How Small to Mid-Sized Businesses Can Recover Faster
In addition to surging e-commerce demand, small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) are facing increased shipping costs, logistical challenges from decreased plane traffic and closed borders, and extended shipping times. Many SMBs have struggled to rapidly adapt their shipping operations to fit this new landscape. Here are a few things you can do to recover from COVID-19.
Be upfront about delays. Many consumers still anticipate two-day shipping, even though COVID-19 has taken a toll on the staffing levels and logistics needed to fulfill orders. If you don't reset their expectations upfront, they'll become frustrated when deliveries take longer. The best thing you can do is be clear and transparent. Before a customer places an order, provide a specific range of dates.
Automate your shipping process. The more efficient you can make your shipping process, the better positioned you’ll be to scale your operations while managing costs. Even if you've been working with the same carriers for years, explore different options. There are also free resources available to help businesses easily automate different parts of the shipment process and identify the best courier solution price. Consider a free shipping API and explore small business discounts offered by carriers.
Go the extra mile for your customers. Extra flexibility will go a long way towards improving your customers' experience with your company. Consider extending your typical return period and offering in-store pickup as an option to avoid shipping delays. It's also a good idea to get your business on WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, so you can meet your customers on the apps they use to communicate.
Doing what you can to streamline your shipping process and setting clear expectations with customers will go a long way towards helping you make it through the economic downturn.