International shipping combined with packaging issues may be a real challenge for any business: you have to make many shipping decisions, there are multiply challenges along the parcels delivery way, but at the end of the day: what is not being done to keep the end customer happy?
In today's post, we'll tell you what tricks to use to make the whole process a bit lighter and more enjoyable: we'll take a closer look at multiple packages, delivery services, as well as shipping options and talk a little bit about the next (or same) day deliveries and tracking numbers. Check out with us how to properly take care of what gives many of us sleepless nights: packaging and delivery issues!
Packaging and company: all you need to know
So little time, so much to consider before the packs get finally to the contracting authority: managing the fulfillment process requires, among others, the right choice of packaging for items that need to be delivered, analysing shipping options, and considering a return system policy.
Let's start, however, from the very beginning of the shipping route, i.e. from the complicated choice of ... kind of packaging to be used. At first glance it may sound like a captain obvious for the rescue advice but remember - the key to success is choosing the right size and material from which the package will be made.
Primarily, remember, that the purpose of package services is to protect the product inside. Choosing too large cardboard may result in too high shipping costs due to the space it takes up. If you're packing something really small and flat, you don't need to invest in a box: perhaps a bubble envelope is the better solution. The issue of packaging price is a real challenge after all - you can read more about billings and costs calculations in our guidebook on understanding your fulfillment cost.
The choice of a too-small container however is also not a good idea, because at the end of the day it may damage the order. Solution? Make your packages safe thanks to matching the parcel size of the shipped item correctly. If there is any extra space left in the parcel - fill it with dedicated materials that will prevent objects from moving inside the package, such as foam caps, polystyrene peanuts, and bubble wrap. Take extra care for dimensional weight and find the pack size that fits your needs.
In addition, you can also take care of extra cardboard preservation for the already packed parcel by using a secure seal - it will protect the cartons against moisture and weather damage. Do not forget about the proper marking of ready-to-ship packages - the shipping label in the packaging process is not only the icing on the cake but above all, it is one of the most important information for the courier. It is also crucial for suppliers and customs officials (and it streamlines the customs clearance process). And, of course, if a customer had ordered more than one item - you can put multiple items in a single box.
Tip no.1: Make double check! When you run a business, you probably ship a lot of similar goods to a really large number of customers. Therefore, analyse the offers of various suppliers of packaging materials and choose the one whose offer will best suit your needs. Also, take a moment to choose the right sizes of packages and materials from which they are made.
Check out the example. If the buyer ordered small clothes that do not have an extra delicate nature, the recommended packing solution is to choose poly mailers instead of traditional boxes. They are less expensive and eco-friendly (often made of compostable bags).
Pssst... if the topic of caring for the environment (not only in terms of packaging but also, in general, the activities of ecommerce businesses is close to you - be sure to take a look at our advice on running "green" companies).
However, if you are not satisfied with your packaging skills and feel that this is not the job for you, search for dedicated companies and allow specialists to support you on this topic - so you can be sure that the deliveries will be packaged correctly and with the best industry knowledge.
Tip no 2: break down the packaging process into prime factors. On the dedicated checklist, write what products you pack in what size of cartons, how to secure them additionally, etc.
Thanks to this, you will not only significantly simplify the lives of employees responsible for shipping items, but also automate the entire process and have a better insight into the issues related to the need to order running out packaging materials.
Tip no. 3: tidy up the packing area. Cross- and up-selling really works, and thus - the products sold together should be placed close to each other in the warehouse. Also, ensure easy access to all items sold - your employees will be grateful to you, and the whole process of packing will get much shorter.
The less mess in the place of packing, the better - so designates the work area with everything you need at your fingertips (tape, cartons, bubble wrap, etc.).
It's all about the ability to track (not only international) shipping
From the point of view of customers, the information that an order is on its way is the most exciting moment of the parcel delivery process. Buyers are obsessed with the ability to track shipments- as shown by the data collected by UPS, 96% of customers actively track the way of the ordered package.
Interesting fact: there is the concept of pre-parcel anxiety, which means nervous impatience evoked while waiting for a package and compulsively checking purchases’ journey.
The conclusion is simple - tip no. 4: make sure your customers stay informed of the milestones in their shipment - and can easily track the parcel journey in real-time.
Make sure that the tracking number is visible in the notification sent to customers and, half-joke, half-seriously, keep your fingers crossed so that the parcel arrives safely and quickly. Also remember that the notification of a registered and shipped parcel sent to the end customer via mail or SMS must be clear and make the buyer sure that he can click save in it, without considering whether he has received some type of spam.
Delivery time matters
Another significant consumer need is the ability to choose next day delivery or even same day delivery service. According to the data provided by Digital Commerce 360/Bizrate Insights, 68% of buyers declared that such fast delivery would be a decisive factor in finalising the purchase.
Moreover, the need to shorten package delivery and ship it as quickly as possible applies not only to industries supplying parcels with a short expiry date, such as grocery stores but also to every area of the ecommerce business: from fashion items to RTV products and household appliances. To explore the subject even more notice that the need for fast delivery not only applies just to domestic and country shipments but also to other ones. To put it bluntly - irrespective of various factors, the faster the delivery, the better from the buyer's point of view.
Let customers decide!
Tip no. 5.: Generally speaking, the more options to choose from available for the client (no matter if we are talking about large orders for really significant incomes or small packages, which looks a little bit insignificant from the first glance), the better.
This applies both to the possibility to pick up a courier delivery services or traditional domestic postal service, to the speed of delivery, place of delivery (to your own hands, to a parcel locker or to an ability to pick up from the local post office), but also to things outside the shipment area - such as the possibility to choose the method of payment when completing the purchase at the shopping cart stage.
Sometimes, to speed up the waiting time for an order, especially when for various reasons you do not have all the products ordered by the customer in stock, it is also a good idea to divide the order into multiple packages - and ship them in different times (with no additional cost).
The final leg of the shipment journey jest our sixth advice:
Tip no. 6.: Ask customers for their feedback, not only with your product but also with the delivery.
Use ready-made survey tools or request for a few words via e-mail. If something has gone wrong - stay in touch with the client and repair the issue that caused his dissatisfaction. Also, remember to maintain an easy return policy.
Believe us: proper package shipment and short package delivery time are some of the key elements to grow any ecommerce business.
Take care of the selection of appropriate packaging materials, the possibility of track packages; implement a wide range of carrier services possible to being chosen by the end customer.
At the end of the day, this is what it is all about: not only about parcels which were delivered to the right address but also about the satisfaction of buyers who would like to use your services in future and recommend you to their friends.