Recently, Salesforce released their 2022 State of the Connected Customer study. We’ve loved digging into all the fresh insights about consumer behavior.
One particular finding that stood out to us is the fact that customer experience has never been more important. This year’s report found that 88% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products or services. This is up from 80% just two years ago.
The bonus is on brands and retailers to consistently deliver great experiences throughout the customer journey. And ordering experiences can’t be overlooked.
Great Ordering Experiences are Paramount
By now, most brands and retailers understand the importance of experience – and are making investments in improving theirs. Forrester Research cited in Harvard Business Review found that over three-quarters of executives say improving customer experience is a high or critical priority. And 70% of CX executives anticipated a budget increase this year.
Oftentimes, brands and retailers focus their CX efforts on presale and post-sale experiences. They leverage data to deliver seamless, personalized website, app and in-store experiences. And they make it a priority to deliver excellent customer service experiences that restore shoppers’ trust when something goes amiss.
Of course, these touchpoints are extremely important. However, so too are ordering experiences. Yet, this piece of the puzzle is often overlooked.
Effective order management ensures shoppers receive what they ordered – and then it arrives when it’s supposed to. When done well, order management contributes to increased customer satisfaction, which leads to loyalty and greater lifetime value. Conversely, if a customer has a poor ordering experience – perhaps their package was delayed or they received the wrong item – they won’t hesitate to switch to another brand next time. According to Salesforce research, 71% of consumers have switched brands at least once in the past year.
At a time when shoppers have more choices than ever before, brands simply can’t afford to fumble on an order.
Four Reasons Brands are Making Stellar Order Management a Top Focus
Prioritizing great order management has never been more important, and customer care teams must be empowered to deliver great ordering experiences.
Here are four reasons why now is the time to make great order management a top priority.
1. Consumers’ Shopping Behavior is Evolving
Today, online sales represent nearly 20% of total retail purchases. What’s more, the lines between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar are blurring, as shoppers embrace innovative ways of shopping such as curbside pickup. According to Salesforce, 68% of customers have purchased products in a new way in the past two years.
But shoppers aren’t sticking to a single channel. Rather, in many cases, they’re using several. Per Salesforce, 78% of customers have used multiple channels to start and complete a transaction.
Customer care teams must be empowered to place, modify, or cancel any order regardless of the channel (or, perhaps more accurately, channels) a shopper uses. Solid order management – with a foundation of full visibility into inventory across all channels – is essential.
2. Speedy Shipping is Expected
Per a report from LaserShip, nearly three-quarters of consumers view fast delivery as a critical online shopping criterion. Offering speedy shipping is an important way to differentiate yourself from competitors.
But it’s not enough to say shoppers will get their orders quickly. You must also fulfill those delivery promises every single time. Doing so requires customer care teams to have a full view into inventory across channels. That way, there’s less chance of overselling and overpromising – and then having to go back and tell the customer they won’t actually get their item in time.
In addition, Buy with Prime, a new offering from Amazon, is making it easier for brands to meet their order promises. When consumers are shopping on a DTC site that uses Buy with Prime, they can see the Prime logo, with an option to purchase with Prime (alongside other checkout options). If a shopper opts to buy with Prime, they’re prompted to log in to their Amazon account. Then, the shoppers’ preferred payment method and shipping details are automatically loaded. Amazon handles the entire order and delivery process, so brands can rest assured knowing shoppers will get their orders when they’re supposed to.
Brands must also ensure they keep shoppers informed about their orders. This includes providing accurate order tracking information (even in instances of split shipments) and letting shoppers know as soon as possible when the brand expects a delay.
When a customer checks out on a brand’s dot com using Buy with Prime, they receive a personalized confirmation email. Then, they can track the order’s progress and delivery date in real time.
3. Subscriptions are on the Rise
According to an article for Yahoo, retail subscriptions surged after the onset of the pandemic. And it seems the popularity of subscriptions isn’t going to slow down. According to Salesforce, 69% of customers have used subscriptions, and nearly 50% plan to use them more within the next three years.
Brands must ensure subscription customers have great ordering experiences. This includes receiving their orders on time every time – and being informed anytime there are any order updates.
4. A Growing Portion of Shoppers Prefer Self Service Channels
Modern consumers expect fast, easy assistance with their orders. And many are embracing self service channels as a way to get help whenever they need it. Per Salesforce data, 65% of customers use self service channels for simple matters.
Order management is an ideal use case for self service. Brands can leverage digital assistants and FAQs to help shoppers with many aspects of their orders, including returns, exchanges and tracking. This provides shoppers with the convenience of getting help with their orders whenever they need it. And, as an added bonus, it frees up customer service agents to work on more complex cases. Salesforce’s State of Service report also found that 66% of service professionals indicate self-service channels reduce case volume.
Order management is an ideal use case for self-service. Brands can leverage digital assistants and FAQs to help shoppers with many aspects of their orders, including returns, exchanges and tracking. This provides shoppers with the convenience of getting help with their orders whenever they need it. And, as an added bonus, it frees up customer service agents to work on more complex cases. Salesforce’s State of Service report also found that 66% of service professionals indicate self-service channels reduce case volume.
It’s Time to Take Control of Order Management
Focusing on great ordering experiences is essential. But using myriad tools to manage different aspects of order management across multiple selling channels isn’t effective or efficient. All too often, these tools don’t work well together, which makes it nearly impossible to deliver seamless ordering experiences. This is especially true for brands that sell through multiple channels.
Instead, winning brands are opting to use an order management solution like Commerce Studio from 1440. Commerce Studio empowers brands with 360 degree support, order and logistics management – all within Salesforce. That means customer care teams have everything they need in one place to deliver great ordering experiences that delight customers and foster loyalty.
Ready to see how Commerce Studio can empower you to manage your customer, orders, shipping, customer service and returns – all within a single, powerful workspace? Schedule a free demo today.