Top best practices to adopt in preparation for the holiday season
By Jewelers Mutual Group
We have grown accustomed to gathering virtually with loved ones for the holidays rather than in person, making online holiday shopping the new normal for millions of people.
While reduced COVID guidelines mean business owners can expect more in-person shopping this holiday season, there will still be many buyers who choose to shop online.
For this reason, it is important to review your shipping best practices and refresh as necessary so you can enter the holiday season with confidence.
Navigating the shipping landscape and ensuring your customers receive their jewelry safely and on time can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve laid out the best practices you and your business should adopt ahead of the upcoming season.
These practices will not only give your business the best chance at getting shipments in the hands of your customers, but they will also build trust so customers continue coming to you for all future jewelry purchases.
Prepare for health and safety protocols
While the world has opened back up in many ways, many COVID protocols and contact-free practices have become fundamental in the industry. Unfortunately, this means there is a tendency for carriers to operate under relaxed signature practices which can be detrimental for you and your recipient if you’re depending on a signature to confirm successful delivery.
Upgrading to the Adult Signature option is a simple step you can take to give the optimal level of protection for your shipments. Activating this option means that, regardless of contact-free practices, carriers are required to make verbal contact and hand the package directly to a recipient (minimum 18 years of age) at the delivery address.
Watch your package get scanned and obtain a receipt
An unfortunate habit that has developed in the last two years is carriers directing shippers to drop their packages into a bin to be scanned later. This may suffice for low-value items, but should be an exception due to the higher value of your shipments. Plus, using an unmanned drop box may void any insurance coverage.
Because a scan is critical to shipping coverage in the event of a loss, select a carrier you know will be able to scan your package in-person and provide you a receipt with a tracking number immediately afterwards.
Practice proactive communication
As a jeweler, you are in the business of relationship building as much as selling jewelry, so you know how important it is to build a rapport with your customers so they feel confident coming back to you in the future.
Steps as simple as reaching out to the recipient and confirming their current address, confirming any applicable multi-tenant residence package rules ahead of time and advising that their package is on the way before you print a label and send the package could make a huge impact on those customers and make them more inclined to choose your business in the future.
Remember: If you ship internationally, there are still some boarders closed and shipping restrictions in place which are important to consider. Due to these same restrictions, packages may have a longer duration clearing customs. It is even more important in those cases to proactively communicate with your customer since they are likely to have questions about how those restrictions might affect their package.
Monitor the progress of your shipment
Though this may seem like a given, it is a step often overlooked. Staying in communication with your recipient on each package—letting them know when to expect delivery and checking with them to affirm receipt—not only will help you build lasting relationships, but it’ll also give you transparency into every step of the shipping process.
Knowing the status of your packages during each step of the shipment journey also means you’ll have a better understanding of what happened should a loss occur. Plus, you’ll be able to successfully report a loss within 30 days of the shipment being sent, fulfilling insurance requirements and giving your recipients the support they deserve.
Keep in mind that, while you have 30 days, reporting a loss as soon as possible allows our team the best opportunity to recover your package.
Know your coverage, trust the experts
While you likely know the basics of what is covered by your policy, there may be some questions on where exactly coverage begins and ends for each of your shipments. Taking the time to educate yourself on the ins and outs of your coverage and reaching out to your agent when you’re looking for clarification can make all the difference when it comes to loss prevention.
Instilling proactive and continuous communication with your customers and adopting these best practices not only will give both you and your recipient peace of mind and help ensure successful deliveries—they will also deepen the bonds between you and your customers.
Want to learn more about shipping best practices? Hear from Jewelers Mutual Group’s Logistics Business Development Manager about shipping best practices.
Another sure-fire way to avoid shipping losses and get the best rates is to register for JM™ Shipping Solution on the Zing® platform to compare shipping options side-by-side, access incentive programs, intelligently insure your packages, and much more.