E-commerce shipping is obviously a lot more complicated if you're a high risk merchant. One, because it may involve shipping goods overseas. Two, because you may be selling intangible products such as e-books. When this happens, the risk of returns and frauds are even higher.
Many a high risk merchant has suffered due to negligence of shipping issues. It's a little ridiculous, knowing how impossible it is for customers to get their products purchased unless an efficient shipping method is implemented. According to e-commerce reports, shipping issues are one of the top reasons why people do not buy from e-commerce merchants. People would either complain that the rates are too high, that the carrier cannot reach their location especially internationally, or that the company has a reputation for late delivery. Are you guilty of any of these headaches?
If not, you're lucky. Either you've progressed ahead of the crowd or have learned from sour experience. In reality, high risk merchants tend to neglect that only with efficient shipping will they be able to gain the trust of customers and encourage new visitors to buy. Shopping carts would not be abandoned for the sole reason that they (customers) didn't like the pricing or heard from a friend that your delivery date always come a day too late.
If you affiliate with popular shipping companies like UPS or FedEx, your customers' products are likely to be in good hands. However, you can establish your in-house shipping system if you are a small merchant or a start up with a modest product inventory. Otherwise, it is best to outsource shipping to a reliable shipping service provider.
E-commerce shipping is obviously a lot more complicated if you're a high risk merchant. One, because it may involve shipping goods overseas. Two, because you may be selling intangible products such as e-books. When this happens, the risk of returns and frauds are even higher. For example, if you're selling a collection of e-books, you don't need to employ FedEx or UPS' services. Instead you would provide a download link for your customers to access the product as soon as they paid for it. Hence, delivery time is no longer an issue. Delivery overseas require a better judgment when it comes to the shipping method you choose. The chances of errors in delivery and profit loss are higher.
Unscrupulous merchants will simply ignore customer complaints to avoid complications in product return issues. This is the easiest way to destroy your reputation as e-commerce merchant. Chargebacks or product returns should be addressed even though they may hurt your leg. They are part of business and all high risk merchants encounter them.
The best thing to do is to outline your shipping policies and make sure your customers are aware of them. In such a case where dissatisfied customers complain or even try to sue you, you are protected. A good and reasonable shipping policy vindicates you from the burden of paying for chargebacks and other expenses beyond control. This element is usually present in a high risk merchant services list in case you have applied for one. Keep in mind that even though shipping comes last in the buying and selling process, it is one of the most important aspects of doing business. And as a general rule, if shipping is free or low-cost, you're more likely to attract even the most reluctant of online buyers.