5 Things You Need To Know About E-Commerce Shipping and Fulfillment
From groceries to apparels, everything can be shopped online today. People are getting habituated to convenience and good customer service. A constructive and powerful shipping process can create an impressive brand perception in the minds of customers.
Talking about shipment, there are various factors which make your customer leave your website. Exorbitant shipping charges, late shipment, wrong product shipped, damaged product delivered or unclear return policies are some of the major ones. A fluent shipping process is one of the driving forces for the success of your e-commerce business.
Here are some facts and tips to help you formulate an effective shipping and fulfillment strategy.
Location and Space
Logistics and shipment is one of the biggest and toughest challenges in an e-commerce business. Being a manufacturer with your own warehouse, make sure to arrange your items systematically to help you and your employees locate it quickly. If you are a distributer or wholesaler sourcing from a manufacturer and if you have a separate pickup destination (maybe your own warehouse, home etc.), make a note of proximity between the two.
An internal shipping delay leads to delay in customer delivery, and such instances should be completely avoided and taken care of.
Determine Your Fulfillment and Other Policies
Transparent and well-communicated policy is one of the main bridging gaps between acquiring a customer and converting him into a repeat business. Whether you want to communicate your return, exchange or any other policies, place them prominently so that users have easy access and knowledge about them.
Every ‘FREE’ and ‘DISCOUNT’ messages should be placed right on the front page for the users to see and take the desired action.
Flat Rate Shipping
As the name proposes, flat rate refers to assigning one fixed rate for a product, regardless of its weight, size or value. This helps a customer in knowing the final total well in advance instead at the last stage. This method might be advantageous to you as well as your customers. Since you have complete control over determining the flat rate, ensure all overheads like packaging, shipping costs are covered in it. Often, this shipping method proves to be lucrative for customers as well when they’re looking for more number or high volume items.
Table Rate Shipping
It’s the opposite of Flat Rate. This option gives you (as an e-commerce seller) the freedom to customize your own shipping rates basis the weight, destination, number of products etc.
There are various ways in which a business can make their own methods. Learn about creating your own shipping method in detail – https://www.primaryparcel.com/help-centre/
Third Party Carriers
This option allows you to integrate a third party carrier like FedEx and UPS with your Shopify store to consider and display their rates at checkout.
If you are using the third party rate strategy, you can still cover your packaging or any operational costs by displaying the same on checkout. Your customers would know accurately what they’re paying for when every cost is clearly mentioned at checkout.
Free Shipping is a great promotion tactic if calculated well. Research has shown it has been a potent influencer in customer’s purchase decisions. But ensure this Free Shipping strategy does not affect your profit margins significantly.
One strategy could be to offer Free Shipping above a certain cart value. The user will add in more products to their cart to avail the Free Shipping offer – ultimately increasing your average order value. The best way to realize what shipping method works for your brand is by trying and testing various methods and changing them as your business shapes up. Click here to read more about how you can offer shipping discounts while maintaining a minimum profit margin.
After ensuring all above technical and business aspects of shipping are in place, you can then focus on your packaging and branding. When the customer opens up the product packaging, that’s the first time he is interacting with your brand. So, why not leave an ever-lasting first impression? A well-thought and well-crafted packaging goes a long way in customer delight and getting repeat purchases.
Shipping and delivery is a major and powerful influencer for your ecommerce business’s growth. Experiment, test and then analyze to determine what works the best for your business.