What is eCommerce Shipping?
eCommerce shipping, in simple terms, is the service used to ship goods by companies selling online that makes shipping their products easier and more affordable. However, eCommerce shipping is also beginning to refer to a variety of things at a time when internet shopping has become extremely popular and companies are striving to give customers the best shopping experience online at the most affordable cost.
eCommerce shipping is increasingly competitive, with major retailers such as Amazon and Walmart making shopping more convenient and less expensive on behalf of their consumers. Shipping via post services such as UPS and FedEx can be a good option for small businesses beginning out with just a few packages per day; once your business expands and draws many more customers, you’ll need to find cheaper, faster, and more efficient shipping options to stay ahead and meet the expectations of customers. This is the point at which eCommerce shipping solutions come in.
Why shipping on eCommerce is more crucial than ever
This is a highly opportunistic but also complicated moment to enter the world of e-commerce:
- The competition is now international, with millions of new brands entering the market yearly.
- As expectations for shoppers increase, developing innovative ways to go above and to delight customers is essential.
- Supply chain challenges like ports being clogged with workers, labor shortages, and freight and last-mile carrier costs rising are essential to have reliable logistics partners that can fulfill the needs of customers.
- Attention can disappear with a single swipe, so it’s more essential than ever to offer an individual purchase and an after-purchase experience.
- Despite these difficulties, ShipBob surveyed brands and discovered that they’re navigating through the ever-changing market and are planning to grow even more this year:
- A majority of companies will launch an additional sales channel this year.
- About 56% of brands plan to ship to countries not yet served in 2022 or fulfill orders from new nations.
- About 32% of brands plan to start physically processing orders in new nations in 2022.
- Less than 25% of companies provide free shipping on all site-wide domestic purchases.
- A little less than 24% of the brands do not offer free shipping in any way.
Having a reliable eCommerce shipping plan that is in place to meet customer needs can be the difference between an eCommerce company that’s preparing for long-term growth and success and one that’s barely making it and won’t last for long.
Ecommerce shipping costs and methods of shipping
Before you can begin shipping products, you’ll have to establish the pricing strategy you’ll use to ship your products. There are a variety of common approaches; however, your decision should always be based on your company’s financials.
Offer Free Shipping
Giving your clients free shipping is among the most effective strategies to reduce the abandonment of shopping carts. But, as you may be thinking, shipping isn’t free. One must always pay. To make free shipping work, you’ll have several alternatives.
The product’s price should be increased to cover shipping costs (the customer is responsible for the cost).
You pay for the total shipping cost from your margin (you are the one to pay).
The product’s price may be raised to pay for the partial cost of transportation (you and your customer pay).
Offer a discount coupon to certain customers in exchange for free shipping.
You can also offer free shipping with an order minimum. This will help to lower the cost of shipping and help boost the average size of your orders. However, you’re still the one that is paying the cost out of your margins.
Charge Real-Time Carrier Rates
A different method for shipping that is effective is to charge real-time shipping costs for delivery. E-commerce platforms like Shopify connect with popular carriers and logistics aggregators from India. This allows you to generate shipping prices and live rates from various carriers. This lets your customers select and pay for the service they require.
Charge a Flat Rate
Another popular option is to offer flat-rate shipping. The best way to use this is to test and ensure that you don’t significantly undercharge or overcharge your customers.
Flat rate shipping is most effective in the case of a regular product line that is similar in size and weight. However, flat-rate shipping can be more complicated and less effective when you sell a broad range of various sizes and weights.
Ecommerce Packaging Options
Although not all businesses need to deliver their products in the sort of packaging that appears on one of the hundreds of YouTube videos of unboxing that are available on YouTube. However, how your delivery is displayed to your client’s doorstep is a tangible image of your brand. So, you should consider a few aspects into consideration.
1. Select your packaging.
When selecting the packaging, consider aspects like the fragility of the item, how items inside will move or settle around, and how the package is opened. For example, fragile products will need extra padding in the packages, and there are still more specific considerations if you’re shipping temperature-sensitive or perishable items.
2. Custom-designed packaging.
Customized packaging can stand out from your competition and offer consumers a better packaging experience. It doesn’t need to be over the top. Perhaps your packaging materials are custom-designed with your logo, or you use a brand sticker to wrap the product in tissue paper.
3. Eco-friendly packaging.
The internet has brought great benefits to the world in many ways, allowing customers access to many opportunities, but everything that ships have the potential to create lots of waste. Therefore, you should consider incorporating environmentally friendly elements, such as biodegradable packaging and compostable postal boxes. This is especially crucial in the case where sustainability is an important aspect of your company.
Best practices for eCommerce shipping
1. Be transparent and include upfront shipping costs
The second aspect of free shipping on e-commerce to ensure your customers are satisfied is honesty.
Offer alternatives at the start of the purchasing experience to determine the price for shipping costs to the address. Request them to input your ZIP code and give them the necessary information.
