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If you manage the finances of a small business, you feel the specter of technology. 

Accounting Today says that shifts in data automation and artificial intelligence are having an immediate effect on client expectations and business operations.

Many small businesses are expanding brick-and-mortar stores online. With that exciting growth comes specific challenges for you, whether you’re a freelance accountant, a CFO, or just pitching in on the company budget.

These changes can benefit your small biz team with a little time and effort. So, learn how to use technology to the benefit of your customer experience.

One of the greatest challenges in the online shopping experience is shipping. Specifically, delivery and returns. 

We’ve all been through it. A package arrives after an important birthday, or a confusing return process leaves us frustrated. So how do we fix these problems?

This article will walk you through some specific issues and how you can use technology to resolve them.

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Pinterest graphic for an article about improving the ecommerce experience of delivery and returns with automation for accounting professionals from Selz the ecommerce platform for growing businesses

Ecommerce Experiences in Package Delivery

Packages taking too long to arrive

The logistics of shipping and delivery can benefit from automation and inventory management.  

Your customers can’t see all that goes into their online order behind the scenes. But you see every invoice. Often late shipping is an unintentional consequence of your supply chain. 

For example, say that your most popular product has many components. One late component shipment can create a chain reaction, causing your customer to receive their package late. 

There’s an easy place to start for this issue. Choose an ecommerce platform with an inventory management system that integrates with your accounting software.  A clear connection between these systems can help you anticipate this problem. This lets you address kinks in the system before they can affect your customer.

For recurring shipments, automated invoices can also be a valuable tool. Combine invoices with email automations from your marketing team. These automations make your customer journey more personal. They mean that a customer waiting for a package won’t feel in the dark about a later-than-expected delivery. 

A delivery man delivers packages to the front porch of a house, one of the most common challenges for online shoppers is shipping especially returns and delivery

Shipping not included in the order process 

Choose an ecommerce platform that offers real-time carrier rates. This way, the right shipping charges are part of your customer’s ecommerce expectations from the very start. 

When you meet those expectations you’re more likely to get return business from that customer, and more positive reviews.

Returns Ecommerce Experience

Most customer challenges with returns are the result of a confusing return process.

Create a clear return policy for your customers and make sure it is easy to find on your website. Add this policy to outgoing communications and shipped products, as well as invoices. 

As you create or update your return policy, this article is full of helpful tips. 

You’ll also want to review your internal business processes.  Look at agreements with payment gateways and vendor agreements as you create and update your return policy. 

You are the main contact for these touchpoints, so be sure to communicate any changes from these partners to other internal stakeholders. It may seem like this is extra information to add to their busy days, but send that email anyway. This will ensure that your customers see and understand these updates.

A conveyor belt of packages shows all that goes into the ecommerce experience behind the scenes and how to create a great customer experience when things get busy as your business scales

Everyone is Part of a Great Ecommerce Experience

These tech advances aren’t just good for ecommerce experience. They also make things more efficient for your business operations as you scale.

You are part of the ecommerce experience, even if you’re not directly interacting with your customers. Using simple tech advances like the ones in this article can make things easier for you and your team as your small business grows. They also create a better customer experience.

What has made your returns and deliveries a success? Tell us in the comments.

About the author

Jana Rumberger

Jana Rumberger

Jana is Content Manager at Selz. She has expertise in ecommerce strategy, selling products online, and small business solutions. Jana combines diverse experience in education, design, and manufacturing to craft engaging content.

In addition to her writing, she is an active visual artist and foodie in Portland, Oregon.

2 comments

  1. Micah Masters

    I am having a very hard time setting up shipping on my book store online because my book distributor uses UPS to ship the books, they have an account set up in a certain way. I don’t know how to move forward with this or how shipping will be calculated for the customer.

    1. Jana Rumberger Selz

      Jana Rumberger

      Thank you for your comment Micah, it sounds like a conversation would be helpful. Our customer support team is available but chat 24/7, and you can also email help@selz.com. I will forward your question to the team, and you will hear from them soon. Thank you!

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