You have an awesome website, great product and an active consumer pool, but your sales are not as strong they should be or as you would like. This is not an uncommon problem for e-commerce business owners. Ironically, an increase in sales for new e-commerce business owners is what can sabotage a company’s growth and profits. Mainly it has to do with shipping issues. If a problem arises in the shipping process, all parties are affected. All e-commerce business owners should consistently work to improve the customer’s shipping experience. Keep customers happy and establish a reputation for excellent customer service by avoiding these six shipping errors:
- Don’t Offer Free Shipping
Free shipping can make the difference between sale and no sale. Offer free basic ground services from FedEx or UPS with a minimum order. You will motivate the customer to not only buy from you, but to make a minimum purchase, a win-win situation.
- Limit Shipping Options
Limiting shipping options can discourage a final sale. People have different needs, preferences and budgets. Offer one-day shipping (which can increase sales), but also offer the cheapest shipping possible.
- Failure to Provide an Estimated Delivery Date
A customer who buys an item in a traditional retail environment is not usually concerned about when they will receive their purchase, because they will usually be able to take the product with them. Not so for online buyers. Therefore, an estimated delivery date is especially important for your e-commerce customers. Be sure your site notifies your customer of the estimated delivery date once they make the purchase.
- Don’t Send Shipping Notifications
When customers don’t receive a shipping notification, they may believe something has gone wrong and start making calls or sending emails to customer service. Avoid this by sending shipping notifications every step of the way until the product is delivered. Additionally, it is a good customer service move to double up on shipping notifications by having your shipper send a shipping notification as well.
- Avoid Real Time Updates
Most online customers prefer text messages (SMS) to email. This may be because according to amazon.com, at least 8% of e-commerce sales come from mobile devices.
- Don’t Offer Helpful Online Tracking Information
E-commerce customers like being able to track their purchases online. Customers will appreciate the ease of being able to track the status of their delivery with on-site tracking, carrier’s site links for tracking and mobile device tracking.
These tips will help you keep your customers happy and provide additional sales as your e-commerce business grows. In situations where keeping up with the shipping demands are interfering with your sales, consider hiring a fulfilment center in order to deliver your products on time while running your online business. Be sure that the fulfilment center, at the very least, can provide the services indicated in these six tips.