-generation platforms take the delivery speed and convenience of Amazon, Walmart, and other retail giants, and deliver a better and faster approach to instant delivery.
So, what is instant delivery, and why is it a must-have for your success as a retailer?
What is instant delivery?
Instant delivery isn’t a novel concept; many of us have already experienced ultrafast delivery via a quick and easy meal ordered through Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, or whatever your go-to meal delivery app is.
According to Chris Walk, the Founder and CEO of Omni talk, the idea of instant delivery is based on ‘the universal truth of speed,’ according to which, when given a choice, people will always choose to get something as fast as possible instead of waiting.
However, unlike same-day delivery, where products can be delivered within 24 hours, instant delivery is an ultrafast delivery that generally happens within two hours or as fast as 15 minutes from the customer’s time of order.
It is e-commerce fulfillment on overdrive, made faster and better with advancements in e-commerce technology. Instant delivery is very much related to the broader quick commerce model.
Ultrafast delivery businesses like GoPuff and JOKR focus on products meant for immediate consumption that customers frequently want immediately.
Instant delivery examples you might be familiar with
GoPuff – with facilities strategically placed across hundreds of markets, GoPuff maintains an extensive network of driver-partners, allowing it to deliver quickly within 30 minutes. Each brand’s products are sold alongside hundreds of other brands in GoPuff’s own marketplace.
Walmart express delivery – customers get ordered items on their doorsteps in two hours or less. The express delivery is available on many Walmart purchases, including groceries, apparel, electronics, and other essentials.
Amazon two-hour – previously just for Prime Now users, two-hour delivery is now available on groceries and many other goods through the Amazon app or website.
Instacart delivery – picks andfulfills orders from third-party retailers’ brick and mortar stores in as little as 30 minutes.
68% of consumers said fast shipping would lead them to place an online order, according to a February 2021 Digital Commerce 360 survey. (Digital Commerce 360).
Around 61% of Nielson IQ’s latest survey participants said they would like to have their orders delivered as fast as possible.(Supermarket News)
Meanwhile, 65% of shoppers in another study said they would be willing to pay more for faster and more reliable deliveries. (Business Wire)
55% of customers on average will switch to a competitor that offers faster delivery service. (RetailWire)
According to Ohi’s analysis, two-hour delivery is associated with 61% higher repeat purchase rates. (Ohi)
85% of consumers in a study said they search elsewhere for better options when delivery speeds are too slow. (Flexe)
The same study also revealed that one of the top two reasons for shopping cart abandonment is that delivery speeds weren’t fast enough. (Flexe)
In addition, a 2021 global consumer insights survey conducted by PWC also shows that fast delivery is shoppers’ #1 overall consideration when buying online (ranked top three by 41% of respondents). (PWC)
How does instant delivery work?
Customers and retailers alike love a lightning-quick delivery service. But, have you ever considered how instant delivery services deliver, say, a carton of milk or a pack of sodas so fast?
There are a few different ways instant delivery platforms could operate to deliver your products to your customer’s doorstep in less than two hours. Instant delivery platforms and marketplaces can either run their own dark stores/fulfillment centers or fulfill orders from third-party retailers’ existing brick and mortar stores. Once a shopper places their order, they are fulfilled at the closest fulfillment center or third-party retail store by workers (“pickers”) and delivered by local couriers, often on bikes/scooters.
These delivery platforms function on an “asset-light” model. For these platforms to operate, they don’t need to set up fulfillment centers, purchase inventories, or establish supplier relationships before expanding to a new city. Compared to the other two models, these are also far easier to scale.
These delivery businesses do not need fulfillment centers or dark stores to operate.
They pick products and deliver them directly from third-party physical retail stores.
After an order is placed, a personal shopper goes to the store (or multiple stores) to pick up everything, then delivers it to you at your doorstep (typically within an hour or two).
3. Direct-to-consumer delivery model, i.e., Ohi
This model is specifically for DTC brands or e-commerce retailers that are looking to add a DTC channel. The direct-to-consumer (D2C) instant delivery providers like Ohi provide instant delivery and micro-fulfillment solutions specifically for DTC sellers or e-commerce businesses looking to set up a DTC channel.
Although this model sounds very similar to the vertically-integrated model, they have some dissimilarities.
For instance, under the DTC model, customers will place orders directly on a brand’s DTC website, rather than on a marketplace website/app.
The instant delivery service takes care of the back-end order fulfillment functions.
These services have dedicated MFCs hyperlocal to the consumer, enabling instant delivery for their clients.
In addition to the above, instant delivery platforms like Ohi use eco-friendly transportation for last-mile delivery.
