When selling online, it’s important to get shipping right. This is especially true for the festive season, when the delivery of an all-important gift hinges on you! Of course there are extraneous factors beyond your control, however there are several things that you can do to ensure that the transmission of an artwork goes smoothly.
Pack your artworks safely
We all know that couriers can be less than cautious when handling packages, so it is imperative that you mitigate against the inevitable bumps and knocks of transport with robust packaging. The Royal Mail recommends a minimum of 5cm of cushioning, so stock up on that bubble wrap!
You can also read more tips from Artfinder artists here.
Try and dispatch artworks in as short a lead time as possible, preferably on the day that you receive an order if you can. One of the reasons many shoppers choose to buy from the big online retailers rather than independent makers is because they trust them to deliver on time. So reassure buyers via the Artfinder messaging system that their purchase will be delivered quickly.
Use a trusted courier
This is not the time to go experimenting with couriers - if one company always does a great job by you, stick with them! Of course if this is your first time selling independently or if you are looking for an improvement on your current service provider, you may want to discuss your experience of couriers with other artists on the Artfinder Forum.
Record those deliveries!
We cannot emphasise this enough! While it may cost a little extra to send an artwork by registered delivery, it is worth the peace of mind that it grants both you and your customer to obtain a tracking number. In addition, it shows your customer that you take the safe delivery of an artwork seriously, and if worse does come to worst, you are not completely in the dark if an artwork takes a little longer to arrive with the customer.
Communicate with your customer
Not only is it excellent customer service to keep in touch with the customer during every step of the purchasing process, your conduct can also inspire repeat custom for the future! We therefore recommend touching base at every stage of the purchasing flow:
- Thank the customer for their purchase as soon as the order is placed, notifying them of when you anticipate shipment.
- Send a message including any tracking numbers to notify the customer when their order has been shipped. Though our system automatically sends an email when you mark an order as shipped, a personal note from you is always a nice touch.
- Touch base with the customer on the estimated arrival date. If the artwork has arrived as expected - great! You can sit back and relax. If not, you'll be able to pounce on your courier immediately.
Communicate last shipping dates
Though the customer is ultimately responsible for deciding how late they want to leave their gift shopping, it's always a good idea to manage expectations and provide estimated last shipping dates to various countries on your shop front. And of course, you should be in touch with the customer anyway to inform them of when to expect their package!
Hero image courtesy of Dex Hannon