Shipping success unlocked: a comprehensive and foolproof checklist

shipping parcels from A to B

The success of an online store is largely dependent on shipping… It’s not just about getting your products from point A to point B; it’s about ensuring customer satisfaction, building trust, and establishing a reliable brand image. In this guide, we’ll walk you through a comprehensive and foolproof checklist to unlock shipping success for your company.

Step 1: Set your shipping policy

Your shipping policy sets the expectations for your customers regarding delivery times, costs, and other important details. A clear and transparent policy helps avoid misunderstandings and disputes. Here’s what to consider when crafting or reviewing your shipping policy:

Delivery timeframes: Specify estimated delivery times based on different service levels like economy, express, etc. Make sure to take into account and communicate any potential delays during peak seasons. Expect a delay of at least two business days for each service level in the weeks after the BFCM weekend – same-day and overnight delivery will likely take between 2 to 3 working days, while economy delivery is estimated to take between 4 to 5 working days. 

Shipping costs: Clearly outline how shipping costs are calculated. Mention if you offer free shipping above a certain order value or under specific conditions. Also take this opportunity to review your shipping costs. If you use rates at checkout, revise and test your rates to ensure they are ready for the sales period. 

Returns and exchanges: Detail your policy for returns, exchanges, and refunds related to shipping issues. This helps customers feel confident when making a purchase.

Step 2: Find the right courier for your business

Choosing the right couriers can significantly impact your shipping success. Consider the following factors when selecting your shipping partners:

Reliability: Research the courier’s track record for on-time deliveries and handling packages with care.

Coverage: Ensure that the courier can reach your target regions and outlying destinations efficiently.

Cost: Compare shipping rates and fees from different couriers to find a balance between quality service and affordability.

Tracking and notifications: Check if the courier offers real-time tracking and automated notifications to keep customers informed about their package’s journey.

Or, simply use Bob Go. By signing up for an account on Bob Go, you automatically gain access to all of our courier partners simultaneously. Our courier partners are carefully selected for integration and offer customers excellent service andthe best rates possible for national delivery anywhere in South Africa.

Step 3: Purchase packaging materials

Having the right packaging materials not only protects your products during transit but also enhances your brand’s professionalism. Here’s a list of essential shipping supplies:

Boxes and envelopes: Choose sturdy and appropriately sized boxes or envelopes to prevent damage to your products.

Packing materials: Include bubble wrap, packing peanuts, or air pillows to cushion items and prevent shifting during transit.

Tape and labels: Use strong packing tape to seal packages securely. Create professional-looking labels with clear recipient and sender information.

For more guidelines on perfect packaging, check out our packaging guidelines or our video packaging series

Step 4: Display important information on your website

Transparency builds trust with your customers. Displaying rates and other important information prominently on your online store helps customers make informed decisions:

Shipping options: Clearly present various shipping options with their respective delivery times and costs. Reminder: rates at checkout on Bob Go does this for you!

FAQs: Create an FAQ section addressing common shipping-related questions to provide quick answers to customer queries. Make sure your contact details are clear and easy to find.

Step 5: Deliver a smooth post-purchase experience

Your responsibilities don’t end once the customer places an order. A seamless post-purchase experience is vital. Luckily, if you use Bob Go, this is taken care of!

Order confirmation: Immediately send an order confirmation email that includes all relevant details, including shipping information.

Tracking information: As soon as the order is shipped, provide customers with a tracking number and instructions on how to track their package.

Delivery confirmation: Follow up with customers after delivery to ensure the package arrived in good condition and offer assistance if needed.

Customer support: Be available to assist customers with any shipping-related inquiries or issues they may have.

Mastering the art of shipping is a key component of any successful ecommerce business – but especially during peak season. By following this comprehensive checklist, you’ll not only streamline your shipping processes but also enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty. Remember, a well-thought-out shipping strategy isn’t just about getting products from your warehouse to your customers; it’s about delivering an exceptional overall experience.