February 18, 2010

4 Things Your Outgoing Orders Should Contain

Filed under: Ecommerce — Tags: , , , , — Meredith @ 11:09 am

When you ship merchandise from your e-tail website, there are certain things your package should contain, in addition to the actual merchandise of course.

1. Branded Invoice
Don’t simply print a receipt from Etsy or Paypal. Instead, design a professional, branded invoice with your logo and fonts. Include details such as date, billing address, contents of the package sent and their price.

Bonus Points: When customers place an order on my retail site, they can check a box to indicate that the order is a gift. When they do this, we mail a gift invoice instead of a regular invoice. Our gift invoice does not include any pricing information and includes a note from the sender. Implement a similar feature on your website so gift recipients get a special invoice with their order.

2. Return Information
On your invoice, or someplace else in the package, you should reiterate your return policy and return instructions.

3. Contact Information
Provide customers a way to get in touch in case there is something wrong with the order. Include your website URL, your contact email address and, if possible, a customer service phone number.

4. Swag
Provide a little something extra that will surprise your customer, preferably something they will keep, like a pen or magnet, although samples may make sense too if you sell edibles, cosmetics or bath/body goods. More on that topic here.

Bonus Points: Enclose a coupon for the customer’s next purchase.

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  1. Thanks so much for the great tips and especially thank you everyone for the useful comments! I have to agree with many comments that sending an extra invoice is a waste of paper. I liked the idea of sending a personalized online invoice.

    This article has given me a lot of good ideas to add to my packaging. I always include my business card with a purchase as it has all of my contact info on it. I think I’ll be designing a thank you note with space for a hand written message and include either a return policy or care instructions on the back of the card.

    The coupon for future purchases is a great idea!

    Comment by Valerie Lynn Designs — March 7, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

  2. Thanks for sharing, some great tips!

    Comment by Felecia — March 13, 2010 @ 6:00 pm

  3. I always include an invoice in every order.
    Because if your package is damaged and the address become unreadable for some reason, the invoice inside that package is the only way that the stuff will ever get either to the customer or back to you.
    Otherwise it sits in some postal processing center for eternity.

    If you feel it’s a waste of paper, then by all means, reuse or recycle it for some other purpose. I do the same with mine.

    Comment by Kristin — March 25, 2010 @ 6:45 pm

  4. Thanks for the tips! I like the idea of including an invoice to add a professional feel. I also like to include a personal thank you note and a business card that doubles as a free sample of my photography. Moo cards allow you to do this: http://us.moo.com/en/

    Comment by Alexa — April 7, 2010 @ 6:12 am

  5. […] been a proliferation of articles on how to wow customers with amazing product packaging and a lot of discussion on what your package should include. Opinions on these subjects are mixed, but one thing is for certain, you cannot let your efforts to […]

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  6. […] 4 Things your Outgoing Orders Should Contain (there is a good suggestion in the comments section about including a discount coupon or free shipping for their next purchase – smart thinking – just need to figure out how to do coupons on Etsy) This entry was posted in Craft Business and tagged craft business, Etsy, online shop, shipping. Bookmark the permalink. ← Writing policies instead of lists […]

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