For many direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands, pairing with an instant delivery provider like Ohi is the only viable option to meet their online customers’ demands and stand toe-to-toe with Walmart and Amazon when it comes to delivery speed. The reason is that many DTC-focused businesses lack the network of retail stores needed to pull off instant delivery on their own. That’s where Ohi’s DTC-focused website integrations, micro-fulfillment network, and post-purchase experience centered on instant delivery come into play.
Here’s how Ohi’s quick delivery works:
Instant delivery vs. traditional 3PLs
All this instant delivery talk begs the question, how are instant delivery platforms different from third-party logistics companies?
Instant delivery and traditional 3PLs are poles apart in terms of delivery speed, transportation, and approaches to warehousing. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between quick delivery and traditional third-party logistics.
Instant delivery typically relies on micro-fulfillment centers (MFCs) positioned within densely populated areas, enabling ultrafast deliveries, i.e., within 15 minutes to two hours after placing an order. Whereas traditional 3PLs deliver in 3 to 5 days, their fastest expedited delivery is typically two-day or the next day.
Traditional 3PLs rely on massive warehouses, typically as large as 300,000 square feet. On the other hand, instant delivery platforms rely on micro-fulfillment centers that are much smaller – usually 2,000 to 5,000 square feet – located hyperlocal to customers in the densely-populated areas of major cities.
Another difference is the form of delivery chosen for the last mile. For transportation, traditional 3PLs rely on bigger delivery vehicles, since orders are delivered in huge batches owing to the increased travel distance. However, because of the vastly reduced distance between MFCs and the end customer, instant delivery providers often use eco-friendly two-wheeled vehicles such as bikes, e-bikes, or scooters.
Depending on the size of the business, a typical e-commerce store may have 15,000 or more SKUs. Amazon, for example, has the potential to store about 350 million SKUs, including both fast-moving and slow-moving items. On the other hand, Instant delivery services rely on micro-fulfillment facilities with a capacity of 2,000 to 4,000 SKUs (total SKU count for all brands within the MFCs) of typically fast-moving items.
Types of businesses instant delivery works best for?
While it’s true that instant delivery has opened up a lot of doors to brands that couldn’t otherwise offer the convenience and speed of two hours or less delivery, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
Here are three factors to help you determine if instant delivery is the right fit for your business:
1. Brands that have a higher-order volume and lower SKU count
Instant delivery is a good fit for products with a high order volume or products that sell fast and have a lower SKU count. As instant delivery providers rely on micro-fulfillment centers, a larger SKU count would reduce shelf space, therefore, it is ideal for fast-moving consumer goods.
With the localized nature of MFCs, instant delivery doesn’t lend itself particularly well to highly specialized items like bespoke crafts, artisan goods, or customized products.
2. Brands that sell consumables or products that are needed right away
Delivering bulky items such as large electronics or furniture is far from possible on a bike or scooter, which is the mode of transportation for many instant delivery businesses.
In addition, 15 minutes or two-hour or less delivery services use localized micro-fulfillment centers with a smaller storage capacity. Hence, it would be pointless to cram the smaller space with bulky goods that won’t turn fast.
For this reason, instant delivery works best for non-bulky products that can be packed and shipped quickly without a lot of manpower or special handling. This means that a carton of milk or a can of soda can be delivered withinstant delivery; however, bulky items such as furniture, large electronics like TVs, and larger appliances are a no-go.
So, does instant delivery makes sense for your e-commerce business?
Benefits of instant delivery
1. Cut down on delivery time and last-mile costs
The longer an order has to travel to get to the customer’s doorstep, the more chances for things to go wrong in that last mile, such as order mixups, traffic jams, and other delays.
As opposed to traditional 3PLs, instant delivery companies can get goods into the hands of customers in a relatively short time. As quick commerce businesses like Ohi rely on micro-fulfillment, the last-mile transportation times and costs are reduced considerably, making it more feasible to offer two-hour or less delivery. This converts to a positive post-purchase experience, enhanced consumer satisfaction, and a significant return on investment for e-commerce businesses.
3. Ensure operational excellence
Instant delivery platforms like Ohi use modern technologies (including AI or machine learning forecasts) to provide your DTC with inventory accuracy and on-time delivery rates that outperform the conventional third-party logistics providers. Platforms like Ohi also integrate with various last-mile delivery providers to make sure your customers get fast and efficient delivery that translates into higher customer happiness and fewer or zero CX support inquiries on late/missing deliveries.
3. Potential for brands to be sustainable
According to Shopify, consumers demand fast, free, and sustainable delivery at checkout. In addition, nearly 72% of customers want brands they shop at to use sustainable packaging. According to another study, around 80% of customers say sustainability is essential.
Not only does an instant delivery solution have the potential to meet your customers’ sustainability demands, but as mentioned earlier, it can also translate into better delivery and post-purchase experience as well.
