Shipping is a critical part of the eCommerce process, and even a small error can cause big problems for businesses. To avoid shipping errors, it is important to have a system in place that is designed to catch mistakes. One way to do this is to use shipping software that can automatically check for errors and provide alerts when something is amiss. This kind of technology is commonplace in fulfillment centers, but some businesses choose to handle their own order fulfillment. By taking these simple steps, you can help ensure that your products are shipped correctly and avoid costly shipping mistakes.
Where do warehousing and shipping professionals like us see the most problems? Here are the top 5 areas.
1. Wait. Is that really the weight?
Rather than invest in quality scales, some companies guesstimate the weight of their packages. This may seem like a small detail, but it can have a big impact on your bottom line. Shipping companies typically charge by the pound, so if your packages are even a few ounces over the weight limit, you could end up paying significantly more than necessary. Weighing each package before shipping also allows you to take advantage of any discounts that may be available for packages under a certain weight. By taking the time to weigh each package before shipping, you can save yourself both time and money. If your guess is off and one package costs $5 more to mail than you had estimated, it’s a small problem. But if you are mailing, 500 identical packages and each costs $5 more than you had planned, that’s a $2,500 mistake, and a big hit for a small business. It is much cheaper, in the long run, to invest in reliable scales than to make inaccurate estimates or have your shipper reweigh packages and add on a fee. In addition, it helps to ensure that your customers receive their orders promptly, as packages that are overweight are often delayed in transit.
2. Protect your product at all costs
Pinch pennies when it comes to packaging your products, and you will eventually pay the price. Anyone who has ever ordered something online knows that good packaging is essential to protect products during shipping. Whether it’s a delicate piece of jewelry or a fragile electronics item, proper packaging can mean the difference between a safe arrival and a broken item. Packaging their products with care, and using materials like bubble wrap and Styrofoam to cushion items and prevent them from being damaged in transit is especially important for businesses that rely on repeat customers, as damaged products can lead to negative reviews and lost sales. Ultimately, the importance of good packaging cannot be overstated, and businesses should take care to choose the right materials and methods to protect their products. Damaged goods cost you in multiple ways. For one, damaged items must be returned, and replacements re-shipped. But the even greater damage is to your company’s reputation.
3. Don’t put all your boxes in one basket
As the world of eCommerce continues to grow, businesses are increasingly looking for ways to optimize their shipping and fulfillment processes. While it may seem counterintuitive, using multiple shipping companies can actually be a smart way to run an eCommerce business. Here are three reasons why:
First, using multiple shipping companies gives businesses more flexibility in terms of pricing and delivery options. This is especially important for businesses that sell internationally, as different shipping companies specialize in different regions. By working with multiple carriers, businesses can ensure that they’re getting the best possible rates for shipping to their customers.
Second, offering a variety of shipping options can help businesses improve their customer service. When customers have a choice of carrier, they’re more likely to be satisfied with the delivery process. They can choose the carrier that best meets their needs in terms of price, speed, and reliability.
Finally, using several shipping companies can help businesses protect themselves against service disruptions. If one carrier experiences a service interruption, businesses can simply switch to another carrier until the problem is resolved. This way, businesses can avoid any potential loss of sales due to shipping delays.
Using multiple shipping companies can improve the efficiency of shipping operations, ultimately giving the business more flexibility and more power.
4. Ensure your paperwork is accurate
In the world of eCommerce, accuracy is key. Whether you are verifying a customer’s shipping address or the details of their order, it is essential that all information is correct before you send out a product. Accuracy helps to ensure that products are delivered to the right customer and helps to avoid delays and errors in the shipping process. Finally, accurate information helps to build trust with customers. When customers know that you are careful and detail-oriented, they are more likely to do business with you in the future. Make sure you carefully check all the records, labels, bills of lading, and other paperwork required in the shipping stream to maintain a quality reputation.
5. Listen to your customers
Customers are your best source of information and any business that relies on shipping knows that customer satisfaction is key. When something goes wrong with a shipment, it can reflect poorly on the company and cause customers to take their business elsewhere. That’s why it’s so important to encourage your customers to let you know about any shipping issues they may have experienced. By quickly rectifying their problems, you can show them that you value their business and are committed to providing them with a positive experience. So, if you want to keep your customers happy, make sure you take care of any shipping problems they may have – and let them know that their feedback is always welcome.
Avoid costly mistakes
Implementing a shipping system that catches mistakes can help your business avoid the negative consequences of shipping errors. By taking the time to set up a system that is designed to prevent these types of errors, you can rest assured that your customers will receive their orders on time and without any problems. Have you ever had a shipping mistake cost your business? Let us know in the comments.
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