Shipping is often viewed as a tedious necessity in the world of online sales. What it can actually be instead, however, is an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your brand. Remember that in the world of online sales, the box or package your product comes in and how it arrives are sometimes the first impressions your consumers get of your actual product. As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Here are 6 ways to make receiving your product a positive experience for your consumers.
- RESEARCH PACKAGING OPTIONS
There is probably nothing worse than receiving a broken or damaged item. You want to choose packaging that will give you the best chance of getting your product to your customer intact. Some key things to consider is whether or not the product needs extra packaging to keep it safe and secure, what kind of additional padding or packaging will it need and what size of shipping boxes or packaging will you need to accommodate the product and all packaging.
- RESEARCH SHIPPING COURIERS
Who delivers your product and how reliable they are will also go a long way towards helping or hindering your business. Many couriers will offer flat rate shipping boxes that may help you save on both shipping costs and product packaging. When researching couriers, however, don’t just research prices but also research how dependable they are. Does their overnight shipping really arrive the next day? Also do some research into what kinds of additional services they offer such as tracking, signature confirmation or insurance.
- ESTIMATE RATES
Once you have determined what kind of packaging your product will need and some potential couriers, you will want to start estimating and comparing shipping rates. You will need to measure and weigh your packages in their shipping materials and enter the information accordingly to get accurate rates. Again, you don’t always want to simply go with whoever is cheapest. You need a balance between economical and reliable.
- INFORM YOUR CUSTOMERS
Sometimes, people purchase online items with a specific deadline they need to meet, such as going out of town or purchasing a gift for a birthday or anniversary. This makes it highly important to always be up front about how long it will take to ship them their product. Always be generous with your estimates. If you think it will take 2-3 days, give yourself a window of 3-5 days. It’s always better to have a package arrive earlier than expected than later. When it does ship, however, let them know so they can track the package and plan accordingly.
- OFFER OPTIONS
Whether it is expedited or overnight options, additional insurance or even gift wrapping, people like to have options. You can also take a tip from some of the big chains and offer suggestions to pair with their order. For instance, if they order a bottle of wine, you can also offer a wine opener or wine glasses. Offering options not only helps your consumer, it also helps you make a bigger sale.
- GIVE IT A PERSONAL TOUCH
Printed boxes let your consumers know the second they see the box that your product has arrived. Just seeing the box can sometimes create a rush of anticipation. Even if you don’t use printed boxes, however, you should still do everything you can to make the unwrapping experience a good one. Just think of the thrill of unwrapping packages on Christmas morning and try to create that experience for your consumers as much as possible.