In this post, we will show you how to create frictionless delivery that elevates the customer experience and win them over with order fulfillment.
How To Give Your Customers The Most Accurate Delivery Windows
Delivery windows tell customers when to expect their orders. Setting an accurate delivery time window is an excellent way to build trust with customers.
Did you know that 54% of online shoppers in the U.S. will repeatedly shop from a store that offers clear delivery conditions? It’s true – an accurate delivery window can reduce your cart abandonment rate and increase sales.
But it can be challenging to tell customers exactly when their package will arrive.
Currently, 53% of online retailers struggle to perfect the delivery process. A huge part of this challenge is being unable to provide customers with accurate delivery windows.
Is this something your business also struggles with? Read on. This article will show you how to give your customers accurate delivery windows that will improve their overall shopping experience.
Here’s a quick summary of everything we’ll cover:
- A delivery window is a date and/or time set by the retailer or customer that marks when a package is expected to arrive. Accurate delivery windows with a tracking number give customers an idea of when to expect their orders.
- Delivery windows help retailers stay accountable and send out packages on time.
- Accurate delivery windows have many benefits ranging from improving the customer experience and building brand trust to helping fleet drivers plan their time more efficiently.
- Some of the best ways to create an accurate delivery window are to use delivery management software, offer real-time delivery tracking, automate route planning, and maintain a line of communication with customers.
- To manage your delivery fleet and offer accurate delivery time windows to your customers, you need an accurate ETA management software like eLogii. eLogii offers real-time tracking, route optimization, automated logistics, and many other features that all work together to ensure your customers get their orders on time.
What is a delivery window?
A delivery window is a period that marks the hour, day, and week when a product is expected to be delivered to the customer. Some retailers set their delivery time windows, while others give shoppers a chance to choose the most convenient window for them.
The delivery window is a vital part of the shopping experience for both customers and sellers. Due to the rising demand for same-day or next-day deliveries, businesses and logistics companies are under pressure to keep delivery times as minimal as possible.
In fact, in 2021, 32% of online shoppers abandoned a purchase due to long delivery windows. Delivery windows help shoppers get an idea of when to expect their packages – increasing customer retention and satisfaction.
The benefits of delivery windows
Delivery windows have a ton of benefits for both shoppers and retailers. Here are some of them:
- You can offer customers a better experience
One thing that makes shoppers skeptical about shopping online is unclear delivery information. When customers can pick a preferred delivery date and time, and their order gets to them on time, it improves their shopping experience and makes them eager to purchase again.
Having a set delivery window that you stick with tells your customers that you are a credible business worthy of being recommended to others.
- You can reduce the chances of a failed delivery
Failed deliveries are a hassle for both you and your customers.
An accurate delivery window reduces the risks of a failed delivery by ensuring that customers are on-site to accept the delivery.
You also have a predefined schedule to stick to, so you can schedule deliveries in a more ordered and optimized manner.
- You can build trust in your brand
When you consistently deliver your customers’ orders on time, they trust your brand more. And, with so much competition in eCommerce, being a trustworthy brand helps you stand out.
Accurate delivery time windows are a mark of a well-established, legitimate business.
- It’s easier for fleet managers to plan
A solid delivery window helps your fleet managers, delivery partners, and delivery drivers better plan their routes and workdays.
A rushed or impractical delivery window leaves room for costly mistakes like mixed-up deliveries or missed delivery dates. Having a schedule of deliveries helps businesses operate in a more orderly manner.
Should you give small or large delivery windows?
Providing a small delivery window (as in, one that’s 60 minutes or less) to your customers or letting them choose their delivery window will probably make them happy, but it could increase your overall operational costs.
For example, suppose you have two customers living in one suburb, and they chose a time window with a four-hour difference. This means your driver may have to return to the same suburb during and after business hours on the same delivery date – something that’s frustrating and expensive.
On the other hand, choosing a large delivery window (one that’s several hours or days long) will likely reduce your operating costs and give you more flexibility, but it may be a red flag to customers.
Suppose you have multiple customers in the same suburb. This means you can have a single delivery driver deliver all orders at a similar time. This strategy would be perfect for you but may not appeal to your customers as they’ll have to wait longer.
Honestly, there’s no way to reduce operational costs and satisfy all customers at the same time. Your decision will need to be based on what your priority is at the moment.
If you’re just starting your business and trying to build trust, shorter delivery times may work best, as you don’t want your customers abandoning carts or leaving negative reviews. Conversely, if you have been in business for a while and have built a loyal customer base, you can afford to increase your delivery time windows when you have to, as you can be confident that your customers will understand.
How to make your delivery windows accurate and suited to customers’ needs
There are several strategies you can employ to help you provide an accurate delivery window. They include:
#1. Use an accurate ETA software
Your Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) is when your customers expect their delivery drivers to arrive at their doorsteps.
Many companies use ETA software like eLogii to help them securely manage their deliveries through route optimization, real-time tracking, and automated logistics.
eLogii is a cloud-based delivery management platform that helps businesses route and plan their deliveries. It aims to make delivery operations as efficient as possible to ensure 100% customer satisfaction.
