Fulfilling your products can be a headache for any new eCommerce seller. Your fulfillment method and the unboxing experience for your customer is as important as the product itself. It all reverts back to protecting your brand image and getting loyal customers that will boost your brand through word-of-mouth and social media. The chances of them buying from you again increases markedly if the fulfillment process is seamlessly executed.

Luckily, Shopify has gone to great lengths to help you automate your fulfillment needs. This way you can focus on growing your business, while not abandoning your customers after they’ve decided to press the buy button. There are a few tricks of the trade that you can apply to ensure all goes smoothly.

Free Shipping

One of the main reasons for shopping cart abandonment is unexpected shipping fees. Consider taking the shipping fees upon yourself and offer free shipping to your customers. However, you also need to consider your profit margin, as this might eat into your daily revenue. Make sure to calculate the cost of free shipping while keeping your profit margin high. A way to do this is to include it in the cost of the product itself.

Same day shipping

Instant gratification has increased the need for speedy shipping. Since an increasing number of your customers are millennials, you should remember that waiting is not their strong suit. Offering same-day shipping will place your products in the hands of your customers within hours after purchasing. The chances of those customers returning will be greatly improved.

Communicating with your customers

As your business scales, you’ll have to keep up with sending your customers updates on tracking information. You don’t want complaints about shipping to be the reason your brand gets a bad reputation. And you definitely don’t want those messages on their reviews and in the public.

With Shopify you can easily communicate with your customers through Facebook Messenger, and keep all communication private and personal. It will give your customers real-time information on what status their parcel is in. This is especially important for longer delivery times. Dealing with your customers on a more personal level will also build brand loyalty and add to their experience of interacting with your brand.

You can also put links to your other products that will be of interest into the Messenger app. Shopkey by Shopify allows you to do this without having to switch from your store and the Messenger app. It further automates the process leaving you with more valuable time.

Live Tracking

If you add live tracking to your Shopify account, customers will be able to see exactly where their package is in the shipping process. If you ship your products through USPS, Fedex, UPS or Canada Post, customers can see this information on their order status page.

If you’re using a different carrier, you can use apps like Tracktor and Trackr to integrate with your store. These apps allow you to add a live map to your order status page. There are thousands of carriers available that use this software.  

The unboxing experience

It is important to give your customers an unpackaging experience that they remember. You only get one chance at a first impression. With branded, experience-focused packaging you also create a marketing channel for your brand. On the other extreme you have utility-focused packaging, concentrating solely on the effectiveness of the packaging and not necessarily the branding. It is important to choose something in between brand and utility-focused packaging.

Carriers determine cost by the size and weight of your package. Make sure that your package is not oversized. Always use the smallest packaging available, as long as it will still protect the product from any damage during shipping.  

The importance of differentiating

Differentiation is not only important in your product, but also in your packaging. It adds perceived value to your product, without you changing anything about the actual product. The value lies in presentation. Consider branding your packaging along with your product. Or creating a completely original packaging experience than your customer is used to. Read our blog on Why Packaging Inserts are Awesome for eCommerce for more on this topic.

What you want is for your customers to share their unwrapping experience on social media. Social and online recommendations promote brand awareness in a way that your marketing efforts never will. You can offer discounts, give samples as gifts, insert personal notes or brochures, the sky is truly the limit.

With a few simple tricks, you can automate your fulfillment and at the same time make it an experience to remember for your customers.