When it comes to ecommerce, shipping is often considered a minor detail. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Shipping is one of the most important aspects of your ecommerce business whether it’s domestic shipping or international shipping. It can also be one of the most challenging to get right.
If you’re just starting out with your own business and are considering selling products online, you need to understand how shipping will affect your business. Shipping is part of many buying decisions for customers, so it’s important to think about this before launching your business and don’t forget about inventory and delivery management, but those are separate articles.
In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about shipping as an ecommerce business owner. Let’s get started!
Shipping refers to the process of getting your product to your customer’s door. For ecommerce businesses, this process involves using third-party shipping companies. This means that your company doesn’t actually own or operate any of the equipment used to transport the goods to customers.
There are two main types of shipping methods:
Volumetric shipping – where shippers use algorithms to determine how much they will charge you based on the size and density of the shipment. It’s important to note that the shipper may still charge you a fee if they feel the service needs to be augmented with additional labor or materials.
Commodity shipping – where shippers charge you a per-pound rate. You’ll often see commodity shipping rates less on heavier products, as these require more investment in labor and materials.
Shipping is an essential part of your ecommerce business. It will play a large role in your customers’ purchasing decisions. Your customers will often base their buying decision on what type of shipping you offer, so it’s important to be strategic when it comes to shipping.
Here are a few ways in which shipping affects your business:
Shipping can help increase your sales – This may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that shipping is part of the buying decision. If your shipping costs are too high, your customers will simply look for another option. Shipping can also have an impact on your product listing price.
Keep in mind that if you’re not factoring in shipping costs in your product listing prices, you could be leaving money on the table. Everything from the shipping label to the shipping service should be considered.
Shipping can affect your customer satisfaction – Customers expect a certain level of service from online retailers. They expect fast shipping and an easy returns policy. If your shipping is slower than expected, you risk alienating customers and damaging your reputation. This can have a long-term impact on your business.
Shipping can have a significant impact on your bottom line – Shipping is one of the main costs of doing business for ecommerce companies. You can expect to devote a significant amount of your revenue to shipping fees.
Whether it’s small business shipping online or in person the cost has to be considered. This is why it’s so important to be strategic with your shipping options.
There’s no one-size-fits-all shipping strategy. Each business has different needs and will benefit from different shipping strategies. Before deciding on a shipping process, it’s important to understand your customer base. You’ll want to consider several factors when deciding on your shipping strategy.
Here are a few factors you’ll want to think about:
Customer base – What shipping expectations do your customers have? Do they expect shipping to be fast? Do they expect shipping to be inexpensive? Understanding the expectations of your customer base will help you decide on a shipping strategy.
Product category – Is your product sensitive, lightweight, or bulky? The product category you sell will impact your shipping strategy. Sensitive products, for example, will require a different shipping strategy than lightweight products.
Shipping costs – How much does it cost to ship your products? Where are your customers located? Can you offer competitive pricing? These are all factors that influence your shipping strategy.
Shipping speed – How quickly do you want to get products to your customers? Shipping speed is often an important factor when deciding on a shipping strategy.
After you’ve considered the factors above, determine which strategy is right for your online business. Here are a few strategies you might consider:
Free shipping – Offering free shipping can be a great way to stand out among competitors. You’ll want to make sure you’re offering free shipping on all products, however, as this strategy can backfire if you don’t.
Same-day shipping – If you’re able to offer same-day shipping, this can be a great way to differentiate your brand. It’s important to note that this strategy often requires significant investment on the part of the retailer.
Scheduled delivery – If you have a store that sells products that aren’t time-sensitive, you may want to offer scheduled delivery. This will allow you to plan for peak season demand and keep costs down.
When you’re deciding what type of shipping strategy to offer, you’ll want to consider your product category and customer base. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but there are a few key factors to keep in mind:
Will your shipping strategy be distinguishable from your competitors? – You want to make sure that your shipping strategy will set you apart from your competitors. If you’re offering the same shipping strategy as your competitors, you may want to consider a different strategy.
Can you afford to offer free shipping? – You’ll want to make sure that you can afford to offer free shipping. Remember that your shipping costs will impact your product pricing. You’ll want to make sure that you’re not overpricing your products because of your shipping strategy.
You may want to consider having a paid shipping option if you’re selling a product category that is sensitive or bulky. If you have a product that is lightweight and easy to ship, it may be best to offer free shipping. This type of shipping strategy is a good idea if you’re trying to offset the cost of shipping for your customers.
It’s important to note that you’ll want to have a competitive fee. You’ll want to consider your product category and the average cost of shipping in your area before deciding what shipping fee to charge.
If you’re able to provide same-day shipping, this can be a great way to differentiate your brand. It’s important to note that this shipping strategy often requires significant investment on the part of the retailer. This shipping strategy works best for retailers that are able to predict customer demand and have a centralized location for shipping. This will allow you to ship products out as soon as they’re purchased and get them to customers as quickly as possible.
If your product category isn’t time-sensitive, you may want to consider having a scheduled delivery option. This allows you to plan for peak season demand and keep costs down. This type of shipping strategy is ideal for retailers that are selling products that don’t need to be delivered quickly. It can also give you the edge to offer competitive shipping rates. It’s important to note that this approach won’t be ideal for customers who need their products as quickly as possible.
If you’re serious about growing your ecommerce business, you’ll need to invest time and resources into running a successful shipping operation. Here are 3 tips for doing just that:
First, make sure that you have the right shipping equipment. You’ll want to purchase high-quality equipment that’s reliable and easy to use. You can save time and money by investing in a postage meter for printing shipping labels and a shipping scale for weighing packages. Consider all the equipment for each part of your shipping needs.
Second, make sure that you have an organized shipping area. An organized shipping area can help prevent confusion and mistakes when it comes to shipping orders. You may want to consider investing in an organizational system, such as a shelving unit, to store your shipping supplies.
Third, train your employees on how to properly package and ship items. You don’t want to risk damaging your customers’ goods, as this can lead to bad reviews and low sales. The best shipping experience starts with the right team. Take the time to train and get everyone up to speed whether it’s just to print labels to gather boxes, it matter.
Shipping is a crucial part of your ecommerce business. It’s the last interaction your customer has with your brand. It’s important to think about shipping in the same way you would think about customer service. Shipping can have a significant impact on your customer’s perception of your brand. Poor shipping can have the opposite effect and lead to negative customer reviews and lower future sales. Start shipping!