Welcome to the Fulfillment Works Blog

At Fulfillment Works, our experience across multiple industries has allowed us to gain valuable insights into the needs of our customers. We pride ourselves on delivering proven solutions for both B2C and B2B clients. This blog allows us to share best practices in logistics and ecommerce. Read on to learn tips for ecommerce sites, fulfillment solutions, and even more about Fulfillment Works. Check back often, or subscribe to our feed for the latest articles.

5 Live Chat Benefits for Your E-commerce Business

If you're still undecided about adding a live chat option to your e-commerce site, it's probably time you get off the fence. Why? Because consumers are a chatty bunch.

When it comes to communicating with companies, today’s consumers want a variety of options across multiple channels, according to a recent study from customer service firm Gladly. They also expect zero repeats and one answer.

That may seem like a tall order, but today, the quality of your company’s customer service is what sets you apart from the pack. In fact, Gladly found that 54% of consumers make decisions based on customer service, with 68% saying they’d pay more for products and services from a company with a strong customer service record.

To put the popularity of live chatting into perspective, it’s also important to understand who the largest consumer demographic in the world belongs to right now: millennials. This is the first generation to have grown up around computers and smartphones. They expect their shopping experiences to be seamless and technology-driven – and that includes customer service, where they demand quick responses to their queries, preferably via chat.

Adding live chat to your e-commerce site has a host of benefits. Here are our Top 5:

1. It's Fast

A live chat immediately connects your customer with a representative. Traditional call center directories, meanwhile, can be difficult to navigate and can quickly aggravate customers, especially if they’re placed in a lengthy queue.

2. It's Easy

In a live chat, information is easier to relay. For example, confirmation numbers can be cut and pasted, and product links can be shared and clicked. Instructions tend to be easier to understand and the chat moves along at your customer’s pace.

3. It's Practical

We know consumers want a variety of customer service options available across multiple channels. Live chats can be initiated on a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone at any time.

4. It's Convenient

Live chats don’t involve call transfers and your customers will never be asked to repeat information. In most cases, problems are resolved quickly and more efficiently, increasing customer satisfaction.

5. It's Effective

Live chat software can sync with other related systems and services, so information about previous orders and chats can be easily accessed and aggregated. That helps you provide a better customer experience across the board.

While live chat is a great way to appease modern consumers who prefer texting and messaging, it can be equally beneficial to your e-commerce business. With live chat, you’ll gain a better grasp of your customers’ pain points, which can help improve customer satisfaction and increase sales. Remember, your e-commerce company’s approach to customer service is critical for lasting success.

3 Tips for Running a Successful Subscription Box Service

It’s been almost 10 years since subscription box services like Birchbox and Dollar Shave Club hit the market and changed the way we shop. Now, you can pretty much get a box delivered to your door every month for whatever whim you have: beauty, gaming, fitness, pets, and more.

In fact, there are over 5 million subscription box shoppers in the U.S. alone, and the market is still growing. And it’s not just startups – established brands are jumping into the fray, including Sephora (with Play!) and Walmart (with Beauty Box).

With more than 600 retailers offering subscription boxes, how can you make yours stand out from the rest? Whether you’re starting a new subscription box service or trying to minimize churn rates for an existing one, here are some tips to help you succeed:

 

Think inside your curated box

Of course it's all about the box, but we don't just mean the random items inside of it. One thing box recipients appreciate most is the personalization, or the feeling that their box was uniquely curated just for them. Do the research and captivate your customers with your customization.

And don’t just consider demographics like age and location. In your personalization questionnaire, find out what your customers’ biggest challenges are, and what their level of expertise is with your products. This will help you deliver a more tailored experience, which is critical for any subscription box provider.

The better you can predict what your subscribers will like, the more likely they are to keep their subscription going.

 

Don’t get boxed-in

It’s OK to break some of the rules, some of the time – especially when it comes to subscription box services. For example, is it written in stone that you have to ship monthly? (Hint: it’s not.) Maybe your box is more of a quarterly thing.  Or maybe your box could be part of a loyalty program for a legacy retailer.

Another thing to consider is letting subscribers choose their level of service by offering different subscription tiers. A customer reconsidering a $21 monthly subscription might be OK spending $10 on a smaller one.

Don’t limit your service by what everyone else is doing.

 

Capture that unboxing feeling

You know that rush recipients get when they open their curated box of goodies, eager to discover what’s inside? Think about ways to prolong that feeling until the next delivery. The last thing you want is your customer spending the next four weeks contemplating the service.

Make sure to engage your subscribers all month long. Here are some suggestions to keep the momentum going:

  • Encourage subscribers to post unboxing videos or better yet, Facebook Live them. Engage with your subscribers on social media by liking or sharing their posts and reactions. And don’t stop there. Encourage subscribers to post reviews for the individual products inside their boxes as well.
  • Create a loyalty program that allows subscribers to earn points they can redeem for more products. Points, for example, could be earned for referrals, product reviews, videos and social media shares.
  • Build anticipation by adding teasers about next month’s loot to this month’s box, posting sneak peeks to your social media accounts, and emailing safe “spoilers” to your subscribers.

