Reliable shipping is one of those things online shoppers have come to expect.

Next day delivery and free returns are now baseline expectations for many customers.

Same-week delivery is simply table stakes for an online retailer.

Your business needs to meet, if not exceed these expectations to compete and grow your ecommerce business.

If your customer’s expectations aren’t met – it’s all too easy to abandon that cart and hop on back to Google to search for a competitor’s alternative.

We’ll run you through three simple ways to create a reliable shipping strategy that will grow your business and earn you a bunch more repeat customers.

1. Set Clear Shipping and Returns Expectations

When a customer comes to your business they want clear, precise details about your entire shipping process. You need to reduce the uncertainty holding a new customer back from their checkout button click.

If customers aren’t happy with your shipping options, statistics say more than half will abandon their basket.

That’s a loss you can’t afford.

Sit down and figure out exactly what shipping services you can afford to offer your customers. If your competitors are poaching customers by offering next day delivery, figure out how exactly you can achieve it.

WooCommerce has some detailed advice to help you deliver on customer expectations and shipping – check it out for some helpful ways to improve your ecommerce user experience.

At the least – update your shipping and returns page with crystal clear details on your delivery process. You could even consider adding more in-depth detail about the couriers or services you use to build more trust with your customers. You can cash those trust points into loyal, repeat customers.

Loyal, repeat customers = a sustainable ecommerce business.

We have dedicated an article to figuring out how to set a postage pricing strategy – this will help get you started on your commitment to reliable shipping.

2. Communicate clearly with your customers and service providers

Once you’ve set clear expectations around your shipping process, communicate this with your service provider. They can work with you to make sure your customers will always receive their package on time and in perfect condition.

Communicate any changes to your shipping strategy to your customers. If you’ve raised prices to allow for faster delivery – be transparent with your customers. Tell them why and try to explain the significance of these new benefits.

Celebrate any wins with your customers, especially if you’re lowering costs for them. Use your email, social and on-page channels to explain you’re making changes to improve your customer’s shopping experience with your brand.

Reliable shipping is essential for long term customer retention – make this a pillar of your ecommerce business and seek to actively review and improve your fulfilment process.

If your shipping does let customers down – make sure you are the first to know about it and get on the front foot by apologising directly to the customer. Explain how you are making changes to improve.

3. Continually improve your reliable shipping service

Have you ever considered your customers understand your customer experience better than you do?

Whilst you are pouring over reports, stocktake and the finer details of running a successful online store – you can miss the big picture. Your customers are the ones living and breathing your online store, your products, the delivery process, and the post-purchase experience.

You need to find a way to put yourself behind your shopper’s screen to periodically improve your customer experience.

Ask your customers for help. Incentivise if you must, but seek out the small (or big) ways you can create more reliable shipping. You can send customer feedback forms, give them a call, or just ask the question on your social media platforms (always be aware – negative comments will be public).

As your business grows, so must your shipping strategy. The key is not to forget the people making your growth possible – your customers.

Consider your reliable shipping strategy as an evolving process requiring continual improvement.

Shipping is just one of the many ways you can improve your online business. Our ecommerce solutions article will inspire you with a collection of practical tactics and strategies to help your online retail business.

If you want to revitalise your ecommerce shipping strategy to improve your customer’s post-purchase experience, download our Shipping Made Easy guide now.