Online retailers are constantly searching for ways to make their shipping process simpler and more streamlined. For new online sellers, figuring out the best process for getting products out to the customer can be tricky. Be sure to avoid these 5 common shipping mistakes and get on track to find the process that’s right for you.
1. Ineffective Packaging and Shipping
Product packaging is an important aspect of online sales. The unboxing experience is a customer’s first physical impression of your brand. A positive experience encourages customers to shop with your store again. Unfortunately, ineffective packaging has just as much potential to negatively affect your business. There are a number of mistakes to be wary of when it comes to product shipping. Three of the biggest issues online businesses face are insufficiently protecting products, using packages that are too large, and rushing to ship.
Insufficiently protecting your customer’s order while it is being shipped often results in damaged or broken orders. This can result in a large number of returns, costing your business money and reputation. Losing money, inventory, and a potential customer is detrimental to an online business, so ensure your consumer’s items are packed and padded correctly for the trip to their new home.
Using the correct package size is also important. Larger boxes cost more to purchase and ship, so you should only use them if you have to. Shipping carriers often have specific guidelines and higher fees for large packages. If you have large packages, be sure to check with your carrier to make sure it will accept larger boxes. Using boxes that are too large also increases the amount of waste your business creates.
Lastly, consumers want their orders fast, which may tempt you to rush your shipping process. However, rushing to ship can often result in mistakes or accidents along the way. Customers may receive the wrong product and that will ultimately end up costing you.
2. Not Automating When Possible
One way to simplify your business and speed things up is to automate simple processes. For smaller ecommerce businesses, the first step towards using automation may be printing shipping or address labels instead of handwriting them.
You may find that investing in a system that automates shipping emails to your customers is well worth it. That way, your customers will know when their items have shipped, when they’ll arrive, and they can track the order along the way. USPS SCAN forms can be a great tool for ecommerce businesses looking to automate, especially if you send multiple packages at one time. The form only requires one scan for all packages included on it. This saves you and your mail carrier time. It also allows you and your customers to track shipments because both you and your buyers will receive shipping confirmation when their packages enter the mail stream.
Order fulfillment and inventory management can be automated as well, with the right software. These tools can be a real time saver.
3. Overpaying for Shipping
After prepping and packaging your customers’ orders, it’s time to ship them out. Overpaying for shipping can have a serious impact on your bottom line.
The best way to avoid overpaying is to look for different shipping options. For example, USPS offers commercial-based plus pricing, which has the potential to save retailers some cash.
4. Order Fulfillment Mistakes
There is nothing that will make a customer more upset than receiving the wrong products in their order. That’s why it’s essential to have an order fulfillment system to help reduce the risk of making these kinds of mistakes. An order fulfillment solution, like the one ecomdash offers, will help ensure that your fulfillment center receives accurate and printable pick lists, so packaging and shipping are more efficient.
5. Post Delivery Customer Service
Shipping mistakes can lead to situations with dissatisfied customers. When something goes wrong, customers will notify you and expect a resolution. Customer service isn’t an area you want to drop the ball in. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens with some ecommerce retailers.
Make sure you maintain good and prompt communication with customers who reach out. Try returning messages regarding customer service issues within 24 hours – the sooner the better. Many online shoppers are willing to forgive mistakes when they receive a quick and satisfactory resolution.
Running an ecommerce business is difficult, and mistakes will happen from time to time. Fortunately, many of those mistakes can be prevented when you know what to watch out for. The above mistakes, while fairly common, are also avoidable. Proper packaging and order fulfillment, quick customer service, cost-effective shipping, and automation will help you avoid many of the errors that create unhappy customers and lost sales.