As an online retailer, it’s very important for your company to provide reliable shipping services. Customers need to be able to trust that they will receive their products on time and without any damage. Here are some helpful tips to improve the quality of your company’s shipping services.

Improve your communication with your shipping facility

Effective communication with your warehouse and shipping team will help you get orders out faster and ensure that restocking happens in a timely manner to avoid delays. Have someone check in with the warehouse at least once a day, either with a phone call or in-person, to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding your strategy for order fulfillment. You can also use apps like Slack to give the entire team an easy way to communicate. Good communication will help you address problems right when they happen and get your orders out quickly too.

Offer order tracking and estimated delivery dates for your customers

Customers love being able to see an estimated delivery date when they order, and then track their packages as they’re on the road. It helps them plan ahead for the delivery and builds excitement for your product. Order tracking services also reduce complaints if there is a delay with the package, because the customer will be able to see where the package is. Using your tracking system to send notifications about delays will help the customer understand what happened while reassuring them that the package is still on the way. If there are any issues with a package getting lost, then the tracking service can help you figure out what went wrong and find the package.

Build extra shipping charges into your budget

Regardless of what carrier you use, shipping rates change frequently. You’ll want to make sure your budget can cover additional shipping charges should rates increase. FedEx and UPS are both increasing their shipping rates in 2020, namely for packages between 50 and 70 pounds. In order to get your products out as quickly as possible, make sure you have room in the budget for additional shipping. If you can, try to avoid passing these additional costs onto your customers – you’ll want to offer them a variety of affordable shipping options whenever possible.

Streamline your packaging process and do standard quality checks

To get packages out of the warehouse faster, have a standard, streamlined packaging process with a checklist that employees can use. Make it easy for employees to print documents like packing slips, invoices, and shipping labels, and ensure that they record inventory changes after every delivery. Ideally, your employees should be able to manage several aspects of the delivery from one software program to minimize any confusion.

Implement electronic data exchange

If you’re keeping track of your shipping with physical paper documents, then it will be very easy to lose important documents. Electronic data exchange systems prevent this. When you have an exchange system in place, the buyer’s purchase data is automatically sent to your company’s secure online storage, where you won’t have to worry about losing it. If you need information about the purchase later on, it will be very easy to look up. Electronic data exchange will also automatically send an invoice to your customer for their records, so your employees won’t have to worry about doing it manually. Most popular shipping software programs already have some form of electronic data exchange in place to streamline the shipping process. Automating as much of the shipping process as you can helps with both speed and accuracy of shipping.

Declare items for customs ahead of time

Shipping internationally can present additional challenges that you wouldn’t normally encounter when shipping domestically – namely, the fact that the package will need to go through customs both leaving your country and entering a new one. If your company ships items internationally, declare each item online when the order is placed, making this a part of your normal shipping process. This will help your items get through customs faster, so your customers won’t have to endure extensive wait times.

The key to improving your company’s shipping department is efficiency and communication. You should always be looking for opportunities to streamline the shipping process so products can get out on the road faster. It’s also important to encourage constant communication among your team members. When your team members are comfortable talking to each other and to leadership, you’ll be able to identify and fix problems faster. This makes things easier for you and creates a better experience for the customer.