As instant delivery platforms rely on hyperlocal micro-fulfillment centers, there is very little reliance on fuel-based transportation or wasteful exterior packaging materials, which together minimize your brand’s carbon footprint.
Instant delivery providers like Ohi enable their partner brands to offer carbon-neutral delivery to their eco-conscious customers.
Instant delivery is transitioning from a nice-to-have to a must-have
Simply put, two-day and next-day delivery is not fast enough for the modern consumer. Therefore, growth-minded e-commerce retailers are increasingly considering methods of enabling instant delivery, as this is a proven strategy to improve their customer experience and enable enhanced customer acquisition and retention.
At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.
Deliver Drinks Faster: How DTC Beverage Brands Can Benefit from Instant Delivery
Many beverage brands jumped on the direct-to-consumer bandwagon during the pandemic, and brands that were already DTC made big returns. And as more people ordered drinks online, these DTC early birds were the first to disrupt the beverage industry.
Plot twist: the game is no longer only about having an online presence or selling directly to consumers; consumers now want beverages faster.
This early success attracted a slew of new DTC-focused players, creating competition within a niche market. Even large omnichannel beverage brands had fear of missing out, so many also began selling DTC to stake their claim in a growing market. Meanwhile, marketplaces like Amazon, with Prime Now delivery, were already leading the fast delivery trend.
All of this has resulted in the present situation: if your DTC beverage business doesn’t provide instant delivery, your beverage business will cede market share to competitors who do.
Why DTC Beverage Brands Need to Harness Instant Delivery
With Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, and quick commerce marketplaces like GoPuff delivering drinks within one to two hours, why would any customer be interested in ordering directly from a beverage brand’s website?
These top retail giants have set the bar for convenience very high, driving up consumer expectations by delivering many of their essential and not-so-essential products within an hour or two.
And if your DTC beverage business doesn’t upgrade to Amazon-like delivery speed, you will eventually lose customers to leading marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, or other big companies that are on top of their instant delivery game.
Beverage delivery challenges
While the one to two hours delivery window isn’t an unrealistic standard to meet, most direct-to-consumer brands lack the fulfillment capabilities to provide rush delivery all on their own. Even when brands have an in-house micro-fulfillment warehouse, fulfilling orders comes with its fair share of challenges such as warehouse rent and equipment, labor, utilities, insurance, materials, inventory management software, shipping, etc.
Furthermore, fulfilling and shipping beverages safely is another challenge, especially delivering glass bottles over long distances via services like UPS/FedEx, which charge by the weight. There’s always the impending risk of breakage, resulting in losses and, worse yet: unhappy customers.
And if it’s a drink that requires refrigeration, for instance, a kombucha, then there are the absurdly high costs associated with shipping weight, extra-packaging materials, and expensive cold packs.
In short, traditional delivery options require beverage brands to spend a significant amount of extra time and money.
That’s where instant commerce comes into play
As your instant commerce partner, Ohi will help your DTC business stand toe-to-toe with Amazon or big-box stores like Walmart.
Traditional e-commerce fulfillment is harmful to the planet, as orders travel by plane or ground over long distances.
On the other hand, Ohi’s instant commerce solution is fast, sustainable, and cost-effective. Because we keep our inventory “hyperlocal” in micro-fulfillment centers across major metropolitan areas, this helps our partner brands deliver drinks within two hours or same-day. In addition, it’s vastly more cost-effective as there’s no long-distance delivery involved.
After your beverage business teams up with Ohi, we will first analyze your product demand at the SKU level. Then, a dedicated team will continuously work with your operations team to ensure there is always sufficient inventory across Ohi’s nationwide micro-fulfillment centers.
In addition, our technology will constantly monitor delivery speed and consistency, adjust courier efficiency, and other factors to guarantee your customers always receive their ordered beverages within the delivery window they selected.
Top DTC-Focused Beverage Brands Benefiting from Instant Delivery
Olipop is a leading fizzy tonic brand. The maker of a new kind of soda makes their sodas from all-natural ingredients, combining the benefits of prebiotics, plant fiber, and botanicals.
Although Olipop has a powerful omnichannel e-commerce presence, the brand believes that a direct-to-consumer strategy is vital to its success. And to meet its high customer experience expectations, the brand required a D2C/DTC fulfillment partner.
After teaming up with Ohi, Olipop’s ROI has undergone a steady boost. Olipop now delivers its consumers fast delivery of its sparkling tonic alongside a fantastic post-purchase experience via Ohi’s platform.
In addition, many of their customers order subscriptions regularly now. With Ohi, Olipop customers can schedule and reschedule deliveries within seven days and three different time windows.
