Selling on Etsy in 2020 as a Digital Artist
The pandemic is causing mayhem with delivery.
It’s no secret that 2020 has been.. challenging. And selling on Etsy has been effected by the pandemic too.
Understandably, postal services around the world are struggling for many reasons – they have reduced workforce due to isolating and social distancing, more people are shopping online so they have a bigger workload, there are less international flights so less routes to get items across the world and some countries have closed their borders to mail altogether to try to stop the spread of this virus.
That all makes sense, right? But out of 60+ orders between April & August, I’ve had 3 items go missing in the post. Of those 3 customers, 2 have been absolutely understanding and I’ve re-sent their art prints to them and they eventually have received them. But again, there’s always one. Immediately after I sent the notification that their artwork was in the post I started getting “when will this be here, it’s a present?” messages. I should have realised that this was going to be an order that didn’t get to them, shouldn’t I? That’s just my luck. 3 weeks later and they still hadn’t received their package in America – and I’m based in Scotland – and was demanding a refund. Fortunately for me, I had thought ahead and had set me delivery window WAY longer than the normal time, had my shop announcement stating that due to the pandemic there are delivery issues and that international orders were taking up to 6 weeks to arrive and we wouldn’t be able to resend any missing mail until after this 6 weeks had passed.
So the moral of this story is – expect delays. But make sure that your customers expect delays too. I’m not saying that everyone will read and take note of your warnings about delivery times but if you’ve covered all your bases then you’ve done everything that you can possibly do.
Use every tool at your disposal – make sure that your delivery times are accurate, use your shop announcement, add a note at the bottom of every listing (it’s easy to batch-add to the end of every listing from your shop mananger), include a note about delivery times and apologise for delays in advance in your thank you email, send a message to every customer after they order to say thanks for your order and although we are dispatching on time, we can’t be held responsible for the mail, include a reminder in your dispatch email, add an image to every listing saying you’re doing everything you can for quick delivery but once it’s with the post office then it’s out of your hands, update your shop’s policies. Cover yourself and ensure you’re still offering great customer service even when things go wrong that’s outwith your control!