Product Delivery Is Quick and Reliable with PIM

Digital channel product delivery is a priority for manufacturers, but it’s tough. Use these insights to deliver your products quickly and reliably.

The Internet is sure to undergo ever more innovative changes in the coming years.

Also, we know we’ll continue to make purchases via digital channels. The the shift to ecommerce sales channels, and corresponding decline of brick and mortar stores, means product delivery has become a key ingredient for success.

This change will affect the customer experience for consumers and businesses alike.

This blog will focus on B2B buyers, because the volume of transaction made in business buying is much higher and more complex than in consumer to consumer buying.

Product delivery speed and reliability are important weapons companies can use to stay ahead of the competition.

  • Speed assures buyers their purchases arrive on time.
  • Reliability assures buyers the product delivered is what they ordered.

Not offering enough product delivery options results in more abandoned purchases. Most people have little patience when it comes to assuring them of fast delivery of their orders.

A foolproof product delivery strategy is crucial.

Often times, customers become frustrated and the resultant effect is an abandoned shopping cart, meaning lost sales. Thus, the need for increased speed and visibility influences the logistics chain heavily.

Product delivery doesn’t only signify the arrival of ordered goods, but encompasses so much more.

Every single piece of the pie has to do with product delivery. This includes everything from delivery presentation and marketing, right down to the time and method of delivery. Your customers will place great importance in all of these.

What do Customers Want?

How to draw in customer attention is a puzzle all businesses grapple with.

Business buyers and consumers alike all have misgivings about the product delivery process of most ecommerce stores. This could stem from:

  • High delivery costs
  • Lack of a suitable delivery option
  • Having little or no faith in the seller’s product delivery system

As the time it takes to deliver a product increases, so does dissatisfaction. Ultimately, it all ends with a frustrated “I’ll never buy from them again!”

Customers want a clear and accurate tracking system in place to keep them updated on the progress of the orders they have placed. They want interactive communication about their order even before it arrives. This can be done through email, texts, or phone calls to update customers about changes or just to reassure them.

Customers want a brand that is ready to own up to lapses in their purchase system especially when product delivery issues come up. Hence, ecommerce stores must find the best way to provide excellent customer service. This is especially true because, after all, customers can choose to buy from anyone.

Customers are more likely to return and buy again if a brand can deliver at affordable prices, with flexible shipping options, and provide fast delivery. This shows that you must devise strategies to improve your product delivery to meet all these expectations.

Product Delivery Delays

To find a way to make product delivery systems more effective for ecommerce stores, go to the root of the problem looking for possible causes of delivery delays.

Delivery experiences may be the test to judge the personality of a brand, influencing its identity. This is why any customer that has to put up with a delivery delay on the first order may decide not to buy from your site again.

One major cause of delivery delays is documentation mistakes.

It has dual roots and can come from the company or the business buyers themselves. Documentation mistakes include:

  • Misspelled addresses
  • Incomplete information
  • Incomplete order forms
  • Human error as a result of poorly managed multi-tasking
All these affect the delivery of products quickly and reliably.

Ecommerce is a 24/7 marketplace unrestricted by location. Hence, system failure, bad hosting, and other technicalities affect the ability of a store to deliver reliably and on time.

Increase Conversion Rates

Conversion rates increase with the boost in customer confidence an efficient delivery system generates. And these days word of mouth is more important to ecommerce than ever before.

Delivery options and prices should display clearly on every page of your site, including cart and checkout pages. Prices shouldn’t be hard to find, but instead clearly visible to customers. Only then can customers make good purchase decisions.

Your excellent delivery strategy can set you apart from competitors. Your site will easily stand out from those that don’t deliver on promises. This creates buzz around your uniqueness, resulting in increased sales and a favorable brand image.

Positive Business Results

The prompt and accurate delivery of orders creates value for your buyers.

