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Ecommerce retailer and director of The Cigar Club, Paul Futcher, provides his insight on how to optimise your pack and ship business to keep up with the online shopping surge
Demand for B2C and B2B ecommerce has undoubtedly rocketed in the last year, and according to recent ONS data, in January 2021 internet sales made up over a third of total retail sales in the UK, an increase of 81% compared to the year before.
With online shopping on the rise it’s vital that pack and ship businesses keep up with the demand by increasing their online visibility, coordinating orders effectively and managing operations in a way that ensures customers remain satisfied.
Paul Futcher, director of The Cigar Club, saw a 32% increase in his business revenue between 2019 and 2020, despite the lucrative nature of his industry. Here, Paul explains how he has continued to foster the growth of his business throughout the developing landscape of pick and ship, and provides his insight into how others can do the same.
Ensure your deliveries are prompt
The increased reliance on online shopping means that customers have high expectations for their virtual retail experience to be efficient and communicative from the moment they click buy, through to the product being delivered at their door.
The Cigar Club thought carefully about each stage in the customer experience journey to improve how they coordinate orders, and ultimately to refine their pack and ship process.
Paul says: “It is important to us that our customers receive the product exactly as it is described on our website, in perfect condition and protective packaging. We’ve tested out a variety of boxes over the years and have come to a size and shape that keeps shipping costs as low as possible without sacrificing quality or protection.
We keep the line of communication between us and our customers strong, by being quick to respond to queries, and using delivery technology that updates the customers on the status of their package as well as exact delivery times.”
Encourage customer feedback and show it off
The more online shopping continues to be a popular choice for consumers, the more important it is that your products are reviewed highly. According to Podium, 93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. Shopping online is a busy space to operate in, and people want reassurance that they are making the right decision before they commit to a purchase.
Through using the review platform ‘REVIEWS.io’, The Cigar Club has accumulated over 730 company reviews and 166 product reviews. Their efforts to ensure their delivery is efficient and products are up to standard, have led to an extremely high overall review rating, with the most common phrases including “excellent service”, “efficient service” and “prompt delivery”.
With these positive reviews firmly under their belt, The Cigar Club added a widget displaying them on their website homepage, to build trust with customers browsing their site which truly shouts about the quality of their service.
Paul says: “These customer reviews have really helped us grow as a business, as with so many options for products to choose online, our positive reviews help communicate to new customers that we really do care about providing a high quality product with efficient service.
Also, by putting these reviews on our homepage we have been able to create a personal feel for those browsing our products. We’ve always tried to keep this personal touch there in all our transactions, as this is what makes our cigars unique. Particularly when online shopping is a wholly solo task, adding in real-life perspectives on our products really makes a difference”.
Strengthen your online visibility
With more people searching online for products, ensuring you get your business in front of them at the right time will ultimately lead to an increase in sales. One way of doing this is by using an SEO company, who specialise in increasing both brand visibility for relevant organic searches, and the quantity of traffic to your website.
Through using an SEO company, The Cigar Club managed to win relevant and lucrative featured snippets, which are boxes of information that appear at the top of a search results page. This led to a big growth in product page visits. For example, winning the featured snippet for the search ‘Montecristo No 2’ led to an 822% increase in visits to this page.
With ecommerce continuing to grow and expectations for swift service getting higher, keeping up can seem difficult for companies who find themselves in a competitive market. However, by optimising their logistics process and boosting online visibility, there is a much higher chance you can stay ahead of the competition and succeed.