The key to success as a small business is to cater to the unique demands of the customers. With smaller-scale operations, this should be a fierce commitment.
It is said that the main advantage of dealing with small enterprises is the fact that attention can be directed toward personalized services. One of the ways to demonstrate that is through shipping. With people increasingly relying on the internet for shopping, shipping services are more important now than ever for SMEs.
If you’re a small business owner who wants to secure customer loyalty, your shipping services should be carefully planned out.
To help you with that, here are tips highlighting six smart shipping elements to consider.
- Urgent delivery options
Speedy services are always a strong tactic to get ahead in the business game. The more you can make sure that your customers’ orders can be shipped as soon as possible, the better.
Therefore, choose a logistics company that uses various shipping methods to ensure a precise schedule for your business delivery.
- Attractive and secure packaging
Your business should pay close attention to the state of your products when your customers receive them. Reinforce your brand with cute packaging and extra details, but at the same time, make sure that the product will be intact. Look into smart packaging designs that ensure product quality no matter how rough the journey from your store to your customer’s doorstep may be.
- Flexible payment for shipping services
Although the common practice is to pay for the product and delivery services online, cash on delivery is a good payment option to provide as well. There are customers who just feel safer making payments this way, so this option will help ensure their peace of mind.
- Shipping suitability for all inventory
It would be to your business’s advantage to make all your products shippable. Again, your choice of a logistics company to partner with is important for this aspect of your service. Choose one that can deliver different parcels, from fresh produce to cakes to athletic equipment and more.
- Package tracking
You need to be able to provide your customers’ package tracking information. Providing them the assurance that their parcel will arrive on time is always a great way to secure a good reputation of your operations.
Use your customers’ contact information (mobile number, e-mail, even social media accounts) to update them about the location of their parcel. Or better yet, use an application that will allow them to track their orders anytime they wish.
A lot of businesses already do this, but the difference you can provide is to be more consistent about it.
- Customer “checkup”
This is already a popular additional service provided by small businesses in Japan. Shipping services include a checkup for customers because a large percentage of customers are elderly folks. The delivery person asks a few questions about the customers’ health and forwards that information to the business.
This additional service will allow you to express your concern for your consumers, as well as allow you to generate data to better improve your business’s personalized customer service. This is a clever strategy to implement if you truly want to set your business apart from your competitors.
Indeed, shipping is one of the best aspects of small businesses when done the smart way. Be creative about using this to advance your operations.
Naveen Joseph is the Head of Operations – UAE for Fetchr which supports both B2B, B2C and peer2peer deliveries in the Middle East.