Delivery anxiety is now one of the biggest contributors to abandoned carts and customer churn.

The longest - and most stressful - part of the online purchase journey relates to shipping. Customers don’t want to pay extraordinary amounts for shipping, but they also don’t want to wait longer than it can take them to buy the product in-store.

This is how delivery anxiety starts.

You may not realize it, but the majority of customers will cancel an online order if they’re uncertain about shipping. In fact, the top reason for cart abandonment in eCommerce is unexpected shipping costs.

Want to know whether this is happening to your customers? You will negatively impact the customer experience if you:

Don’t provide transparent information on the estimated delivery time at checkout.
Surprise them with added shipping costs during the checkout process.
Deliver their items later than expected.
Don’t send them delivery status notifications, even in the case of delays (no news is definitely not good news in the eyes of an anxiously waiting customer!)

If you answered yes to some of these, then you may not be providing your customers with the information they need to feel confident in your ability to deliver their order on time and within their budget.

So, before we give you anxiety about your customers’ delivery anxiety, let’s jump into a few easy ways you can give your customers their purchasing confidence back!

1. Keeping Customers in the Loop With Tracking Updates

Customers love checking when their delivery is going to arrive. So much so that according to data from Shippit, they spend an average of 5 minutes checking out status updates for each order (based on the average time spent on tracking pages by each customer).

Did you know that 77% of consumers have a positive perception of businesses who text them important order information? Delivery emails and SMS updates get the attention of customers because they want to know when their order will arrive and how they can best plan to receive it. They can organize a time to be home, give authority to leave the package without a signature, redirect it to a collection point, or organize redelivery.

So what information should you send customers?

At a minimum, you should be communicating:

When an order is received and processing (including a rough estimate of time of delivery)
When an order is ready for despatch and pickup
When an order is on board with driver
When an order has been delivered, it is awaiting collection, or if a delivery attempt has failed.

Pro tip: You won’t be able to totally avoid failed delivery attempts. But when they do occur, be sure to offer customers the choice to leave packages in a safe place without a signature, or send them clear information on how to organise redelivery.

Shippit delivery data found that shipping notification updates have an average open rate of 80%, so these are things you won’t want to avoid sending customers. Below are a few examples of the tracking updates sent by Shippit to keep customers in the loop at every stage of their delivery.

A fantastic example of thorough delivery information from Sephora.

2. Reduce Delivery Times By Speeding Up Fulfillment

Unfortunately, order fulfillment is a pesky process that involves a lot of manual processes, no matter how hard you try to automate everything.

Even if you have the ability to bulk generate and download shipping labels, automatically book couriers and easily track orders, you’ll only be able to fulfill as fast as your pick and pack speed!

As the demand for faster delivery services rises, day-specific shipping will become the norm for online shopping.Studies show that almost all retailers want accurate delivery date estimates, but over half of retailers don’t offer this.

You’ll need to assess your average fulfillment time and troubleshoot the areas that are taking the most amount of time. Depending on the number of SKUs you have, and the size of your products, each business will have different average fulfillment times.

If you’re looking to get your fulfillment time to just a few minutes a day, here are the biggest problem areas you should look to optimize:

Avoid fulfilling orders one by one - fulfillment automation eliminates time wasted on manual order fulfillment.
Avoid using the same picking flow for all delivery options - you’ll need a picking flow for express orders.
Avoid using different printers for shipping labels - this slows down your packing process.
Avoid manual delivery tracking processes including copy/pasting tracking information to fulfilled orders and personally contacting couriers about late deliveries.

3. Be transparent about delivery delays

Unfortunately, delivery delays are sometimes unavoidable and - unless you have your own fleet of courier drivers - they will always be part of the online shopping experience. But delays are by far the biggest source of delivery anxiety for consumers.

Delays mainly arise with fluctuating order volumes at different times of the year. For example, the days from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday (including Black Friday and Small Business Saturday) capture 20 percent of all holiday online shopping. and the inability of couriers to maintain steady supply with rising demand.

To make matters worse, customers absolutely hate not being kept informed on late deliveries. According to data from Amazon, if they’re not given shipping updates within 1.5 days of their purchase, they’ll contact the seller directly about it.

So how can you avoid frustrating your customers about delivery delays?

Step 1: Send notifications before your customers start guessing - even if it’s about delivery delays
Step 2: Apologise to your customers about delays

Pro tip: Shippit is a shipping solution that can help you be proactive about shipping delays. They’ll automatically notify your selected couriers for you when deliveries aren’t picked up and delivered on time. Find out more about this feature here.

Remember: Happy customers = happy life!

Reducing your customer’s delivery anxiety isn’t rocket science. They just want transparent delivery information before and after they check out. Need a bit of help? Get in touch with the team at Shippit - they specialize in making customers happy for retailers of every shape and size.