Today’s e-commerce businesses really have to be on top of their game when it comes to customer service. The local e-commerce market has really evolved in recent years with so many South Africans opting for online shopping in order to satisfy their needs at home, in the office or on holiday.

This is a key reason why choosing the right service delivery partner has never mattered more. In fact, selecting the right delivery partner for your business is a major part of your e-commerce business model and will make all the difference when it comes to enhancing your sales and brand.

Is this delivery partner compatible with your business?

This is a crucial question which you need to ask when selecting your e-commerce offering. While many providers may claim to be able to meet your delivery requirements, this is not always the case. So make sure you do your research and that whoever you choose, really understands your industry and can intercept your sales and retail channels successfully. 

Is their tech sophisticated?

An e-commerce fulfilment provider needs to have a highly sophisticated tech set-up. One of the crucial components is the way in which their technology communicates with your store, the fulfilment warehouse and how they leverage their data. With the right technology, you can automate orders between platforms and your delivery partner will automatically pick up the relevant sales and inventory levels. Further to this, information will be shared between the website, the warehouse and the delivery partner.

These operations should be user-friendly and updated in real time. This becomes particularly important when your inventory levels are spread out across websites and are worldwide. Ideally, you should be able to tell at a glance, where your stock levels and orders stand. In addition to this, a top delivery partner should be able to provide you with smart tracking services like order status, timelines, pricing and troubleshooting.

Do they offer simple returns?

Customers are always checking what the returns policies are when it comes to online shopping. Often this is cumbersome or highly manual and may be a reason why customers choose to shop elsewhere. But now delivery partners are evolving and should offer a complete ecosystem which includes seamless returns. If this process is intuitive and manageable, it will encourage return business. 

Stay on top of their track record

Top delivery companies have a strong reputation for reliability. But even they may have their weaknesses and so it is crucial you do your research before you commit. If your delivery partner is unreliable, you will be tainted by their bad reputation and unfortunately, online shoppers are notoriously unforgiving when it comes to bad service. 

Can they offer branding and packaging solutions?

The online space is full of competition so it’s really important that you stand out. This often comes down to the packaging which ideally shouldn’t be generic or bland. The best option is if your delivery partner is able to use your unique branding and packaging in order fulfilment. This will have the added benefit of helping you build your brand awareness as customers are far more likely to engage with brands that offer a more personalized experience.

The bottom line

A vital component of any e-commerce business is selecting the right delivery partner. At the end of the day, when it comes to online shopping, customers consider the delivery to be part and parcel of the whole transaction. Making it essential that you choose your delivery partner wisely and remain mindful of all these important factors which will take your e-commerce business from good to great.

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