A merchant can understand how much time consuming the process of fulfilling and shipping out the orders are, and the effort it takes to deliver the orders, and because of this, often times cost is the last thing in the mind of merchant that time.
Lots of the merchants rely on the third party order management software that helps expedite the whole shipping process. But those, who fulfill the orders themselves have a hard time to keep their costing below the line and still make a streamlined self served shipping process. Here are few shipping tips that can help you to save your company some effort, time and money.
Build good relationship with a reliable partner
When you choose any company as your shipping partner, you should not use many companies at a time. This will cause you a reduction in the volume of shipping through a single partner. It would be good if you stick to a reliable shipping partner, in this case you will have a larger volume of shipment and you can get a good deal out of it. And also the cost cutting wouldn’t be worth the loss of consistency in your customer experience. If you form a good and reliable partnership with a shipping company you can also recommend them to your vendors and it may provide you even larger discounts.
Consider shipping as a marketing cost
Every effort of any merchant is for customer acquisition and their satisfaction, so you should consider your shipping cost as a marketing cost. As an example a company had offered 4 years free return shipping instead of their usual 1 year free return policy during the Feb 2012. As a result they got the majority of their products shipped back in the first week , it only increases their cost which they have considered as a marketing cost. But at the end, they had improved their customer base and customer satisfaction and reputation as well.
Open A warehouse near your shipper
It is always a better option to have a warehouse near your shipper, it will save you a lot of time and money. It allows you to deliver quickly, and today when everyone is competing for quick turnaround time, it becomes even more important. Even when your customers return goods it will take very less time to update the customers credits for returned item.
Encourage return to drive sales
We want to make our customers happy and satisfied with the service, and liberal return policies can make them happen. It is the concept of “try and buy”. You should provide your customer an option to order two different sizes of the product to make sure which one fits better. It will obviously increase your cost of return shipments, but the other part of this is the increase in sale. Because, it will reduce the customer’s hesitancy to place the order, hence increase in sales.
Deliver fast, but return slow
For a customer it doesn’t matter if you get the return shipment after one day or two days, what matters for them is they get on time delivery. So your focus should be on your main deliveries not on the return shipments.
In an online business, the most important and non-negotiable aspect of your customer relationship is the delivery. So, give your customers choices, while considering your options carefully.