Once your consumer has picked which item they would like to purchase, it is up to you as the business owner to make sure that they receive their product. This means you have to come up with the perfect transaction technique to suit your needs as well as your clients. Everything plays a distinct role- vendors, shipping and handling charges and fees, distributors, and overall timeliness. Finding the perfect shipping method for your eCommerce store doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are four different ways to keep your shipping straightforward and easy for both you and your customers.
Every eCommerce store is as unique as a physically standing store would be. However, there are only so many different shipping options to choose from. This makes it important to figure out which one best suits your particular brand. Do your research! Choosing the right shipping method can be easier when you look at competitor’s sites. If you are just starting out, take a look at what some of the more successful sites may be doing. It could be smart to follow their lead! Just be sure that you check out multiple sites and take into account how similar your products are. If it works for them and you are very alike, it may work for you, too.
Also, be sure to look into more than one shipping service provider, such as FedEx or USPS. They will have different services and rates available. While one service may sound like a good fit, some further research may show one that is a perfect match instead. Some places will compare multiple providers at one time, taking some of the pressure off your shoulders. Once you find one you think may work, get in contact with a representative from the company for more information.
Different packages oftentimes cost different amount in order to ship. This is a given. Once you find the right company to ship through, you will know how much it will cost you to get each item to the client who has purchased it. How much, then, will you charge your customer? Outlandish shipping charges account for a significant portion of cancelled orders. If you are charging them extra in order to gain more profit, you will likely lose clientele and your reviews will drop. It is easy to resent a business owner milking out their transactions for every penny. There are ways around this, though.
While profiting off the transaction sounds good, it is generally better to try to break even. Charging too much or too little can lead to either unhappy customers or your company losing money. Neither of which seems like a very happy ending. Charging just enough is the perfect way to maintain a loyal customer base and keep more people coming in. It is recommended that you offer free or low-cost shipping when possible. However, since that isn’t always financially possible, be sure to provide the shipping price from the start. This can avoid people being shocked at the end of their transaction with a large shipping price that may cause them to cancel their order.
A great way to bring in more customers is to offer shipping as a promotion for your eCommerce business. Advertisements with “free shipping” spread like wildfire and catch the attention of potential customers. Don’t break the bank, however. Be sure to offer free shipping on select items, perhaps on a holiday-related or monthly basis. You can also add it as incentive. Free-shipping is a great way to keep good customers around, rewarding their loyalty and showing newcomers the perks of sticking around. Finally, you can also use discounts as a way to bring small orders to the large-scale. For example, if someone is purchasing a couple of books, offer to discount their shipping if they buy a certain number of books. It may inspire them to ramp up their order, improving your profit margins.
When choosing the perfect shipping set-up for your eCommerce store, one thing you have to take into account is dissatisfied customers. Perhaps an item is delivered, but the customer decides that they do not like it. What is your company going to do about it? When offering return or exchange services, you have to figure out if you will charge for the return service, or the shipping of the replacement option. Many companies have different opinions on the subject. Generally speaking, improving customer relations dictates that it is in the company’s best interest to keep the charges to themselves in the event that a customer wants an exchange.
While they may lose money on the transaction, allowing the customer to exchange their item on your dime can keep them returning, versus driving a customer away completely. When it comes to returns, the same etiquette does not apply. Many say that it is best to leave it up to the customer to pay the return shipping. However, be sure if this is the route you choose to go, that you provide very detailed descriptions of the product on the site. This avoids clients potentially being dissatisfied with their products and avoids surprises on their end. This too will keep them coming back for more!
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