If you’re an online retailer, whether you’re running an enormous warehouse or just a small bedroom-run operation, then postal accuracy can easily make the difference between your success and your failure.Where errors occur, they can lead to a package becoming damaged or lost during transit – and if a large enough chunk of your deliveries end up this way, it’ll eat into your profits considerably.Let’s examine how these errors might be minimised.
One of the biggest causes of parcels getting lost in the post is when an address is incorrectly recorded.To avoid this, a data cleansing tool is hugely useful.
Data cleansing is a fancy term for the process of going through a large amount of data and picking out anything that’s inaccurate or incomplete.To be workable, data must be valid – and in the case of an address, this means checking to see that the postcode is recorded correctly.While road and house names might vary considerably, the same cannot be said for postcodes, which must obey a strict format in order to qualify as postcodes.You’re probably already familiar with a certain sort of data cleansing – the sort that checks your spelling, punctuation and grammar when you’re typing up a document.And the same principles apply when you’re checking an address.
Automating this process as much as possible helps to save a great deal of labour – particularly if you’re checking a huge amount of information. The service tends to be built into powerful software which delivers a range of distinctive features on top of simple data cleansing.If you’d like to reformat the address information as it passes between your database and your label-maker, then you’ll be able to do so quite easily.
Another way to eliminate errors is to reduce the amount of typing that you and your clients need to do.Whenever data is recorded manually, there’s the opportunity for a mistake.And even if just one in a hundred of these mistakes result in a parcel being shipped to the wrong address, the cost on your business might be significant.
To avoid this, a postcode lookup service is called for.This way of recording address information requires not that the user input their entire address, but just the postcode.They’ll then be able to select from a list of matching addresses.Each of these addresses will, suffice to say, be recorded accurately and faithfully.If the wrong postcode is mistakenly entered, then this problem will be highlighted instantly so that the user can correct it.
Whatever sort of item you’re shipping, you’ll want to be sure that it isn’t going to be damaged along the way.This is especially important for fragile items, like china plates, and for very expensive ones, like smartphones.Keep a handy supply of bubble-wrap available, and see that everything you send out is packaged snugly so that it can’t move around within its box, and that it’ll survive a trip sliding around the rear of an empty transit van.In order to keep costs down, you’ll want to restrict the total volume and weight of your package as much as possible – and so striking a balance between padding and size is essential.
Even if your address information is faithfully recorded, you’ll need to ensure that it’s also legible.In order to achieve this, a quality label printer is a great investment.The hardware necessary to do this will pay for itself in the long term.You can expect to pay between around thirty pounds and several hundred pounds for yours – which, depending on the sort of items you’re shipping, might make up for several packages that would otherwise have been lost.
Of course, as well as making your parcel all the more likely to arrive intact to its destination, a label printer will also save you a great deal of time and effort.
If you’re going to be sending out a lot of mail, then investing in Printed Postage Impressions (the other sort of PPI) is sure to save you money in the long rug.They’re easy to set up and print, and represent an economical alternative to franking machines and ordinary postage stamps.
In order to use this system, you’ll need to obtain a unique PPI number from the Royal Mail, which can then be used to either print your own envelopes, or to have an independent company print your envelopes for you.Just give them your code and they’ll know what to do!