Jimmy Rodriguez is CTO and co-founder of 3DCart, developer of an e-commerce suite for businesses of all sizes. As an authority on e-commerce best practices, Jimmy combines more than 8 years as an e-commerce developer and web programmer with SEO, social marketing and business intelligence.
One of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of selling more product is shipping, a feared part of the online purchasing process during the holiday season. It’s easy to fall to become disorganized during the busy holiday season, but it won’t reﬂect well on your brand and will turn what could have been loyal customers into one-time shoppers. Luckily if you prepare now and have a system in place you can easily avoid holiday shipping debacles.
1 – Offer a free shipping deal
Make it an exploding offer—or, if you can afford it without cutting heavily into revenues, offer it to all customers throughout the holidays. Shipping costs typically make up 5% or more of the total cost, a significant dent in profits. Still, over 46.5% of small to mid-sized businesses say that offering free shipping increases their profits.
2 – Extend the standard shipping deadline
Inform customers that standard shipping prices will go up on a day before they actually do, then announce an extension to the standard shipping deadline.
3 – Use a shipping aggregator for international sales
Shipping aggregators like Bongo consolidate your international products coming from different warehouses into a single, neat package. Merchants can simply ship to to the aggregators Domestic Facility, and the international shipping experts handle the rest.
4 – Stock up on shipping supplies
If you’re shipping products on your own, make sure you stock up on twice as many shipping resources as your projected sales. Being over-prepared is much better than being under-prepared because you can always use the excess materials for post-holiday shipping.
5 – Give customers the ability to track their purchases
Shipping through popular carriers and linking them to your backend CRM and email autoresponders makes it simple for customers to track their purchases.
6 – Showcase contact information prominently
Online merchants need to go the extra mile to make their customers feel safe and protected. You can put a customer’s mind at ease by displaying your contact information prominently in multiple locations on your site. Also consider listing your phone number and alternative email addresses in your auto-responder emails.
7 – Follow up on shipped orders
Through your order management system, track when shipped items are received and set autoresponders to send follow-up emails with links to feedback resources. Also consider jazzing up your holiday autoresponders with a seasonal images and sayings. It never hurts to spread the holiday cheer!
8 – Include physical promotions in shipped packages
Surprise your customer with a coupon! There’s nothing like the feeling of a coupon in your hand; send physical coupons with every order in hopes of inspiring a return customer. It also makes sure that your customer’s last impression of the purchase is a great one.
The above is an excerpt from 3dcart’s FREE eBook 12 Days of Online Shopping. Download yours today to automatically receive a $75 Google Adwords certificate & $100 Amazon Ad certificate and be entered to win one of 20 $100 Google Adwords certificate!
Image Credit: Drewski2112