You build your store, market it through various channels and finally, this day comes – your first order is in. You’re thrilled and proud. Now what’s left is to throw the item in the bag, print the label and off it goes – not your worry anymore. If this is how you approach your shipping you might want to reconsider. When customer orders at your store, he doesn’t care who is shipping the goods. In his eyes, it’s all you. That’s why, how you approach shipping is both important and difficult. If your shipping partner does a poor job, your business’ reputation suffers. Truth is that once the parcel leaves through the main door, you pretty much lose control over it until you get the negative feedback from the client. What to do to minimise the risk of a bad experience? Let’s have a look.
Say it with packaging
Instead of worrying about what is beyond your control, make sure that you’ve fulfilled all the duties on your side. Let’s look at the packaging. Once upon the time, when e-commerce was still taking its first steps, ordinary sealed bag or cardboard box was more than enough. Now packaging can take your marketing strategy on whole new level. How?
We all love receiving gifts, especially if we get what we hoped for. Think about your customers from this perspective. Impressing packaging, including personal touches – it all makes the person opening the parcel feeling special and appreciated. Imagine how delivering an experience like that can help you extend your circle of customers. Think about neat solutions you can apply to your products. Also, encourage your buyers to post the pictures of received items on social media, or ask for those pictures to be sent to you. You can then use them as ‘testimonials’ on your marketing channels.
Make the rules clear
As with everything that carries complaints potentials you should state the rules of shipping you provide. Write them in simple language to avoid any misunderstanding or misinterpretation. What should such rules include? When is the last hour to order by and still qualify for next day delivery? How much are the various types of shipping? Do you offer to send goods abroad? Do you provide any tracking service? What if item arrives damaged or if there is a mismatch and so on. You get the idea. If you’re not sure whether you included all necessary bits, have a little look at other e-commerce stores and read their shipping policy. That might help you.
Spend £1o more and get FREE shipping!
Of course, shipping is a cost. There is no question about it. The big question is who is going to pay for it. Many e-commerce businesses wrestle with a question of free shipping. There’s seems to be ongoing debate whether free shipping is already a standard or is it something extra. It is business specific really. If you are selling large, heavy items that take a lot of space, free shipping offer might be a little out of your range. If you’re selling very small items, that can fit in a letter and cost well below the pound to send, you might use it to your advantage and send it for free.
Truth be told, people are not big fans of paying for delivery, but in most cases, they can understand that it is necessary. If you would like to offer free shipping in the future, you might want to start with spend-wise limits. For example, if somebody spends £30 in your store, buying 5 different products you might want to award them with free delivery.
Don’t deal with it – delegate it
If you’re in drop shipping you know exactly what I’m talking about. Also, if you ever sold anything through Amazon you might get an idea. The answer is a fulfilment warehouse. In an essence, those places do all the heavy lifting for you. All you need to take care of is getting orders in. This has both good and bad sides. As you are not in contact with actual merchandise you cannot control packaging quality or attach any personal touches. On the bright side, shipping is usually cheaper and way faster.
Better safe than sorry – tracking and insurance explained
Let’s face it – things do get lost. Usually, it is not a question of if your parcel will get lost, but how many in 10 will get lost. That’s where insurance and tracking services come in handy. Remember that the cost of items that are either damaged or never made their destination is always on your side, and that means in both cases you are the party losing money. Tracking and insurance are usually connected and some of the shipping companies may include them in price to some extent. The thing that will have the greatest impact on the cost of such service is the value of the items you ship.
Last but not least remember that trying to score extra profit on delivery cost is a big no-no. First of all, regular online buyers have a sense of what the delivery cost should be approximately and can’t be fooled. If you don’t want ‘greedy’ label on your e-commerce business try to win with the product and provide shipping service that is both customer and wallet-friendly. In the end, the most valuable thing you can generate from e-commerce business is a client that comes back for more.