Ecommerce Shipping: How to Boost Future Sales With a Good Return Policy

Whether you are a small or large business operating in the ecommerce world, you will know just how much customer loyalty can help drive your profits. On the flip side, you’ll also know just how much product returns can damage those profits.

An IHL study commissioned by OrderDynamics estimates that consumers make $642.6 billion worth in returns per year, with US shoppers alone contributing $221.7 billion to that number.

In an ideal world your customers would always buy exactly what they want, in the right size and the right colour, without ever changing their mind. Unfortunately, online consumers can’t physically see and hold a product before they purchase it, meaning returns are a necessary part of any ecommerce business.

Did you know, however, that a good return policy can improve customer satisfaction, enhance customer engagement and create a superior customer experience that creates loyal customers and boosts profits?

How exactly can a good return policy have all these benefits?

A good return policy is vital because it plays a large role in the entire customer experience (CX) that a consumer has with your business. In fact, delighting your customer at every step of their journey is now crucial.

This is because innovative ecommerce brands such as Amazon are changing the perception of value amongst consumers. Perceived value is no longer a matter of price, it’s the entire customer experience from the first point of contact with a customer and every single one that follows thereafter.

It’s no longer enough to provide basic customer support. Ecommerce companies must become customer-centric and create strategic plans that improve the overall customer experience of their organization – allowing them to offer frictionless support across every customer touchpoint.

It’s not just superior products that consumers want. With stiff competition across all industries, customers now want something more – and a customer-centric return policy could be the deciding factor between your company and a competitor.

In fact, according to a UPS Pulse study, 88 percent of online shoppers reviewed a retailer’s return policy, and 67 percent of those checked the policy details before ever making a purchase.

A return policy clearly not only improves your overall CX, but it’s also an important factor in a consumer’s buying decision.

How do I create a good return policy?

It’s easy to create a simple return policy that states all products need to be returned in 14 days for a full refund, but the easy way out has never improved the customer experience and driven brand loyalty.

Instead, think about how a more strategic approach could help the growth of your business.

To help you create a return policy that your customers will love, Freightcom has listed four key best practices below:

  1. Make your return policy easily accessible – Place a link to your returns policy in an easy-to-find area of your website, and also under your “add to cart” button. Building brand loyalty is all about becoming a company that consumers can trust, and accessibility to information is crucial for that.
  2. Make sure your policy is clear and concise – Your return policy should be clear and concise, so don’t make it any more confusing than it needs to be. Think about the key questions your customer might have about returning an item, answer them and ensure the entire process is quick and easy.
  3. Offer free returns if possible – According to the Huffington Post, over 60% of returns are due to shipping errors. While it’s important to ensure you have a system in place that automates your shipping process and reduces errors, offering free returns can give you a competitive edge and show customers that you’re willing to go the extra mile to make them happy.
  4. Don’t copy and paste – There are many return policy templates out there. These are great as a guide, but never just copy and paste. You need a return policy that is fit for the uniqueness of your brand and the products you sell.

Are you looking for help implementing a shipping system that will transform your customer experience and help build a loyal customer base? Contact the Freightcom team of experts today and find out how we can help.

How to Choose a Shopify Shipping App for Your Ecommerce Business

For small-to-medium sized businesses (SMEs) operating on Shopify, whether B2B or B2C, your customer experience is everything. The passion you put into each step of delighting your customer is not only the reason you are successful, but it’s why many of your customers keep coming back to your company time and time again.

However, when it comes to shipping for your ecommerce business it can often feel like your putting the reputation of your brand in the hands of a stranger.

Will an order be tracked and delivered on time? Will it be damaged in the shipping process? Will the package get lost in the mail? And is your customer left satisfied with the entire process?

These are all questions that you’ll be asking when choosing a carrier to ship your products and for good reason. You can create an amazing product and perfect the interactions you have with your customer but if the shipping process goes wrong then the entire customer experience will collapse.

That’s why it’s so important to create a well-thought out shipping strategy that makes use of all the advanced tools available to you on Shopify. By using our Shopify shipping application you can make some simple changes that transform your brand’s shipping process.

Why should your business use a Shopify shipping app?

Shipping has become a key consideration in the consumer purchasing process. According to Statista, 31 per cent of consumers claim they will wait to make a purchase until there’s a free shipping offer. While HubSpot reports that 24 per cent of shoppers are ready to spend more to qualify for free shipping.

ClickShip, our new Shopify shipping app, will provide your business with exclusive real-time discounted rates from the top available carriers, meaning you can reduce the overall cost of the transaction for your customers and your business.