Olipop saw a 150% increase in customer lifetime value (CLV) and a 140% lift in lifetime orders for Ohi-shipped orders (versus non-Ohi).
The notable increase in repeat purchases highlights the value of “fast, free, and flexible” delivery for customers and shows just why Olipop’s customers have rated Ohi 4.6/5 stars for exceptional service.
Health-Ade is one of the country’s most prominent pro-biotic kombuchas that encourage people to #followtheirgut.
The DTC-focused beverage brand was looking for a better alternative to traditional 3PLs in its major metro areas to reduce fulfillment costs while offering a fantastic customer experience.
Traditional e-commerce fulfillment was not a good match for Health-Ade: they realized that delivering glass bottles over long distances via UPS/FedEx using a traditional 3PL would be impractical. In addition, there is the risk of breakage, high delivery weight, and extra-packaging costs. Lastly, kombuchas need to be refrigerated to retain freshness and probiotic qualities, demanding the use of expensive cold packs.
Ohi enabled Instant commerce for Health-Ade to help them deliver Kombuchas to their customers within a week of deployment. And Health-Ade’s customer lifetime value (CLV) has since increased by 49% on orders shipped with Ohi (versus standard FedEx/UPS), reflecting how valuable the instant delivery experience is to customers.
Athletic Brewing Company
A leading non-alcoholic beer brand was looking for an instant commerce solution to improve its customer experience and enable D2C growth.
With its wonderful-tasting, non-alcoholic brews made from premium quality, all-natural ingredients, Athletic Brewing Company is spearheading a craft beer revolution. Founded by co-founders Bill Shufelt and Jon Walker for “the modern beer drinker”, these low-alcohol beers are for people who aren’t willing or able to withstand the effects of alcohol intake.
Unsatisfied with the traditional 3PLs fulfillment functionality as they were not D2C-friendly, Athletic Brewing partnered with Ohi.
After teaming up with Ohi, Athletic Brewing has seen a 30% lift in repeat purchase rates (Ohi-shipped orders versus orders that ship via FedEx/UPS). Athletic Brewing customers rate Ohi an average of 4.7/5 stars.
The above-discussed success stories sum up the difference instant delivery can help make.
Deliver Drinks Faster!
85% of consumers will shop elsewhere for better options when delivery speeds are too slow. Slow delivery speed remains a primary reason for shopping cart abandonment. However, instant delivery is said to have contributed to higher conversion rates. In fact, it is the biggest motivator for 68% of shoppers.
The beverage market is ripe for rapid expansion; however, if your DTC business doesn’t keep pace with the marketplaces and large retailers, you’ll inevitably lose market share.
About Ohi At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.
Get Sticky: What is Customer Stickiness and How to Achieve it with Your DTC Brand
Acquiring new customers is only half the battle. You have yet to convert the newly acquired lot into second-time buyers and reduce customer churn.
Once you bag that second purchase, your focus should shift to expanding and increasing these customers’ lifetime value (CLV) even more. And to achieve that, you need to ensure you provide a customer experience so good that they want to stick around – a “sticky” experience.
Jes Kirkwood, a content strategist and storyteller, writes that customer experience is one of the two core pillars of customer retention; the thing is, you can’t grow if your customers don’t stick around.
But what exactly is customer stickiness and how is it related to customer retention and customer loyalty?
What is Customer Stickiness?
To define it simply, customer stickiness is when a customer continues to shop at your e-commerce store because something about your online store compels them to keep coming. It could be free and fast shipping, your product quality, your pricing, pre and post-purchase customer experience, emotional appeal, discounts and promotions, etc.
No one sells cold drinks in cold weather better than Coca Cola. Coke remains one of the best known beverage brands, winning hearts and taste buds since well before the classic Coca-Cola days. The beverage brand has successfully created a sticky brand experience centered around ‘émotional appeal,’ via adverts – and it works well.
How is customer stickiness related to customer loyalty and customer retention?
Customer stickiness is the launching pad for customer loyalty and retention both, because sticky customers are easier to turn into lifetime customers who are loyal to the brand. How do you think Coke managed to create a cult-like customer base?
It’s important to remember however, that customer stickiness is a result of a key benefit or value customers derive from a business – something they can’t get elsewhere.
It focuses on fostering new relationships with customers, while customer loyalty strengthens pre-existing relationships and develops after stickiness.
As for retention, that’s when these customers continue to choose your brand because trying out new products or brands is far too inconvenient.
So, how can you make your DTC brand create a sticky brand experience?
Once you get a customer to go from one purchase to two purchases, you increase their chance of making yet another purchase by 95%. Give these customers a reason to come back and stick to your business with these tried and true ways:
Be proactive about your post-purchase customer experience
A report by Salesforce shows that 80% of customers say the experience provided by a company is as important as the products and services they sell. And 42% said they would break up with a brand because they didn’t get customer support.
