This post is written by our partner Easyship. Easyship is an all-in-one shipping management tool that automates everything from in-cart checkout to delivery, helping eCommerce sellers ship worldwide in minutes.
Shipping is one of the most essential stages in the lifecycle of an eCommerce business and has a huge impact on overall user experience. Therefore, you need to have a well-researched and comprehensive shipping policy for your business to thrive.
The more transparent your shipping policy is, the happier your customers will be as it shows you are willing to provide the best delivery experience.
But what does having a transparent shipping policy mean? A transparent shipping policy ensures that the customers won’t encounter any surprises in the end. This means that the buyer will not only know their exact shipping rate, but they will also be aware of any taxes, duties, and additional surcharges associated with their shipment. They will also know what to expect in terms of the delivery timeframe and the reliability of the courier.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all shipping policy for everyone. However, the following guide will show you what you should consider when developing your shipping policy.
Estimated delivery lead time
Providing a variety of services that differ on delivery time is a great way to ensure that you can attract any type of customer. Sellers normally give their customers an option of standard delivery and express delivery by using a mix of postal and express couriers.
An example of a postal courier is SingPost and the US Postal Service. They are normally run by the national government and use simple and affordable pricing. As you are paying mostly for the shipping costs, expect a longer delivery time frame.
While postal services can provide you the cheapest options and the express couriers the fastest options, how can you find something that’s in between?
Easyship’s rate calculator is an efficient way to find this option. All you need to do is enter in your origin, destination, the weight of your package, and voila! You’ll be able to see our pick for the best value for money option.
Choosing a courier with good tracking is important. While doing so can cost more, it may be worth it for you as it can help manage customer expectations when it comes to delivery.
Tracking frequency varies per courier. In our view, excellent tracking means the courier sends updates on all steps of transit: from pickup, to arrival/departure at customs, to confirming the delivery at the final destination. Frequent tracking also reduces the chances of your parcel getting lost as you’ll be able to closely monitor your parcel’s journey.
However, if your customers are fine with not knowing what the status of their package is every day, it may be okay for you to offer a service that offers less detailed tracking.
Regardless of what you choose, we do recommend that you share the courier tracking updates via email with your customers. This will also reduce the amount of requests from customers asking where their package is.
Having a good return policy can encourage customers to follow through with their purchase, as it gives them a safety net in case they are unhappy with your product.
You should consider the following when developing your return policy:
- How many days after delivery can the buyer return your product?
- Where can they reach you if they want to escalate their return?
- In what condition does the product have to be to qualify for a return?
- Will you (the seller) pay for return shipping or will the customer?
- Do you have a preference on which courier to use for returns?
Being clear and upfront with your return policy ensures your customers know what to expect from you while at the same time, protecting your profit and minimizing dissatisfied customers.
Organise your payments
When you’re handling international payments, like refunding a customer or paying overseas suppliers, make sure you do your research before you choose a financial institution to handle the payment.
While many people automatically choose their banks to transfer money with, they often don’t realise they could save significantly more money by using a currency specialist – like WorldFirst.
To discover more about how much you could save when sending money overseas, get in touch with one of WorldFirst’s friendly currency specialists today on +65 6805 4370 or visit the website worldfirst.com/en-sg/.
Having a bulletproof shipping policy does much more than just simplify your shipping process. It provides your customers with the details they need, in order to trust your store will (literally) deliver. A shipping policy that lacks transparency can easily discourage prospective customers, so make sure your checkout is dynamic to help reduce cart abandonment and build a reputation of trustworthiness for your store.
Michelle Mondonedo is a content marketer at Easyship.
These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement. Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed.
All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice.
We have no commercial affiliation or commercial interest regarding the businesses mentioned in this article. The information is only provided as gathered and should be verified before, using your own judgement.