In the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, our team has been working hard to minimise any potential impact on our customers and to ensure parcels continue being delivered to people when and where they need them.

Retail growth is likely to flag but online sales are growing very quickly in some sectors. Pharmacy, grocery, office equipment and pet supplies are all seeing an increase in online demand.

With many people working from home and largely confined to their homes, some people are relying more heavily on online shopping. Here’s how you can ensure they have a smooth delivery experience. You might even find yourself with new repeat customers!


Reduce human contact with ATL

Safety’s first. While many people with office jobs are able to transition to working from home white easily, others are not so lucky. Delivery drivers are among some of the most exposed workers as they come into contact with a lot of people as they go about their daily jobs. To reduce potential spread, try to minimise contact where possible.

A great way to minimise contact is to opt for Authority To Leave (ATL) as a default when sending out parcels. This means that the delivery driver will be able to leave the parcel in a safe place, without having to get a signature from the customer.

This may not be an option for high-value goods or some delivery locations, but it will dramatically cut down on contact.


Make use of multi-carrier shipping

We are working with our courier network to ensure they have continuity plans in place. However, reduced staff numbers and social distancing precautions mean that some carriers may not be servicing all areas.

If you currently only use one courier to fulfil your orders, now might be a good time to start using a range of couriers, even just as a backup option. Shippit offers discounted shipping rates with a variety of couriers and also allows you to use your own rates, all through the same platform.

Shippit automatically chooses the best courier for each delivery based on price and delivery time. This should help to minimise your delivery disruptions.


Communicate communicate communicate

Here at Shippit, we have seen an increase in support requests over the past week. You’ve probably had a similar experience. We’re working closely with our partnered carriers to ensure delivery times are upheld but delays are inevitable at times like this.

A great example of communication comes from PetCircle. Their homepage features a prominent banner to let their customers know about delivery disruptions.

COVID-19 delivery disruptions

You may want to let your customers know about expected delays or disruptions on your homepage or at checkout. This is the time to over-communicate so that customers know what to expect and no one is disappointed.


Tracking experience

Customer Service teams may be impacted with a lower headcount and a higher number of enquiries. Your parcel tracking experience is more important than ever at a time like this. Customers want to know their parcel is on its way, even if it’s a little delayed.

Merchants with tracking enabled on Shippit don’t need to rely on couriers to send out tracking information. Tracking notifications are automatically sent to customers and they can access all of their tracking information on the one page, regardless of the courier or delivery type. Users can even configure their settings to choose which tracking stages to notify customers.

branded delivery tracking


Consider Offering Free Shipping

With the potential of a lockdown of non-essential services such as shopping centres, offering free shipping can encourage customers to shop as usual.

Mecca Maxima, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Decjuba are among some of the retailers already offering free shipping as the “new normal“.

While panic buying has driven sales growth in the supermarket and health sectors, many discretionary retailers, such as fashion and beauty, are seeing a drop in sales.

Eliminating the barrier costs of shipping can encourage consumers to purchase in the comfort of their homes as many prepare for self-isolation.


Get more done with less

If you’re not already using Shippit, this might feel like the last time you’d want to be changing anything in your eCommerce platform or fulfilment process. Even if something is inefficient or inconvenient, who has time to fix it?

If your eCommerce store is through Shopify, BigCommerce, or eBay, we have super simple out-of-the-box integrations which will have you up and running in no time. Shippit helps to cut down your fulfilment time to get more orders out.