Friday, February 10, 2017

Five Common Shipping Mistakes

Shipping may seem simple on the surface, but there are many layers to the process. Here are five common shipping mistakes you may be making and not even realizing it.

1.      Not Keeping Track of Price Changes

Shipping prices change regularly, and you’ll be unhappy if you get hit with a bigger bill than expected. The USPS quietly increased the pricing on many of their mail services less than a month ago, but unless you were watching for these price changes you likely would not have noticed. Not only does this result in unexpected expenses for you, it often results in lost time. When pricing changes paperwork often changes, which can end up delaying your shipments and making your customers unhappy. This will usually happen at the start of the year, but it is smart to check on pricing periodically.

2.      Using the Wrong Packaging Materials

When you have a product you’re trying to get out the door, you want to ship it quickly. Unfortunately this can lead to poor decisions. Maybe you decide to re-use your boxes. Maybe you don’t have the right box size, so you package an item in a box that is too large. This type of behavior can lead to very negative results. Boxes get weaker the longer they are used, making them less able to protect the items inside. Shipping products in the incorrectly sized box can not only make a difference in pricing, but it can lead to the product being damaged.

3.      Not Giving Customers Shipping Options

Customers like to have options when it comes to shipping. For some, they are willing to wait several weeks to receive their product if it means free shipping. Others will pay extra to get their product as soon as possible. Offering these different options will give you appeal to a larger customer base. If you have a customer that needs a particular item within days and you can’t do that, they will go to your competitor. Likewise, if you have a customer on a budget but have no cheap shipping options, they will find someone who does.

4.      Not Listening To Customer Feedback

This includes both negative and positive feedback. You may be tempted to ignore that one bad review or skim the good ones, but reviews, feedback forms, and emails are a valuable source of information that can give insight into your business practices. Pay attention to opinions on delivery times. Note if anyone had any problems with objects not arriving in perfect condition. Look for what your customers wished you offered, and then start to offer it. You’ll never improve without feedback from your customers.

5.      Having a Poorly Organized Shipping Area

This is a huge problem because it costs you a lot of time. If you have boxes and packaging materials spread out with no organization, it will be a huge waste of time trying to find the items you need. Not only that, it can lead to you not being able to find the correct box or void fill, leading you to use subpar materials that can damage your product. Make sure everything has a place and keep it organized.

These mistakes are easy to fix and can have a huge impact on your business. Are there any shipping mistakes you’ve rectified or want people to know about? Let us know in the comments!