This shows just how important a winning post-purchase experience is, especially if you want to increase customer stickiness. Here are a few ways your brand can create a sticky brand experience for shoppers:
a) Customer onboarding
The post-purchase period is a crucial time for you and your customers. It’s the most important step in the customer life-cycle – an opportunity to build relationships with shoppers.
In fact, 88% of buyers in a survey said they’re more likely to remain loyal to a business that provides welcoming, educational onboarding content.
Customers who you’ve rolled out the red carpet for are more likely to continue buying your products in the long haul.
b) Spice it up with fast & free delivery
Fast and free delivery has become an essential component of a winning post-purchase experience. Almost all the major retailers, online and offline, are beginning to add the element of speed to their service. Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, Target, etc. leverage fast and free delivery to make their customers stick around.
Ohi helps its partner brands create a sticky brand experience by enabling them to offer customer-pleasing post-purchase experiences such as sustainable and instant delivery.
c) Keep customers in the know with real-time order tracking & on-brand updates
For many brands, the customer experience journey comes to an end when they make a purchase. That sort of attitude is a no-go in today’s fast-paced e-commerce world. The customer journey doesn’t end following the purchase; it continues with shipping, tracking, product updates, returns, reviews, and other post-purchase services.
d) Simplify the returns & refunds process
IKEA is a great example of a company that offers sticky returns and refunds policies. Shoppers have 365 days to exchange or return their products. This makes for a stellar value proposition, because it’s considerably longer than the usual 60 days.
It, however, may not be possible for every brand to follow in IKEA’s footsteps which is why many, if not most, progressive and forward-looking e-commerce brands these days are offering VIP customers membership-styled return options. They reward high-value, loyal customers with a more personalized and flexible shopping experience to keep them coming back for more.
e) Hear your customers out – ask for post-purchase feedback
Nothing shows your customers they are valuable better than asking for feedback about the product or post-purchase experience and actually taking it to heart.
Customer feedback will help offer you insight into what aspects of your product or service are working well and what aspects require improvements.
Think of unhappy customers as an opportunity. They could just leave you bad reviews on your social media channels, or even worse, anonymously put you on blast all over the place. Instead, invite them to contact you privately to share their experiences, trusting that you are sincere about addressing any concerns.
f) Sustainable e-commerce fulfillment
Did you know that 80% of consumers in a survey said that sustainability is important to them? Meanwhile, about 60% said they want to make a change in their shopping habits to be more sustainable.
While value and ease of purchase are still the main drivers of purchase decisions, sustainability is climbing higher on the list. Consider supporting sustainable e-commerce however you can – from carbon-neutral delivery to even more modest approaches like supporting micro-fulfillment services, as they reduce the amount of fuel that is needed per delivery and minimize the need for wasteful exterior packaging.
Differentiate your unique value proposition (UVP) & be consistent with it
We know that customer stickiness is essentially derived from the transactional value that your customers get from your business or product only — your unique value proposition (UVP).
It highlights a unique benefit or feature that differentiates your online brand from every other business in the industry, showcasing the most compelling reasons why a potential buyer should become a lifetime customer.
Whatever that value is, it’s imperative that everyone on your team knows about it. Your unique value proposition should power your sales and marketing messaging, and unlocking it should be a key point of focus for customer support and success teams.
Take Patagonia for instance. Their UVP isn’t a product or a feature, it’s their reason for existing. And their UVP adds value to their die-hard customers by helping them make a difference.
“We’re in business to save our home planet.”
This UVP distinguishes Patagonia from its competitors by defining it as more than a fashion label. It’s a way of life and a movement committed to making a difference. Patagonia epitomizes a number of its distinguishing features in a single sentence:
Fair Trade Certified Clothing – produced from organic cotton ( free of pesticides, herbicides, and GMO seeds)
An exchange program wherein shoppers can trade-in used equipment for store credit
1% of sales is donated to the restoration and preservation of the planet
What we really love about Patagonia’s UVP is that it doesn’t make the customers feel like they are being shoehorned into purchasing. They understand that together with the business they are making a difference.
Having the ingredients alone isn’t enough; mixing them together thoughtfully is what matters most. Whether you have the best price on the market or a key feature your competitors lack, or something else entirely, reminding customers how you’re different and better will help boost customer stickiness.
If practiced the right way, even a unique flavored syrup created by some pharmacist – yes, Coca Cola – can be turned into a world-beating brand that transcends its category.
Yes, that will eventually grow, too, (pun intended) because the stickier your customer is, the easier they are to retain. By making existing customers stickier you take an important first step toward fostering long-term customer loyalty.
