There are many steps in the e-commerce journey your customers take. They’re also likely shopping around with multiple brands and businesses, particularly during the holidays, so you need to make sure their experience with you is cohesive. This makes it all the more to brand every step of the customer journey and the e-commerce shipping experience. These experiences are major touchpoints with your customers before they receive the products they ordered from you, and your brand should capitalize on every opportunity. Let’s look at a few of those touchpoints and how you can make them count.
Packing slips and order emails
There are two very important forms of communication your customers receive that are related to shipping: packing slips and order emails. For many merchants, these are merely a transactional part of the e-commerce shipping process, but that is a wasted opportunity.
Some marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon, do not allow you to add any marketing to transactional emails. If the order is from your store or a marketplace without this restriction, you should seize the opportunity for an upsell in these one-to-one communications with your customers.
Confirmation and Tracking Emails
Every customer who orders from you should receive an automated email letting them know you have received their order. They should also receive a notification when their order has shipped providing them a link to track their order’s progress. Both emails are important for informing your customers but can be more than simply e-commerce shipping information.
When a customer opens their package, one of the most important contents is their packing slip. This provides them with all order information they need including information for returns, company contact information, and what the contents of that package should be. Again, this simple piece of paper can do so much more for your business.
A packing slip is a great place to insert recommended products based on your customers’ purchases. Include unique short links to make it easy for your customers to head to the products (and help you track conversions) or at minimum, include a clear product name so your customers can search from the products on your website.
The anticipation of receiving a product you ordered is almost always palpable. Beyond just the anticipation though, customers want to make sure they’re around to receive the package or know when the person they bought the package for receives it. For any of these reasons, they may be checking that tracking link pretty regularly to know exactly when a package arrives.
This is another pivotal moment for your branding, and that’s why ShippingEasy introduced Branded Tracking pages and notifications for all of our customers. Branded Tracking lets you create a custom landing page that includes your company logo, links to your social pages and website(s), and includes tracking information and a visual progress indicator.
Linking a customer to a website that is your own property, as opposed to the carrier’s tracking site, lets you control the experience they have. It also increases the opportunities for upsells and cross-sells, can bring customers back to your website/social pages, and can encourage email signups. You can also gather important metrics to see what resonates with customers and continually tweak what you feature on the page to garner the highest conversions possible.
ShippingEasy helps you track all of this information in an intuitive dashboard that displays all this information in one place.
So far, we’ve added multiple page templates, email and SMS notifications, and multiple email templates. Coming soon to ShippingEasy’s Branded Tracking will be the addition of Product Recommendations, custom branding with colors and fonts, promotional images, plus the ability to create a single custom page for each of your stores (currently, you can create one Branded Tracking page for all your stores and marketplaces).
We often recommend using the free shipping materials you can get from USPS, FedEx, and UPS. These materials can be ordered online and delivered right to your door and they provide great cost savings for your business. That aside, there’s something to be said about using branded packaging in your e-commerce shipping.
The box is literally the last thing your customer experiences before they have the product in-hand. That leaves plenty of opportunity for branding the box and making it an experiential part of the customer journey.
The above post from our partner Brandable Box shows how fun a branded box can be. The great thing about them is they have a strong commitment to sustainable practices, which means their products are all made from recycled products. By using sustainable products, you can then build that into your brand as a company that cares about the environment.
You could even tie the elements together by having something on the outside of the box that alludes to something on the packing slip, like a treasure hunt of sorts. One thing to note, however, is that if your box offers any indication as to what is inside the box, that may affect your shipping insurance. So be mindful of simple branding rather than product imagery.
Branded Tracking is a free feature for ShippingEasy customers. Start your 30-day free trial so you can brand the entire customer journey to keep your customers coming back year round!
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