6 Shipping Notification Best Practices to Reduce Costs and Increase Sales

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Megan McNames

Design

Thinking about shipping holistically across the lifecycle of your business can help you leverage opportunities for sales and reduce costs. Here's how.

Even if you're new to the world of ecommerce, you probably understand the importance of conversion. Drawing customers to your site, encouraging them to click through to find the item they want to purchase, and then leading them through an effortless check-out is vital. But did you know that the post-purchase experience is just as important? Providing a hassle-free experience for customers after they've purchased keeps them in the loop from shipping to delivery. It's also the perfect opportunity to spread awareness of your brand. Thinking about shipping holistically across the lifecycle of your business can help you leverage opportunities for sales and reduce costs. Here's how:

1. Send Shipping Notification Emails

Keep a shipping information email template or tracking number email template handy in your ESP. Sending your customers a branded advanced shipping notice email when their order ships and follow up shipping notifications when their order is out for delivery and has been delivered gets your customer psyched about their order, especially if the emails are consistent and contain detailed shipping information. A shipment notification letter that doesn’t look like it’s from your brand fails to instill confidence in your customer. The more brand-specific information you can supply your customer, the easier it will be for them to trust and buy again. When evaluating software that can send shipping notifications on your behalf, be sure to have them send a shipping email sample and make sure it allows for the information and branding that’s right for your customers.


2. Send a Shipment Delay Notification

If a shipment is held up for any reason, make sure your customer is made aware. The easiest way to do this is to generate either a shipment delay notification or an on hold shipment notification form. More than a common courtesy, letting your customer know the shipment is delayed or the truck will be late allows them to adjust their expectations on when the shipment actually arrives. Customers appreciate this courtesy and would rather proactively hear about a delay from you than wait, wonder and curse your carrier.

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Don't lead customers astray – take control of last mile delivery with branded shipping emails that put your brand front and center

3. Allow Feedback

Few things are more frustrating for a customer than experiencing shipping problems. Keep the lines of communication open between you and your customer so that you know what's happening with the products you ship. Just like an edi 856 inbound document is a solid first step in helping you plan your receivables and avoid problems with your suppliers at your warehouse, using a shipping confirmation template that includes contact and support links and can even be replied to helps you customer feel important, informed, watched over and connected to your brand. When your customer receives a delivery notification email from you there should be an easy and obvious way for them to let you know if they didn’t receive their package.


4. Follow Up

From the use of advance shipping notice software to reduce costs in your supply chain through confirmation of delivery in last mile shipping to your customers, your business should ensure a smooth, hassle-free shipping process. Make sure you follow up on glitches and delivery problems, and put strategies in place to help alleviate them.


5. Ask Suppliers for an ASN

What is ASN? Relatively new to the shipping industry, ASN is a common shipping notification abbreviation with ASN meaning advanced shipping notice. This is a type of shipping notification that's electronically generated in the form of an edi delivery note and lets you know what shipments to expect at your warehouse and when to expect them. Information contained in an advanced shipping notification example includes what's being shipped, the types of containers being used, and the shipping date.

Advanced shipping notice benefits include lower receiving costs since you will know what’s in a shipment before it arrives, greater flexibility, and the ability for you to pay your supplier directly.


6. Plan based on the Information on the ASN

Benefits of ASN are benefits because they allow you to plan. When you get an ASN be sure to review its details – consider using advanced shipping notice software that can handle edi 856 delivery note and edi 856 mapping document to stay on top of new ASNs. Popular ASN software includes the advance shipment notice in Oracle Apps and advanced shipping notification SAP. On an edi 856 example, receiver requirements must be specified so software will also help you fill in these repetitive details.

These notifications help you to better allocate man-hours to scan and break down the pallets and distribute the merchandise to correct bays in the warehouse. Number of cartons, number of containers, and more should be detailed on the document to expedite ASN process flow. Based on what you know about incoming shipments you can also plan stocking of items and related activities such as sales and launches. Failing to review important information from the ASN (or train your staff with a sample ASN if they’re new to these kinds of documents) is a shipping notification meme just waiting to happen.

Smeared, missing or torn barcodes, lost packages, and inaccurate estimated delivery dates are all snafus that happen from time to time, but they all cause headaches for you and your customer. Streamline your inbound shipping practices and outbound communication practices using the tips listed here to cut costs on both ends, save labor, and make it easier for customers to fall in love with your brand. And remember to take advantage of these opportunities to spread your brand's awareness. When you interact with your customer repeatedly throughout the post-purchase experience, that's multiple times they're seeing your name and logo. Repeat sales will increase, and both you and your customer will benefit as a result.