An ecommerce site is a great way to open new revenue streams. And, when you do it properly, it is almost foolproof. However, there is an issue: shipping. When you make a sale, you have to make a delivery too. Otherwise, the customer will need a refund, and you will develop an unnecessary reputation. The key is to deliver all of your orders on time and with a top level of customer service. Then, the sales will continue to keep rolling through the door. Fulfilling customer orders is a lot easier said than done, though. If you want to take it seriously, you will have to learn the tricks of the trade of shipping. Only then will you be able to compete with the likes of Amazon on an international level. Who knows? One day, you might even start beating them at their own game.
To do that, you need to implement the following into your delivery strategy.
Automate The Order Process
The first thing that you need to do is choose a software program to handle the order process. You can do it manually, but it will take too much time. Also, the software program will be able to handle the administrative side of the operation. The logistics are a key part of you fulfilling the order. If you don’t know what to package and send, you won’t be able to deliver anything. It is amazing how many businesses get this part of the shipping process wrong. And when it goes wrong, it goes spectacularly wrong. Companies like My Mobile Workers offer good services at a reasonable rate, and they are a prime example of the sort of services that you need. Don’t be afraid to move with the times and install technology wherever possible.
Don’t Make False Promises
Again, tonnes of businesses make false promises because they think it will appease their customers. The problem is that the promise only makes it worse. Customers think they are going to get their orders, and then they are left disappointed again. Now, they are twice as mad as you have lied to them twice. It is easy to see why companies feel the need to tell white lies. After all, everyone has dealt with difficult customers on the phone. However, you need to resist the urge to offer them a service that isn’t realistic. So, if you can’t make a next day delivery, don’t tell them it will be there the day after. Instead, tell them the truth before they make their order. If they don’t like it, they will have to go somewhere else. But, most of your customer base will stay loyal if you have a superior product.
Obviously, you want your distribution channels to be as efficient and productive as possible. Then, you will never have to worry about making false promises. Plus, you will be able to trade off of the fact that you are so good at shipping. Just look at Amazon and how their delivery service has transformed them into an online giant. For those of you that want to keep it in-house, you will need a variety of tools. Firstly, you will need a fleet of vehicles that can make deliveries all over the country. And, you will need to base them at all of your warehouses to keep the delivery time low. You will also need to strike up a relationship with an actual shipping firm. International orders won’t deliver themselves, so a ship or a plane is the only option. Then, you will need someone on the other side to cover the final leg of the journey.
As you can see from #3, there is a lot that goes into creating a great distribution process. Also, as you can see, it isn’t worth the hassle. Okay, you still need to be able to deliver your goods in a timely fashion, but you don’t have to do it alone. What you need to do is outsource it to an agency like Eon Logistics Ltd. Firstly, companies like Eon have a variety of services that you can use to your advantage. For example, most firms will take care of your international deliveries as well as national ones. More importantly, these firms take the weight of responsibility off of your shoulders. With their help, you don’t have to worry about taking care of your delivery needs. All you have to do is sit back and let them take care of everything, and review your partnership at the end of the year. Just to give you all the facts, outsourcing also saves you money. Because they only deal with one process – shipping – they can cut costs by quite a margin. That reflects in the price that they quote you for their services.
Track Your Parcels
You might think that a tracking service is just a nice way to keep your customers in the loop. For most businesses, it is a novelty. In fact, it is more than a novelty. With a tracking service, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your deliveries. If anything goes wrong when they are in transit, you will be able to locate them. The fact that you can relay the information to your customers is useful, but the most important thing is that you don’t lose the package. Not only will it save you money, but it will also save you time and grief. A business needs to be able to track their parcels if they want to make sure it gets to the customers on time. At the very least, it should be within the shortest possible timeframe.
Deliver Them Digitally
Digital products have become more popular over the last couple of years. But, it isn’t just the customer that it helps. The great thing about a digital product is that you only need an email address and internet connection to make a delivery. As soon as a customer makes an order, you can deliver it to them within a couple of minutes. Once they receive the email, it is out of your hands. A good example of a digital product is a gift voucher. Anyone that is looking to buy a gift voucher can buy it digitally and print it out for the recipient. As you can see, it makes your life easier and cheaper. Wherever possible, you should promote your digital gifts to make the process easier. Not everyone will want a digital product because they aren’t for every customer. However, your delivery status will skyrocket if you can start delivering more.
Meet Customer Expectations
Even if you don’t include a service in your policies, customers will still expect a few extra incentives. There are certain expectations that every customer has when they make an order, and you have to fulfill them if you want to ship their order in time. The main one that you need to keep in mind is a quick turnaround time. Even when you have time than you need, it is important to make the shipment as if you were struggling to meet a deadline. There are two reasons for this tactic. The first is that it allows you to maintain the same level of efficiency throughout. When you start to make changes, the entire process fails. More importantly, it gives you more time should anything go wrong. Mistakes happen, and they are almost impossible to eradicate. But, you can give the company more breathing space by having a backup plan. Every backup plan revolves around having more time. So, the more time you have, the more likely you are to fulfill an order as agreed.
Always Be Prepared
There is more to making a delivery than putting a delivery address on a package. If it as that easy, you wouldn’t be reading this post. You have to consider everything from the weight to labelling requirements for a smooth process. Then, there are the international sanctions that some countries put on parcels. It is important that you know all of this before you make the shipment. The last thing you want to do is learn about these issues when the package is in transit. When that happens, there isn’t much you can do but hope for the best. But, if you prepare for them beforehand, you will ensure that it all goes to plan. Start reading up on all the different considerations that you will need to factor in before you send a parcel out for delivery.
Keep Your Finger On The Pulse
The shipping industry is like the weather in that it is always changing. With that in mind, you need to keep up to date with all of the changes. When the changes come into play, you will be able to take advantage of them for your benefit. If you can improve your shipping processes, you will be able to deliver to every customer within the timeframe. At the end of the day, that is your main goal.
Follow these tips and your customers will never be left wanting again.