Shipping is one of the most critical aspects of e-commerce for various reasons. The rapidly rising demand in e-commerce has meant consumer standards and expectations have reached an all-time high.
Customers who receive late deliveries and damaged products are unlikely to give your online store a second chance. It’s, therefore, crucial for e-commerce businesses to get their shipping strategy right first time to encourage customer retention
What are the most common e-commerce shipping mistakes?
Errors can easily occur when shipping products to customers but being aware of the problem can prevent future occurrences. Here are some of the most common e-commerce shipping mistakes and how to avoid them.
Not providing a variety of shipping options
In 2021, customers expect various options in every aspect of the e-commerce experience. From multiple payment methods to choosing delivery times, businesses should always provide selection and convenience to their customers. Lack of shipping options could result in customers going elsewhere if they feel a company is not catering to their needs.
Some customers are happy to pay less or receive free shipping and wait longer for their goods, whilst many will pay a premium to receive items as soon as possible. Providing variety allows customers to be in control and select a shipping preference to suit them.
Ignoring customer feedback
If customers have valuable feedback concerning your shipping strategy, it’s always worth listening to what they have to say. Listening to your customers can help businesses spot trends in comments and identify ways to improve their service.
Ignoring customer suggestions could mean your businesses is absent-mindedly repeating shipping errors, leading to dissatisfied customers. Embracing customer feedback could be the tool that helps your business to grow further.
Not evaluating shipping costs
Setting shipping costs based on guesswork can lead to e-commerce businesses losing significant sums of money. It’s essential to do your research before setting shipping costs to make an informed decision on pricing. Charging too little can result in a loss whilst charging too high could deter customers. Thoroughly evaluating all courier shipping charges such as costs for the weekend and residential deliveries and surcharges for large packages can ensure that you calculate your costs effectively.
Keep shipping costs transparent
Once you have decided on your shipping costs, make sure that there are no other hidden charges for customers. One of the biggest reasons for customer shopping cart abandonment is discovering that the total cost is significantly higher than anticipated due to additional charges. Keeping costs clear and simple helps build trust with your customer and ensures there are no unpleasant surprises.
Not keeping track of courier changes
Shipping policies can alter each year and couriers will adapt operations to meet these changes, sometimes decreasing particular postage costs. E-commerce businesses who are not aware of these shipping policy changes could miss the opportunity to save money by switching providers.
Not using automated processes
The need for efficiency in e-commerce has never been greater. Manual processes can often be subject to human error, resulting in incorrect items being shipped to customers and delays in picking and packing. Switching to automated processes can help businesses save significant amounts of time while providing more timely and accurate shipments to customers.
For this reason, many small to medium-sized e-commerce businesses choose to outsource their order fulfilment to a third-party logistics (3PL) provider. An order fulfilment process that is efficient from start to finish ensures that customers receive correct items as soon as possible.
Inaccurate product descriptions
Inaccurate product descriptions can be a costly mistake for e-commerce businesses. The items shipped to customers must reflect what is listed on your website to avoid dissatisfied customers. If shipped goods differ significantly from website product descriptions, the customer is likely to return the item and expect a refund. Carefully checking the descriptions listed on your website match the product can save customer frustration and help protect profit margins.
Inefficient product packaging
Inefficient product packaging can cause all sorts of problems when it comes to shipping. Using cheap materials which are not suitable for the product can cause breakages, leaving the customer to receive a damaged item. This error will also result in customer returns and will impact your profits. It’s essential to ensure that the packaging you use will thoroughly protect the product when in transit. 3PLs like Pointbid offer a range of packaging options regardless of product size to ensure goods shipped to customers remain in perfect condition.
If you’d like to know about how you could improve your shipping strategy by using Pointbid, please give us a call on 0121 326 7368.
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