Did you know that by 2021, the global e-commerce market is expected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars? In 2017, worldwide e-commerce sales amounted to $2.3 trillion.
We’re talking about huge growth. People get more and more attracted to the convenience of online shopping. It’s no wonder why we see new online stores launching by the day.
If you’re interested in taking your business online or starting an entirely new online business, there’s a particular aspect you have to consider: the delivery.
Let’s take a look at some interesting stats compiled by Package Guard:
- 41% of Americans receive 2-5 packages on a monthly basis.
- 92% of people who buy products online want to their packages delivered to their homes.
- Within the period between 2012 and 2017, FedEx saw 30% increase in packages delivered.
- 31% of the respondents experienced package theft.
We see a dilemma: people want to order products online, but the fact that packages get stolen is definitely a drawback. In addition, there are other concerns, such as speed of delivery and quality of packaging.
Your online business must address all concerns, so it will safely and effectively deliver the packages.
We’ll list 6 tips on how to excel that aspect of e-commerce.
1. Develop a Fulfillment Team
When you start an online business, you’re aware of the need for a marketing team, web design team, and content development team. But you’ll definitely need an order fulfillment team, too.
These employees will make sure all orders are being selected, packed, and shipped on time. You’ll need to educate them on all shipping options. You’ll teach them how to safely pack and clearly label the products.
2. Develop Flawless Customer Support Policies
You need yet another team to function within an e-commerce business: customer support. These are the people who will serve all customers with questions, requirements, and complaints.
When you start shipping, you should expect problems to arise. Packages get lost or stolen, damages occur during shipment, and sometimes the customers are simply not happy with what they get.
To establish and maintain the reputation of your business, you need strong customer support policies that work in favor for the buyers. If someone has a bad experience, you should fix the damage by replacing the product or allowing them to return it for a refund.
3. Focus on the Users
When you start an online business, your natural focus is on selling more products. That’s a mistake. Of course you want to sell more products, but that will come as a side-effect of the real main focus: meeting people’s expectations.
What do your users want? Some of their most common requirements include free shipping, nice and sturdy packaging, and speedy delivery. If you can combine these elements in a shipping policy that’s cost-effective for your company, you’ll be on the right track.
4. Offer Multiple Delivery Options
Free delivery usually takes more time, but some people are willing to wait for the sake of paying less. Speedy delivery, on the other hand, costs more. But some people are willing to pay extra money for the sake of convenience.
Since you have these two categories of customers, it’s important to offer at least two delivery options: a free one and a speedy one. If you want to take things further, you may even include a same-day delivery option.
Amazon has set the bar really high with their same-day delivery policy. When someone orders an expensive item such as a laptop or a TV set, they won’t mind paying up to $10 to get it ASAP.
5. Provide a Very Clear Shipping and Returns Policy at the Website
- What if I don’t get the package?
- What if I don’t like it?
- What if it doesn’t fit?
- What if it looks differently than it does in photos?
People have these and many other questions when they decide to shop online. They want to choose an extremely reliable website. That’s why most of them check the Shipping and Returns policies before using an e-commerce site for the first time.
You might need to hire a legal team to develop policies that work well for the customers, but also protect your business. If the policy is too beneficial for buyers and not protective enough for you, you’ll start getting returns with half-full packages. If, for example, you sell perfumes, someone may decide to return theirs once it’s almost finished. You can’t allow such manipulations to occur.
That’s why you need a good and transparent policy that each customer will understand.
6. Consider Using a Shipping Service
If you plan to ship locally, you may get a van, hire a driver and get it done. But if you want to spread the business further, you’ll probably need to rely on a service that specializes in shipping.
This option gives you affordable shipping rates, a dedicated support team, and additional benefits. You take care of promoting and selling, and the shipping service will take care of getting your products to the customer’s front door.
Keep Updating Your Delivery Policies
Safe, speedy, high-quality shipping – that’s what your customers want. Are you currently providing such service? If your customers commonly complain for the same issues, you have to listen to them. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before people stop buying your products.
Keep your delivery policies updated and fix the damage whenever someone has an unfavorable experience. You want your business to have flawless reputation in terms of deliveries!