- Routing and planning – This includes live traffic routing, automated route optimization, and multi-day routing.
- Operations management – This includes user management, live task statuses, voice communication, fast customer service times, the ability to prioritize customer service inquiries, and the ability to track the duration of deliveries.
- Electronic Proof of Deliveries (ePODs) – This includes photos, signatures, barcodes, QR codes, and cash on delivery confirmations.
- A seamless customer experience – This includes live ETAs and tracking, customer profiles, email and SMS notifications, and delivery notifications that are printable.
- A driver/agent app – This includes iOS and Android apps that show the status of drivers, offer multi-language support, allow for vehicle selection, display a task list with a map view, offer push notifications, and connect with Google maps.
- Driver/vehicle configuration – eLogii allows users to customize drivers’ skills, drivers’ schedules, avatars (for drivers and vehicles), vehicle profiles, vehicle capacities, and more.
- Data analytics – This includes geo-coding, webhooks, exporting of optimized routes, and reports.
- API – eLogii offers an API that connects with other tools in your supply chain.
- Little or no training is needed to operate eLogii.
- eLogii increases the efficiency of deliveries.
- eLogii helps you provide great customer service.
- eLogii allows for the fast optimization of delivery routes.
- eLogii has bulletproof security.
- eLogii offers ePODs.
- The integration process can be complicated for new users.
- eLogii is newer than many of its competitors.
eLogii’s pricing is divided into three tiers that depend on your business’s delivery needs. The tiers are:
- Starter – Which includes up to 2,500 tasks per month.
- Premium – Which includes 8,500 tasks per month.
- Professional – Which includes 40,000 tasks per month.
To get an idea of eLogii’s cost for your organization specifically, you can request personalized pricing.
You can also calculate your potential ROI from using eLogii.
eLogii can be used for various delivery management tasks, including:
- Routing and planning
- Operations management
- Customer experience management
- Fleet management
- Delivery vehicle maintenance management
- Gathering insights and data analytics
#2. Update the delivery window when something changes
Timely and consistent communication is a vital part of the delivery process. No matter how well you plan your delivery windows, mishaps happen, and it’s your job to inform your customers when something changes.
Ensure you share an accurate ETA with your customers when they place orders and update the delivery window as soon as possible if any changes occur. You should also account for delays caused by bad weather, heavy traffic, and accidents and add extra time to your estimate.
#3. Offer real-time delivery tracking for customers
Real-time delivery tracking will help you provide an accurate delivery window and completely elevate your customers’ overall shopping experience.
A great way to offer real-time delivery tracking to customers is by using delivery management software like eLogii.
#4. Give customers options for delivery locations, time, and processes
A flexible delivery window that lets customers choose their preferred delivery locations, time, and processes gives them agency and helps you provide a seamless delivery experience.
When customers choose a delivery time and location that works for them, the chances of a failed delivery are also lower because customers will usually be home waiting for their packages to arrive.
#5. Have a failed delivery workflow so that drivers don’t fall behind
As stated earlier, mishaps happen during deliveries that cause delays. One such mishap is failed deliveries.
You need to have a practical and fool-proof workflow for failed deliveries that ensures your drivers aren’t left making choices about what should happen next. When they can follow a simple step-by-step plan, they get back on the road quickly, and your packages get to your customers as soon as possible.
#6. Keep your trucks in tip-top shape to avoid breakdowns
Truck breakdowns are one of the most common reasons for failed or late deliveries. You can avoid breakdowns by keeping your trucks in great condition and ensuring they are regularly serviced.
Also, ensure you don’t overload your truck and only hire experienced drivers.
When your trucks are in perfect condition, you will be confident that you’ll meet the delivery window you gave to customers.
#7. Automate route planning
The most experienced drivers often know the best routes to use when delivering packages.
But imagine if you could get the benefit of this knowledge without needing to find a driver who has been working in your area for years. That’s where route optimization tools like eLogii come in handy.
eLogii will provide the most efficient route by analyzing factors like traffic conditions, accidents, weather, roadworks, and more so that it can direct drivers around any problem areas.
Having automated route planning tools allows you to set very accurate delivery windows for customers because you know exactly where your trucks will be down the minute.
Final thoughts: Delivery windows
Delivery windows are an important part of any shopping experience as they give customers a clear idea of when to expect their orders to be delivered.
Since many brands constantly try to offer customers the shortest and most accurate delivery windows possible, optimizing yours is crucial.
You can make your delivery windows more accurate by:
- Using accurate ETA software like eLogii
- Updating your delivery windows immediately if anything changes
- Letting customers choose their delivery locations, time, and processes
- Offering real-time tracking
- Automating route planning with a tool like eLogii
- Keeping your trucks in great condition with regular maintenance
Considering how important delivery windows are to your business, you cannot leave it up to chance – and with a tool like eLogii, you don’t have to.