Powered by Freightcom, ClickShip will help you compare shipping rates, print shipping labels, automate your communications with customers, and generally help you manage the entire shipping process. This will save your brand both time and money, which you can then put back into growing other areas of your business.

To give you a snapshot of how implementing a Shopify shipping app can transform your brand’s shipping processes, Freightcom has listed three key benefits here.

1 – Save time packing

Smart shipping applications have been specially designed to save your business time when it comes to efficiently packing your customer’s orders.

Freightcom’s new app ClickShip, for example, uses an advanced algorithm in which all you need to do is enter the dimensions and weight for each product and the app will work out the exact box you need for each product – with specific information on how to place each product inside the box to prevent damage!

Not only does this help you to properly prepare your products for shipping, it also ensures that you are quoting your customers the correct amount in the pricing stage of your sales journey.

2 – Automate the shipping process

Our Shopify shipping app will integrate seamlessly into your current business processes and workflows. This will save you from having to manually copy and paste information between platforms.

By automating most of the shipping process for your business, from sales to fulfillment, you can spend less time focusing on complicated manual shipping processes and more time growing your business.

3 – Send tracking emails

Once your customer has clicked the purchase button, they will be eager to receive their item and will be on the lookout for tracking notifications from your brand. In fact, according to Experian, shipping confirmation emails are opened 1.5 times on average – and they are one of the best ways for your brand to generate increased revenue and customer loyalty.

Keeping track of shipping updates and sending those on to your customer manually, however, is almost impossible. Thankfully, ClickShip allows you to automate that process and send notifications automatically once they are updated and transmitted by the carrier.

Are you looking for a Shopify shipping app that will improve your company’s shipping processes, save your business money and help you to deliver a superior customer experience? Contact Freightcom today to find out about our advanced Shopify shipping app, ClickShip.

4 Ways to Drive Brand Loyalty Through a Great Delivery Experience

The evolution of technology, as well as the growth in consumer-facing brands such as Amazon and Apple, has resulted in customers across all industries (whether B2B or B2C) now expecting an on-demand, seamless and superior customer experience (CX). Any friction in the customer journey can significantly affect how a buyer of your company’s products sees your business; and a bad experience ultimately results in lost sales, the inability to build a loyal customer base, and a decrease in profits.

The Importance of Shipping

This renewed importance on the customer experience is leading companies to compete for market share and stand out from their competitors through a range of new techniques – and shipping logistics plays a large role in that.

When it comes to delivering your company’s products, businesses and consumers care about a huge range of shipping variables which all add to the quality of the experience. These can include everything from how fast you can ship their item, the ability to accurately track the delivery, how convenient and pleasant the receiving experience is, how much the delivery costs, and the overall unpacking experience.

Customer Loyalty

A good customer experience helps create loyal customers, and loyal customers result in higher profits and the growth of your business. In fact, according to a study from American Express, 58 per cent of consumers are willing to spend more on companies that provide excellent customer service.

That’s incredibly important for any business – especially when considering the statistic that, on average, loyal customers are worth as much as 10 times the amount of their first purchase.

To help ensure you offer your customers the best delivery experience possible, Freightcom has four tips below that will help your business create a seamless shipping CX and a loyal customer base:

4 Tips to Improve Shipping CX

1 – Empower customers to track their delivery

Sometimes shipping delays occur and they are unavoidable. Part of a great customer experience is being able to be honest with your customers and provide them with regular updates on where their delivery is.

By partnering with a courier company that communicates well with your customers and sends frequent updates on their package and delivery status, you are already winning the customer experience battle – even if an issue does occur. If there is a problem you can be notified and you can reset customer expectations accordingly.

Setting delivery dates upfront and keeping consumers regularly updated will put your business in a position to manage customer expectations, meaning they aren’t disappointed in the overall experience.

Freightcom can help you with shipping best practices, identify the differences between each shipper, and help you select a courier who will be able to deliver the customer experience you demand.

2 – Be clear from the outset which carrier is delivering an item

For one reason or another, many consumers prefer a particular courier over another. Ensure you make them aware of which courier is delivering their package before they order a product so they know exactly what to expect.

In some cases, a consumer can select from a choice of couriers at the checkout stage. So consider offering a choice during your shopping cart process. This will help prevent them from being disappointed after they have made their purchase.

3 – Offer convenient pick-up locations for B2C

For B2C shipping, many customers will want their items delivered directly to their home or perhaps even their workplace, but for some, who live in apartment buildings, for example, this simply isn’t feasible. It’s possible some may want their item delivered to a pick-up location such as a carrier’s distribution location, or local post office.

