Launch Your First eCommerce Website : Shipping and Customer Service (Part 4)

Tag: shipping partner

Launch Your First eCommerce Website : Shipping and Customer Service  (Part 4)

Launch Your First eCommerce Website : Shipping and Customer Service  (Part 4)

Focus on Shipping and Customer Service

This is the closing part of the transaction where the goods are delivered to the end customer. As the adage goes, All’s well that ends well, it is prudent to ensure a good customer experience on the shipping and service front so as to ensure repeat customers.

Thus, it is vital to have a well-defined shipping and packaging strategy in place. The order should be capable of continuous tracking, even by the customer with timely status updates. The following are the available options in managing order shipping:

  1. Managing the Shipping function

It would be a good idea to have an in-built shipping and order management feature in the e-commerce portal. This is a good step in the direction of transparency as well. Th customer would be able to select the preferred shipping method and pay accordingly. Some websites also have the option of priority delivery, in which case the customer can pay extra charges towards a particular shipping mode. The shipping tool can also be used to conveniently print packing slips and labels

  1. Shipping software and printing

It would be a good idea to have pre-tie ups with logistics partners that have a reputation of timely delivery. Often these third-party vendors also offer free installed software that are helpful in knowing the status of and the expected time of delivery. These pre-installed software can also aid in accurate labelling of the goods as per customer specifics. For example, some e-commerce merchants offer customized greetings on the labels, if the product is to be delivered as a gift etc.

  1. Advanced Order Management delivery Software

One may also consider cloud-based software that would provide real time information as to the rates being charged by various carriers for comparison with support for additional functionalities like drop ship order or inventory status like whether the goods were damaged in transit etc. Some carriers also offer insurance facility.

Important aspects to bear in mind:

  • Size and weight matters: The e-commerce merchant should select the shipping tool based on the business model. In case of shipping a few items in pre-defined box sizes and weights, it would be best to opt for an in-built shipping tool in the website with basic features. However, in case of shipping box sizes that different, managing multiple delivery channels or offering drop ship facility, it would be prudent to select an advanced shipping software with various features to cater to growing and diversified business needs.
  • Think today for tomorrow: Experts advocate opting for a shipping strategy based on the business needs of tomorrow. E-commerce business generally witness growth spurt and it might be difficult to upgrade shipping tools at a later stage. Often the shipping software have a lower price for initial plans which can be upgraded to the higher advanced versions as per business growth. This way one can compare the freight charges and the customer can choose the best based on cost-quality parameters.
  • Packaging options: The freight charges are largely dependent upon the size and weight of the goods to be shipped. The different types of packaging are standard boxes, mailers, envelopes, customized boxes with branding, subscription crates for high value or delicate items. To save on costs, it is important to select small sized, light weight packing materials that serve the purpose of protecting the goods during transit.
  • Customer service: Another important aspect is customer service post-delivery. It may often happen that the customer is dissatisfied with the condition of the product delivered or has changed his or her mind about buying the product. In such a case, it is imperative to have a website feature that records and captures the revised status of the transaction and ensures prompt refund to the customer in valid situations.

In conclusion, it might be a good idea to have the shipping and customer service function as part of the e-commerce website rather than outsourcing to a third party. This way the quality is assured. An efficient and prompt delivery has a long-lasting positive impact on the customer and would translate into further orders in the future.

In this series we walked you through the main steps to set up one’s first e-commerce portal. There is a no one size fits all approach. It’s prudent to test and try out different options, before deciding upon the unique mix that works best for one’s e-commerce business.

5 Reasons You Need To Use a Fast Shipping Partner

5 Reasons You Need To Use a Fast Shipping Partner

The e-commerce landscape is changing drastically every now and then. With faster options of delivery, the shift is towards instant gratification and reducing the wait time.
Many e-commerce giants are bringing innovation to their delivery systems, so as to facilitate the curious new generation of customers, who want instant gratification. The drive to bridge the gap between physical stores and e-commerce stores is primarily responsible for speeding the vehicle of e-commerce.

Fast delivery is an essential element of fulfilling your business obligations, where customers give you a deadline. Gone are the days, when people would wait for 5 to 7 days for delivery. Nowadays, it’s considered too long a time except for a few categories such as books or software that are not easily available at the local stores.

Here are five benefits of using a fast shipping partner that will help merchants grow their online businesses further.

  1. Branding

Imagine that a customer is flying in the next three day and would like to order a dress on an e-commerce store. If the delivery option says that it cannot be delivered before 4-5 business days, it will be of no use. She will need an e-commerce vendor who can deliver it in less than two working days. And if you are such a vendor, it will not only help you gain competitive advantage in terms of branding and customer service, you’ll most likely attract more customers in future.

  1. More sales

There are many customer types these days and among them, people craving instant gratification form a sizable chunk. If you are able to deliver quickly, you will definitely be able to catch hold of this additional chunk. Besides that, you can also charge extra for faster delivery and that will definitely add to your revenues.

  1. Lesser inventories

When you offer faster delivery options, your inventory immediately goes down, making you a lean and thin organization with a short order cycle time. It will help you to manage your business more efficiently without having to worry about managing a large inventory base.

  1. Better service to urban shoppers

With same day delivery, e-commerce giants are already working hard to grab the lion’s share of the market often referred to as urban shoppers. Faster delivery will make life easy for time-constrained urban customers and this way, online retailers will get access to a large niche without spending a single penny in advertising. Major online retailers for example are working hard to improve their services in urban areas, where they have regular customers with purchasing power.

  1. Build customer trust

The other benefits of fast delivery include the customer trust you gain and the word of mouth publicity you achieve. Your ability to deliver much faster than your competitors will make sure that you get the required attention, and customers will start flocking to you.  Customer trust also translates into free advertising and referrals, which increases your sales in geometric progression.

In order to do it, your shipping partner should be reliable and fast. Orders should in no way get lost or confused in the process of speedy delivery. Make sure that delivery is not only safe and cost-effective, but is also transparent and customer-oriented.