Process your orders as quickly as you can. It is a good idea to send an email to buyers confirming their purchase, and then another when the item has shipped, including tracking information if possible. Some website platforms can automate some of this for you, so that you don’t have to manually do this for all your orders. Customers will appreciate being kept in the loop, and it eliminates the need for them to contact you for the status of their order. Prompt processing is vital for positive feedback on marketplaces, as well as for repeat business from your direct customers.
Get Your Money First – Avoid Fraud and Scams!
Depending on the payment methods you accept, you will want to first make sure you actually have your money before shipping a product. Money orders may work for you, but make sure to wait until you receive it and cash it before you ship any inventory. Checks should be avoided due to the large amount of fraud on the Internet.
When processing credit cards, it is recommended that you take some measures to avoid fraud as well. Once you run the sale through, be sure to check the CVV code to verify that the billing address matches the one associated with the card. If it does not, you may not want to accept the order. Also, sometimes it is a good practice to only ship to the billing address associated with the card. This may lose you sales if people want to purchase gifts for others, but it could save you a lot of money in the long run. As you become more seasoned as a seller, spotting a fraudulent transaction will get easier and easier.
Be smart, and use your intuition. If something doesn’t look right, do some follow up with the customer. And if you are still uneasy, don’t complete the sale. If you sell expensive or custom items and need to check up on a questionable order or customer, a people-finder tool like Net Detective can come in handy.
Shipping is another critical aspect of ecommerce success. Once someone has made a commitment to buy, they want their product yesterday. If you are dropshipping, your only responsibility is to get the order to the supplier quickly, and they do the rest. If you are packing your own items, you will want to do some price comparisons between postal mail and FedEx and UPS. You may decide that it is easiest to only offer one method. Keep in mind however, that FedEx and UPS cannot ship to post office boxes, so that could be limiting. Decide on which packing materials you are going to use, and shop around to find the best deals.
Regardless of which company you use, process your orders fast and get them out the door! Customers greatly appreciate an email once their order has shipped, and provide them with tracking information if that is available. Also, you can choose to only offer ground shipping or first class mailing, and then provide quotes for quicker methods upon request, or you can offer prices on all methods right at checkout.
Summary: The faster your process your orders and contact your customers, the more repeat business and positive feedback you will get.