Shipping with Similicious August 29 2013
Over the last few months we've learned a lot about shipping in Canada. What works, what doesn't and why we've chosen to do things a certain way. I thought I'd share some of that with all of you in case you're ever thinking about shipping in Canada.
When Similicious first launched we were Toronto only. We wanted to start small and learn as quick as possible how everything was going to work, what might cause problems and what wasn't going to work at all. We planned on operating like this for a little while before expanding our reach, start with Toronto then maybe Montreal and Ottawa, then eventually Vancouver and the rest of Canada. To bad none of that happened. Our first customer ever actually referred us to our second customer who was visiting Vancouver and wanted to use our service. So just like that we went nation wide!
We quickly learned how long it'll take for one of our letters to arrive to the East and West coasts via standard mail, registered mail and XpressPost. Because our service is time sensitive (our customers may only be in town for the weekend) it was crucial that the SIM card arrived before they did. Initially this was a bit of trial and error but we figured it out. But just as we were getting comfortable with this, our customers started asking for international shipping options.
A lot of our US customers like to drive in to Canada or simply prefer to have the SIM card when they land so they can do a quick switch from the airport and not skip a beat. A lot of our customers also prefer to order in advance so they have their SIM card weeks before their trip. So we added international shipping and again, we had a lot to learn but eventually we figured everything out.
One of the things we've always tried to do is make our service as affordable as possible, adding shipping costs gets in the way of this a little, but we're doing our best to provide enough options with a wide range of shipping features. One thing we've introduced is a SIM replacement guarantee if you select either a registered mail or XpressPost shipping option. what this means is that if for some reason the SIM card never arrives we'll ship another one for free right away using the fastest shipping speed possible. If you're in the Toronto area, we'll even courier it over to you.
Canada Post does a great job but sometimes things happen, mail gets lost or there's a clerical error.
We've recently had to change our shipping policies in regards to Canadian hotels, we no longer offer free standard shipping. The reason for this is that a lot of our mail arriving and our customers would show up at their hotel and the SIM card wouldn't be there even though we mailed it out with plenty of time. Initially we were getting pretty angry at Canada Post thinking they were losing our mail, it seemed like 10% of all mail sent to hotels was being lost, which is pretty high. We've switched to requiring registered mail for hotel deliveries as it gets some special attention and requires someone to sign for it, guaranteeing the hotel will receive it properly.
What I think was happening was they were receiving our package but they just assumed it was promotional mail or some sort of coupon pack, etc. Although we think our envelope design is pretty snazzy, it's easy to see why it could be overlooked and considered junk mail, I'm sure each hotel gets enough of it as it is.
The front of the envelope.
So that's a little bit about our shipping policies and how we've gotten to this point. Everything is working pretty smooth now but we're always looking for ways to improve it.
If any one wants to learn more you can reach me at adam [at] similicious.com