What’s the difference between the Post Office, Fed Ex, and the UPS?
There are a number of companies to choose from that it was a hassle to figure out which one to use for my own eCommerce store. I wish I knew the differences between the big leagues and “the little guys,” and what to do to avoid a world of headache when dealing with delivery firms.
Below is a record of what I’ve found through trial and error that you can use to make the process a whole lot easier.
1. Customer Testimonials
On Amazon, I always read customer reviews instead of product descriptions. Why? Because companies are paid big bucks to sell their products – they’re not always going be honest about their flaws.
This is why real reviews, written by real people is essential for securing a sale.
So, do your homework on your firm. What are their verified customers saying about them? Is it good news? Bad?
However, sometimes people within the company pay people petty cash to purposely write good reviews. What company wants bad reviews about itself?
2. Get Quotes for Insurance
There’s a whole host of reasons parcels may not meet their destination. Who foots the bill? You do. This is why getting an insurance quote is a spectacular decision that saves you money.
Now, you don’t have to order insurance, but figuring out prices definitely wouldn’t hurt.
Why not wear the other boot and give yourself some “insider info” about what you may be asked in the quote?
3. Delivery Service Type
Pick a delivery service type that meets your particular shipping needs. Most of what determines this is the size of your packages, as well as the quantity and delivery location.
For example, let’s say your eCommerce store is furniture. A customer from Nebraska orders a desk for school. Your delivery firm is (for the sake of argument) based in California. An order like this would be something a national freight carrier can take care of a lot more smoothly than a regional carrier.
On the other hand, local couriers would do a better job of handling small packages like stools, recliners, ottomans, etc.
People say “don’t judge a book by its cover”. This may be true. But take a look at TV commercials.
Judging a book by its cover is different from image association. People will make an association based on the image of your chosen firm. When was the last time you saw a stranger in a white-coat, wearing a stethoscope, in an ad about medical insurance?
What would you think?
Owning a savvy, professional eCommerce business means being on top of problems before the customer even knows about it. If there’s a delay in shipment (and they will happen – one of life’s inevitable situations) … people are less likely to be disappointed with you if they give them a head’s up about that delay.
This is why it’s important to have a package tracking system of your own. However, the methods for setting up a tracking system varies between each firm, so you’ll have to ask business representatives themselves.
Find one that’s easy to use and has an inbound mail and package tracking. It is imperative to find a system that uses the most recent barcode scanning and RFID technologies.
Delivery firms, like many businesses, have a foray of hidden costs you have to do some detective work to figure out.
A perfect example of this is seeing a 2 lb. pack of chicken breast, advertised in the store flyer for $3.95. Wow, what a steal!
Wait. Look closer. See that “per pound” in small, illegible writing? Look closer. You’ll see that 2 lbs. are $3.95 per pound. That’s almost eight dollars! A lot more than the advertised $3.95.
This list is by no means exhaustive. It’s a savvy start to ensuring you’re paying customers get their orders to them on time; by choosing a delivery firm that’s right for you, you’re sure to increase the lifetime customer value (LCV/LTV).