In return, you gain positive business results. The value created is the delivery of products at the right place, in the right condition for customer needs. These positive results create widespread buzz for your business, increased goodwill, and improved brand reputation.

Increase Repeat Purchases

Your delivery strategy is a source of competitive advantage for your offer, turning visitors into customers and customers into repeat buyers.  Thus, delivering on your promise is sure to improve your brand image in their mind’s eyes and wow them.

Good delivery is the mechanism for ensuring issues are handled when they arise.

The end goal in ecommerce is the transformation of buyers into repeat buyers. Your delivery mechanism can help do this. Ensuring that orders are received in satisfactory condition at the right time will go a long way to help make the transformation a reality.

Repeat customers are the cash cows of every business, so their needs are a priority. At the back of your mind should be the knowledge that repeat sales don’t happen by accident. A conscious effort by a brand to wow the customer at all touch points with them does the trick.

Do Your Homework

First things first: research and don’t forget preparation is very important.

You need to carry out research into delivery issues and use facts to find and implement the best solution. Identify your delivery needs and goals to direct the actions you will take to ensure you’re headed in the right direction.

Your delivery goals should promote:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Improvement in customer service
  • Increased online sales
  • Improved relationships between your business and buyers

All these should be taken into consideration as goals and objectives are being set. Information about shipping costs and competitive delivery practices should be priorities.

Answer the dilemma of whether to outsource or not to.

Do you have adequate resources to be able to handle logistics internally or will you use the services of a third party logistics provider? This can only be properly answered with adequate research.

The issue of returns should be addressed in the phase of logistics policy formulation.

Buying online comes with the possibility of returns because product aren’t physically present to be handled and properly inspected. A survey conducted revealed that 81% of customers will go for businesses that offer easy and free returns.

Allowing returns comes with its own problems. Hence, research and proper consultations should be made, with pros and cons tabulated to make the best decisions that will deliver best customer experiences.

Packaging Is Important

More than the generic benefit of protecting and preserving the product, there should be a special “feel” that your packaging should give.

Some experiences of customers have left them discontented with the purchase they made. Ecommerce stores need to keep up with consumers’ unrestricted purchases.

Since business buyers can’t physically handle the product, the packaging their order comes in becomes their first impression of you, which is a really huge deal you can’t afford to miss out on.

Some studies reveal that an average number of customers have the belief that the packaging of their shipment reveals the level of importance the seller has about them and the order they placed.

Your Word Is Your Bond

Breaking promises is the best way to lose customers.

If it is broken despite well-thought-out plans, a mechanism for service recovery should be put in place. You should list realistic minimum and maximum delivery times. This is to strike a balance between putting unnecessary pressure to meet up and disappointing customers from the resultant delays.

Remember, the reason why a purchase is made is to meet needs, and time is one of them.

No matter the additional benefits and promises your product comes with, if delivery is promised in 48 hours, it should be done so consistently. If orders made aren’t received within the specified time, a disconnect between the buyer and brand develops. Ultimately, this leads to disaster

The moment a business loses sight of the need to fulfill brand promises, it starts to decline.

It is preferable to promise delivery in five business days, even if it can be done in two, than to promise two days and end up disappointing the customer. The secret is to make a realistic promise and delight your customers by delivering it in less time than promised.

Shipping rate and delivery condition transparency will earn you customer loyalty.

While transparency is exercised, also apply flexibility. Thus, consumers should be offered as many options as possible. They should never have a reason to abandon their shopping carts.

Update Your Inventory

Have you ever clicked to buy an item you absolutely loved only to get an error message? This must have produced a myriad of negative emotions.

Having incorrect inventory levels will only upset customers.

Classify your inventory properly to ensure stock levels are maintained, especially for fast-moving products. This will go a long way to help save time in the process of order fulfillment. Hence, your inventory should be regularly updated to prevent the occurrence of incidences.

Keeping your inventory up to date will mitigate running out of products.

