OK, so you’ve built a gorgeous ecommerce site. You’ve ensured it ranks well, you’re getting great traffic and you’ve followed all the best practices in terms of making your products easy to find. What’s more, your site radiates an aura of trustworthiness, prices are good and orders are rolling in. And yet, all of that can be undone inside of a month if you fall victim to these issues.
Delivering Wrong Products
It’s remarkable how often customers receive the wrong product. In fact, this is one of the most pervasive of the ecommerce shipping woes to look out for. You must make sure your fulfillment department is up to the task of keeping pace with the orders as they come in and minimizing mistakes. If you’re a small enterprise, check your orders one by one. Once you get to the point to where you’re dealing with upwards of 20 orders a day, it’s time to hire more people to cover this function, or get automation equipment in place to handle it for you more efficiently.
Shipping to the Wrong Address
Ranking closely behind shipping the wrong product is shipping product to the wrong address. This can be particularly costly because unintended recipients can get the merchandise and claim they never received it. Suddenly you’re out the cost of that product, plus the one for which you’re still on the hook with the shopper who made the purchase in the first place. Whenever possible, particularly when dealing with expensive items, make sure a signature is required for delivery. But before it leaves your facility, make every effort to check and double check that all delivery information is accurate.
Damage in Transit
Equally important is making sure products are packed to minimize the likelihood of damage during shipping. Shipping insurance is also a very good idea when you’re dealing with high-value items. Yes, it will bump your shipping costs, but recovering the loss of one very expensive piece with insurance could save your month. Plus, it makes it easier to get a replacement item to your customer in a timely manner.
Long Delivery Times
Speaking of timely delivery, as a rule, people are used to instant gratification. Even in your earliest steps of building an ecommerce site you should already be aware of how you’ll deliver and how long that delivery will typically take. Make sure delivery can be accomplished within three days from order to delivery as often as possible. Anything over three days is bound to find your customers getting a bit antsy. Antsy customers quickly turn into disappointed customers and disappointed customers usually aren’t repeat customers. To avoid exposing your buyers to disappointment, spell out shipping times as clearly as possible. Offer expedited shipping at an additional charge to decrease wait times. The primary goal here is to manage your customer’s expectations and have procedures and mechanisms in place to live up to them once they’re set.
Promoting Out of Stock Items
Inventory shortfalls cripple your shipping operations. If you’re running a special on a particular product, make sure you have enough of it on hand to handle the demand. Then, put a solid mechanism in place to end the sale when supplies are exhausted, so you aren’t continuing to offer something you don’t have. The best enterprise ecommerce solutions also have functions built in that remove products from view when they’re sold out, for example, Shopify’s Wipeout app.
Fraught with potential for miscues, shipping is also one of the easiest areas in which you can ensure customer satisfaction. Working to eliminate these ecommerce shipping woes will go a long way toward ensuring repeat business.