Great customer experience is a must for successful eCommerce businesses. The customer experience is shaped by every touchpoint customers have with your business—from browsing your website to receiving their order at the door. The quality of your shipping and returns experience is important for creating a lasting impression on your customers. Here are some tips to help you improve your shipping process and increase customer satisfaction:

Shipping

Keep Shipping Rates Low and Offer Options:

  • Shipping rates are top-of-mind for most online shoppers. Keeping your shipping rates as low as possible is important for converting customers at the checkout page. A shipping solution like ShipStation can compare live rates from different carriers to help you offer the best rates for your customers. Consider including a free shipping option—a ShipStation study found that 70% of consumers are willing to wait longer for delivery in exchange for free shipping. If your business can’t afford a free shipping option, consider including the shipping cost in the price of the product, or use live carrier rates to keep prices as low as possible.
  • Consumers love free shipping, but many also want the option to have their order expedited. 51% of consumers are willing to pay for next-day shipping. Offering an expedited shipping option even at an extra cost will give your customers autonomy in their buying process and can even expand your customer base.

Automate Your Shipping Process for Efficiency:

  • Automating the shipping process helps decrease human error. With ShipStation, shipping labels are automatically filled in with customer information to avoid shipping to incorrect addresses or customers. Products can be assigned weights within ShipStation to eliminate having to weigh each order. Weights of orders can automatically be assigned to specific carrier rates so you always get the best price for your shipments.
  • The quicker you can fulfill orders, the quicker they will be on their way to your customers. Automating the fulfillment process helps you get packages out the door faster.

Returns

 Returns are an inevitable part of eCommerce. How you handle returns can make the difference between one-time customers and loyal ones. Here are some insights from a ShipStation study about customer expectations for returns:

 67% of consumers say free returns drive them to shop with a business again after a return:

  • Customers understand that returns happen. Making returns free and as easy as possible is important for retaining customers. Similarly to shipping costs, if free returns are out of reach for your business, focus on keeping them as low as possible. Most customers are willing to pay $5 for returns.

Give your customers a longer returns window:

  • Customers like having enough time to receive their order, with enough time to make sure they ordered the right item. Extending the returns window is a great way to ensure customer satisfaction. Most customers expect a return window of at least a month. Giving them the time they need to make a decision will improve your brand trust and loyalty.

 Make sure your returns policy is transparent and clearly stated for customers to see before checkout. A clear outline of policies and procedures regarding returns helps ease any confusion and improve any needed customer service. If you can, providing a self-service returns portal will make the process easier for your customers and your team.

The importance of a great shipping process can be an afterthought for many companies. Getting ahead of any potential shipping or returns issues can do a lot for the satisfaction of your customers and their experience with your brand. Implementing a shipping solution with a shipping platform ShipStation helps you manage orders from all of your selling channels in one hub. Automating the shipping process helps you offer your customers the best shipping rates, as well as help your team get orders out more quickly. To improve your shipping process, start a free trial with ShipStation.

This article was written by Claire Sanford at Shipstation. You can learn more about Evron’s integrated solution with Shipstation on this page.