After all the effort spent in product promotion, the product should be on hand when requested. Management of inventory can help increase profit margins because it allows the efficient movement of goods. This can offer a business competitive advantage.

Use Logistics Software

Using automated logistic software goes a long way to ensure accuracy.

This is especially true when regularly updating data. The Amazon effect has increased customer demand, particularly with regard to delivery time. Amazon offers same-day delivery for many products sold on its platform.

Using automated logistics can help reduce costly errors that can be gotten from manual data entry, helping brand deliver better customer experiences. This is highly important, especially when you realize that it costs you so much to lose just one customer.

Your overall strategy will determine which logistics software you should use.

Remember, it must also be in line with your delivery goals and objectives. Determine the best way to integrate your logistics software into your overall business strategy.

An automated system also helps resolve business decisions as a result of access to stored trends and history. Having valuable data will help you see a clearer picture of the costs of each decision you make.

Use a unified platform that can integrate all aspects of the supply chain in the management of logistics. It should be one that can easily harmonize all links of your supply chain network.

Product Delivery with Couriers

A number of ecommerce stores use the services of courier companies with a specialty in handling logistics and delivery. However, assess them properly and find the best one to help achieve your delivery goals.

The contract drawn with these companies should communicate a clear message and should be easy to understand. Courier companies can offer flexible delivery packages that can save you time and avoid unnecessary delays.

When you don’t have the resources at your disposal to fulfill orders on time, go with a courier.

A lot of stores benefit from the advantage courier companies bring to the table. Courier companies can offer services that will increase overall performance, reduce costs, and allow you to focus on other demanding business activities. Outsourcing your order fulfillment function also allows you make the most of technology without the accompanying risks. Outsourcing your order fulfillment function also allows you make the most of technology without the accompanying risks.

Include Surprise Freebies

You aren’t just trying to deliver products quickly and reliably, but to do it so well your customers feel like they have no choice but to come back for more. A surprise gift may sound complicated, but it’s really not. A thoughtful little gift can make a huge impact.

Remember, the gift doesn’t have to be expensive to make an impression.

Surprise freebies are a great way to delight customers and create impressions that will live on and influence further purchase decisions. Unconsciously, buyers psychologically incline toward your brand in a bid to repay the favor.

Pull It Together to Win

Delivery is one factor buyers consider before trusting a brand.

This is why consumers are quick to point out that unreliable delivery is what discourages them from buying online. Surveys have revealed 60% of customers say their central reason for online shopping is delivery convenience.

A defective delivery system is a liability to the success of the company.

Quick and reliable product delivery is key to ecommerce success. Again, product delivery doesn’t start and end with the receipt of goods. Instead, it’s traceable back to buyer shopping experience. This is also true of the processes and technology necessary for order fulfillment.

A lot can go wrong at different stages of these processes, in particular with order placement and delivery. Online checkout pages should be shorter and should enable easy filling. If brands can’t fulfill these expectations with the resources at hand, outsource the function.

Third party logistics firms have the capacity to handle your customers’ delivery needs.

With the increase in the popularity of online stores, buyer expectations expand. This is why delivery of products is a challenge for ecommerce stores and finding a flexible delivery option becomes necessary.

Your customers brand experiences will fall into three categories:

  • Below expectations
  • Equal to expectations
  • Beyond expectations
Brands that want to grow to meet industry standards will aim to exceed their buyers’ expectations of their buyers and delight them.

You can’t afford to make even one mistake in your product delivery, because your image and reputation are at stake. These go a long way to influence customer retention rates. Consistent customer communication, so customers are informed every step of the way in their order fulfillment, is crucial.

Now that you know the ins and outs of product delivery, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.

Why Every Company Should Plan to Scale Product Content

This post is for brands that want to take their content creation to the next level and meet the ever-increasing demands of their customers. Whether you focus on B2B or B2C, your content needs will always increase, and thus you will need to plan to scale product content. With this increasing need comes the demand for high-quality content that can meet different customer needs and remain relevant.

