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4 Shipping Mistakes Every Business Can Avoid

It may be cooling down outside, but the heat is on for small businesses everywhere. As if the past two years weren’t hard enough, supply chain delays are now threatening to ruin what was supposed to be a make-or-break season. For sellers of large and bulky items, like furniture and recreational equipment, navigating these holiday shipping challenges is especially complicated.

Regardless of current logistical woes, there are still plenty of steps a business can take to protect its brand reputation and prevent unnecessary revenue loss. Here we take a look at 5 common shipping mistakes that deter buyers. Plus, see how your business can avoid them this holiday season.

Are you a business shipper looking for a fast, affordable way to deliver to buyers nationwide? See how to grow your logistics capabilities with uShip and start your first shipment today. 

SHIPPING MISTAKE #1: DELAYS

While you may not be able to control when packages arrive this year, you can manage your customers’ expectations. Over-communicating these potential holiday shipping delays, ideally before purchase, is your greatest defense against frustrated buyers and bad reviews.

Another option is to choose a first-to-last mile carrier to deliver your items. Unlike traditional transporters who make several stops before reaching their destination, first-to-last mile drivers deliver items directly to your customers. Fewer stops means reduced transit times and fewer chances for damage to occur. A win win for all parties.

SHIPPING MISTAKE #2: NO RETURN POLICY

Many sellers of large and bulky goods have adopted a “no return” policy, but this is to their detriment. The truth is those without a reverse logistics strategy could be putting their brand reputation at risk and leaving lots of profit on the table.

Not only will a strong return policy protect your business in the case of a dispute, but it will also attract buyers who will be more likely to purchase from you in the future.  If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to accept returns, we’ve got four good reasons why you should.

SHIPPING MISTAKE #3: HIGH SHIPPING COSTS

Like it or not, today’s online consumers have come to expect free shipping – even when it comes to oversized items. In fact, 40% of furniture buyers said they would turn to a major retailer if a boutique seller didn’t offer free shipping.

So how can small retailers compete with the Amazon and Wayfairs of the world without going broke? From baking shipping into the item price to subsidizing the cost, there are multiple approaches to consider. Which pricing strategy you choose will depend on your budget and unique business goals.

SHIPPING MISTAKE #4: DAMAGES

Dreaded by retailers small and large, damages are the double-whammy of holiday shipping mishaps. If an item is damaged during transport, not only could your business have to cover the return shipping costs, but you could also be looking at a 1-star review from an angry customer.

While properly packaging items and choosing a first-to-final mile provider is the best way to prevent damages, purchasing cargo insurance is the ultimate protection for your bottom line. Instead of covering unexpected losses out of pocket, insuring your shipment will guarantee you’re covered for all scenarios, bringing you peace of mind all season long.

Looking for a fast, affordable holiday shipping solution? Visit the uShip marketplace to price your shipment, create your free listing, and start receiving quotes from feedback-rated carriers today.