Bottom line: don’t let your subscribers get bored. If they do, it’s on you.

One tip that can’t go unmentioned: fulfillment is key to the success of your subscription box business. Whatever kind of unboxing experience you want to create, our custom kitting services team can make it happen. Learn more about our services.

Effective Use of Forms for Ecommerce

Essential to nearly any type of business-driven website, forms are an especially important data collection tool in ecommerce for collecting leads, fulfilling orders, soliciting feedback, fine-tuning marketing messages, and so much more. The structure for all types of forms is pretty much the same – simple prompts with blank fields for each. With such a straightforward format, it’s all too easy to “set and forget” forms on your site without considering how they are implemented or their impact on customer experience.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can prevent forms from becoming obstacles in your conversion funnel. For example:

  • Show new customers the bare minimum of form fields for their first purchase, then follow up via email with additional forms to complete the account/profile set-up process.
  • Rather than trying to reduce user-submitted errors by having two fields for “Create Password” and “Confirm Password,” use one field that makes password characters visible by default to allow customers to easily see if they have made an error.
  • Instead of having fields for First and Last name, area code and phone number, or month/day/year (i.e. 3 categories of data, divided across 7 fields), combine them to create a Full Name field, Phone Number field, and Birthdate field, respectively.
  • For address information, use autofill features to speed up the process and reduce shipping errors.
  • Automate error messages so they appear dynamically as each form field is filled in instead of waiting until after the user tries to submit the form – causing them to backtrack spend extra time “proofreading” the form themselves.
  • Forms can be frustrating for mobile shoppers who must “tap in” information via small touch screens. A responsive design that works on all screen sizes can solve this issue.

Customers may love your website and products, but that doesn’t mean they like filling out your forms. Remember, each blank field on a form is a step in the checkout processes – and in ecommerce, more steps = more opportunities to abandon carts. Try filling out your own forms to experience the process from a customer’s perspective and help identify opportunities to improve usability.

 

Landing Page Tips for Ecommerce: Part 2

In our previous blog post, we went over tips for improving the content and functionality on ecommerce landing pages to make them better at engaging users and driving conversions. In this post, we'll present a few guidelines for page layout and design you can use to make your landing pages more visually appealing and memorable.
    

Balance visual appeal with practicality

Some ecommerce professionals consider the “design” of a landing page as whatever makes it pretty or eye-catching. As such, the layout of design elements becomes one of the last considerations when creating the page. However, this lack of planning can hinder customers from quickly finding important information or navigation elements – making them more likely to bounce. Don't overload users with information upfront. Imagine the page from your customers' point of view, and ask yourself: What do they want or need to know first? What info is vital to convince them to take action?

Break up content to make it more digestible

Keep the text short and actionable for users by formatting your content so that it is easy to scan (especially for mobile users). You can accomplish this by using bulleted lists, separating blocks of text into sections with sub- headlines, and providing detailed information through accordion-style navigation or separate pages.

Leverage color psychology

When making your landing page, don’t just think about what looks good – consider how the colors will work together to resonate with the audience and use this to your advantage. For example, red is known to create a sense of urgency while purple is usually synonymous with luxury or royalty. Consider what color combinations match the tone of the page and use them to subtly reinforce your messaging. Once again, A/B testing is a useful way for finding the options that work best.

Landing Page Tips for Ecommerce: Part 1

A landing page is a web page created specifically for convincing visitors to act (i.e. to sign up, buy, download, etc.). Like the sales displays or helpful associates at a brick-and-mortar shop, your ecommerce site's landing pages can be a deciding factor in getting shoppers to complete a purchase, or dive deeper into your site for more information or other products. To help make your landing pages as successful as they can be, we've assembled the following tips into a 2-part guide. In this post, we'll cover some important considerations for content and functionality that can make most types of ecommerce landing pages more effective.

Clear paths & CTAs

Landing pages serve as informational gateways about your products and brand - they are rarely the last step in a buyer's journey. Whether your goal is to get visitors to "buy now," "contact us," or "learn more," the content and navigation on your landing pages should make it as easy as possible for customers to take the next step. To figure out the optimal placement of these elements, use A/B testing to find a configuration that works best.

Go beyond plain text

Plain text may clearly communicate everything you want it to, but not every user responds to that. A landing page that uses a variety of content types – especially video – can increase information retention and conversion rates. Create video demonstrations of your products, or other types of visual content, to grab users' attention and quickly communicate key information about your product offerings and/or CTAs.  

Simplified lead-gen forms

If your landing page is geared toward getting users to "sign up" or submit info, you need to make it as quick and easy as possible for them to complete this process. Keep the required fields to a minimum and only request the information you truly need – you can always follow up for more detailed information later via “complete your profile” emails or pop-up prompts. As a rule: make it possible for customers to complete actions in a few steps as possible.

Next week, we'll supplement the above info with layout and design tips for making landing pages that are more appealing and engaging.