When we talk about product content, it encompasses different forms ranging from video, text, infographics and basically any form of communication which spreads your brand promise across to target markets. It is necessary to maintain a leading online presence, because it’s the medium through which audience engagement happens.

You need to have systems in place to scale product content so that you don’t get left behind. When you scale your content marketing efforts, it leads to more defined processes. Systems should in place for rewriting product descriptions and to ensure that it aligns with your business goals and buyer needs.

Scaling won’t be possible without the use of data as it goes a long way to build out the customer experiences. You need to be able to find data and leverage them so you get useful and relevant information from them. Through product content, companies can achieve efficient resource allocation, greater relevance and produce content appropriate for different occasions, seasons and purchase consideration.

How Can You Scale Product Content?

We all know that producing quality content is highly important if we are to succeed in today’s marketplace. To do this effectively, scale product content to the maximum. I will give a brief illustration for better understanding:

You’ll agree that product descriptions are usually written for a particular product or product group in mind, right? When making changes in features or images, you may have to abandon existing product descriptions, because they don’t fit into what’s currently obtainable.

Scaling comes in to solve this problem and so much more. It is all about producing the right content at the right time for the right audience and delivering it with the right technology. Thus, scaling ensures production of different content to fit different personalities and exist in different forms for different uses.

The content used should differ for different seasons and occasions. The same content produced for a particular occasion shouldn’t be used for a different one, for example. Product content scaling is all about improving the product content over time i.e. getting the most out of the content (however limited they are) that you can afford to produce.

Scaling your content turns it into a growth strategy that can increase profitability. In order to succeed in your product content, you need accurate data.

Benefits of Scaling Product Content

Product content contributes a lot to the overall experience of customers. Thus, proper management is important. When you scale your product content, it makes the message more memorable. This will drive more traffic to your site, helping you win more sales. Google is a lover of original and relevant content that is SEO friendly, and scaling helps you keep your ratings and ranking high.

Content can generate more leads than the traditional outbound marketing. Scaling your product content makes it possible to reach markets not thought of before. Your content is a reflection of your brand voice and promise and this is what people see as your brand.

Scaling your product content saves time. This is because you can allocate internal resources effectively and efficiently to achieve greater returns. Through scaling, a company can achieve greater relevance, because content can be designed specifically for major events, holidays, and seasons. Through segmentation of content, the customers are serviced with a touch of personalization and it becomes more relevant to them because it addresses their exact needs and challenges.

Scaling product content provides answers to important questions that are necessary for an effective content marketing strategy. These include:

  • Who: those in charge of the content creation and their individual responsibilities
  • What: the kind of content that fits the needs of your target audience and the goals you want to achieve with each content piece
  • When: publishing frequency and timing release of content in a way that regularly communicates your message
  • Where: storing content for easy retrieval and access
  • How: the content distribution channels that can best resonate with the customers

All these are important considerations for brands who wish to take leadership in whatever industry they find themselves in.

It minimizes waste as you can reuse and repurpose content instead of abandoning it altogether. Thus, different buyer personas are satisfied with more value created. All these reduce the time you would have spent creating content from scratch.

Tips for Scaling Product Content

Effective product content scaling involves content production that engages your audience and does not compromise quality or reduce your Return on Investment (ROI). How then do you increase your content production without reducing the value and quality of each one?

Keeping content consistent and relevant across different platforms and geographies in a bid to satisfy the needs of customers can be quite tough. Well, this post is going to offer you tips on how to properly conduct your scaling efforts in a way that achieves greater relevance.

The first step to scaling your product content is developing a strategy for your product content marketing that can yield results. The truth is that you can never go wrong with a strategy in place. Your scaling efforts begin when you map out a strategy for your content production and marketing. You need to have a sit-out with your content development team and map out tactics and winning strategies that are feasible. Always refer to company’s existing marketing plan and try to anticipate clients’ needs and desires.

