Shipping is an integral part of selling online. It is pretty tough to sell if you can’t find a way to ship out that product to your buyer! It’s not always easy, but there are definitely ways to make it easier (maybe even fun). If you lay some solid groundwork for shipping practices, you can mail packages with ease and confidence. Additionally, you have plenty of opportunities to create a great shopping experience for shoppers when you run a brick and mortar store. Creating that positive experience with your brand for your online customers can be trickier. Especially at the end of a checkout process, the buyer does not immediately receive her new purchase. The gratification isn’t immediate. Adding that personal touch for your package will help generate that excitement when your buyer receives your package.
Research Your Options and Set Yourself Up for Success
1. Research Packaging options
Because you will know your product the best, first researching on packaging options that will best serve your product. Take a look at the products you are selling and determine the following:
- How big is it?
- Does it need extra padding?
- What kind of packing materials will you need to ensure that this product get to its destination safely
It would be helpful to come up with an excel sheet if you have multiple products, as you can look at the data in one glance. Keeping in mind of how much extra room you need to accommodate for, lookup places that carry bulk packaging materials such as uline.com to take advantage of bulk rates.
Related: Shipping and Fulfillment 101
2. Research Shipping couriers
3. Estimate Shipping Rates
- To provide accurate shipping estimates for your product, you will need to measure and weigh your packages accordingly. Track the common item weights in your spreadsheet. A good idea would be to weigh the box separately since that weight is unlikely to change and add in the product weight to get an estimated shipping weight.
4. Keep Your Shoppers informed
- It’s all about communication and managing expectations. One way to help buyers feel confident about their purchase at your store is to keep them well informed each step of the way.
- Be upfront about your handling time, so buyers are aware of them before placing the order. For example, if you produce handmade soaps and require 1-2 weeks if an item goes out of stock, communicate that within the item description so your buyer is aware of this possible delay.
- Be upfront about additional fees and timelines. If you offer internal shipping for your buyers, it is wise to note all the additional information they may need to know about their package, such as possible tax and custom charges that may be imposed on their package. As well, certain locations may take longer for package to arrive, note that in your FAQ as well.
5. Offer Options
- Buyers like having the options for their order. Sometimes they may require expedited shipping and faster turn around times, offer that as an option for your buyer at time of purchase.
- Gift-wrapping option for their order. This can bring in some extra revenue and allow you to add some personal touches for the purchase.
6. Make it Personal
- What makes your brand tick? Incorporate that as part of your packaging to add that element of personality for your package. Aritzia as a brand does this amazingly well. Their brand is known to be modern, fresh with a touch of girly. Whenever I make an order from their site, I am super excited for their package, because it always comes packaged beautifully in a pretty pink box. They have done a great job translating their brand to their packaging.