Insights & News

Shipping & Freight in the Age of Instant Gratification

A semi truck transports freight

Posted On September 24, 2020

They want it, and they want it now.

Fast, trackable shipping is one of the biggest drivers of e-commerce, with more than two thirds of customers citing convenience, free shipping and home delivery as their biggest reasons to shop online.

There’s a reason behind this phenomenon. We won’t name that behemoth, ubiquitous company famous for free 2-day shipping—and we don’t have to. An estimated 4,000 orders are placed on the site every minute in the U.S. alone. The company has set the standard for quick shipping to consumers.

But the mentality is seeping into B2C industries and freight shipments, too. There’s a difference between ordering a pair of running shoes and getting them the next day, and ordering a semi-truck of freight and expecting delivery tomorrow. Even professionals who understand the freight industry are beginning to expect faster shipping.

So how can companies keep up? With customer experience an important factor in client retention, how can your business make sure it’s keeping customers satisfied with shipping?

 

Build a solid network.

The biggest things companies can do to ensure fast shipping is having a strong shipping infrastructure. Instead of relying on one or two national carriers to deliver product throughout the country, partnering with national, regional and local carriers can decrease transit time and cost. Warehousing as part of your supply chain also decreases shipping time.

Focus on ensuring your company has a strong foundation in place before trying to add the bells and whistles. If your core competencies aren’t established, adding tracking technology or other features won’t make nearly as strong of an impact.

 

Have a central source of information.

Consumers are used to getting tracking links emailed to them the second they hit “Submit order.” That sort of visibility isn’t always available—or accurate—in the freight world, depending on the carrier and technology you’re using.

However, having as much information as you can in a central location helps to improve customer satisfaction and decrease internal inefficiencies.

Let’s say your sales team gets a call from a client asking where their shipment is. Without a tech platform where information like this can be easily accessed, the sales team might need to call and interrupt the warehouse team to find out. That takes up time for both the sales and warehouse workers, time they could otherwise use to make sales and send out shipments.

With a system like Pipeline, Flat World’s Transportation Management System, the sales team can easily pull up the data and let the client know right away—or even better, send a link with tracking information as soon as the product ships out, eliminating the need for the call altogether.

 

Listen to the data.

Efforts to decrease shipping time and cost is where supply chain data can really shine.

The right technology and logistics partner will be able to interpret the data into actionable solutions—like partnering with more local carriers or adding warehousing to a specific city or region.

Adding these processes to your supply chain might sound like they’ll add cost, but we find the opposite is often true. When working with the right people and utilizing the right tools doesn’t just save shipping time and increase customer satisfaction, it can ultimately save money, too.

 

Improve client communication.

If you’ve done everything you can to decrease shipping time and cost, and you’re still getting negative feedback from clients, take a look at how and what is being communicated. Is your company sharing all of the pertinent information that clients need? Or are clients’ expectations simply not realistic? Having a conversation about options, being clear about what’s possible with shipping freight and what isn’t, can set clients up to have better experiences with your company.

 

Remember, implementing these strategies can do more than just decrease shipping times. A Salesforce study showed that 84% of customers consider experiences just as important as the products or services a company offers. Maintaining quick shipping times can give your company a competitive edge against competitors, while retaining clients and attracting new ones.

If you have questions about improving your shipping times and customer satisfaction, let’s talk! Fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to discuss your company’s goals and needs.