Every Friday, we answer a common question about fulfillment, shipping, or business. The board gamers who participated in our giveaway contest for Root gave us a lot to work with! Many board gamers love crowdfunding campaigns, so this week’s question is “what causes delays in shipping after a Kickstarter campaign?”
7 Reasons for Delays in Shipping after a Kickstarter Campaign
Right after most Kickstarter campaigns, a lot of different events need to take place. For starters, creators often cannot start without the funds, which take a couple of weeks to clear. Most Kickstarter campaigns have to be manufactured, shipped to a warehouse, and fulfilled. Each of those steps is a world unto itself, but as a group, we can call this the supply chain.
Drawing some inspiration from a prior post we did for CrowdCrux, here are seven ways a Kickstarter campaign can be delayed.
- Sometimes, Kickstarter creators drag their feet. Simply put, the projects cannot start without the commitment from the project creators.
- Poor communication between the manufacturer and the buyer is a major source of delays. Often, this means bad specifications that the manufacturer can’t use. Alternatively, the creator might accidentally make a timeline based on calendar days when the manufacturer meant business days. Little stuff like that adds up!
- The manufacturer might deliver late.
- Freight can be lost in transit because of freight forwarding issues. The instructions needed to move large quantities of items from one place to another distant place can be overwhelming.
- Similarly, international shipping comes with its own set of delays, many of which revolve around customs.
- Another common cause of delays in shipping after a Kickstarter campaign? Slow fulfillment by the warehouse. This is particularly common around the holidays.
- Lastly, customers may perceive that a Kickstarter is behind simply because their specific package didn’t arrive on time.
7 Ways You Can Prevent Delays in Shipping after a Kickstarter Campaign
Are you running a Kickstarter campaign? Want to avoid delays? Well, let’s turn our last section on its head. Let’s talk about how you can prevent delays in shipping after a Kickstarter.
- Be ready to manufacture as soon as funds clear.
- Build slack time into your schedule. You have to account for the possibility of things going wrong!
- Get to know your manufacturer before you even launch a campaign. If you’ve already built a relationship, the risk of errors drops!
- Research manufacturers carefully. The last thing you want to do is pick a manufacturer with a history of low-quality or late delivery.
- Hire a freight forwarder like Freightos or ask that your manufacturer ship to the United States under DDP terms.
- Similarly, find a good fulfillment company with solid reviews and low prices. (One way to start? Request a quote from us!)
- Be ready to ship 2-5% more than what was actually ordered. Weird things happen with shipping, and especially Kickstarters (for which addresses are often gathered far in advance of shipping). People change their addresses, UPS drops off packages when no one is home, packages are lost, items ship broken…you get the idea.
Frequently, Kickstarters are delayed because creators fail to appreciate the complexity of supply chain management. Sometimes, freak occurrences cause downstream impacts that delay when rewards are shipped.
If you’re looking to fulfill a Kickstarter campaign in the near future, take heart! While many things can go wrong, there are lots of articles like this on online. Plus, there are lots of companies like our own who want to see you succeed. If you need a helping hand, you know where to find us 🙂
You’ve done everything by the book. Your Kickstarter campaign is almost ready to launch.
You made a great product. Built an audience. Set up a campaign page.
But how do you ship it?
We put this checklist together to help you get started. It's free.