•ONLINE STORE START UP•

HOW DO YOU PRICE YOUR POSTAGE FAIRLY + KEEP CUSTOMERS HAPPY?

I was working on my instagram account this past week and stumble across a topic from one of my most
favourite store’s that I follow.
littlewillos


isn’t her feed divine 

The topic was “Let’s Talk Postage” & I was instantly drawn to this, as I have 3 online stores at the moment
          

& this is a topic I know I have personally struggled with. Blacker & Borg, and Inspired Moments are both newer businesses. Less than a year old. I am blessed enough to have already been through the struggles and past experiences of postage issues, with my main business – Edible Cake Toppers. (this business is about 7 years old)

Hang onBlessed enough? 


Yeh, I did write that. I wrote that because I do feel I am lucky with these two newer businesses that I now know what I know, and am confident with my choices when it comes to postage, and customers.

So Lets Talk Postage•

Right up there with pricing your products, I’d say POSTAGE is one of the most stressful parts of running an online business. {with physical products}

 & why is it so hard? Can’t you just work out what the darn thing cost’s to post?
Well yeh I guess you could…. but
What about your time?
The packaging?
Multiple items.. what do they weigh?
Does it fit in a satchel?
Oooh what if the PO cube’s it?

And even once you figure all that out and your satisfied… how do you add all that various pricing to your website, without it being super complicated?
Okay sure, a postage plugin
{ie. like an auspost plugin for your website that calculates it all based on your weight/size ect}

Oh yeh? But my time, and packaging… will a plugin account for that?
ERGGGG! and that’s when you throw your computer, storm off like a 5 year old and quit the store all together!

Okay, well its not that bad – but I am sure you have pulled out a few hairs yes?

So that’s that side of it…

But you know what’s even harder…

{and you won’t even consider this if your a newbie, just getting started}
C U S T O M E R S!

They don’t want to pay for your packaging, your time, or even the ACTUAL cost of the posting itself.
BUT they do WANT your adorable packaging, your time, and the ACTUAL item to be posted….
They just don’t want to pay. Well truth is, they want to CHOOSE what they pay.

This is what I KNOW about customers.
They LOVE free post & They LOVE options with postage.
In fact on that post, I read on insta’
ALL the customer wrote “I love options”

What they don’t like..
Item’s going missing {no-one does…} and they WILL blame you – they WILL demand a refund.
Expensive postage – with no cheaper alternatives.

So even tho all of the above is a headache (pricing your postage)
The real struggle, and the REAL question to ask is

HOW DO YOU PRICE YOUR POSTAGE FAIRLY + KEEP CUSTOMERS HAPPY?

My tips may not suit everyone – but its what has worked best for me financially over the years.

  • Work out what it costs you (most case scenario)

    By most case, I mean, when you sell items – what is the most common (or what do you expect to be) the most common seller, and what will that one cost you to post?
    If its a wall-print, or headband ect… these should fit in an envelope and sneakily pass a letter. Nice & affordable for you. Though if its something larger, like a blanket, or apparel, these would probably best suit a satchel (prepaid). With Auspost your looking at between $10-$20 for satchels. – Hot tip tho! Check eBay for bulk satchels. I often find them CHEAPER on eBay than at the PostOffice.
    Once you know the “majority of the time” post expense you will incur, you know what you need to work around.

  • Keep it simple (for you + the customer)

    Altho the plugin’s are great for working out accurate costs for postage – I personally like a flat rate, or even better, free postage (on a basic level post option) is BEST. Customer like to know BEFORE they add things to the cart, what postage fee’s they are up for. Most people have a budget in mind BEFORE they even find your website, so being able to know upfront what the post COULD cost, is great. It allows them to shop thinking in their heads yep I can afford that – then their mindset is focused on buying that item – rather than “meh I will add a few things to my cart just to get a feel for the postage fees”
    I know – offering free post, seems like a hit to the pocket for sellers. But if your smart – you can work this into your products.

  • Push for postage upgrades

    As an alternative – or extra way to cover the loss on offering FREE postage – try and push for customers to PAY for postage. (what?) how? what? Huh? No I am not crazy – Yes offer & advertise FREE postage all over you site to help boost sales, but on the checkout page – point out that free post does not come with tracking//insurance, and missing or late deliveries will not be eligible for a refund. For added security, we strongly recommend upgrading to Express, or Registered Post. (and charge these accordingly)
    You can even have options like:
    Free Postage (allow 20 days)
    get it faster $5.00 (5 days)
    Priority post $12 (1-2days)
    By doing this you are letting your customer, CHOOSE the postage – and no-one likes to wait.. so more often than not customers end up HAPPY to pay for postage.

  • Learn to cop it

    Unfortunately I don’t have any great tips here for the downsides of customers – when they get mad..
    Item’s go missing – so you need to remember that there is never much you can do to stop and angry upset customer blaming you when things arrive damage, or worse.. lost and don’t arrive at all!
    Sometimes even WITH tracking, customers will get angry and blame you. They don’t care about what delivery company you use, they care about who they paid – YOU.
    All I can say in this situation is – just refund them. Or offer store credit. At the end of the day, is it worth the threats of them “contacting consumer affairs” or blasting you all over social media?
    When I experience these situations (probably happens a few times a month) commonly with my free standard post option, I just sit and think, whats it worth to me to keep this off social media? and usually a refund makes me feel better. And MOST of the time – that angry customer, is forgiving, and even mentions shopping again in the future. It show’s loyalty and trust. Something that is hard to buy – in this case.. you can consider it purchased!

So ladies, I am all about the learning here..
I don’t just want to share what I have learnt, but I want to grown, and learn more everyday
So please…

Share with me your postage pricing tips, and how you DEAL with customers in regards to
postage prices, missing items, and all that jazz
xo

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