Best Shipping Practices

shipping

by Wasim Ismail on March 29, 2012

In this generation of ecommerce, with many transactions happening online, and the emergence of new ecommerce sites, having a good shipping and postage policy plays a major part in your online business. However, it can also prove to me one of the most difficult and trickiest part of the business.  After all, not only does it prove to be very challenging – but it is also one of the chief complaints of online purchasers.  In fact, even if the shipping is for free – there are still some issues that can result to customer dissatisfaction, if they are left unattended.

Here are some tips on how to create a successful shipping method for your online business.

1. Inform your clients of your shipping policy.

Have your postage information on your website, like for example, your shipping methods, and policies.  Tell your clients what to expect and what the possible setbacks that may arise along the shipping process. Make sure that you post this policy clearly on your website.  Keep the post simple and understandable.

It is also worth noting that no matter what your company’s policy is with regards shipping – clients would usually abide by it, if they really want to get the items that they purchased.

There are also few instances when customers still get upset despite the fact that you delivered according to your shipping policies and on the given time table. On the other hand, providing a refund on late deliveries will also give your customers more assurance, but it may prove to be quite and costly on your part.

2. Provide Clients with shipping options, cost and time frames.

Make sure that you’ll be providing your client with enough information on shipping options.  This is in order to give them the freedom to choose the available courier companies that they prefer.

Now, you can also provide multiple shipping options.  However, this may not apply if you’re still starting.  You can always start with one shipping method first and then you can expand your options later on.

You must also provide a competent and clear price list.  You can either charge them separately or you can apply charges on the items being purchased, so it will appear that the shipping is free.

3. Be careful with free shipping policies

It is also important to have a free shipping policy attached to your shipping policy.  This is to convey the message that buying from you is a lot cheaper, and that they are not getting ripped off.

With this policy, most websites have increased their number of sales and have gained a marketing advantage over other companies that do not provide free shipping. This can also be a good idea if you’re still starting your business and you want to attract more customers.

shippingA client usually chooses a high priced item with free shipping over an inexpensive item that has a costly shipping price. This is because of the psychological effect of this policy – that when a client sees the word “free”, this sends a signal to the brain to make a purchase.

Take note, however, free shipping can also prove very costly in the marketer’s part, especially wherein you have to cancel a purchase. Another setback is that marketers cannot add too much of the shipping cost to the items prize because it may at times, make the item seem too expensive.  Hence, you have to make sure that everything will seem reasonable and fair.

If you plan a free shipping policy as a promotion strategy, you can try to provide an expiration date in it.  Hence, after the policy expires, shipping charges will be collected.

4. Make the shipment ASAP

If it’s possible to ship the item now, do it. It will make a more positive impact on clients if the items arrive on or before the time promised, and this would usually result to repeat purchases and more recommendations from satisfied clients.

Providing a timeframe for clients will gives them the message that you are efficient with your shipping methods.  However, it would always be best if give an allowance on your time frame.

5. Update your customer.

Update your customers on how the shipping is progressing and the status of the order – this is so that in case something goes wrong, they will be informed.  Hence, if in case an item was damaged during the shipping process, you can easily inform the client that it will take an extra few days because you have sent in a replacement for the damaged item.

Always remember that having excellent shipping practices is an excellent way for you to show clients that you aim for their satisfaction – which is clearly a very good marketing strategy.  After all, the better your delivery is – the more formidable your business becomes.

Image by Flickr

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