Create an editorial timetable and distribute work the smart way for the production of quality product content. It also helps to save time and reduce frustration when mapping out publication dates in advance for alignment with seasonal demands. Further tips include the following listed below;

Outline Objectives by Specific Campaign

I can’t stress this enough; you need to be clear about your specific objectives before you begin any content production. What is the end goal you intend to achieve with increasing your content production? The proper setting of your content production objectives will help organizations have a purpose that drives their activities.

Through the objectives formed, make a style guide should for each content type you’re going to produce. Your style guide helps one avoid inconsistencies among articles, encompassing brand guidelines, heading styles, amount of images, among others. Your content should align with seasonal demand, product launches and any other important consideration that may demand some alteration to product content.

Have the Right Team in Place

You can’t talk about scaling if you don’t have a team that is capable of producing quality content and making good strategic content decisions. Unfortunately, only a few organizations have content marketing teams. Scaling involves visionary people who can see into the future and map out winning strategies.

Content creation isn’t an individual effort but a team sport. Creating good content isn’t easy. This is why it is important to hire talented and creative writers that can produce quality content that require little or no editing. Not only talent and creativity, you need people committed to your clients and your promises to satisfy their needs.

If there is an urgent need to scale your product content, you can consider hiring more hands to grow your team. Creatively expand your team to meet the needs of your growing customers.

The end goal is to have content that is relevant, communicates your goals and objectives clearly, meets the needs of your target market and incorporates the values of your brand.

There should be an organized workflow for the content production team to ensure excess flexibility is limited. Workflows should be consistent and supported by the right technology for proper execution.

Not only is finding the right team important, you need to use time-saving tools and systems when it comes to your content scaling. Automation is important to save time and cost. Scaling becomes easier when you repurpose content to conform to the needs of a certain group or platform.

Develop Content

The demand for content production is higher and it is important that the supply is sufficient to meet this increasing demand. The major question is how to sufficiently supply this demand in a way that it is of high quality and can meet the different needs of customers.

Always go for quality over quantity. Resist the temptation to produce barely manageable content in bulk just because you want to scale your content. Always have it at the back of your mind that readers don’t return to pages with average content but those with great and exceptional content. Referring to the 80/20 power rule, 20% of your content can drive 80% of the volume of traffic.

You can republish, repackage, repurpose or syndicate existing content.

  • Republishing content helps your product information and replacing any stale information that exists within.
  • Repackaging content gathers relevant information on a particular topic and repackaged to form an entirely new content that can attract a different audience.
  • Repurposing content involves redirecting the same content to suit a different purpose or fit into a different channel.

You can also partner with other media outlets through syndication to republish your content continually on a fixed schedule.

It is important to diversify content types while bearing in mind the specific type of content your audience would love. “Understand your customers!” is one commandment you must obey. In developing your content, segment it to your customers according to the level in the buyer’s journey. You can’t release content that informs and creates awareness about your brand to a prospect that knows your brand and is waiting for information about the benefits you can over above your competitors.

It is necessary that your content is grouped into the different stages of a customer’s purchase journey (from awareness to purchase action and then to customer loyalty and advocacy) and value is given at each stage. Understand your customer’s purchase journey and how your content fits into it.

Your original content can be updated and revived in place of total abandonment. Beef up thin product description with compelling and engaging content to increase its value. Affiliates should be provided with content that can be editable.

Determine Platforms for Content Distribution and Promotion

No matter how wonderful your product content is, it is useless if it does not get to the customers that need it at the right time. Without a good distribution plan, all your content development effort may be in vain because no one will know it exists. Strategic content distribution is required for content to be successful.

According to Curata.com, a whopping 75% of marketers increased the amount they spend on content marketing in 2016. I couldn’t agree more with Jayson DeMers who said, “The real value of content marketing is in distribution channels”. Now, you know that the creation of amazing content isn’t the end of your content efforts, rather, it’s the distribution of content effectively to people who will love it and are willing to share.

