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Focus on Shipping and Customer Service
This is the closing part of the transaction where the goods are delivered to the end customer. As the adage goes, All’s well that ends well, it is prudent to ensure a good customer experience on the shipping and service front so as to ensure repeat customers.
Thus, it is vital to have a well-defined shipping and packaging strategy in place. The order should be capable of continuous tracking, even by the customer with timely status updates. The following are the available options in managing order shipping:
It would be a good idea to have an in-built shipping and order management feature in the e-commerce portal. This is a good step in the direction of transparency as well. Th customer would be able to select the preferred shipping method and pay accordingly. Some websites also have the option of priority delivery, in which case the customer can pay extra charges towards a particular shipping mode. The shipping tool can also be used to conveniently print packing slips and labels
It would be a good idea to have pre-tie ups with logistics partners that have a reputation of timely delivery. Often these third-party vendors also offer free installed software that are helpful in knowing the status of and the expected time of delivery. These pre-installed software can also aid in accurate labelling of the goods as per customer specifics. For example, some e-commerce merchants offer customized greetings on the labels, if the product is to be delivered as a gift etc.
One may also consider cloud-based software that would provide real time information as to the rates being charged by various carriers for comparison with support for additional functionalities like drop ship order or inventory status like whether the goods were damaged in transit etc. Some carriers also offer insurance facility.
In conclusion, it might be a good idea to have the shipping and customer service function as part of the e-commerce website rather than outsourcing to a third party. This way the quality is assured. An efficient and prompt delivery has a long-lasting positive impact on the customer and would translate into further orders in the future.
In this series we walked you through the main steps to set up one’s first e-commerce portal. There is a no one size fits all approach. It’s prudent to test and try out different options, before deciding upon the unique mix that works best for one’s e-commerce business.
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