Common SME and eCommerce shipping mistakes (that you need to avoid)

Shipping parcels to your customers is more than just a method of delivery for your eCommerce business, moving your goods from the warehouse to their door. It actually represents your business’s commitment to customers through quality and efficiency, while also acting as a way of strengthening your brand reputation through excellent customer service. Despite this, there are a few common mistakes SMEs are making when shipping, leaving them with dissatisfied customers. Our experts have suggested the most frequent mistakes they see being made, to ensure that you do not replicate them.

1. Few shipping options

While a significant proportion of consumers value free shipping, it is important not to focus on this at the expense of other shipping options. Many customers also value speed and reliability too, meaning that your SME should have a range of options to cater for all customers. By offering next day delivery and recorded delivery in addition to standard or free delivery, you can ensure that you are not losing sales by turning away customers who need these options.

2. Incorrect packaging

Given the care and commitment you put into your products and the supply chain of getting these products shipped to your customers, compromising on the packaging is a sure-fire way to undermine all of the energy and effort you have put in. This doesn't just mean ensuring fragile goods are carefully packaged and the box is labelled ‘fragile’, but it also means using boxes that are the correct size and shape for the product, and not reusing old shipping boxes. The structural integrity of boxes is reduced by 50% after a single shipment, meaning that new shipping parcels should always be used for customers.

3. Ignoring your inbound shipping

While it is natural for businesses to focus on their outbound shipping, as this is what is generating revenue, it is also equally as important to consider the shipping and parcels that are coming to you. By having a system which allows you to integrate inbound shipping with your larger supply chain, for example by having a specific team to deal with inbound goods, and another to deal with inbound returns and exchanges, you can ensure that all aspects of your logistics are effectively managed.