Product Delivery Is Quick and Reliable with PIM

One thing is for certain, the Internet isn’t going away. It’s sure to undergo more innovative changes in the coming years. Also, we know we’ll continue to make purchases via digital channels. The decline of brick and mortar stores and the shift to ecommerce sales channels means product delivery has become a key ingredient for success.

This change will affect the customer experience for consumers and businesses alike. However, this blog will focus on business to business buyers. The volume of transaction made in business buying is much higher and complex than the consumer to consumer buying.

Product delivery speed and reliability are important weapons that companies can use to stay ahead of the competition. Speed assures buyers their purchases arrive on time while reliability assures buyers the product delivered is what they ordered. There is an increase in abandoned purchases as a result of inadequate product delivery options because few people have little patience when it comes to excellent delivery of the orders they place.

There is a need for a foolproof product delivery strategy in order to fulfill goals in a way that remains appealing to your customers. Often times, customers experience frustrations and the resultant effect is an abandoned shopping cart, and most especially, lost sales. Thus, the need for increased speed and visibility influences the logistics chain heavily.

Product delivery does not just 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?

Writers include question and exclamation marks purposely for emphasis. How to draw customer attention is the question all businesses ask. They all vie to answer this question and escape the maze of unproductiveness they’re in.

Business buyers and consumers alike all have misgivings about the product delivery process of most ecommerce stores. It could stem from exorbitant delivery costs, lack of any suitable delivery option or a plain lack of faith in the seller’s product delivery system in place. Perhaps failure of an online delivery system has frustrated even you at some point in time. The increase in delivery delays comes with the increase in dissatisfaction in the product delivery experience of brands, all ending with a frustrated “I will not shop here 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 in order to accommodate specification changes if there are any.

Customers want a brand that is ready to own up to lapses in their purchase system especially when product delivery issues come up. They want to know about any issue that comes up regarding their orders. Hence, ecommerce stores must find best ways of rendering excellent customer service especially when customers encounter one product delivery problem or another.

Customers will always come back for a repeat purchase if a brand can deliver at affordable prices, flexible shipping options and fast delivery of orders placed. This shows that you must devise strategies to improve your product delivery in order to meet all these expectations. All these will require time and investment.

Product Delivery Delays

In order to find a way to make product delivery systems more effective for ecommerce stores, there is need to go back to the root of the problem to fish out possible causes of delivery delays. If you don’t manage delivery delays well, they can devastate your ecommerce business. 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 making a documentation mistake. 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, and 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.

Deliver Products Quickly and Reliably

Having done a little introduction, it is necessary to explore the importance of having a good delivery strategy. There can be little denial timely delivery is a must.

Increase Conversion Rates

Conversion rates increase with the boost in customer confidence an efficient delivery system generates. While bad news travels faster than good ones, this does not express in any way that good news doesn’t travel at all.

Delivery options and prices should display clearly on every page of your site, including checkout and basket pages. Prices should not be hard to find, but instead clearly visible to customers. Only then can they 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 offering, 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. A good delivery ensures that there is a mechanism in place for handling issues when they come.

The end goal in e-commerce is the transformation of buyers into repeat buyers which your delivery mechanism can provide. 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 and one whose needs should be properly taken note of. At the back of your mind should be the knowledge that repeat sales does not come by accident but a conscious effort by a brand to wow the customer at all touch points with them.

Do Your Homework

First things first; do your homework and do not forget that preparation is very important! You need to carry out research into delivery issues so that real facts are used to select the best alternative. There is need to identify your delivery needs and goals in order to direct the actions you will take to ensure you are headed in the right direction.

Your delivery goals should address the increase in efficiency, improvement in customer service, increase in online sales, and 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, competitive delivery practices amongst others should be at your fingertips.

There is need to 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 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 the product is not 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. The allowance of returns comes with its own problems; hence, research and proper consultations should be made, with pros and cons tabulated in order 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 cannot physically handle the product, the packaging their order comes in becomes their first impression of you (which is a really huge deal you cannot afford not to take advantage of). 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

Your promise should be so sacred that it should not be broken. If it is broken despite your well-thought-out plans, a mechanism for service recovery should be put in place. There should be a minimum and maximum delivery time which should be quite realistic. This is in order 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 utilities, of which time utility is included.

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 are not received within the specified time, there is a disconnection between a buyer and a brand, ultimately leading to disastrous results. The moment a business loses sight of the need to fulfill brand promises; it starts to have a decline.

