Active and focused real-time inventory management is worth every ounce of effort you put into it. Here are three considerations to exceed in the...
Open the Window to a Better CX Experience With ChannelApe
Increase AOV, NPS, and Retention with the ChannelApe YES Window.
Despite the old adage, sometimes the customer is wrong. They order mediums when they want larges, blue when they really want gray. They leave their old addresses in the shipping instructions. People are busy, and they make mistakes.
With a standard one-hour hold window on orders—in place primarily to avoid fraud—most direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands allow customers to fix errors, change their minds, or even add to their order for a very short period of time. Many customers make such changes within the allotted hour after their purchase, because an order-confirmation gets their attention. They get an email saying, “Hey, your order was received, and here’s what you ordered.” They realize they made a mistake, and they fix it.
But plenty of customers don’t realize their mistakes that quickly, and precious few brands can easily edit an order once it is sent to the warehouse. Let’s face it: Warehouse staff have enough to do without the time- and energy-intensive efforts involved in trying to catch and change a single order. You can beg them to hunt through their 20,000-foot warehouse for one $70 pair of shoes, but it’s probably not going to happen. That means you won’t be able to accommodate the change request. Your customer will be disappointed.
What’s a Small Brand to Do?
With smaller brands, customer experience (CX) teams tend to work 9–5, Monday through Friday. They aren’t huge retailers with 24/7 customer service; these are teams of 10–20 people trying to make things happen.
Imagine an order comes in at 7 pm on a Friday. Your CX team won’t be able to take any action on the order until Monday morning. But thanks to the magic of automated inventory and fulfillment processes, the warehouse begins processing the order over the weekend. If your customer realizes they want to make a change on Sunday, it’s too late to do so by the time the CX team is back at work on Monday. No one is at fault; it’s just the way things are set up. The change window has closed. Your customer is unhappy.
Say Yes to Customers
One of our brands, a makeup manufacturer, asked if ChannelApe could help them do things a little differently. They were seeing change requests pile up on Monday mornings, when it was too late to oblige them. They wanted the ability to expand or contract their hold periods based on their CX team hours, as well as to extend the hold window when their 3PL warehouse was closed for a holiday, shut down for inventory, or a myriad other reasons.
Our customers are the experts in their day-to-day operations, so we pride ourselves on being really responsive to their needs. “Any feature we build to meet one brand’s request becomes available to all our customers,” says Mike Averto, ChannelApe’s founder and CEO. “We build it for a specific need, but we do it in such a way that it will work for everyone else who uses the platform.”
|That’s how ChannelApe’s YesWindow came to be: We said “Yes” to our customers to allow them to say “Yes” to their customers.|
Increase AOV, NPS, and Retention
YesWindow is an adjustable window of time that lets brands automatically withhold orders from processing to accommodate their specific schedules and give their CX team time to respond to changes. It gives brands complete control to fulfill inevitable change requests before orders are sent to the warehouse for fulfillment.
YesWindow’s capabilities bring brands a bevy of additional benefits, saving them money, time, and even emissions. Say an order comes in, and a few hours later your customer realizes, “Actually, I want a different size.” The order has already been processed, and it’s on its way, meaning you’ve just shipped an item that you need to ship back. Then you have to reship the correct item. That’s three shipments instead of one, which increases the amount of CX time and money your brand spends on that single order—not to mention the increased emissions.
A static, limited hold period also can have a real effect on average order value (AOV). If AOV goes down by just $5 or $10, that can add up to a big revenue hit come the end of a quarter because you have to pay for multiple shipments. But an expandable CX hold window can increase AOV. If your customer places an order on a Friday and you successfully retarget them over the weekend on another item they’d been considering, YesWindow allows your brand to accommodate that add request and ship it in the same order. You’ve just increased AOV.
Likewise, your responsive, flexible, helpful service improves customer satisfaction and retention. Your delighted customers tell their friends about their great experience, increasing your net promoter score (NPS) and enhancing your brand reputation.
Fully adjustable YesWindow gives brands more control of operations and customer support. Memorial Day weekend sale? Warehouse inventory day? Just open your CX window a little wider, and give people more time to make changes or additions.
When your customer wants to make a change, you could say: “Shoot. Sorry, it’s already been processed. Here’s a return label you can print and stick on the box when it arrives. When we receive it back, we’ll start all over.” Or you could say: “Yes, no problem. We changed the color. We should ship out today.” With YesWindow, it’s an easy choice.
Learn more about enabling post-purchase order edits.