You may think the most important thing when selling online is the quality of the product you’re selling. While it’s essential to sell something the customer wants, a successful transaction doesn’t end once you’ve secured the sale. You also need to make sure they receive the product as quickly as possible. With that in mind, here are some of the critical factors you should keep an eye on when you’re organizing deliveries for your small business.
When people check the delivery details of a product, the first thing they’re often looking for is how quickly they can expect to receive their order. Gone are the days where customers would happily wait weeks for their product to arrive. Most people will be expecting their delivery within a week. They’re also very likely to take their business elsewhere if you can’t meet those requirements.
The main problem is America is an exceptionally large country that can provide logistical challenges for small or new businesses. If you’re a small business in one part of the country and your customer is located thousands of miles away, it can often be virtually impossible to find a method of quickly and cheaply delivering your package. Hiring an order fulfillment company to take care of your delivery can give you a head start in the race to get your product delivered on time. Companies like Red Stag Fulfillment have facilities on both coasts, allowing them to reach 99.9% of the United States within just three days. Their high-tech tracking system can pinpoint exactly where your product is in their warehouse and follow its journey all the way to your customer’s front door.
They say bigger is always better, but when it comes to mailing packages, it’s the complete opposite. You want to make sure your parcel is as small as possible. Many companies have even seen huge success by designing their products to fit in a mailbox rather than having to wait in to sign for a delivery. Customers’ lives are so busy that they want to know they’ll be able to find their product on their doorstep when they get home from work.
The smaller the product, the less money it’ll cost you to ship. If you create your products by hand, it’d be good to check the maximum dimensions of your preferred mail service from the very start of the design process. Reducing the size of your product by just an inch or coming up with a different way to repackage it to fit within the required dimensions, could halve your postage costs. Back when Netflix actually use to send you a DVD, they saved millions of dollars by just posting the actual disk in a cardboard sleeve rather than in its original plastic case.
While it’s cost-effective to make sure your product can fit into as small a space as possible, it’s also essential to make sure there’s enough packaging to make sure it arrives in one piece. Paying for packing materials might seem like throwing money away, but it protects your product; it could prevent you from having to pay to replace broken or damaged items. There is no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to packaging. Obviously, if an item is more fragile, it will require more packaging. If it’s just a case of protecting a product from scratches, wrapping it in a thin foam-like material might be enough. If you’re shipping a product with fragile pieces that might snap off or smash, it might be necessary to create custom fitting chunks of polystyrene to protect them.
It’s also important not to overpack your product. As people become more aware of how much waste they’re producing, they don’t want to receive a product the size of a cookie in a box the size of a pizza filled with other packaging. Some cases of overpacking are so bad that pictures of the worst offenders have gone viral on social media and damaged the reputation of many brands.
Even if you’ve shipped your parcel quickly and in one piece, those efforts could be wasted before it even leaves your site if you pick up the wrong product. Many of your products could look the same apart from one small difference, such as size or color. Make sure you have a system that carefully labels each product. Once you’ve selected the product, make sure you check it alongside the order note. Maybe even get a second person to check it before you package it up.