Minimizing Delivery Time with FlavorCloud

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Minimizing delivery time is not only about expedited shipping options. By taking a closer look at your current process from purchase to delivery, you can optimize and reduce the time it takes for a customer to receive a delivery—positively impacting your customer relationships and bottom line. Here are 6 tips to minimize delivery times when shipping internationally with FlavorCloud.

1. Refine the Process from Purchase to Delivery

The best place to start is by looking at an outline of your current processes.

At a high level, the journey from purchase to delivery consists of the following:

  • Cart Checkout: Where your customers order and pay for goods.
  • Shipment Prep: Includes packaging and documentation for sending out products from their origin. This is performed at the beginning of the shipping process.
  • First Mile: The first step in the fulfillment process is transferring the goods from a merchant or warehouse to a fulfillment center.
  • Global Mile: Point in delivery where a package crosses international borders after the first mile to reach the destination country.
  • Last Mile: This is at the end of the supply chain, and the activities (like tracking and routing) finish when the order is delivered to your end customer in the destination country.
  • Post Purchase Processes: Any purchase processes with the end-customer after placing the order, i.e., returns.

FlavorCloud covers the whole international shipping process and optimizes it for you. But checking each step and refining where possible helps minimize delivery times. From keeping up with the latest technologies, to delighting your customers and process refinement can go a long way—decreasing the chance of shipment damage and delays, which can strain customer relationships and discourage repeat purchases.

2. Cart Checkout

Although not strictly a way of minimizing delivery time, checkout experience is a vital component of the process. If you don’t get customers past checkout, there will be no delivery time to minimize. Complex post-checkout procedures can confuse consumers and cause them to spend less. According to Baymard Institute, there is approximately $260 billion lost in orders in the US and EU due to shopping cart abandonment—a key area to address in optimizing and minimizing delivery times. You can begin creating happy customers by managing and refining your checkout.

According to Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate for 2022 was 69.99%. The key takeaway here is to make it easy for consumers to shop with you. Actions such as offering a guest checkout option, transparency, and timely and affordable shipping are key.

FlavorCloud optimizes your checkout and prevents slow international delivery. Our customers see increased international cart conversion because our rates and customer checkout experience really are that good.    With FlavorCloud, all shipping costs, fees, and taxes are accurately calculated at checkout when the customer completes their online purchase. This means prices are transparent for the customer, which reduces cart abandonment rates, increasing conversions and revenue.

3. International Optimizations

When shipping internationally, many more factors come into play in delivery times than local delivery. For instance, DDP (Delivery Duties Paid) will be much faster and more efficient than DAP/DDU. DDP means the merchant pays all duties and taxes, navigates customs, and there are no surprise charges at the time of delivery or problems relating to damages to the shipment while it is in transit.

Getting HS codes and product descriptions right is essential for landed cost calculation and delivering purchases to end-customers on time. If these are incorrect, it can cause delays, unexpected fees and penalties, and an overall bad customer experience.

FlavorCloud provides a premium managed service, taking on responsibility for customs clearance and interaction through our world’s largest and best carrier network. FlavorCloud offers guaranteed DDP shipping and gets your customer’s package expedited through customs. We handle everything for you until the buyer receives their purchase.

4. Shipment Prep

Shipment prep is all the merchant’s activities to process an order after checkout. This is a great place to make optimization gains and minimize delivery times.

Is your shipment process streamlined? Are there any gaps or bottlenecks? In this stage, when the customer has completed an order, it goes through several potential systems (i.e., Shopify, etc.). It may be intricate, but looking at how your systems interact could help minimize redundancy or lag times.

People moving and fulfilling orders are vital to shipment prep. Enable them to do their job better and decrease stress by streamlining processes and ensuring data is current. This will naturally optimize your process and minimize delivery times.

If your business uses a warehouse or a 3PL (third-party logistics company), review the SLA agreements for transparency with your timelines. When reviewing these, consider the global time differences to ensure the SLA you agree to is realistic. For example, if a consumer places an order at 10 am EST but purchases from a Japanese company, there could be additional delays due to the time difference alone. This can be addressed by having suitable systems and processes in place in preparation.

Set clear expectations and try negotiating with your 3PL to see how you can minimize delivery times.

5. First Mile, Global Mile, and Last Mile Considerations

Once a shipment leaves its place of origin, a whole new realm of optimization opportunities opens up. These take place during what’s known as the first mile, global mile, and last mile.

Overall, route planning can help prevent bottlenecks at shipping docks and ensure containers are loaded in a route-organized manner. Be specific about route optimization criteria and constraints (i.e., weight, number of packages, total distance, stops per route, time windows, etc.). This increases the likelihood that consumers will receive their product promptly with more accurate shipping costs.

Global mile entails the process and stops in delivering product/s to another country. The more miles a shipment travels, the increased likelihood of it being lost or damaged. Prevent loss or damage by ensuring that shipments don’t become undeliverables. Enable consumers to provide the correct information easily and clearly so that shipments aren’t lost in transit or abandoned before they arrive. Recommend shipping insurance for global orders and be transparent about what these include.

To optimize the last mile, make it a best practice to deliver a package from the nearest shipping hub to its final destination as cost-effectively and quickly as possible. Using a global logistics platform like FlavorCloud handles this for you. Our world’s largest global carrier network helps you minimize first-mile, global-mile, and last-mile delivery times and ensure consumers receive their products promptly from checkout.

6. Post Checkout, Post Delivery, and Returns

Enhance your post-checkout process by streamlining it and making it easy to use. This includes ensuring the terms and conditions for returns are clear. Include a return label if possible, or at least make it easy for consumers to create their own.

According to Baymard Institute, unsatisfactory returns policies account for 12% of cart abandonment. Failing to provide consumers with clear and understandable terms can decrease their chances of returning.

If the consumer is uncertain about the returns policy, they could make mistakes impacting your business. Offer free returns whenever possible and have a robust returns management system to track returning inventory.

Send tracking notifications promptly and integrate tracking into your checkout process. If possible, offer multiple options. Many consumers are on-the-go so although email notifications are standard, mobile notifications create the ease, flexibility, and transparency that consumers want.

Be prompt in notifying consumers of delays and rerouting. If there are shipping delays, you want to be able to contact someone for answers and provide estimates that are as accurate as possible. FlavorCloud offers seamless returns, on par with domestic, and can help with reliable tracking solutions.

Work With Someone that Understands Your Business

When delivery times increase and packages are unaccounted for, it can be unsettling for merchants and consumers. Minimize delivery times and concerns by optimizing your business processes from purchase to delivery.

Ensure the carriers you work with are reputable and have a good service network. FlavorCloud takes care of that with you. We work with premium carriers through our world’s largest global carrier network, with best routes, services, and most affordable prices. With FlavorCloud’s intelligent tracking and competitive carrier options with built-in optimization, you can stay on top of what’s happening and enjoy easy and efficient global shipping.