What do the over 2.1 million online shops in the United States have in common?
They all have to ship purchased items to customers.
Shipping is central to the operations of any online business that sells physical goods. An efficient shipping strategy will increase customer satisfaction and yield more sales while a crappy shipping strategy will hurt customer experience and discourage repeat sales.
If you’re looking to work out your strategy, it helps to know the most common business shipping mistakes to avoid.
Read on to learn more!
Starting an Online Business Without an Elaborate Shipping Strategy
When starting an online busy, it’s easy to be engrossed in details such as product manufacturing and branding that you forget about shipping. Or perhaps you think that you only need an elaborate shipping framework once the business starting receiving a high number of orders.
Well, don’t make these mistakes.
A shipping strategy is a key building block in your online business. Even if only one person makes a purchase on day 1, you still need to figure out how to ship the item to the customer.
There’s also the possibility that your business will start out with a bang and rack up thousands of orders on launch. Good start, but without a shipping strategy, you’ll frustrate your enthusiastic customers. And a good start will turn out to be a terrible start.
Overpromising and Underdelivering
Having an elaborate shipping strategy means fleshing out shipping and delivery timeframes. When a customer makes an order, they will be aware of how long it will take to receive the order and how much they’ll pay for the delivery.
But even with an elaborate shipping strategy, you can find yourself making promises you can’t keep. For example, if you have a same-day delivery service, you better ensure that orders will indeed reach the customer on the same day. You have already set an expectation in your customer’s mind, so you have to meet it.
What if you don’t deliver on your promise?
If a customer pays for same-day shipping (and a good number of customers will even pay more for this service), and the order takes longer than that to reach them, you hurt the entire shopping experience. Customers’ trust in your brand will take a nosedive.
It’s best to under-promise and overdeliver. Be conservative with your shipping timeframes. It’s better to, for instance, give a 3-day delivery period but deliver within a day.
Working with a Crappy Shipping Company
Unless you have Amazon-level resources, you have no choice but to work with a shipping partner. Now, there are thousands of shipping companies, offering all kinds of shipping services, from same-day local delivery to international shipping.
These companies aren’t created equal. Some offer crappy services and if you’re not careful, you can find yourself dealing with one.
Do due diligence when selecting a shipping service provider. Ensure they have the capacity and expertise needed to ship your goods. If you sell internationally, verify that the company has mastered the science of preparing a shipment for air freight.
Avoid These Business Shipping Mistakes
You have worked hard enough to bring your product to market. Now you need to ensure it gets to the customer efficiently, cost-effectively, and in one piece. Be sure to avoid these business shipping mistakes and you’ll be off to a good start.
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