And now, for the next piece of the eCommerce puzzle… sending products.
We’re looking at how you are going to get the products to your customers and how much you are going to charge them. In the current pandemic, this is going to be the toughest one to work out and something you need to consider for both your safety and that of your customers.
We can give some ideas to get you started but this is an area that you really need to consider and choose the best option for you. Make sure to choose the option that feels right for you. There’s no point putting the hard work setting up an eCommerce site to then fail at sending products to customers.
What are My Options?
- Collection – Are you in a place that can allow people to collect the product safely?
- Self-delivery – When selling products in the local area, the easiest way is often to deliver them yourself. This way you aren’t paying delivery charges and it is in your own power to do this in a safe way. This can include ringing the customer to tell them ahead of the time to check they are in, and putting the product on the doorstep. Knock on the door and then move away allowing the customer to collect the product safely and also ensure it isn’t left on the doorstep!
- Use a delivery provider – This is often the costliest and can be the most complicated option. However, if you want to deliver your products further away than your local area, they are often necessary. Providers include Royal Mail, DPD and FedEx to name a few. They all offer different levels of services and at different costs, often based on the type of product being sold and the volume of orders. For new online shops, this is an area you want to do your research on. During the current pandemic we would suggest self-delivery where possible.
Once you have worked out the options you want to offer, you need to think about realistic delivery times.
Delivery times are the sort of information shoppers will look for so make sure it’s clear on your site. Be honest about this – customers would rather have the correct information to begin with to make an informed decision. Fudging the delivery times will only annoy people and leave a sour taste in customer’s mouths and that’s no good for anyone!
Delivery Charge vs Free Shipping
You also need to work out if you want to add a delivery charge or whether to offer Free Shipping.
It’s important to cover your costs especially if you’re using a delivery company. We’re not here to lose money, after all! It may be easier to add some of the cost into the product price as people love to see Free Shipping! Another idea is to add Free shipping for orders over a certain amount. It makes it worthwhile to ship but is also a great up sell!
Keep it Simple and Keep Yourself Safe: If you are working locally, look into self delivery for sending products to begin with. (making sure you do so safely!) Do your research when using a delivery company as they all have different prices and different levels of service!
Read the previous blogs in our ‘How to Sell Online During the Current Crisis’ covering all the steps before now. Come back tomorrow to see the next instalment!