Is your ecommerce business ready for the end of year peak season?

This article is sponsored by FedEx Express.

Online sales are booming in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), with the region accounting for 64% of global e-commerce revenue in 2020.

With new opportunities emerging in the e-commerce space, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are surely eager to seize them. However, creating a seamless and frictionless e-commerce experience is a complex endeavor for most SMBs.

As another busy holiday season approaches, consumers are ready to spend more online, giving SMEs the opportunity to develop their cross-border activities.

But, at the same time, just like 75% of consumers are affected When it comes to stockouts and shipping delays, SMEs also face the daunting task of reaching potential customers and providing a fast, convenient and transparent service experience while growing globally.

Almost 150 million people bought online for the first time during the pandemic, but an often overlooked aspect is that the customer experience doesn’t end after an online purchase.

Consumers expect shopping to be convenient, effortless and enjoyable from start to finish, including how their product will be delivered. Any failure in the customer journey can derail the experience in an instant.

Recognizing that the unpredictable and the unexpected are often unavoidable, SMEs should keep the following in mind to strengthen their delivery capabilities as the busy holiday season approaches.

Delivery must be personalized, practical and economical

No matter the size of your business, seamless shipping and personalized delivery are essential. The reason is simple: today’s consumers don’t just value products, but a comprehensive, end-to-end shopping experience.

On 98% of consumers expect to be able to self-serve with regard to shipping options, including scheduling delivery appointments and addressing changes. About a third of shoppers are more likely to blame e-merchants for failed delivery.

For SMBs looking to keep their customers happy, the importance of two things cannot be overstated: costs and delivery options.

According to Deloitte, these are two of the main factors behind cart abandonment: around 40% of consumers will not complete payment if the shipping costs are too high. Another 10% will abandon their cart if a package cannot be delivered on time or flexible delivery options are not available.

This is why our new e-commerce solution, FedEx® International Connect Plus (FICP), change the game. We’ve long known that people hate to choose between speed and price when they want something shipped.

In response, we have offered a delivery option that offers a compromise between competitive speed and attractive prices. With FICP, e-merchants can meet customer demand for price and value for money, as well as the assurance that shipments will be delivered within one to five business days *.

New delivery solutions available through collaborations

Building a shipping solution from scratch shouldn’t be the responsibility of small businesses alone. By leveraging the existing infrastructure and e-commerce expertise of international logistics companies, companies can save resources and build greater trust among customers.

This is an area where the Filipino shoe start-up Chic pocket shoes found support in the FedEx team. The company found that having FedEx as its official courier service on its website was a benefit in attracting more international customers.

International logistics companies offer the delivery flexibility that customers increasingly demand.

An interactive e-commerce delivery solution such as FedEx Delivery Manager®, for example, allows e-merchants to offer their end customers delivery options according to their preferences, while also addressing additional customer requests.

It provides their customers with delivery tracking and delivery location and delivery time options, including deferred delivery times to help maximize both safety and convenience. This, in turn, builds customer trust and loyalty.

In addition, our Compatible and Alliances programs give e-merchants instant access to improved and affordable shipping solutions, enabling them to sell effortlessly on e-commerce platforms.

The Compatible program integrates with a number of platforms, enabling hundreds of thousands of Asian Pacific e-merchants to directly access FedEx services, using their FedEx account number to manage shipments. and develop their e-commerce activity across borders.

At the same time, the Alliances program enables all providers in the e-commerce ecosystem, including online shipping providers, to offer their e-commerce customers direct access to FedEx services at competitive rates. .

This type of support enables SMEs to instantly increase their delivery capabilities and capture a share of the region’s booming APAC e-commerce market.

Double your digital experience

The accelerating adoption of technology and digitization opens up new opportunities for SMEs to connect in new – perhaps better – ways with customers. Today’s tech-savvy consumers expect not only convenient and fast delivery, but a unique, convenient and technologically advanced shopping experience as well.

The customer experience across the different touchpoints influences their return decisions. From the website design, the shopping cart checkout process, the ease and speed of the payment methods to the convenient shipping options, all are very important to online shoppers. Expectations for convenience are particularly high.

* Terms and conditions apply – visit fedex.com for full details of our services.

SMEs are often praised – and rightly so – for their ability to evolve and adapt quickly. Many are modernizing to meet consumer expectations in this digital age by reinventing their physical and digital assets.

At FedEx, we’re gearing up for now, strengthening our strong network to support our customers – big and small – and the consumers who rely on them.

The global e-commerce market shows no signs of slowing down. Businesses that recognize growth opportunities – and adapt quickly to change – will be best equipped to ride the ecommerce wave this peak holiday season.

The author is Salil Chari, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience (AMEA) at FedEx Express.

Carol N. Valencia