One of the biggest challenges in running an eCommerce store is having to ship products to customers. You have to make sure that every item from the store is shipped safely, efficiently, and correctly, which may turn into a challenge if you sell more than a few products per week. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure your shipping goes as smoothly as possible. Read on to see how you can get through eCommerce shipping woes in the future.
Research Shipping Costs
You may assume that a smaller item will ship for less money, but that is not always the case. A single baseball card may cost more to ship than a set of ping pong balls, depending on how you go about packaging it. The height, weight, and method of delivery for your shipment will determine how much it costs you to send. Thus you need to know what to charge your customers before you eat a lot of profit in unforeseen shipping costs. You may also want to research flat rate shipping methods, as they could save you a lot of money on heavy items.
Print Your Own Shipping Labels
Most shipping companies have downloadable software programs that allow customers to print their own shipping labels. Using software like this will help you save money on shipping, and it will give you a chance to save all your shipping information on the computer. If you ever need to recall a tracking number, date, or address in the future (such as in the unfortunate circumstance that a customer has a missing package or a complaint), you can use the information from your online account to do so.
Don’t Use Dropshippers
If you dropship an item, you will handle all of the order information and then pay money to have the products mailed from a warehouse. Rather than storing all the products on your own, you will simply take care of the sales transaction. This may seem like a convenient way to sell products online, but it’s usually more of a hindrance than a hype. With a dropshipper, you don’t know if a product has in fact shipped, nor do you know the condition it was in before it left. You might have to work harder to ship stuff out on your own, but that hard work will help you avoid a lot of problems that you wouldn’t be able to control.
Communicate with Your Buyers
No matter what you do, you always need to stay in touch with your customers. Small business customers want to know a play by play regarding their shipments, so you have to make an effort to provide them with that – even if there is a problem. Let them know when you ship out the item and when it is expected to arrive. Contact them about any problems or delays that come up, and compensate them for any trouble that results from a shipping error. The more courteous you are to them, the happier they will be with your service!
Have you ever had a terrible, bizarre or even funny shipping incident in your online business? Tell us about it in the comments!