So, your products are all ready to be sent off to a happy customer. “My work here is done”, you say to yourself. Well, not quite! You still need to post your order.
You might think that this is just a practicality, and it is, but it is also a great opportunity for you to boost your customers’ satisfaction.
Look at your shipping options
First and foremost, do some research to find out which shipping method works best for you.
Will you work with flat rates, with all your orders being sent at the same price? Or would you like table rates, basing shipping rates on the package’s destination, weight or delivery speed? Maybe you want to spoil your clients and offer them free shipping? Perhaps a combination of all these are your way to go?
Whatever your preference, take some time to compare shipping carriers and what they can do for you. UPS, USPS, DHL and FedEx are the main shipping providers in the US. If you’re sending small packages, USPS’s flat rates might be good for you. Other companies allow you to take more variables into account.
Customers usually prefer a provider they have heard before. But don’t let that be the only thing driving your choice. If you’re selling an ecological product for instance, look out for eco-friendly posting options.
Use a shipping software solution
Especially if you are looking into using personalized table rates, calculating shipping fees will be a challenge. Unless you love playing around with numbers (and you have a lot of time on your hands), extensions like WooCommerce or Shippo can help you out. The FedEx Shipping Method extension also offers several options including priority overnight, two day, freight, and more. Using software like this will help you to calculate rates for each and every product and you will be certain that you’re charging the right amount.
Logitude, Cube-IQ and Shipper HQ are three other examples of software that can help you work effectively. They are user-friendly and allow you to optimize cartons and boxes, use different languages and organize back-up carriers. They all offer free demos, so have a go to see what you feel most comfortable with.
Informing is key
When you buy something online, you know that it won’t arrive instantly. But you sure do want it to!
It’s your job to inform customers on what to expect. People want to know how long they’ll have to wait for their package before they finalise their order. Let them know when their package has arrived at the shipping provider and they can start counting down the days. Allow customers to trace their package, so that they feel involved in the process.
Once the product has arrived, make sure you to let your customers know you still care about them. A well-timed request for feedback is key! It can make happy customers feel even happier. It has the power to transform a negative experience into a positive one when handled with care.
Treat your shipping process as an exciting journey that customers feel involved with.
Packing as an extension of your brand
The materials you choose for your packaging will affect the way customers perceive your brand. Do you want it to be bright and glossy or slick and minimalistic? Putting an organic T-shirt in an oversized (and thus wasteful) box will make your brand lose credibility. Likewise, wrapping a luxury watch in cheap plastic will harm your image.
The unboxing moment has the potential to be magical and it is worth thinking about. You can add a funny sticker to put a smile on your customer’s face. If possible, add a personalised note to let the buyer know how much you appreciate their purchase. Even the type of tape you use can make you stand out and make clients feel special.
So next time you get ready to send off a package, remember: your package, inside and out, will make someone happy. Take care of it!