How to Successfully Fulfill Backer Rewards

The project is offline on Kickstarter, but there is still a lot to do before the product reaches backers.

Skylar

October 8, 2022

Through the hard work of yourself and your team, your crowdfunding campaign has been a success! You have reached your funding goal, production is in full swing and now another crucial phase of the project begins – fulfilling the promises you made and shipping rewards to your loyal backers. This process can be difficult for creators not accustomed to international sales and shipping. The best piece of advice that can be given to campaign managers regarding shipping and fulfillment, is to start early. The process always takes longer than expected, you need to survey and collect accurate information from backers, choose a fulfillment partner, accurately estimate shipping costs and coordinate those efforts to deliver your product on time and as promised. 

Ideally, you considered this before your campaign began and have some of the information you will need regarding your rewards such as size, weight, shipping restrictions, and customs charges. If you work with your shipping partner early, you can give your backers estimated shipping costs of your product before they buy, or simply include the cost of shipping in the reward price. Getting the details right ahead of time will result in an easier and faster shipping cycle for you and your backers. 

Here are some guidelines to help make the process go smoothly. 

Collect Backers’ Information

Your campaign may have had many reward tiers and within those tiers your backers may have made choices about colors, quantities, sizes, or other selections for their reward. You also need to collect shipping addresses and phone number for proper shipment. Normally, there's a 14-day period for Kickstarter to collect payment. So we recommend sending surveys 14 days after the end of the project.

Sending out backers' surveys, either using data provided by the crowdfunding platform or a 3party pledge manager is essential. This data will be used by you and your fulfillment center to get accurate reward packages to your backers. 

PledgeBox's powerful system can help you simplify these processes. Besides, we also provide upselling services, such as Add-ons, extra shipping fees, tax, and restoring failed backers' payment....

Often, weeks or months go by between a backer’s pledge and final delivery, people move homes and locations change. But after shipping, you don't want backers to change their addresses anymore. So PledgeBox allows backers to change their shipping address until you have locked their orders.

Besides, remember to be communicative and update your campaign page to let people know to look for their survey. PledgeBox will automatically send a reminder email to backers who have not completed their surveys every Monday for three months. Surveys and reminder emails will also be sent to backers who have not paid on Kickstarter, giving creators the opportunity to collect the failed payments again.

Use your Kickstarter account email and register here:

Get your account ready to receive payments

Once you have most (or all) of your surveys back and compiled, prepare for shipment and charge the credit cards. Try to coordinate this with imminent shipping so that people won’t have to wait long for their rewards after they have paid. If there is any delay, make sure to update your backers and keep them in the loop about the solution. 

Work with Your Fulfillment Center

Certain companies that participate in crowdfunding campaigns may be established enough to have their own shipping and logistics departments that can handle fulfillment in-house, but the vast majority of creators will be working with an independent fulfillment center and it’s advisable to do so. These shippers typically can deliver products faster and ship in large volumes which let them realize cost-savings. This can result in less expensive shipping for you and happier backers. And PledgeBox system supports exporting order information in csv. or excel format. You can upload the file directly to the fulfillment center without manually typing. Hopefully, your team has already lined up this important partner and has provided them with the information needed to properly estimate your shipping costs such as

- Size, weight, and contents of your rewards,

- Addresses and regions of your backers

- Any special shipping restrictions or precautions needed due to components like batteries, etc.

Transport Goods to Fulfillment Center

Before your logistics partner can begin shipping to your backers, you must deliver the goods to their warehouse. The method for this will depend largely on where the product is manufactured. Is it local? Are you working with an overseas manufacturing partner? Either way, they will have some experience in shipping bulk goods and can help guide you to a reputable freight company. Be advised that you may need to pay duties, taxes, or customs fees if you are importing manufactured goods from overseas. Customs fees are a tariff or taxes imposed on goods when transported across international borders. Your freight company can likely help you navigate this process but don’t forget to add this cost to your budget. 

Monitor the Process

Once your goods are at the fulfillment center with all pertinent information, the work doesn’t end. It is still your responsibility as a creator to oversee the process and make sure that all your rewards are shipped and your backers are satisfied. Do you have a customer service staff ready to take questions and queries about shipping? How are you planning to communicate about the shipping process to put your backers at ease? Do you have a plan in place for cancellations or returns? This part of your campaign is crucial to keeping backers happy. Keep up good communication, respond in a timely manner and if any delays occur, make sure you are transparent and forthcoming with backers. 

Work with a Crowdfunding Partner

If you really want to concentrate on your product and campaign and not worry about shipping, you may choose to work with a crowdfunding agency. These partners can take care of the complicated stuff so you can enjoy the ride. Crowdfunding agencies will have several freight partners and fulfillment centers they work with and can help to advise you on the best choices. 

Even a great campaign can struggle with shipping and fulfillment. Make sure you plan ahead, give yourself extra time, and prepare properly for this essential part of your product journey. Once you have a plan in place, have secured a good fulfillment partner, and deliver your product to backers, you can truly enjoy the success of your campaign. 

Projects on PledgeBox

The Original SPAWN Action Figure & Comic Remastered (2020)

TODD MCFARLANE joins forces with Kickstarter to deliver an updated version of the original SPAWN action figure & comic (from 1995).

Mina the Hollower

A bone-chilling ode to handheld games, refined for the modern era.

GENKI: Waveform Earphones for Nintendo Switch and PS5

Connect & Stream 2 Audio Sources at Once. Enjoy Low Latency Gaming. Dual Hybrid Drivers for Immersive Sound. aptX Adaptive Smart Case.