Ecommerce has transformed the way entrepreneurs run their businesses, as well as how consumers buy goods. Now, it is possible to buy a product from virtually anywhere with only a few clicks. As the ecommerce landscape continues to evolve, customers expect reliable shipment and quick delivery – two essential elements that play a significant role in the success of your business. The quality of the shipping process will inevitably impact your reputation.
In order to do so, you must implement the best ecommerce shipping practices in your venture, and consider that will help you ensure your customers will return to your business in the future and purchase from you again. Let’s explore them in detail below.
One of the best advice we can give you is to keep things as simple as possible when it comes to ecommerce shipping. If you want a positive ecommerce shipping experience, make sure to offer clear information regarding your shipping policies. Add it to your website so customers know what to expect from you. 85% of customers look for shipping transparency when buying from a business, so it’s essential to disclose shipping rates as quickly as possible.
Hiding them won’t do any good to your business – in fact, it will only make them lose trust in your brand – and this may be irreparable. Remember: you are competing against many other businesses that do their best to attract and retain customers, so focus on building a strong connection with them by prioritizing transparency.
Have a shipping strategy
Effective shipping comes down to finding the right balance between costs and customer satisfaction. To achieve that, you will need to create a shipping strategy that involves several steps, such as considering your customers, weighing and measuring your products, comparing courier rates, and calculating shipping costs, among other things.
Another essential aspect to consider is where you will ship your goods. While your goal is indeed to expand to larger markets, it’s recommended to establish a maximum delivery distance for the beginning. This way, you will test the market and reduce costs as much as possible. You’ll also want to identify the companies you’d like to collaborate with, as this will impact the delivery time and the costs.
Provide diverse shipping options
It is always better to provide multiple options, as customers like choice, and if you meet them where they are, your business will be more likely to flourish. Many popular ecommerce businesses provide at least three shipping alternatives, including standard delivery, express delivery, and free delivery.
Although these may involve high costs, offering international shipping is a good idea. 70% of online shoppers prefer to buy from international sites, so it makes sense to do it, as it will increase your sales considerably. Also, make sure to consider stock management as well – it’s important to ensure you have enough goods in stock when a customer places an order. This will help you keep everything organized and result in higher customer satisfaction.
Use shipping software
Business owners wear a lot of hats: they have to create products, manage the books, and market their wares – the to-do list always seems endless! This can not only be tiresome but there’s also no point in having so much on your plate when there are some processes that you can automate, freeing up time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Shipping software can be really helpful, allowing you to manage your deliveries throughout the entire process. Such software will work wonders for your business, transforming the challenges you encounter into a successful solution. When looking for shipping software, choose an option that enables you to track shipment details – this is essential to identify the most frequent shipping destinations and the costs of your deliveries. As a result, you will make better decisions, ultimately streamlining the operations of your venture and boosting profit margins.
Enable order tracking
Package tracking is essential for customers who shop online, as they can easily get restless. And who can blame them, given all the missing package horror stories? However, tracking gives them certainty, as they will have the chance to get a proper delivery time. But it also benefits you as a business, making you less susceptible to customers saying they never got their packages and deterring thieves from getting their hands on your customers’ goodies.
Implementing tracking gives customers all the necessary details about their package, which can be especially beneficial if they are on the move, running errands, or working late. Knowing when their package will likely arrive allows them to be at the right place when their goods arrive.
Take accountability for shipping issues
Customer complaints aren’t really what your business aims for, but unfortunately, they can occur when there’s a supply chain or delivery date problem. In such a situation, it is imperative to act professionally and contact customers immediately to provide solutions to the issues. For instance, you can send them an apology.
Obviously, this isn’t enough! You shouldn’t just do this and then expect the problem to be solved by itself because that will not happen. If that’s the case, consider offering them a refund – even if it may not be the ideal scenario, it will at least save the relationships you have with your customers.
Don’t forget to get insurance
Accidents can’t always be avoided, so you’ll want to be insured to safeguard your venture and customers. Let’s say the products don’t arrive where they are supposed to, or they get a little damaged along the way. You will avoid liability in such situations by getting a shipping insurance policy.
However, when doing so, you’ll want to take the time to compare different providers. Look for insurers that pay out for broken or damaged packages, excessive delivery delays, or stolen parcels.
The bottom line
While ecommerce shipping may seem daunting, understanding all the aspects of the process will help you create a successful strategy and ultimately boost the success of your business. Using the best shipping practices will differentiate your business from competitors, helping build customer trust – which is the secret to maintaining a solid reputation for a long time.