Local delivery water is defined geographically and usually comprises rental or sales of coolers and delivery of 5-gallon and small package (12, 16.5 and 20 oz.) bottles to customers located within a limited distance from the water source. This business includes a customer base of consumers and businesses in the defined geographic area who take periodic delivery of water. The key to success in this line of business is the production and efficient delivery of the highest quality pure water.
Private label bottled water involves the development and production of high quality custom labels with a clear branding message. This line of business is national in scope and includes a strong element of branding and advertising. The key to success in this line of business is the design and production of a label of the highest quality with a clear branding message.
Each line of business has different requirements for e-commerce. For the local delivery business, establishing and meeting delivery schedules is critical with the most advanced sites offering delivery programs that offer the customer choice of delivery schedules and the ability to modify deliveries as conditions warrant.
For the private labeled line of business design flexibility in the form of interactive tools for the development, proofing and production of labels is critical. Another critical aspect of the private labeled line of business is fast and cost effective delivery through national carriers with low negotiated volume freight rates..
A Culture of Customer Service
The best e-commerce site will not produce results without support of an effective customer service organization. E-commerce tools and capabilities must be complemented by a customer service culture that includes rapid customer feed back, human (as opposed to voice mail and e-mail) interaction and clear communication. It is presently impossible to totally remove the human element from e-commerce and the human element is a critical part of the customer satisfaction process..
Best and Powerful Features
There are many varieties of e-commerce sites ranging from the simplest static site that offers very limited features to full featured dynamic sites based upon the latest database technology and access. No matter what the level of technology however, the site should combine ease of use with the most powerful features available. An effective bottled water e-commerce site should include the following minimum features.
o Multiple-Recipient Ordering (allows multiple user shipments in a single transaction)
o No Shopping Cart “Shoving” (gives the user maximum flexibility before check-out)
o Login Systems for Wholesale and Retail Customers (with remembered billing and recipient party data)
o Code Maturity (provides for reliability and stability of the site)
o Future Arrival Date Provisions (mandatory for scheduling deliveries and shipments)
o Order History and Fast Loading of Orders
o Automatic Shipping for Retail and Wholesale Accounts
Private Label Features
o Interactive and Customer Friendly Label Configurator (allows for user development of labels and artwork)
o Proofing Capability (allows the user to repeatedly review label design before purchase)
o Multi Layered Design ( allows for choice of color, shading and label features)
E-commerce lends itself to rapid fulfillment of orders and increased customer satisfaction when the site utilizes powerful state of the art tools and features coupled with a culture of customer satisfaction. On a user friendly powerful site, water orders for both local delivery and private labeled business are safe, convenient and fast. E-commerce vendors that maintain a culture of customer service will guarantee customer satisfaction.