E-Commerce Shipping: How to do it right

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If you want to create a phenomenal user experience for an e-commerce store, do a great job with its shipping program.

If you can communicate and set clear expectations, it will keep your customers happy and create a seamless operation. After all, shipping should be largely invisible to your customers.

For example, a $15 t-shirt, should not cost $11 in shipping. A wide range of shipping options that can better match the relative cost of the product will allow the consumer flexibility and pricing choice.  

Some craft brewers are international. When you ship internationally there are several things to consider, like taxes and duties, customs fees, VAT, and potential trade restrictions.

Harmonizing codes, an international system to classify shipping products that match materials and products with appropriate tax, play a role as well. This is really smart way to avoid postal delays and fees.

Here are a few other great best practices for your e-commerce stores:

*Shipping acknowledgments: “Your order is on its way!” This is a simple automation that will continue to reinforce trust and further extend communication.

*Tracking Codes are a nice feature that allows customers to follow their package and time of arrival.

*Use the shipping box to include promos and offers for future purchases, and continue to delight your customers (hubspot link).

*Include pre-printed return labels. Zappos knows that their most frequent returners are their best customers. Follow their lead. 

*Same-day fulfillment means orders are pick-packed and in the mail the same day the product was purchased. However, 2-day shipping only feels like 2-day shipping to a customer when the product gets moved out the door efficiently. Move quick to process these orders.

*Returns cost money, time, and make for unhappy customers. Reduce returns by providing ample pre-purchase information, like size charts, material descriptions, and product photos. Product videos can reduce return rates by 80%.

*RMA numbers make for easy processing once the return reaches the warehouse. And RMA’s can track potential problems with merch. For example, if 10 customers return a shirt because it’s “too small”, then there’s probably an issue with that particular SKU. React and resolve accordingly.

Shopify has a powerful post about this process, too.

Apply these easy best practices into your e-commerce store and you’ll continue to delight your customers.

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