Ecommerce is growing 23 percent year-over-year in the U.S., and 51 percent of Americans have said that they prefer shopping online to shopping in stores.
If you’ve been considering getting into the Ecommerce game, now is the perfect time to do so.
Before you start trying to sell products online, though, you need to have a good ecommerce shipping strategy in place. After all, if you can’t get your products to your customers in a timely manner, no one’s going to care how great they are.
Read on for some ecommerce shipping tips that will help you get your products into your customers’ hands as quickly as possible.
Common Ecommerce Shipping Mistakes
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been running your ecommerce business for a few years or are just getting it off the ground.
Either way, you ought to make sure you’re avoiding these common shipping mistakes:
- Not giving customers a choice on their shipping time and method
- Estimating shipping costs instead of calculating them exactly
- Failing to automate the shipping process
- Failing to audit the shipping process on a regular basis
- Shipping the wrong item
All of these mistakes can raise your shipping costs and leave you with unsatisfied customers who are unlikely to shop with you in the future.
Top Ecommerce Shipping Tips
Now that you know what kind of mistakes to avoid, it’s time to talk about what you should do. Here are eight ecommerce shipping tips that every online business owner ought to know:
1. Clarify Your Policies Up Front
Right from the beginning, try to eliminate as much confusion about your fulfillment, shipping, and return policies as possible. Make sure your customers know when they can expect to receive their products and how they can return them if they don’t work out.
Often, when customers are dissatisfied with a company’s delivery, it’s because they were confused about its policies and set unrealistic expectations. Eliminate the risk of that happening by spelling out your policies clearly for everyone who shops through your site.
2. Provide a Free Shipping Option
Who doesn’t love free shipping?
If there’s a chance that customers can have their products delivered for free, they’re likely going to take advantage of it — even if it means they actually have to spend more money on products!
Consider offering free shipping if customers spend a specific amount on products. You could also offer free standard shipping and then charge higher rates for expedited shipping to make up the difference.
3. Offer Flat-Rate Shipping
Flat-rate shipping is another good option that keeps customers happy.
It’s certainly not as popular as free shipping.
At the same time, though, if customers know that they can pay a flat fee to have their products shipped no matter what they’re purchasing, they may be more inclined to make big purchases from your business.
4. Choose the Right Shipping Carrier
When it comes to actually shipping out your products, make sure you’re working with a reliable shipping carrier.
Many ecommerce business owners choose to work with well-known shipping companies like UPS and FedEx. You could also make use of a local carrier if you know that you’re only shipping products to a portion of the country.
One thing you ought to do when you’re choosing a shipping carrier is to look for one that offers you and your customers live updates on the location of the product.
People love being able to find out where their package is and how soon it’s likely to get to them. This also allows you to make sure there aren’t any shipping difficulties slowing things down.
5. Invest in Proper Packaging
The right packaging can make all the difference when it comes to shipping products.
Remember, packaging and branding still play a big role in building customer loyalty and providing them with a positive experience.
Look for ways to make the design of your packaging more creative and separate yourself from your competition. Customers love a personal touch, such as a thank you note or a free sample, too.
When you’re working on your packaging design, remember that weight and size will have a big impact on your total shipping costs. Make your packaging special, but don’t make it so big or bulky that it increases the amount you have to spend.
6. Simplify the Check-Out Process
If your check-out process is too long or complicated, you’re not going to need to worry about shipping because no one is going to actually complete their order.
Offering customers the option to log in or check out as a guest can make a big difference in whether or not they stay on your site long enough to complete their order.
Do whatever you can to minimize the number of boxes they need to fill out and the amount of information they have to give you. The simpler and easier to navigate, the better.
7. Work with a Printing Service
When it comes to making your packaging standout, there are lots of easy yet effective steps you can take.
For example, according to this website, personalized stamps are a great option for separating yourself from your competition.
Many printing services make it easy for you to order custom stamps to decorate your packaging and make it stand out.
8. Communicate with Customers
Finally, make sure you’re communicating with your customers. Send them a survey once the shipping process is complete to find out whether or not they were satisfied with their experience.
If they give you feedback about your checkout process, delivery, or return policies, take that feedback into consideration and look for ways to make your process even better for your customers in the future.
Learn More About Ecommerce Shipping
Ecommerce shipping might seem complicated when you’re first getting started.
If you keep these tips in mind, though, you’ll have a much easier time streamlining your shipping process and making sure your products reach your customers on time.
Do you want to learn more about shipping and transportation? As your business continues to grow, you’re likely going to have more questions about how you can simplify your shipping process even further.
Head to the shipping and transportation section of our site today to learn all the latest shipping-related tips and tricks.