The selling process does not end once an order is placed. After an order is made online your are still in the process of selling. This is because when a product is ordered there are chances of them being returned. The average rate of product returns on online marketplaces can range from 5-35%. To bring down this rate of returns you can try after sales services which have proved helpful in many cases. In addition to decreasing your returns, after sales services can also help you lure in customers to purchase more.
When IOS asked Twitter followers what are the ideal practices after a sale we received the following response –
There are a set of after-sales activities that online sellers need conduct for effective online retail. These smoothen the sales process and increase chances of repeat sales. Here’s what you need to do to keep customers interested:
Checking the quality of your products is a good practice. It allows you to ensure only the cream of the crop is delivered to your buyers. Final quality checks (QCs) should be conducted before packing your products for delivery. Make sure the product is intact and even its original packaging is perfect. Over time, while your products lie in storage, there are chances of damages being caused. By inspecting your goods you can avoid shipping bad units to valuable online consumers.
If you plan on providing your goods to online marketplace fulfilment centres, make sure to check all units before sending them across. This way the platform has only your best products to deliver to customers.
Besides quality, you will also need to check if you are readying the correct product while packaging. Follow the correct SKU codes printed on your manifest and products. This way you know you are delivering the correct items. Besides product mix-ups, you could also run the risk of shipping incomplete orders to your customers. For example, you sell a particular dress with a belt and coat but you forget to pack these accessories with the dress and send it off for shipping, you will have returns to face.
Delivery of wrong products entails negative reviews from customers and fines from online marketplaces plus shipping charges. This also goes for freebies that are promised to customers online but not packaged with the product. Make sure your packaging team is aware of your promotion plans and is ready to complete all orders precisely.
The main purpose behind product packaging is to protect your products from the elements and rough handling. There are multiple ways to wrap a product, but the best thing to do is follow marketplace packaging guidelines to avoid any damage to your products. And, in turn, returns. Besides the compulsory marketplace packaging, sellers can also use their own brand packaging to boost luxury vibes and create an air of sophistication. Your own packaging can create a lasting impression on buyers so make sure you keep it interesting. However, remember, additional layers of packaging add to your costs of shipping. So, package wisely.
For products to reach their destination fastest it is ideal to dispatch them on the same day the order is placed.
Based on the demand for your products, choose a fulfilment centre. Say you receive most of your demand from cities like Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. Try to get your goods into the fulfilment centres in these cities or locations close to these. Amazon mostly allocates fulfilment centres to online sellers based on categories and availability. For other platforms, you can choose where you want your products to end up. With your goods closer to the places where demand originates, you can cut down delivery time even further.
Remember, the main takeaway here is customer experience. It may seem like you are doing unappreciated work after a sale, however, if you slack when it comes to pick-ups, delivery, packaging or even product quality you run the risk of obtaining negative reviews, bad publicity and ultimately no sales. That is why you need to keep selling even after a sale online.