Delivery is one of the most critical steps for customers trying to purchase your products. How are you handling it?
It’s what can determine whether a customer will buy from you again or not. A poor delivery not only makes you lose customers, but gives a big hit to your brand’s reputation as well.
It’s also where you’ll need to assess your shipping costs. You want to make sure that your item arrives at your customer’s doorstep without losing too much money on shipping.
So to help you out, here are our top 11 tactics you can use to boost your shipping strategy and delight customers:
Free shipping is an effective way to boost sales. 93% of customers are more likely to buy if free shipping is available.
The issue with free shipping is that it isn’t exactly “free” — you’ll have to cover shipping costs, which will make you lose money. Shipping can also get expensive if you’re sending items overseas.
Here are the two main ways you can offer free shipping without breaking the bank:
● Increase the product price: Raising the price of the costs of your items will help you squeeze in cash to pay for shipping.
● Offer free shipping for minimum orders: For example, you can provide free shipping for orders above $20.
Your store needs a concise order policy that sets clear expectations between you and your customer.
Online shoppers want access to all relevant information about shipping. They need to know your shipping cost, where you ship to, and when they can expect the item to arrive.
Here are some questions that your shipping policy should cover:
● Which countries do you ship to, and which do you not?
● What shipping method do you use?
● Do customers get access to shipping tracking information?
● Can customers pick up your item at a physical location?
● What is the procedure and deadline for refunds?
Using Shopify? Learn more about setting up your order and returns policy on Shopify here.
Flat rate shipping consists of offering a single rate for shipping an item, no matter the weight or size.
It means that the value or size of products doesn’t get taken into account. For many eCommerce brands, this simplifies the whole shipping process and encourages buyers to spend more.
For example, for each order, you could charge a flat rate of $5.
Setting up a flat rate is a good strategy if you’re starting out and don’t know how much your shipping costs will be. However, you can still offer different rates based on how fast the customer wants to receive the item.
Table rate shipping, on the other hand, is the opposite of flat rates. It consists of determining shipping costs based on various criteria.
These factors include product size, weight, shipping destination, value, and more. Here’s an example of what it could like if you charge shipping based on weight:
1 — 5 LBS
5 — 10 LBS
10 — 15 LBS
15 — 20 LBS
Once the item gets shipped out, it’s a good time to engage customers via email.
A good tactic is to send email updates to your customers once the item ships. You can also feature sales and promotions to other products that could interest them as well.
Check out this perfect example from The Dollar Shave Club. Each time a customer buys from their store, they receive an order confirmation email with the shipping date and items they can buy before the product ships:
It is especially important to maintain communication with customers throughout the order and delivery process. Many of your customers will visit your website once to order a product, but open your email confirmation to click on tracking several times.
Offering same-day delivery can make you stand out from other stores and win extra sales. 61% of customers are willing to pay a few extra bucks to get their products shipped the same day.
Now, why does same-day delivery work so well?
Because of modern technology, our attention span and patience is progressively reducing. We are used to getting things fast, and customers expect the same thing with their orders.
Same day delivery is a great way to boost customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. Best Buy, for example, rolled out same-day delivery in 2015:
When offering same-day delivery, you need to measure how it’s impacting your sales. There are a ton of startups out there offering same-day delivery services. A simple Google Search will reveal some in your area.
One way to encourage customers to buy more is to show how close they are to getting free shipping. By knowing how much they need to qualify, they’re more likely to add a couple of extra items to the cart.
A great app that helps you do this is Free Shipping Bar. As customers add more to their cart, Free Shipping Bar will show them progressive messages on how much they have left before they get free shipping.
If you’re selling an expensive or fragile item, you want to make sure you get insurance to protect it in case issues arise.
Insurance comes in handy if your product gets lost, stolen, or broken during shipping. When something goes wrong, you’ll need to prove the item’s value, and the insurer will pay you back the full amount.
While insurance is useful, keep in mind that you might have to raise your shipping rates to cover it. Logistical services such as USPS, UPS, and DHL only offer free insurance on items up to $100.
You can add insurance automatically through your carrier contracts (they include it in your cost), or you can offer it to your customers at checkout using a product like Route.
One way to improve the buyer experience is giving customers tracking information on their orders. It’ll help you avoid repetitive questions such as “where is my package?”.
With tracking information, you’ll reduce complaints and drive better customer satisfaction. To track packages efficiently, you can use Shopify apps such as Tracktor.
Your goal as an online store should always be to stand out from the crowd. One excellent way to do this is making the process of opening your packages memorable every time.
A memorable unboxing experience increases brand awareness and loyalty. Customers are much more likely to refer your product to their friends once they’ve received the product. Making your brand stand out makes you that much more likely to be talked about by your new brand evangelists!
Here are some ideas of how you can do this:
● Make your packaging material branded or unique. Whatever you’re using as filler to protect the contents can be colorful and wow your customer.
● Provide a custom thank you. A simple note with the customer’s name, even hand-written and signed, goes a long way to improving customer retention.
● Give a free sample. Do you have other products that make sense to give away? These can act like a simple gift that also shows off your additional products.
● Include discount codes or special offers. Give them a reason to visit your website again!
● Add branded stickers inside and out.
● Focus on creating epic packaging, like this from nuts.com:
Notice how they’re not afraid to showcase their personality on their packaging: “Nuts! Nuts! Nuts!”, “We’re all nuts!”, etc. It’s a great way to spice up the delivery process.
There’s a lot of tasks that go into shipping: fulfilling orders, managing returns, getting tracking information, etc. It can feel quite overwhelming at times, especially if you’re just starting out.
That’s why it’s best to get shipping software that cuts the work in half. At EHub, we connect all of your eCommerce operations in one place. The platform comes with:
● The best discounts on shipping
● eCommerce integrations for all your channels
● Insurance for every delivery
● Order tracking
Make sure you're getting the most out of your shipping software. With technology you can simplify your packing and label printing processes so you get packages out the door as fast and accurately as possible - with the desired carrier service at the best price.
Managing your delivery effectively is vital to retain customers and make them come back to your store. Now it’s up to you to test one of these tactics and see what works best for your business! To learn more about how Essential Hub’s solutions can boost your store’s shipping strategy, contact us below and find out how we can turn shipping into one of your biggest assets.