Veteran retailers understand that outstanding order fulfillment services involve much more than simply wrapping up a product and shipping it. This is a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your brand and build customer loyalty. In the longer term, this target is much more important to your consistent profitability than just timely product receipt.
E-commerce retailers must deliver products to consumers in a timely manner. Forward thinking companies also realize that this opportunity to engage their customers helps their brand reinforcement and identifies the organization as one that stands above the madding crowd. Use that shipping container and its contents to further emphasize your specific brand and your company's winning biography.
Understand that branding is not a marketing campaign with an end date. Your evergreen branding efforts must first promise superior products and outstanding customer service. Then you must deliver on those promises. Should you be successful with the promise-making phase and not deliver on those promises, you will set customer expectations that you cannot satisfy. This result may be more damaging than ignoring branding efforts.
However, making promises your customers want--and delivering that which you promise--will engage your customer base much more than millions of dollars of media or mail advertising ever could. The level of credibility your company will enjoy will be as strong as positive word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family. You simply cannot buy this wonderful level of customer confidence.
As e-commerce explodes, using order fulfillment as a branding tool can also become more popular and effective. Of the almost 180 million consumers that research products online, 83 percent will make an Internet purchase of goods or services. Using order fulfillment as a branding strategy component should be self-evident.
Whether you employ in-house order shipping or choose fulfillment outsourcing, use this function as a valuable marketing tool. Think a bit outside the box (pardon the pun) by taking advantage of the myriad of branding and marketing opportunities, including branded shipping materials that are environmentally-friendly, recyclable packaging and other enclosed items that reinforce your "mission."
For example, consumers who perceive your company as an environmentally conscious organization register a long-lasting positive image in their minds. Even those customers who have yet to embrace the importance of green living will receive your message with heightened credibility for your company. Those customers who "walk the walk" of environmentally-friendly living will welcome your message and become engaged.
Regardless of the benefits retailers enjoy from social media marketing, using order fulfillment, as a branding tool can be more effective. Getting an order to the right customer at the right time with brand-enhancing materials and packaging will generate a return on investment (ROI) that will excite owners, management and shareholders.