In the age of Amazon Prime, your shipping strategy can make or break your business. Today’s customers expect a fast and seamless shipping experience. Not only that, but they also have high expectations when it comes to packaging. They’re waiting for their order to arrive, and when it finally does, it feels a bit like Christmas. Of course, they know what they’re going to get, but they still want that final “unboxing” to offer some sort of thrill.
Not only that, but it goes without saying that if they’re for some reason unhappy with their purchase, they’re counting on the return process to be hassle-free.
Fine-tuning your shipping services is vital for customer satisfaction, which will ultimately result in repeat shoppers and business success.
But how can businesses meet and exceed customer expectations? Keep reading to find out.
Be Upfront About Your Shipping Costs
Perhaps one of the most important things you can do to improve the shipping experience for your customers is to be upfront about your policy and costs. Research shows that unexpected shipping costs during checkout are a major cause of shopping cart abandonment.
Confusing your potential customers and forcing them to search your website for your shipping policy won’t do you any favors. To avoid a bumpy experience, they should know whether shipping is free or not early in the order process.
The Packaging Represents Your Brand
We already mentioned how important the “unboxing” experience is to customers. You can be sure that the quality of your packaging will be included in reviews. If you sell on platforms like Amazon, you will be required to respect certain guidelines that might restrict your creativity. However, if you’re selling from your own store, you can personalize your packages as much as you like.
Remember that the box represents your brand, so you can add stickers, handwritten notes, and coupons for future orders based on the customer’s shopping history.
You might feel tempted to cut costs in terms of packaging, but it can reflect badly on your brand. First of all, you want to make sure that your products reach your customers damage-free. You also don’t want to seem unprofessional by using poor quality materials. If you want to save money, a better strategy would be to look for wholesale packing supply and make sure the boxes you use are the appropriate size so you can reduce the amount of insulation needed.
How Much Should I Charge for Shipping?
Whether you like it or not, most customers want free shipping. However, there are ways to keep them happy while also protecting your profit margins. For example, you can let them know upfront under what circumstances your company will cover shipping costs. You can offer free shipping for the standard three-day service as long as their order reaches a minimum price. This will work to your advantage since it will motivate most customers to add items to their cart.
In circumstances where you are not able to provide free shipping, you can offer a flat rate for different service levels. As a general rule, it’s best to minimize this rate by negotiating favorable rates with carriers.