As the advent of e-commerce has altered consumer behaviour in terms of buying furniture online, overseas shipping of heavy furniture plays a key role in the success of online firms. Experts suggest some tips which can help deliver a seamless experience.
Raghunandan Saraf, Founder and CEO, Saraf Furniture, gave the following tips:
* Rely on experienced packaging solutions and carriers: As experienced packers offer customised solutions that help the goods to stay safe in transit, it is best to choose them for shipping your furniture as it will benefit from proper storage techniques, including securing furniture in a carrier to avoid movement. Skilled carriers also keep furniture safe in shipping containers through block-and-brace tactics that involve keeping the packages safe and tight with similar goods.
* Offer free and visible shipping process: A lot of online customers overseas prefer free shipping on their furniture purchases. So it will be a smart move to create a certain pricing structure that is inclusive of the shipping charges. This will enable you to offer your customers the desired free-shipping service of the products. Make sure that the experienced carrier solutions provider partnering with you offers tracking services of the packages for both you and your customer. This will also give you the exact idea of the whereabouts of your furniture at any point in the supply chain.
* Measure and check the weight of your furniture package: Considering it's an overseas shipping, you need your packages to reach its destination safe and secure with no extra charges as it will end up being a burden for the customers. Hence, make sure that your large or bulky furniture shipment weighs in line with the carrier's limits. The size and weight measurements will also enable you to determine the shipping costs prior to accepting the order.
* Ensure faster shipping: As same day delivery is becoming the most favoured norm in Indian e-commerce considering the customers' expectations of fast deliveries, give prior attention to faster shipping process orders through multiple options. This will enable you to stay competitive amid rising competition. There is still a lot of hesitation amongst customers opting for international shipping as it is usually slow. By offering faster shipping you can get a clear competitive edge.
* Stay in touch with your customer for efficient delivery: While you might be offering visibility in the entire shipping procedure to your customers through package tracking options, you can improve the customer experience further through the additional service of staying in touch with them via calls, messages or emails. Such initiatives can help the customers in scheduling their package delivery and feeling more reassured about their entire purchase process.
* Offer easy returns: In the absence of a proper and easy return policy, customers may even resist the urge of buying your fabulously designed pieces. So, make sure your return policy is free and easy and that it includes clear refunds and exchange processes.
Ashish Gupta, Founder - Intrading/Inliving, suggests:
* Bubble wrap is a must: When you know that your pieces are fragile, it is necessary to wrap it with bubble wrap or packing paper. This will surely give a cushioning to the pieces making is less prone to breakage.
* Specialised boxes: Corrugated boxes are highly secured and recommended boxes for international shipping. These boxes have greater stiffness than flat fibreboard boxes and meet the needs of many products being shipped.
* Carton Drop Test: It is a regular part of packaging inspection to evaluate the durability of the box. The procedure involves a series of drops that simulates the shipping environment in which the packed good may be subject to damage. The Carton Drop Test assures the strength of the packaged good through adjusting a certain height with the help of the machine and dropping it from different angles.
* Labelling is Must: It is a must to use a lot of strong packaging tape, labels and markers to clearly identify the content being placed in various boxes.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)