An article I came across on shipping best practices made me take due note. The author laid down best practices in the light of existing shipping policies followed by many ecommerce merchants. The beauty of this article was in some of the recommendations regarding best shipping options. It sounded so idealistic, I wondered at first. Then a smile lit up my face as I realized that ecommerce was a no-holds-barred environment.
The author pointed out how shipping info should be made available right on the shopping cart page, how logging in should not be required to view pricing, providing easily accessible info on the modes of shipping, offering free shipping slightly above the average order to increase the average, how you shouldn’t try to make a profit off shipping charges, and so on. These pointers were essays in not only an ethical but a very proactive business sense. Offering the best shipping options can do a world of good to your business.
Never sit on an order, ship it next business day. Ship express orders the same day. A 1-day express order should not take two days in real time even including the time required to process the order. Never simply send the carrier’s tracking page and make the customer manually enter the tracking number. These were very valid points concerning the best shipping options, I thought. But what came next was shockingly benign.
The author advised eBusiness owners to take responsibility for lost shipments. He reasoned that although it is not your fault, you should mediate between the customer and the carrier if only because from the customer’s standpoint you are the only one who can resolve the issue. A best shipping option? Yes, why not. It’s not easy, but then business isn’t supposed to be. Shopping must.
The author even suggested making available discounts to international customers as well. He made it sound as if offering the best shipping options and service is a duty of the owner. Why, you ask? Well, it is business.
Now if only every eBusiness owner would implement that list of dos and donts. Each point on shipping best practices reflected equal and very high levels of concern for both the customer and the eBusiness owner.