Delivery: Are SMEs Doing It Right?

By Kawal Preet | June 9, 2021

For small businesses to get the best returns from e-commerce, seamless delivery is essential, every time.

For nearly 50 years, we’ve been connecting the world one package at a time. And we’ve seen the simple logistics goal of getting goods from A to B shift over time. It’s not enough to simply deliver – you have to deliver at speed and ensure security and integrity of the product.

It sounds simple – right? In reality, perfecting the seamless, frictionless retail experience that every modern customer demands is actually a complex undertaking for most small business owners. Meanwhile, online sales are booming in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA). The region accounted for 64% of global e-commerce revenues in 2020. With more consumers spending online, there’s never been such an opportune moment for SMEs to capture growth on a global scale. It’s essential to create an effortless digital purchase journey for your customers, again and again.

Interestingly, nearly 150 million people shopped online for the first time in the pandemic, and the number of e-commerce buyers will only continue to rise. One aspect that’s often overlooked? That user experience doesn’t stop after an online purchase is complete. Consumers expect shopping to be easy and enjoyable: from initial browsing to product selection, ordering, payment and delivery. Any setbacks along the way can derail the sale in an instant.

Better delivery options at checkout can reduce cart abandonment

Consumers are more likely to complete a transaction when they have the option to choose a public delivery location beyond home address; track the package; and return unwanted goods.

Remember that the delivery process is often the only physical touchpoint for a customer who’s ordered online. Delivery connects the digital experience to the reality of the physical world. So if deliveries don’t live up to expectations, repeat sales and customer loyalty take a hit. It’s a critical component of customer experience - and one that SMEs need to get right if they want to grow their business.

Recent e-commerce data shows that extra add-on costs from shipping speed are among the top five reasons for people abandoning an online shopping cart without buying anything. Cost and speed are important considerations, but not the only ones.

Consumers are more likely to complete a transaction when they have the option to choose a public delivery location beyond home address; track the package; and return unwanted goods. Companies that offer such flexibility stand out from the competition.
Consumers are more likely to complete a transaction when they have the option to choose a public delivery location beyond home address; track the package; and return unwanted goods.

Customer expectations around delivery are evolving too: 98% of consumers expect to be able to personally curate their shipping options, including making delivery appointments and changing address. Around one-third of shoppers are more likely to blame the e-merchant for a failed delivery and 94% will not return after bad experience. No matter how big your business is, seamless shipping and delivery are critical.

To offer new delivery options – why not partner up?

Building a shipping solution from scratch is usually way beyond the scope of small businesses. By leveraging the solid infrastructure and e-commerce expertise of international logistics companies who understand SMEs, businesses can save on resources and enjoy greater trust from customers.

One small business example is Filipino shoe start-up POSH Pocket Shoes, who were able to find logistics support from the FedEx team. POSH Pocket found that displaying FedEx as official courier on their website was an advantage - helping attract more international customers.

International logistics partners provide the delivery flexibility that customers are demanding. Interactive e-commerce solutions like FedEx Delivery Manager® allows e-merchants to offer their customers the freedom to manage delivery preferences, while also handling supplemental customer requests. It provides their customers with delivery tracking and options for delivery location and time. Maximizing security and convenience goes a long way to boost customer confidence and loyalty.

Another advantage of working with a global logistics partner lies in the potential tapping of new international consumers. Logistics partners can actually play a key role in attracting new business. For example, FedEx acquired ShopRunner, an e-commerce platform that directly connects brands and merchants with online shoppers. For SME owners, this opens up a new array of solutions to meet e-commerce, global supply chain and other business demands.

To dial up digital transformation, future-proof your business now

Accelerating how and when you adopt new digital technology can help shape the path to recovery in a challenging business and economic climate. It’s a powerful tool to help you connect in new – and perhaps better - ways with customers, too.

Our AMEA region is already leading with advanced digital maturity and dramatic e-commerce growth - all accelerated by the pandemic. For SMEs wanting to ride the wave, tapping the resources of established logistics networks provides access to new markets and the ability to deliver internationally. And the easy e-commerce integrations it enables can heighten delivery efficiencies too – a win all round.

Want to find our more? Click here to see how FedEx can help expand your cross-border business.

And for your next e-commerce shipment, visit our FedEx e-Commerce homepage.
About the Author
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Kawal Preet

Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, FedEx Express

Kawal started out as a FedEx engineer in Singapore over 20 years ago, and she’s now the President of FedEx Express AMEA. Kawal is based in Hong Kong.

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