If you run an online store, shipping is the one area where all that you do ends up becoming tangible to your customer. At no time is this more critical to a positive buyer experience than the holidays, when the product your buyer is touching is most likely to be a gift from a family member or friend.
But there are hinders. If you don’t set up, you can destroy someone’s holiday with a late or damaged shipment. Holidays offer opportunities to build your brand, boost customer loyalty, and get new customers…however they likewise offer benefits that will improve your bottom line.
The most ideal approach to guarantee your business’s success is to figure out how to prepare for some of the most common holiday shipping issues. In this post, we’ll cover how you can prepare for everything from lost shipments to weather delays to the general rush brought about by an increase in packages.
Dealing with Lost or Damaged Shipments
Imagine this: you’re encountering the biggest storm of the year and are trying your best to get the majority of your orders processed. Tragically, the icy roads and poor carrier communication lead to a lost package. The customer has reached you over and again however you cannot get enough information to decide the whereabouts of this package.
Faced with the decision to ship a replacement or sit tight for more information from the carrier, you choose to wait. However, while you do, the customer writes a scathing review. Another customer sees the comment and they, as well, write a negative review. From there, the following 10 reviews you receive are negative — ouch!
This is a worst-case scenario, yet it happens. It’s ideal to plan for the worst so your business and your customers are covered regardless of what happens or who is to blame. Proactively ensuring and tracking packages can diminish and even eliminate delivery surprises.
Be Sure to Offer Tracking for Your Packages
Tracking one of the simplest approaches to meet customer expectations. Most shipping solutions permit sending customizable email templates to customers with the carrier and tracking data. With this information, a customer is less likely to get in touch with you searching for the package’s whereabouts.
The most ideal approach to prepare yourself for the holiday track is to discover a shipping solution that enables you to integrate the majority of your marketplaces and view the shipping status for all of your orders. This will enable your company to be proactive rather than reactive with regards to issues with lost or damaged packages.
Insuring Your Shipments
If you shop online, chances are good that you’ve had a package lost, or stolen in transit. Last year, SmallBiz Trends announced that 20% of consumers returned items because they got damaged products. This is significantly more probable during the busy holiday season and in the winter.
Insurance can offer protection for you and your customers. When choosing what to offer insurance on, think about each product’s value and the risk of it being damaged, or stolen during shipping. These are similar attributes your customers will consider when choosing whether or not to buy the insurance.
How to Cope with Weather Delays
Weather delays are unavoidable during the holidays — particularly in geographic areas around the world more prone to climate -yet there are ways you can plan both your store and customers for them.
First, consider how you need to communicate holiday order cut-off dates. Carriers publish their cut-off times for shipments, and by padding these with your foreseen order processing times, you enable enough time to hit the deadlines. If there is a climate delay, the padded time gives a buffer to make things work.
Dealing with Returns
Returns happen, yet they don’t need to be complicated. The greatest thing to get right for the holidays: your policies. Clear return policies stated on your website will help you keep away from any customer confusion and disappointment.
Free, simple, no-questions-asked returns are turning into the norm in ecommerce, and for good reason: 58% of customers say they want a “hassle-free” returns policy before making a purchase. That being said, offering easy returns can satisfy.
Wrapping Up Your Holiday Shipping Preparations
Our final piece of advice: ensure your shipping and inventory solution is capable. Would you be able to benefit from using advanced features like predictive analytics, shipping rules, and automation? If you are worried about your shipping solution’s ability to help your operations, now might be the perfect time to explore other solutions.
The holidays are a stressful time. By planning for lost or damaged shipments, returns, and operational logistics, you can avoid the holiday headaches that numerous organizations endure. Finalize any changes to your workflow now so you can have a euphoric season.
Do you have any questions about handling shipping challenges this season? Drop us a line…