Content distribution helps to disseminate your brand message to your target audience. Your distribution goal should be in line with the overall objective of your company. There is no perfect platform that is a match for all companies. Your set objective will dictate the content that will be shared and the number of times it will be shared.

Your audience also matters and their media preferences should be considered here in order to maximize your online presence where it matters most. You can use paid media, owned media, earned media or a combination of these categories.

Owned media includes your website, mobile sites, blog, social media accounts and pages and so on. Paid media is used when a brand pays in order to leverage a particular channel. With earned media, the customers become the channel by spreading the buzz about the brand and this occurs as a result of the efforts of paid and owned media.

Summarily, evaluate your distribution options (owned, paid and earned media) and select the one that can offer you the highest returns looking at your buyer characteristics; develop your distribution strategy and document decisions taken so that everyone involved can have access to it, and promote your content by optimizing it.

Compare Content Against Company-wide Goals

There is need to make adjustments along the way no matter the best plans and strategies you have mapped out. The only thing constant is change itself. Track your site’s analytics to figure out what type of content resonates most in your customers’ minds.

Constant evaluations should be conducted to evaluate strategies that are generating positive results and those that aren’t. Through evaluation of scaling efforts, the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of content can be determined and corrections can be quickly made.

Mistakes to Avoid When Scaling Product Content

There are traps you need to avoid in scaling your product content. At the top of your mind should be the knowledge that quality should never be forgotten. Your scaling efforts should have superior quality content production in mind. Get rid of the mentality that equates content scaling with the endless production of content without having quality in mind.

It can be quite possible to displace quality when the costs start to get out of hand. Before you do that, be aware of the potential dangers that are sure to follow. It is better to maintain quality within your limited budget and reap the rewards.

This means that product content should be free of grammatical errors, typographical errors among others. According to Hubspot, 59% of potential customers shy away from companies that have poor grammar on their websites. When your content isn’t great, it can affect your brand visibility negatively. Remember, more traffic does not automatically mean more leads or better conversions.

Brand consistency is important if you are to have a place in the minds of customers. Producing more content across more platforms may put content consistency in jeopardy. To avoid the risk of communicating brand inconsistency, style guides can be used in which content teams can reference from the information contained within the guide. This will ensure that basic elements and information pretty much remains the same no matter the platform or channel used.

Conclusion

It can be quite easy to conclude: the more content, the better.

While this may be true in some cases, it’s not always so. Especially when you have so much content it becomes a liability instead of an asset. This is why your product content quality should be as high as possible.

Make the decision as to how much content to create, what your target market is, where to promote your content, and how to distribute it to the right customers. Settle on what is realistic considering the resources you have at hand. You should decide whether or not you want to outsource your processes. Go with the flow and don’t be afraid to experiment until you find out what works best for your organization. Be able to adapt to changes, especially unexpected ones that come.

No one will see your content if they don’t know it exists. You can only increase traffic, increase leads and conversions through the use of both promotional and distribution tools that are within your advertising budget. The best approach is a combination of paid, earned, and owned media for an omnichannel experience.

Scaling product content requires dedication of a lot of resources and it’s expensive. The more time and resources invested in it, the higher the possibility of success. Thus, you need to make use of the judicious use of the resources you currently have and fit it properly into your content strategy.

Focus on the things that already work and produce content around those areas. Don’t get too greedy and pursue numerous channels at once. You can scale your product content by concentrating on a few channels and increase them across the line.

When you scale product content correctly the positive effect is massive. It can go a long way to increase the reach and impact of your content since it is available in the right form, at the right time and to the right people. Well, because customers love to share and they can help spread the word. Technology has made it possible to reach millions of people in seconds. If it is great and not just good enough, people will always share and provide great reviews.

Now that you know why you should be planning to scale your product content, click here to see what Catsy can do for you.