6 Ways E-commerce Businesses Can Increase Shopping Cart Conversion Rates
Isn’t it a bummer when shoppers visit your e-commerce website, add products to their cart but then drop out without completing their purchase?
Cart abandonment remains the biggest problem faced by e-commerce businesses. In fact, the average online store loses 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. And a higher cart abandonment rate indicates friction in checkout process or experience – hence a low shopping cart conversion rate.
As both of these metrics are closely tied to your store’s bottom line, in order to drive cart conversion rates and revenues, companies need to elevate their strategy. Before we discuss how to tackle this adversary here’s an introduction to the said KPIs.
Cart conversion determines the percentage of customers who complete an order after adding something to the shopping cart.
It’s crucial to know your e-commerce shopping cart conversion rate because it measures how effective your checkout process is at converting customers into buyers.
Cart abandonment, on the other hand, is the percentage of shoppers who added products to the cart but then left without initiating the checkout process.
Shopping cart conversion rate vs. checkout conversion rate
These KPIs are ofttimes confused and interchangeably used. The shopping cart conversion rate metric helps determine the number of complete orders in comparison to the total number of shopping carts started by potential customers.
Whereas checkout conversion rate is a KPI that helps measure the percentage of total visitors who started the checkout process, and then go on to complete their orders.
Once you figure out the percentage of shoppers abandoning your cart and the number that completed the order, you can come up with a strategy to remove the blockers and optimize your cart conversion rate.
6 Ways e-commerce businesses can increase shopping cart conversion rate
The truth is you’ll never be able to put an end to cart abandonment entirely. But understanding what’s causing shoppers to leave mid-sale and being proactive about optimizing trouble spots will help increase your cart conversion rate. Here are a few foolproof ways to help you game up your cart conversion rates.
1. Give customers extra motivation with enticing offers
A stagnant or, worse, a lower conversion rate signals a serious issue and one of the foolproof ways to fix this problem is to pre-empt potential dropouts with an enticing offer.
A good discount or coupon always hits the sweet spot. Which is why, many online stores try to win over potential customers with first-time offers even before products are added to cart. Here’s an example from Candle Delirium.
Ordering something for the first time at full price without any past experience with the product or peer reviews to cling to can be daunting for most shoppers. Discounts, reward points, first-time offers all have a subconscious effect on your customers. With a discount in their proverbial pockets, they feel ready to complete a purchase at your e-commerce store.
In fact, a recent survey from RetailMeNot found that 80% of shoppers are more inclined to make a first-time purchase with a brand that offered a discount.
2. Simplify & streamline the checkout process
A complicated checkout process is one of the topmost reasons why online shoppers abandon carts. Oftentimes, customers drop out after initiating the checkout process, which piles up on abandonment stack.
Remember that 70% of shoppers will not complete an online form with too many fields. Similarly, with each extra step your prospective customers will drop off in the conversion funnel.
Here are a few good pointers:
Add fewer but relevant form fields
Offer guest checkout (people will often get annoyed if they are forced to create an account)
Keep your CTAs simple (fancy doesn’t always work)
Moreover, if you do upsell and cross-sell, make absolutely sure they don’t interfere with or hinder the customer’s ability to check out fast.
PS: Remember to account for both desktop and smartphone users to ensure that your checkout process is as simple and seamless as possible irrespective of the devices your customers use.
3. Offer fast & free shipping
Free and fast shipping is every shopper’s wildest dream. In fact, 80% of shoppers surveyed want same-day shipping, while 61% want their packages delivered even faster — within 1-3 hours of placing an order.
Meanwhile, 63% of shoppers surveyed said they had abandoned shopping carts due to high shipping costs.
It’s abundantly clear why e-commerce stores need to hop on this ‘fast and free’ trend if they don’t want to lose any potential customers. Offering free shipping, despite the small cost to your online store, can provide a massive boost to your cart conversion rates. By leveraging free shipping, Amazon experienced a significant increase in customer orders throughout several marketplaces.
There are degrees of “fast” delivery, too. ROI data from Ohi shows repeat purchase rates associated with Ohi’s 2-hour delivery were even higher: up to 24% higher than same-day delivery and 61% higher than standard UPS/FedEx.
Order minimums are fine, too…
…because what works for one e-commerce business may not always work for another. In fact, many brands are unable to provide free shipping without eroding their e-commerce margins, especially when average order quantity is only one product.
Offering free shipping for a minimum order threshold can be an effective way for these brands to minimize cart abandonment while shoring up their margins. This also has the added benefit of assisting in increasing the average order value (AOV).
