Growing an e-commerce business is no easy task.
If you want your online store to succeed, there are a lot of factors that you must take into consideration, and one key factor is shipping.
Shipping has a lot to say on how much profit you will make at the end of the day, and this is because online shoppers take shipping considerations into account before making a purchase.
In fact, Pitney Bowes’s shipping survey reveals that up to 93% of consumers consider shipping options as an important factor in their online shopping experience.
For example, a statistical report shows that about 61% of online shoppers abandon their shopping cart as a result of high added costs, including shipping fees.
Another report shows that 9 out of 10 online shoppers will buy from you if you offer free shipping as an incentive.
And, so on.
So if you want to expand your e-commerce business both in profit and beyond borders, you must figure out an apt shipping strategy.
In this article, we are going to go through the nitty gritty of e-commerce shipping and how to draw up a successful shipping plan that will get you ahead of the competition and increase your profit margin.
Let’s dive in.
Define your e-commerce shipping strategy goals
Aside from determining the key players in your e-commerce team, the first thing you must do right away is to define what you have set out to achieve.
Set realistic strategy goals that you can achieve within a reasonable period of time.
There are a lot of areas to touch when it comes to shipping goals, but the most common ones include:
- To increase conversions
- Growth hack
- Target new audience and expand markets
- Increase daily orders
- Improve operational productivity
Once you have chosen the right goals for your online store, it’s now time to choose the right shipping policy that will take you one step further to achieving your goals.
Handle your shipping policy
If you are just starting out, you will have a lot of decisions to make about what carriers to use, what packaging company to send your products to, which shipping rate to offer to your customers and other considerations.
First and foremost, find the policy that best suits your business, while keeping the customer in mind.
Before anything else, you first need to establish where you will ship to and what products you will ship.
As an e-commerce company, your dream will be to get your products to every continent and country, but as a new business, you may not have the resources to actualize such dream at the very start.
So how do you decide on where to begin?
Simple – start small and close to home.
If you don’t want to disappoint customers from time to time, first limit your shipping close to where you are so that you can set realistic delivery rates, and meet delivery time.
After a while, you will have a better idea of your capacity to expand shipments.
Another factor that helps in deciding where to begin is traffic analysis.
If you have a good thing going, customers from different markets and countries will visit your stores, and even send direct requests.
You can use this to your advantage by gauging their interests to determine who will be most interested in your offerings.
Of course, you must consider the language of an area before you enter the market. Countries where you already know their language will be good places to start.
Decide on whether or not to offer free shipping, if not, will your shipping fee be a flat rate or a variable fee?
Then choose what carrier to use. You can operate through package delivery companies that send products to your customers’ mailboxes, or those that send packages right to their doorstep.
Decide on your shipping software
Unless you want to spend painful hours preparing shipping rates, designing labels, or communicating with customers, then you need a shipping software.
Even if you have the most sophisticated online shop, and you have a kickass marketing strategy, there’s still a lot of work when your customer hit the buy button.
When choosing your software, be on the look for one that can remove the need for copying and pasting information manually, and that can seamlessly sync your orders with other e-commerce platforms.
There’s no single best e-commerce shipping software, but there are several good ones that you can pick from depending on your company’s objective.
In addition, try and deploy push notifications on your website. This would ensure customers are constantly notified on when they are going to get the product.
Choose your packaging material
Choosing the right packaging material is very important for a lot of obvious reasons.
For one, you will not like to use inferior materials if you want your customers to get their goods in one piece, but then, you must consider the cost of material so that your shipping cost does not scare away customers.
You can use padded envelopes as they do not take much space and will fit well in the delivery truck.
To make things simpler, you can opt for carriers’ packages. For example, USPS offers free branding, shipping boxes.
Choose your carrier
Your carrier is the link between you and your customer, so you’ve to choose smartly.
There are a lot of good carriers out there, but the best one for your business is the one whose rate and policy you will be most comfortable with.
To narrow down your search, research the most popular ones, to find out which one identifies with your business.
For example, USPS is ideal for small or light packages that are to be sent to residential homes, FedEx is a better option for heavier packages with the delivery time, and DHL makes sense for international shipping because of cost.
If you want to ensure successful shipping for your e-commerce business, you will need to have a strategy in place.
Remember, the shipping industry is not a static one. From time to time, you must review your approach, and reapply new strategies based on trends and new inventions.
About The Author:
Roberto Garwin, co-founder of Mofluid and Snewscms. “It is absolutely amazing to see how technology continues to evolve, from email to browsers, search engines, mobile, AI and now blockchain.” I am fortunate to witness it all. Really excited to see what’s next.
Disclaimer: Facts and opinions expressed in this article are of the Guest Author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of ‘ServerGuy.’