If you’re an online business that relies on shipping as part of your business success, then it’s in your best interest to make shipping and all its moving parts a high priority.
Shipping is not just about delivering packages to your customers. It’s about providing an amazing experience to your customers, overall. The quality of your business shipping is your best chance at actually fulfilling your brand promise.
But in order to create a world-class shipping experience, you have to start by ironing out common shipping errors. Learn more about what they are and how to avoid them in this blog.
How to Avoid These 7 Common Shipping Errors
It’s no secret that the world of online business and shipping is rife with competition. But one of the best ways to stand out from the rest and set your business apart is with your standard of shipping.
When your products are delivered on time and in the best condition, there’s nothing more satisfying to your customer. To achieve this, here are common shipping errors to take note of and avoid:
- Poor Quality Packing
One of the biggest issues many online retailers face is poor packing and packaging materials. If you want your goods to arrive at your customer in perfect condition, packing and packaging is an area you need to focus on.
First thing’s first, you need to identify the right type of packaging for your size products. They must be well-cushioned, reinforced, and placed in the right size box. The box itself should then be reinforced.
Yes, packaging materials and the labor involved in packing products can seem like a huge expense. But this is a crucial part of your business and worth investing in. Don’t skimp on the quality of packaging materials and dedicated packing skills.
- An Unautomated Shipping Process
Nowadays, all of your shipping processes should be automated, aside from the physical packing of products. But if your business is large enough, even that could be an automated process if you had the right equipment.
It’s important to invest in software that allows for a streamlined, well-connected, and perfectly automated shipment process. Whether this is an e-commerce website, shipment tracking technology, inventory, or package tracking software.
An automated shipping process that is inter-connected makes for a flawless online business model, thanks to the removal of human error.
- Too Few Customer Shipping Options
It’s a major error to assume that all your customers are interested in free shipping, and that’s it. As a business owner, you need to consider that your customers want options when it comes to the shipping of your products.
For some people, it’s not all about the price. Your customers want to be able to choose from:
- A short delivery time
- Additional package security
- A guaranteed delivery system
- Overnight delivery
Believe it or not, some of your customers are willing to pay extra for these options. So don’t miss out on this opportunity to create a stellar shipping experience for your clientele. Do some research on what your customers value more in terms of shipping and provide those options for them.
- Overlooking Minor Shipping Details
Yes, the quality of your packing and packaging materials is crucial to the success of your shipping. But what’s almost more important than this is the finer details, such as each customer’s shipping address.
It’s a very costly exercise to retrieve a package that was sent to the wrong address, then have to re-send it to the correct address. Not only this, but the entire debacle only adds to your customer’s dissatisfaction with your service.
Errors like this happen when there is a lapse in attention-to-detail. You have to make sure that all of your staff focus on the minor details, such as ZIP codes, state codes, and country codes. It doesn’t matter what department they work in, every single team member should apply that type of focus to their everyday tasks.
- ”Guestimating” Shipment Weight
One of the most costly things you can do for your business is not weighing your shipments correctly. It’s worth investing in the best weighing tools so that you can get a true reading of the weight of each product before you ship it.
If not, shipping carriers are likely to charge extra for a difference in weight. And often this weight difference is measured in decimal points, which can drive up your shipping costs a great deal.
So, don’t ”guestimate” the weight of your shipments, even if you think it’s just a few decimal points — it’s better to be accurate and save your business a ton in the long run.
- Committing to Just One Shipment Carrier
Ever heard the saying, ”variety is the spice of life”? Well, this sentiment applies when it comes to the shipping carriers you use for your business. This is especially true if your business is on the medium to large side and ships both locally and internationally.
For example, a local shipment carrier is most likely to charge you far higher rates for shipping internationally, because this is out of their business scope. If you require international shipment services, look for an appropriate shipment carrier, such as DHL, UPS, and FedEx.
Working with multi-carrier shipment partners gives you flexibility. It allows your business to scale and also offers your customers the shipment options they’re looking for.
- Not Being Transparent in Your Return Policy
A quick way to make your customers feel like they’ve been cheated by your business is not being completely transparent in your return and exchange policy.
You want to clearly outline the terms and conditions involved in returning and exchanging your products if a customer is dissatisfied. Remember that most customers today actively seek out your return policy to get a good idea of what this involves before they even buy your products.
Make sure your return and exchange policy is easy to find on your website, easy to read and interpret, and free from vague language or statements. You also want to ensure that your return policy includes a section on shipment damages and what will be covered, shipping charges, who pays for shipping, and more.
You can even take things one step further by printing and attaching return shipping labels to your packages to make things easier for your customer!
Unbeatable Business Advice at Your Fingertips
By avoiding these common shipping errors you can bring a whole new level of customer service and satisfaction to your business. You can establish yourself as a real contender within your industry.
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