This prevents customers from being shocked when they check out. Set a standard shipping price to ensure they do not add additional charges. They might feel deceived by unexpected charges at the end. Don’t want to have anyone associate your brand with these feelings.
2. Offer Free Shipping
Studies in marketing have shown that free shipping can bring customers back to businesses. Customers are even more likely to purchase than they initially planned to be eligible for free shipping. Although free shipping appeals to buyers, ensure that you can afford it. One method to cover shipping costs is to increase your product’s cost to pay the shipping cost. Another option is to set the minimum number of orders eligible for free delivery. Whatever you decide to do, make sure your free shipping plan will work on your behalf as it does for your customers.
3. Ship Products Appropriately
For a small-sized company, it is possible that you won’t be capable of providing customized packaging like the bigger companies; however, this doesn’t mean you have to just put your product in the box and send it off. It is still important to ensure that your product arrives in a proper-sized box and is wrapped properly when it’s fragile. This can also help reduce the number of returns due to breaking.
4. Make tracking orders easy for your customers
A number of times, logistics are handed over to an outside company. But you still have to give your customers personalized information regarding you and them. The messages, emails, and other notifications must bear your logo and precise information.
After purchasing a product for the first time they’ve done it, buyers can be anxious. However, providing tracker information to them before when they request it can help alleviate their concerns.
5. Send shipping notifications
Customers would like to know when they are receiving their delivery. In the survey, 82% of customers believed it was essential that retailers communicate with their customers at each stage of fulfillment and delivery and delivery stage, with 45% saying they keep track of order status via text message and 85% utilizing emails to stay informed.
Implementing a system for communication that informs clients of the status of their products each step of the way will build trust and give their customers a better experience. This is especially crucial in cases where your delivery times are more lengthy, and your customers are likely to be more nervous.
6. Provide a post-purchase experience
The modern-day online marketplace isn’t selling an item that is unique (although that’s still very important). It’s about offering consumers an experience that is unique. Today, merchants must achieve this by connecting emotionally to customers by telling their stories in order to create a bond with their clients.
Customers are most enthusiastic in the post-purchase stage. However, many brands leave this aspect of their experience to chance by providing customers with a carrier tracking site and other third-party sites.
7. Take responsibility for shipping problems
Many things could happen to your package when it leaves your hands. It could be delayed in transport, sent to an incorrect destination, and arrive damaged or even be completely lost. Even though none of these could be your fault, your client will not see it that way and would like you to do things right.
When you become aware of an issue, it is best to make contact with the carrier in order to solve the issue. Resolving the issue could mean offering a discount on your next purchase due to delays or replacing the item if damaged or has been lost.
Ecommerce shipping best practices
It is crucial to have accurate data when managing eCommerce’s shipping process because it sets your business apart from others. There is a wide array of shipping options for you. They include:
USPS is among the most practical alternatives if you’re searching for a cost-effective e-commerce shipping company within the USA. It is a reliable shipping company and is employed by a variety of e-commerce companies that sell their items in the USA.
FedEx has become one of the more famous names in the shipping sector. They provide various shipping options for online merchants and a variety of prices to pick from.
FedEx offers a specific program called FedEx Small Business, designed to meet the requirements of all e-commerce sellers seeking simple shipping solutions.
There is United Parcel Service (UPS), following in the steps of FedEx, is also offering an initiative that addresses the needs of smaller eCommerce businesses that need easy shipping options. They are able to manage returns efficiently and specialize in covering a broad range of shipping areas.
DHL is an international courier service with a reputation for its brand services and is available across the globe. They are well-known for their outstanding customer service, but it isn’t cheap for new e-commerce entrepreneurs. You can estimate the price using its Rate Quota and its transit tool.
5. Shopping Easy
Shipping Easy is a different name that offers easy e-commerce shipping solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises. They offer a very user-friendly customer interface and offer competitive rates for their customers.
Best shipping software for ecommerce
ShipStation is an all-in-one, multi-carrier shipping software that manages the entire process of fulfillment for e-commerce. The features are available at discounted prices for shipping and batching, customer branding, and inventory control. In addition, orders can be imported from more than 60 channels of sales and apply a set of configurable presets as well as shipping choices.
ShipBob offers an excellent choice for fulfillment services within the United States and internationally. ShipBob can deliver packages to over 220 nations and territories which makes it the perfect choice for businesses that need to ship internationally.
When you’re sending internationally, Easyship offers many great discounts on couriers for international shipping. Easyship provides real-time shipping rates at the time of checkout. This means you will reduce the cost of shipping costs, particularly when you order internationally.
Install ShippingEasy in a matter of minutes and save your time when shipping. It’s a highly efficient shipping application that lets to grow your business. Gain access to low-cost UPS as well as USPS shipping costs and print labels in a matter of minutes.
No matter if your business is listed on marketplaces, multiple locations, or on your own website, ShippingEasy keeps all the data in one place, so you can deliver faster and cheaper.
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