It is preferable to promise delivery within five working days (even if it can be ready in two days) than make a promise of two days and eventually end up disappointing your customers. The secret is not to overpromise but to make a realistic promise and delight your customers by delivering it in less time than promised.

There is a need for transparency in shipping rates and delivery conditions; it will earn you customer loyalty. While transparency is exercised, there is need to also apply flexibility. Thus, consumers should be offered as many options as possible. They should not 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, right?

A defective inventory can be quite misleading to buyers. There is need to properly classify your inventory to ensure that 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.

The proper update of inventory can help one avoid stock-outs (such as the one illustrated above). 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 the demands of customers with regards the time of receipt of orders placed. Amazon offers same-day delivery for many products that are offered through its market platform. This ultimately means more work for you.

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

An automated system also helps one make relevant 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.

Use Couriers

A number of ecommerce stores use the services of courier companies with a specialty in handling logistics and delivery for their delivery needs. However, there is need to properly assess them and find the best one that can help you 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. It really is okay to ask for help when it comes to the issue of logistics, especially when you do not have the resources at your disposal to fulfill orders on time.

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

Include Surprise Freebies

We are not just trying to deliver products quickly and reliably but also do it well that they have no other choice than to come back for more from the brand experience gotten. A surprise gift sounds a bit complicated, but it is really not; a little thoughtful gift can have a huge impact. The gift really does not have to be expensive for it to make an impression.

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

Put 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. This means that a defective delivery system is a liability to the success of the company.

Quick and reliable product delivery is key to success. As earlier said, product delivery does not 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, with particular reference to order placement and delivery. Online checkout pages should be shorter and should enable easy filling. If brands cannot 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, buyers are increasing their expectations of what the delivery experience should be like. This is why delivery of products is a challenge for ecommerce stores and finding a flexible delivery option becomes quite a necessity.

Your business consumers will have brand experiences that will fall within three conclusions; below expectations, equal to expectation and exceed expectations. Brands that wish to expand and grow into industry standards will aim to exceed the expectations of their buyers and delight them.

You cannot make a mistake in your product delivery because it is your image and reputation at stake, which will go a long way to influence your customer retention rates. Consistent customer communication so customers stay 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 meant for brands who wish to take their content creation to the next level and meet the ever-increasing demands of their customers. Whether your business is a business to consumer (B2C) or business to business (B2B), your content needs will always be on the rise. 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 is the medium through which audience engagement is made possible.

You need to have systems in place to scale product content so that you do not 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 will not 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 in a way that useful and relevant information is gotten from them. Through product content, firms 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 will agree with me that product descriptions are usually written for a particular product or product group in mind. When new changes are made in features or images, existing product description may have to be abandoned because they do not fit into what is 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 will ensure that different content are produced to fit with 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 should not 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, there is a need for accurate data to be supplied.

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 the internal resources of the firm can be effectively and efficiently allocated to achieve greater returns. Through scaling, a firm 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, which includes the who (those in charge of the content creation and their individual responsibilities), what (the kind of content that can fit with the needs of your target audience and the goals that are to be achieved with each content), when (publishing frequency and timing of content in a way that the message is regularly communicated), where (storage of the content for easy retrieval and access) and the how (the content distribution channels to be used 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 since content can be reused and repurpose instead of total abandonment. Thus, different buyer personas are satisfied with more value created. All these reduce the time that would have been spent in 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 begins when there is a strategy mapped out 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 publication dates are mapped out in advance and aligned with seasonal demands. Further tips include the following listed below;

Outline objectives to be achieved for the specific campaign

I cannot 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, a style guide should be created for each content type to be produced. 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 cannot talk about scaling if you do not 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 is not an individual effort but a team sport. Creating good content is not 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 that are committed to your clients and your promise 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 content is repurposed to conform to the needs of a certain group or platform.

Content development

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 do not 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 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, ensure that it is segmented to your customers according to the level in the customer’s journey. You cannot 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 distribution and promotion of content

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 is not the end of your content efforts, rather, its 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 firm. There is no perfect platform that is a match for all firms. 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.

Analysis and comparison of content to 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. Your site’s analytics can be tracked to know the type of content that resonates most in the minds of your customers.

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

Pitfalls/ mistakes to avoid when scaling your 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 is not 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 that the more content, the better. While this may be true in some cases, it is not always so especially when the high number of content becomes a liability instead of the asset it was meant to be. This is why the quality of your product content should not be compromised for anything.

Decisions will be made on how much content to create, your target market, where to promote your content and how to distribute it to the relevant 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 do not 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.

Content cannot be seen if people do not 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 is especially cost intensive. 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.

The positive effect of scaling if done properly 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.