4. Reel the dropouts back in with retargeting
Abandoned cart retargeting is another strategy that can help you persuade abandoners to return and complete their purchase. Email remains an effective way to entice cart abandoners. Here are a few instances from Olipop.
You can also use ads to better target people who have visited your site and added products to the cart but did not complete their order. It keeps you top of mind for those prospective consumers as they browse the web.
5. Offer multiple payment options
How you manage and process payments impacts not only your customers’ buying journey but also the overall success of your business.
After all, customers are more likely to abandon carts if their preferred form of payment option isn’t available. By providing your site with a payment gateway that accepts a variety of payment options, you are helping boost sales opportunities. You can offer key payment methods such as credit cards, pay later solutions, and mobile wallets including Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Paypal, etc.
Once you have added the right payment mix, you need to ensure that the payment completion is quick and easy and doesn’t get in the way of a shopper completing the order.
6. Optimize page load speeds
No one likes a slow-loading site. And an annoyed and angry shopper wondering if their order was even successful is the last thing you want. To be honest these shoppers may not even make it to the checkout if your e-commerce website loads slowly.
To top up sales and reduce cart abandonment rate, every page – starting from transaction to landing page to order confirmation page – needs to be fast.
First thing’s first, make sure you’re using a fast and reliable hosting service. Here are a few more ways you can speed up load-times for higher cart conversions:
Reduce the number of page redirects & broken links
Use a content delivery network (CDN)
Get rid of plug-ins with high resource usage (they hog most of your server’s CPU and RAM
Use lite embeds instead of standard embed code for videos from YouTube (they bloat your site)
Create a seamless and fast shopping experience with a progressive web app
A little optimization & consideration goes a long way
Jeff Eisenberg, an American businessman, once said, “it’s easier to double your business by doubling your conversion rate rather than by doubling your traffic.”
As important as it is to double down on the traffic, converting the visitors into customers and retaining them is just as imperative. Optimizing your strategy, with the aforementioned, to increase your shopping cart conversion rate will pay off in the long haul. And once your cart conversion rate goes up, you’ll realize it’s worth the effort, time, and money.
At Ohi, we’ve flipped the script for e-commerce fulfillment, transforming it from what is traditionally seen as a cost center into a growth engine. Brands join the Ohi platform to deliver powerfully fast, brand-focused, and memorable post-purchase experiences that enable them to grow. Want to learn more about how Ohi enables instant commerce? Get in touch today.
The Rise of Green E-commerce: How Online Businesses Can be More Eco-friendly
80% of consumers in a survey by NRF and IBM said that sustainability is important to them. Meanwhile, about 60% are willing to change their shopping habits to be more sustainable.
Whether it was Greta Thunberg’s protests on preserving the planet, the recent wave of abnormal floods, or simply the ongoing rise of awareness, sustainability, and environmental concerns are top of mind for today’s consumers. This wave of green consumerism is pushing many online retail brands – big and small – to take action by adopting sustainable or eco-friendly ways to mitigate their carbon footprint.
Many more customers are beginning to realize and question just how traditional supply chain and shipping models wreak havoc on the environment.
The dark side of ‘click-from-couch’
Although e-commerce produces 36% fewer emissions in comparison to in-store shopping as per a report by MIT, this increasing click-from-couch behavior within the last couple of years even for the smallest of things is stacking up on the carbon emissions.
Walmart carried out a self-audit and found that “e-commerce, on average, tends to produce more emissions per item for three reasons: e-commerce requires additional packaging, customers purchase fewer items per online transaction, and multi-item orders often result in multiple deliveries.”
In short, more polluting vehicles and packaging waste is killing the planet
Quite often, for products ordered by online shoppers, trucks are underutilized, delivering only a small number of packages. A lot of these packages contain individual products that are shipped via different carriers. This puts more vehicles on the roads contributing to carbon emissions.
And let’s not forget about the packaging – the total amount of cardboard used for packaging each year equates to a shocking 1 billion trees. Meanwhile, other packaging materials like plastic, tape, or bubble wrap have their own individual fair share of landfill waste, which, by the way, often isn’t or can’t be recycled.
And this waste continues to pile up. If Captain Planet and the Planeteers weren’t fictional characters of a 90’s TV show, most of these businesses would be shut down by now. But it’s all the more reason why it’s critical that online businesses adopt a sustainable approach.
In the mid-’90s John Elkington, a serial entrepreneur, coined the idea of the triple bottom line. The idea is based on business profitability centered around “people, planet, and profit.” Elkington’s idea defines how a business while being more responsible towards the environment and people can still generate profits.
The idea is simple – by implementing social good and practicing ethical and sustainable practices businesses can stand out as leaders – eventually leading to increased profitability.
