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Can you imagine paying extra for express shipping, only to receive your parcel later than expected due to a miscalculation of the delivery days?
For many online customers, the availability of a clear, accurate estimated delivery date (EDD) is a make-or-break factor between conversion and an abandoned cart. Regardless of the purchase or where they are based, EDD is something shoppers expect to see at the checkout page alongside the total price of their items. Provision of such information is even greater in today’s marketplace, where consumers can easily switch to rival firms that are offering more reliable and faster shipping services.
In light of this, our data team analyzed customer feedback received from parcels tracked between Aug 2020 to Aug 2021 to find out how EDD affects customer satisfaction worldwide. Does more accurate EDD translate to better ratings? And what are some common uses of EDD among shoppers? Let’s find out!
What Estimated Delivery Date Means for Carriers & Customers
In the world of logistics and transportation, EDD is exactly as it sounds — a calculated guess on when a customer can expect to receive their order. In most cases, this information is determined once an order reaches the shipper’s warehouse, but it may also change if there are unforeseen shipping delays en route.
It is evident that EDD is essential information that can make a significant difference to the customer experience. In a survey conducted by Rakuten Insight last year, 59% of respondents claimed they would make sure to be home to receive the parcel if they could have access to EDD for their online orders. Additionally, 10% of them acknowledged that EDD would be useful for rescheduling purposes in the event that they were unable to stay home due to prior plans. Therefore, providing customers with an EDD post-purchase could not only enhance the delivery experience of shoppers but also potentially result in higher first-attempt delivery success rates for carriers worldwide.
Delivery Speed, Delivery Updates and Information about Date of Arrival Are the Most Important Factors for Online Shoppers
Given the rise of cross-border e-commerce in recent years, the need for seamless, real-time parcel tracking has grown significantly. Competition in the postal industry is also stiffer than ever with plenty of options for consumers to choose from. It is thus imperative that couriers provide customers with accurate status of shipments and ensure on-time delivery of packages to avoid falling behind.
According to Rakuten Insight, “Delivery Update Notifications” is a major factor for most shoppers (66%) following an online purchase. Meanwhile, a slightly smaller proportion of the survey group cited “Delivery Speed” (54%) and “Proactive Customer Support about Date of Arrival & Returns” (47%) as their top choices when asked the same question. In a world where customer satisfaction is of paramount significance to any business, knowing what customers want can ease the process of building credibility and boosting sales in the long run.
The Greater the EDD Accuracy, the Better the Customer Ratings Get
Did you know that an accurate EDD is more important than fast shipping?
When it comes to domestic parcels, customers gave their delivery experience a rating below 3 stars if there was more than a 4-days gap between the estimated delivery date and the actual delivery date. Every 1-day decrease in this gap saw an increase in customer rating by 1 star. As for international deliveries, customer rating went up by 1 star for every 2 days improvement in EDD accuracy instead. While having a few negative customer reviews may not have an immediate effect on most businesses, it has the potential to cause a drastic decline in customer retention (and in turn acquisition) as soon as the bad reputation spreads through word-of-mouth.
Furthermore, most customers who left reviews seemed to have experienced either end of the spectrum in terms of EDD accuracy. This is because 1 star made up the greatest percentage of ratings, with 5 stars following close behind. More than half of the total number of ratings were also below 3 stars. As bad reviews are more likely to be left behind, carriers must take this as a signal to invest in technology-enabled solutions that can improve customer experience in last-mile.
Communicating EDD to Your Customers
With customer experience at the core of e-commerce today, the importance of including EDD at checkout cannot get any clearer. That being said, it is not always easy for retailers to retrieve EDDs and notify customers in a timely manner, as it largely depends on the number of carriers and delivery setup they use. Those who do not wish to rely solely on carriers’ data can consider integrating powerful machine learning algorithms to help provide the most accurate real-time updates.
About Rakuten Insight
Over the last two decades, Rakuten Insight has remained at the forefront of consumer market research data collection in the region. Rakuten Insight’s online panels have been developed throughout 12 major Asian markets and regions, all of which are managed by dedicated local support teams and meet the highest standard of the industry.