As an aspiring Shopify owner, what your customer experiences entirely depends on what you want them to experience. It is you who is in charge of what you advertise; what images you create in their mind; what contents you project in your website; and what you communicate in your emails. Despite you striving to give your best, there is the final stage – the shipment – which is completely out of your control, as you have to entrust your trademark products to a complete stranger. Yet, the success and failure of your brand is absolutely dependent on the shipment partner you choose. Here are some practices that can help boost your e-commerce sales.1. Offer Free Shipping
2. Offer Flat Rates
Providing a ‘flat rate’ offer on your products is another effective way to boost sales. You can have specific rates for products that fall within a particular weight range; or offers such flat rates based on the total number of items or price limits. This requires a little homework from your side to work out the statistics between the product cost and shipment cost and strike a balance by avoiding overcharging or undercharging the customers. A well-tested flat-rate system can give enough flexibility to create a win-win situation for you and your customers.3. Light and Small Packages
The cost of any shipment is normally based on the weight and size of the package. Have a good understanding of your range of products and see what are the few options of packaging sizes that you can have for the range of products you offer. For instance, if you choose to standardize three different sizes of packaging materials named as ‘small, big, and medium’, make sure the packages are utilized to the maximum extent possible. Avoid packing small things in big boxes, which would eventually impact your cost of shipment and package materials. This is where most companies face trouble.
4. Same Day Delivery
Delivery and logistics are the key to success and growth of most online retailers and e-commerce stores. Market trend of 2017 emphasizes on ‘same-day delivery’ system to an office, home, or to the little stores that serve as drop-off points as well as fitting rooms or display centers becoming a huge hit. For example, Amazon offers same-day free delivery to premium members in major cities of United States. Market giants like Walmart and IKEA have opened several drop-off points in Canada and US. Zoot lets customers receive and try out the attires and then return what they don’t need at its various drop-off locations. Macy is exploring shipping from its various shop locations. So, you too should target same day or the quickest delivery route to retain your customers.
Insurance is hugely beneficial for all types of shipment products, especially when you are dealing with high-value and/or fragile items. Options like package or group International insurance normally takes care of cost of the product in case of loss or damage caused during transit. However, since shipment cost is not covered in insurance, you will have to work out the replacement cost of your product to ensure you do not pay more for insurance. Some sellers opt for a third-party company in case their existing insurance company does not offer what they want or offers a lower rate. This gives you the leverage to offer risk-free shipping to any location.
5. Real Time Order Tracking
Needless to mention, order tracking system is something every customer would look for in any shipment – small or big. This plays a huge role in building relationship with customers in the post-order stage. Tracking number provides the most convenient option for customers to track their shipment at any given time. Your responsibility as an e-commerce expert is to email the details of shipment and tracking numbers to your customer as well as update it in your system at each stage, until the consignment is delivered. A professional tracking system creates reliability and can make clients stay with you for a longer period and even bring new customers via word-of-mouth publicity and praise. If you have a Shopify e-store, you can integrate your tracking solutions with major shipping carriers operating in your area to offer your customers real-time tracking information.
7. Prevent Damages
It only takes a few steps of careful packaging to prevent unwanted damage to the shipped goods. It is extremely essential to use containers specifically designed for the specific goods, based on their weight, nature and size and never to exceed the limits mentioned on the labels present at the bottom of the container box. Fragile materials must be properly cushioned on all sides and the size of the containers must be sturdy and adequate to pack them the right way without making them jostle for space or having too much of a space in between. You should ensure items are wrapped individually and that fragile items are neither placed in the corners nor rub with each other. Use special packing tapes with a ‘minimum 2’ that is either pressure-sensitive or water activated, instead of ordinary masking tape.
8. Shipping Process is Not for Making Money
Shipping cost is something every customer cares for. Customers normally tend to compare the product rates with two or more competitor websites. If you aim to quote a higher price in order to cover shipment charges, it is not hard for them to identify the same. This, in fact, would become a huge pitfall for your business as you will lose the trust and confidence of your potential shoppers. Eventually, this will have a severe adverse effect on your brand identity and your business ROI.
Customer satisfaction is an extremely important factor, as it plays a key role in the success of your e-commerce business. Every happy customer is bound to give you more business and bring in more new customers. Shipping has its own set of strategies that has to be professionally worked out based on your product type and market to overcome all challenges that emerge. It is equally important to revise and revamp the strategy, at least twice a year, to keep yourself up-to-date with market trends and customer requirements like shortest delivery time and the best price range. This would ensure highest customer satisfaction and progressive success to your business.