Many brands, big and small, are already striving towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions
Brands such as Nike and Adidas – employing the triple bottom line concept – have taken the lead on sustainability, establishing themselves as more forward-thinking and competitive.
Nike intends to power its facilities entirely with renewable energy by 2025 and is aiming to function with net-zero carbon emissions. They claim to repurpose more than 90% of the waste from Air sole materials to create new, inventive cushioning systems.
Patagonia is another prominent brand making a difference. Well-known for its sustainability and environmental activism, Patagonia switched to organic cotton, and a high proportion of its materials are made from recycled fabrics, including polyester, nylon, and wool. Rejecting fast-fashion, it produces high-quality, long-lasting goods and provides a repair and reuse program as well. The brand had 40% growth over the last year and has pledged to become a carbon-neutral company by 2025.
Sustainability doesn’t just save the planet, but it also helps businesses stand out in the market of beacons of societal responsibility.
How can e-commerce businesses be more eco-friendly?
Being environmentally conscious is important for more than just customer-facing products and brands. E-commerce businesses very often overlook the supply chain and how it contributes to carbon emissions.
That’s one area where Untuckit wins big. In addition to using ethically sourced materials for production, that’s another area where it reduced its carbon footprint. It uses recyclable and biodegradable materials for shipping products, reducing its carbon footprint further.
Here are a few ways your e-commerce business can stave off its supply chain emissions and be more sustainable.
1. Switch to sustainable delivery and packaging
Packaging waste is obviously one of the biggest drawbacks of online shopping, and anyone who has ever purchased a small item from Amazon and had a canoe-sized box delivered to their house knows this full well. All that plastic, tape, and bubble wrap only add to the carbon emissions.
Fortunately, many of the large mail service providers are now taking part in eco-friendly initiatives that use recycled shipping materials as well as paperless invoicing and tracking options. Many of these couriers also provide their customers with additional green and sustainable programs that allow shoppers to offset carbon emissions from their deliveries.
While these options aren’t as great as outright eliminating the need for exterior boxing and packaging materials (as micro-fulfillment with Ohi does), they are a step in the right direction for traditional delivery companies like UPS, FedEx, USPS, and DHL.
As for eco-friendly packaging – there are many options available to choose from as compared to a few years back when there were limited options available. You can opt for recyclable packaging i.e cardboard boxes, molded pulp packaging, etc.
Or you can choose reusable packaging like glass milk bottles, pallets, or shipping containers, etc.
There’s a third option- compostable packaging. It degrades faster than other materials. When deciding which type of packaging to go for, it’s important to keep in mind how it complements your specific product.
2. Team up with an eco-friendly fulfillment partner
For many businesses, the supply chain is the largest source of emissions. By teaming up with instant commerce or micro-fulfillment partners like Ohi, brands can offer fast and sustainable fast shipping to meet customer expectations.
As a matter of fact, sustainable DTC organic beverage brand Health-Ade and eco-friendly apparel brand Untuckit both rely on Ohi to deliver their products sustainably in their largest metro areas. Health-Ade has enjoyed a 49% increase in its customer lifetime value (CLV) as a result of its sustainable micro-fulfillment strategy.
How does Ohi add value to e-commerce brands with sustainability and fast shipping?
Having crossed out the air or long ground routes from the equation, our fast delivery generates the least carbon emissions because products are shipped from fulfillment centers that are located very close to customers. It’s sustainable and green because we use bike/e-bike/scooter couriers and foot couriers in densely populated urban areas, instead of vans or bikes, reducing our carbon footprint.
In fact, Ohi deliveries were shown to be 22x more eco-friendly than next-day air and 5x more eco-friendly than 3-5 day ground.
As far as packaging is concerned, as opposed to traditional packaging that involves plastic or cardboard waste, Ohi encourages the use of eco-friendly reusable totes for 2-hour and same-day deliveries whenever possible.
But we realized that despite our efforts to offer sustainable delivery, there was some residual carbon footprint left. So we teamed up with EcoCart, a sustainability technology that helps businesses calculate and offset their carbon emissions.
Our partnership with EcoCart allows Ohi to calculate and address the rest of the residual carbon footprint through carbon offsets and provide a carbon-neutral delivery.
3. Offset your carbon footprint (i.e. with EcoCart)
Everything produces emissions, but by using carbon offsets, you can neutralize the carbon you produce by donating to a forest protection project that prevents deforestation.
One of the easiest ways to do that is via EcoCart. EcoCart’s plugin for e-commerce businesses determines the emissions produced by your online business and allows your business (or your customers) to offset exactly the amount of emissions an order has produced.
Adopting the above-mentioned sustainable practices will help your e-commerce business stand out from your competitors while making a lasting difference for the environment. After all, there is only one planet Earth, and it’s our collective responsibility to take care of it.