Shipping is a vital part of online selling. When you do so much work converting a user to a buyer, it is a terrible shame to think that all that hard work is wasted because of shipping mistakes. Shipping is not just about delivering an item to a buyer; it’s about making sure that you choose a company who has the values that you do so that your customer has a great experience from start to finish. The shipping mistakes we have outlined here are, thankfully, avoidable. But read on to find out the worst we have ever seen.
1. The Wrong Packaging
You might think this one is a bit of a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people send their precious items out in the wrong packaging. Most of the time, when an item arrives damaged, it’s because the wrong type of packaging has been used. An online store will sell a variety of items, but when it comes down the packaging, you need to be selective. You might need cushioning for one item but be fine with no protection for another item. Plus, the box you choose needs to be safely reinforced and strong enough to withstand its journey. It is important to invest in the right packaging so that customers are not getting damaged items in the mail and so that they leave positive reviews on your site.
2. Not Giving Customers Options
While free shipping is great, options are even better. It is important that you provide your customers with sufficient options for their shipping choices, because some people may want fast shipping and be happy to pay extra to get it. Some customers may want greater security with their items, while others are still happy for the slowest and cheapest option. The point is that without options, it may discourage people from clicking the ‘Buy’ button.
3. Getting the Address Wrong
You might have done everything right from start to finish, and you might have taken the time to carefully and painstakingly package your items so that they arrive in perfect condition. But did you check the address? A simple error in the postcode or address details can have your package arriving in the wrong state or location worldwide. Not a great look – especially if your customer is tracking their package and sees its journey heading away from them. It’s a good reason to automate things (more on that next).
4. Not Automating Your Shipping
If you’re still printing off a list of addresses and hand addressing your items, you’re not using your time correctly. Automation for your packages allows you to use plugins and apps to automate shipments and packaging. You can even print labels automatically with design features on them and label packages that way. It saves errors because the shipping label is generated based on what the customer has entered – so that way if there are any errors it means that it won’t be on you.
5. Not Calculating Shipping Weights Correctly
When you’re selling something that weighs more than common package sizes, it is quite common to get the weight estimated. But the only problem with this is that if you don’t have the right tools for the job here, you may underestimate the weight. That might not seem like such a big deal, right? But then if you have a bunch of packages all going out just a couple of grams under, they will add up. This affects your shipping costs and can cost you dearly. The best way around this is to consult with your shipping carrier and to ensure that your weights and measurements are accurate.
6. Failing to be Transparent with Returns
You absolutely must have a transparent and easy to access returns policy visible on your website as a way to save you time and hassle. Plenty of customers are happy to call up and try and get something back from you, even if there is nothing wrong with it – but by having a transparent returns policy, it’s easy for you to direct customers online. Speaking to customers on the phone is time-consuming, and it is best to save your time for those customers who have a genuine grievance. By developing a clear returns policy from the start you can avoid any hassles down the line.
7. Not Keeping Delivery Receipts
If your products are damaged during shipping, your customer is not liable for this. But if this does happen, you need to ensure that the damage was done during shipping, and not during the packaging process. When you have a delivery receipt showing that a product entered the shipping chain undamaged, this will protect you when working out exactly where the damage took place.
We hope you have found this useful and informative! Remember, when you’re ready to partner with a shipping and logistics partner who cares, call us on (07) 3879 3500 to find out about how we can help your business grow.