Delivering orders and making the shipping process as effortless as possible is one of the core aspects of a successful customer experience. Mind that shoppers don't entertain high shipping charges and would even appreciate it if it is eliminated on the whole. The shipping, however, shipping process doesn't stop there. It includes the packaging, the ability to track their package, receiving the order on time and in perfect condition, and even returns. While it might seem like there are multiple factors involved, and it's a complex process, on the whole, it really isn't. This blog will define some of the best shipping methods, strategies, and more to break down the whole shipping process.
Ecommerce shipping comprises all the services necessary to move products purchased online from a retailer to the customer's doorstep.
The eCommerce shipping process comprises multiple stages, from receiving an order from the customer to making sure that the order reaches the customer without a scratch. The shipping process can be simplified into three stages:
Receiving the order: Ensure that the products ordered are in-stock before giving any form of confirmation to the customer pre-fulfillment.
Processing the order: Take hold of the order data and verify all the details to ensure no errors are made.
Order fulfillment: Generate a list of items to be picked, packed, and shipped.
eCommerce shipping strategies you should implement in your business module
Different companies have to try out different strategies as there isn't a readymade one-size-fits-all shipping strategy that caters to all companies. The perfect method to go with will depend on the type of audience you hold, your budget, current profit margins, and more. To help you get started, here are seven forms of shipping methods you can analyze to see what suits your eCommerce module to its best.
1. Standard shipping
This is probably the most requested and wanted shipping solution as most eCommerce modules have adopted it. This is a premium 2-day delivery shipping module that is adopted mainly by the big names in the eCommerce circle. Still, with certain connections and experience, starters can also find a way to get inducted into this module without a hole in their pocket.
2. Same-day delivery
This is obviously a costlier option, but keep in mind that the faster you deliver your order and keep your promise, the more satisfied the customer will be with your service. Of course, providing the order on the same day has its fair share of issues that come outside the order, like environmental issues due to carbon footprint. Still, in general, if the goal is only to satisfy the customer, then you're good to go. The numbers are present to support this statement, as 61% of consumers have accepted that they would be willing to pay extra for increased shipping speed.
3. Expedited shipping
Any form of shipping method that is quicker than the norm, that is, 5-7 days, is known as expedited shipping. The turnaround for expedited shipping can vary from one carrier to another. Following an expedited shipping plan can help you to regulate shopping cart abandonment, satisfy customer expectations and build a brand for yourself.
4. Global shipping
International shipping can be a tricky hassle to work with, no matter where your region of operation is. The significant issues arise because of the various policies in different countries. Everything can be challenging to handle, from the tariffs, taxes, and specific requirements. Therefore, it is essential for you to partner with experienced fulfillment partners who can help you cut down on shipping rates and navigate the Universal Postal Union (UPU) agreement.
5. Eco-friendly shipping
There are certain brands that function with an eco-friendly purpose, and those brands can adopt an eco-friendly shipping option. This will include the use of easily recyclable biodegradable material for shipping that won't take a lot of time to decompose and won't harm the environment in any way. In addition, not adopting the same-day delivery is also a way to not contribute to disrupting the environment as same-day deliveries impose a higher emission of carbon footprint.
Hybrid shipping services pick up your orders and collaborate with other carriers to transport your packages to a specific location, like a facility or post office where the order is shipped to their final, respective destination. Choosing to adopt a hybrid shipping method can help you to cut down on shipping costs by almost 50% in some cases. However, keep in mind that you would have to compromise with delivery speed.
7. Freight shipping
Now, anything that involves cargo, or anything that weighs over 150lbs and requires transportation of cargo worldwide through air, land, or sea is considered freight shipping.
The eCommerce domain makes use of freight shipping to obtain inventory from their manufacturer and send products to distributors.
How to choose the perfect shipping carrier for your business?
A shipping carrier is an entity that physically delivers customers their orders to their doorstep. The rate of delivery for each package might differ upon various factors like weight, speed, and distance to be covered.
Before partnering with a shipping carrier, it's essential to find the right fit for your business and products. Using multiple carriers is also an option to cater to your different needs of yours. First, however, consider these factors as a general norm:
Compare the pricing of different carriers. Pricing is a solid aspect to consider as customers do not like to spend a lot on shipping charges. Try to score discounts when you partner with carriers. Bulk shipping can usually cut you some slack.
The type of products you generally deal with matters as the price of the shipment depends upon the weight, and certain carriers do not permit shipments after a specific weight limit.
Check if your carrier facilitates international shipping. Not all carriers do and make sure you partner with an experienced entity so that they know how most international policies work.
If you deal with fragile or unorthodox shipments like alcohol or cold storage, make sure your carrier has the facilities to accommodate that.
Not all carriers work on weekends and if you want your packages to be delivered to your customers on weekends, then make sure you go for carriers that deliver on weekends.
eCommerce pricing logistics to analyze
Offering affordable shipping rates for your customers is essential, but you will have to make sure that your side of the equation also cuts down shipping costs. Here are a few ways you can analyze and manage your eCommerce pricing logistics.
All big-name shipping carriers use a dimensional weight (DIM) pricing technique to calculate shipping charges. Dimensional Weight considers the size of the package to determine the shipping cost. Certain shipping carriers check for the size and weight of the box, and whichever one has the higher value taken as the billable weight.
Reducing shipping costs
For businesses that are looking to scale more, cutting down on shipping charges and integrating with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider can help out big time. Deploying shipping services to a 3PL provider can help your eCommerce business to scale and take advantage of discounts on shipping charges.
Shipping zones denote the distance between a package's origin and its final reach point. Shipping carriers use these zones to calculate the shipping charges—generally, the higher the shipping zone, the higher the shipping charge.
Tracking the shipment and return process
Your side of the shipping method doesn't terminate as soon as the carrier picks up your package. You will have to monitor the order's journey to maintain a quality customer experience until the order reaches the customer and till the return period expires (if it has any).
1. Order management
A background process runs for every order placed with an e-store until the product reaches you in hand. This process, on the whole, is referred to as order management, which is responsible for keeping track of orders and processing the steps involved in getting the product in hand to the customer. Order management is generally a 5-step process that consists of undertaking the order, picking the product, packing the ordered products, shipping the products, and tracking the product until it gets delivered.
2. Tracking eCommerce shipments
The customer should be notified and given a tracking number to keep track of their order from the moment their order has begun processing. In addition, customers should be kept aware of their order status through your web portal or application at all times. An efficient order management system will allow you and your customers to stay on track with your shipments at all times. Keep in mind split shipments, too, when considering tracking eCommerce shipments.
3. Managing returns
Returns are never a happy notification from the businesses side, but here's the good part. About 95% of shoppers admitted that they would shop again from the same store if their returns were handled well and they were satisfied with their returned product. That's good news, but here's the bad news, if customers aren't happy with the returning process and the returned product, then they are 3x more likely to never purchase from that retailer again. So, always pay extra attention to the return process.
If you are an eCommerce business, you need to implement all the available ways to help you gain more sales. Shipping is a big part of the whole process. You need to ship your orders with a suitable shipping method to your customers to earn their trust and to increase your sales.
There are lots of shipping methods available online. They vary in price and efficiency. You need to find the one that will suit your needs. You also have to make sure you are following the best practices. Find out which method, carriers, and strategies fit your business module and make your shipping process effortless. Good luck!
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