Offering your customers a variety of options will ensure they are satisfied no matter what their preferred delivery or pick-up method is.

4 – Give customers a choice between fast delivery and saving money

Some customers want to receive their items as soon as possible and are willing to spend more money for fast delivery. While, other customers would rather save money and wait a little longer for their delivery, but still want a quality shipping service.

The more you can adapt to the wishes of each customer, the more satisfying and enjoyable their shipping experience will be.

Remember, receiving the order from your company is the most anticipated part of a customer’s journey with your brand. If you falter at this step, it’s likely they will move on to your competitor.

If you succeed, however, you will have created an experience that goes a long way towards ensuring a second order or word-of-mouth referrals.

Need help implementing a shipping system you can trust for the best shipping rates? Contact the Freightcom team of experts today and find out how we can help your business deliver.

Help Prevent Shipping Damage With These Tips For eCommerce Shippers

Package Shipping

Are you the owner or logistics manager of an ecommerce business? If so, you’ll know just how important shipping is to the success of your business.

Whether you’re shipping products around the world, or shipping them across Canada or the US, one of the biggest concerns you should have is keeping your products safe. Damaged and spoiled products will end up getting returned – wasting your company money, time, and resulting in lost profits and lost customers.

To avoid unexpected returns and disappointed customers, your business must ensure that it takes the necessary steps to prevent products from damage in the shipping process.

Don’t know where to start? Freightcom has listed four tips that will help get your products where they need to go, while reducing the risk of damage along the way.

1 – Choose the right shipping box / packaging

It sounds obvious, but choosing the right shipping packaging really is the key to preventing your product from being damaged in transit. Fragile items should be stored in a packing box with snug protective internal padding, while non-breakable products may be fine with a lighter loose material. Depending on your product packaging you may need to think about whether a box or unpackaged product could get scuffed or dented within your shipping box.

There are three main types of shipping packaging:

  1. Corrugated box: Corrugated boxes come in varying levels of protection, known as either single, double or triple-wall. Single-wall boxes are best suited for non-fragile items while double-wall or triple-wall boxes should be used with heavier orders. Box manufacturers provide ECT (edge crush test) ratings, dimensions, and burst or gross weight ratings to help select the right shipping box.
  2. Jiffy bag: Best suited for smaller and non-fragile items. Jiffy bags are padded envelopes used for packaging products for shipment. Choices include rigid mailers and other bubble lined and padded packaging.
  3. Polybag: Offering a similar level of protection to jiffy bags, polybags offer excellent water resistance, but no structural strength. They are often used to protect items that are already boxed.

2 – Do you need inner protection?

Packages are often damaged when they are dropped, from the vibration of conveyor belts and trucks, or because of temperature and humidity changes. This is why it’s always a good idea to use inner protection inside your packages.

Materials such as bubble wrap, brown paper and single-ply corrugated roll can all offer varying levels of impact protection, while other items such as air cushions will help fill space voids and prevent your items from rolling around.

3 – Make sure your boxes / packages are sealed correctly

By using a higher-quality of tape and making sure you seal up your boxes correctly, you can create a further layer of protection for your products while they are being shipped. Shipping tape uses what is called ‘hot-melt’ adhesive, and ranges in mil dimensions: the higher the number the stronger the tape.

Filament or strapping tape can contain fibreglass strands and also comes in a variety of grades based on the weight they are rated for; 100-lbs is considered general-purpose while 380 lb strapping tape is for must hold heavy shipping containers.

Another option is water-activated gummed paper tape, which requires it to be applied wet with a dispenser or sponge. This creates a permanent bond with the box that actually strengthens the box. It’s great for heavier items but it is potentially messier to apply.

4 – Stay clear from oversized boxes

Just as important as choosing the right shipping box, it’s incredibly crucial that you don’t select a box that is too large for your product. Having too much room around your product can leave it susceptible to damage or moving around during shipping.

Ideally, you want your product to fill the space within the box avoiding as much air-space as possible – but remember to allow extra room for cushioning if it’s needed for fragile objects.

If your business sells multiple products, it’s important to have a variety of different sized boxes available in your logistics department. This will ensure that you always have an appropriate box for any product or product combinations.

Ideally you are looking for the minimum box size that provides low risk for shipping damage.

The next step is to choose the right courier service

Once you have successfully packaged your item, finding the right courier service will be your next step – and Freightcom can help.

Through the use of game-changing technology, we can help your business to choose from select carriers that are perfectly suited to your needs while helping you to receive beneficial rate structures at the same time.

Ready to learn more? Contact Freightcom today for more information.