If you have been in business for even just a few days, you probably know the importance of having a defined, organized process for managing new orders, as they come in, as opposed to having inventory and orders strewn all over your office. This not only creates a less stressful and chaotic experience for yourself and your employees, it will also make it easier to manage (if not exceed) your customers’ expectations. We compiled seven tips from some seasoned e-commerce pros for how they delight their customers day in and day out. Add shipping details right on the product page It’s critical to give your customers’ insight into what they can expect, if they purchase from your store. This starts by being honest and open about any important shipping details. For Lindsay Hannenberg, who runs World Class Tiles, this begins by clearly noting the shipping and order details under the Availability field for each product in her store. Under-promise and over-deliver This is a golden rule for just about any aspect of running a business. But, it’s especially important when communicating shipping times. Daniel Rensing, who runs The Smart Baker, said to allow for a little buffer room in your shipping times. This allows you to still be able to meet your customers’ expectations even if it’s your busy season or something unexpected happens. It also allows you to deliver more “WOW moments” for your customers, when they receive an order earlier than they expected.
Ship as quickly as possible Following up on Daniel’s point, it’s important to ship your products as quickly as possible. A good rule of thumb is at least once a day. Gina King, who runs Veppo, implemented a same-day shipping policy. To create a faster and better experience for her customers, she tries to ship most products in less than 8 hours. Add personal touches to your order and shipping confirmation emails Your customers will automatically be sent emails during set events, including the creation of a customer account, when a purchase is made and/or creation/status change of an order. To determine how to flag when an email gets sent, we recommend checking out this step by step guide. This could include adding a quick personal store message about your store. Or, it could be adding links to your social media profiles – making it easy for customers to share their purchases. As Austin Kurpuis, who works for Orchard Corset, pointed out, this can be a great tactic to increase word of mouth referrals, if you ship your products within 24 hours. Be proactive with your customer messaging. Occasionally things can go wrong. Items can go out of stock. Shipping can take longer than expected. Orders can get lost in transit. This stuff happens. As Terry Lin, who runs Baller Leather points out, it’s how you handle it that can determine if a customer forgives you or rants to all 3,000+ friends on Facebook. This starts by having proactive messaging on your site around the shipping process along with prominent customer service contact information, and carries through to any emails that you send your customers. Most mistakes can be mitigated by just being proactive and giving honest updates to the customer. Don’t underestimate the power of a handwritten thank you note. When’s the last time you received a handwritten thank you card? Probably awhile ago. Austin said this relatively small, personal gesture can go a long way in creating memorable experiences and building trust in your brand. Follow up and ask for product reviews Just because you ship the order doesn’t mean your work is done. It’s a great idea to follow up after they receive their order with an email asking to review the product. You even automate this process within your control panel, and it will automatically send an email X number of days after the order was shipped. Product reviews can help improve your conversion rate by adding an element of social proof, as seen in Kore Essentials. To check out more order management tips, check out the full recording from our community hangout here.
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