shipping label created

something that has been on my mind lately is what i want to do well in our business. the last few years have made managing anxiety a top-of-mind consideration for me, and an area where i have tried to be more thoughtful is in how we communicate the status of online orders and try to set expectations appropriately.

the other day i placed an order with no shave life for some beard balm, and while it is a pretty standard shopify store, one thing that impressed me was the intro to their order confirmation email:

Hi Jim, we very much appreciate your business. Our warehouse in Ohio will go ahead to pick, pack and prepare your order for shipment. Most of our orders are shipped less than 3 business days from when they were received. A tracking number will be emailed to you once the carrier has picked up the package from our facility and you can track progress in real time. Again, we thank you for your business and look forward to you receiving your package.

i love how it set the expectation for when the order would be shipped, and what the next communication would be. the next email came one day later, but it failed to follow through in a way that is a personal pet peeve of mine: the order has been “shipped,” but the package isn’t actually on the way according to the tracking – it just says “USPS Awaiting Item, Shipping Label Created”.

i ordered something else from another vendor (another shopify store) last week, and it was pretty much the same experience, except the email about the package being shipped went out on saturday and the package didn’t start moving until tuesday.

having implemented the systems that send these same emails for our store, i understand what’s going on here, but we don’t do it that way: we only send a shipping confirmation once the package is being tracked by the shipper. for most USPS packages that means shortly after it has been picked up from our store (if we had a SCAN form for the mail carrier) or once it has been processed at the first post office or distribution center. for UPS, that means in the evening after it was picked up and has been scanned at the local distribution center.

that means when we package something up on saturday and it doesn’t get picked up until monday, we don’t send out the shipping notification until when no shave life had promised: the carrier has picked up the package from us and you can actually track the package.

this does mean that sometimes our shipping notification goes out late. if we didn’t have the SCAN form ready when USPS picks up and the package happens to be one that misses being scanned at the first distribution center, it can be delayed until the package has gone across the country.

it’s not perfect. it can be especially difficult when our technology and shipping providers let us down. but i’m going to keep working on it.

add a comment

sorry, comments on this post are closed.