E-commerce is on the boom. Due to the pandemic, businesses come online making it one of the most valued industries in the last couple of years. And people will continue to do shopping online even after the pandemic. That means e-commerce mania will go long for sure and a complete e-commerce shipping solution is really important to level up the business game.
The most important foundation of every e-commerce business is shipping. Customers won’t stay long with you if your business can’t deliver products on time with safety. You need to set up an e-commerce shipping solution to deliver your products to your customer securely.
Through this article, we’ll provide you with a full e-commerce shipping solution from scratch.
What is e-commerce Shipping?
E-commerce involves delivering the items to the customer’s address after completing the purchase from an online retailer. Using the right delivery partner makes the whole process very smooth and affordable.
Why E-commerce Shipping Is Important?
E-commerce without shipping is like a ship without water. No matter how brilliantly you set up your e-commerce store without a proper delivery solution your business can’t run.
According to Statista, 63% of customers have abandoned shipping carts due to shipping costs and 36% of customers do not prefer to buy because of late deliveries.
Fast and safe delivery is the most important factor to develop your e-commerce business. People don’t want to wait longer for their items to be delivered than they should take. Lacking a good delivery service will cost your business a lot more than you think.
E-commerce Shipping Methods and Strategies
There is no all-in-one solution for e-commerce shipping. It depends on your business type, audience, budget, and other factors. A good rule of thumb would be to provide more than one delivery option like one is fast and another is affordable (regular delivery).
Once you give choice, customers are more likely to place the order according to their preferences rather than left the order in middle due to a lack of delivery options.
Well, there are various delivery options available for e-commerce businesses but you might be confused about which options you should go for. Let’s discuss the popular methods, one by one.
In same-day delivery, you get your parcels delivered within the same day of your purchasing. Research says that more than 60% of people are willing to pay extra bucks to get their package on the same day. But only 50% of businesses offer same-day delivery.
You get your order delivered on the next day of shopping. It is also a good option to start from. In many areas, same-day delivery becomes difficult. So, you can offer next-day delivery. It is also fast but more affordable than same-day delivery.
Expedited delivery refers to any delivery method that is faster than normal shipping. Items in expedited delivery are given top priority over other items.
Huge packages like machinery items are not possible to deliver with a normal carrier. So, pallets are used to carry those big packages. Pallet delivery is a very specified category as most of the e-commerce businesses don’t require pallet delivery as such but there are dedicated businesses out there who need only pallet delivery service. It’ll be a good option to start from.
People are getting used to the eco-friendly shipping concept. Brands are spreading awareness to be environment-friendly. Biodegradable materials are used in packaging instead of the plastic wrapper.
Paper wrap and composable ropes are used in eco-friendly shipping. There are few eco-friendly shipping options available in the market.
If you got international customers or want to expand your business to another country then you have to offer international shipping to your buyers.
Shipping internationally can be challenging and expensive as well. Different countries have different customs rules, taxes.
As a business owner, if you have international customers then you need to ship internationally multiple times hopefully regularly.
To avoid any difficulties in foreign borders you need to partner with an experienced courier who can process your order smoothly. Also, you need to look at the affordability of services.
Few industries need customizable delivery networks. Like the medical industry, they need AC vehicles to supply medicines. If you have such kind of business then you should go for these types of shipping services.
E-commerce shipping cost
Customers prefer affordability and fast deliveries whenever they shop online. But before offering the service, make sure the rates you’ve selected for your shipping services are affordable to you too. Let’s look at a few points that matter most in the e-commerce shipping cost.
Dimension & weight of the package
Shipping cost is calculated on the basis of the dimensional weight of the parcel. The bigger the parcel the pricier it would be. All shipping companies have a price list bound to a certain weight range.
From pick up point to the delivery address – is called shipping destination. Depending upon the area, it is divided into zones. Delivering to a far place will cost you more.
To ship business couriers you need to partner with an established courier provider. Working with a courier provider will allow you to deliver your products on time with safety. They provide full logistics service that will help you to achieve customer satisfaction.
The price should be affordable to you so that you offer affordable service to your customers as well.
Handling and maintenance
The processing order is not as easy as it sounds, especially for small businesses. After receiving an order there are multiple steps to perform and then customers get that product in their hands.
From packing the item to delivering it to the customers – it takes a good supply network, distribution management, and a well-maintained strategy.
There are lots of hidden expenses in shipping an item. Starting with packing cost, labeling charges, storing cost, vehicle maintenance cost, handling cost, and taxes which altogether makes the product premium. Still, you have to keep everything as affordable as you can.
Ultimately the price becomes double and sometimes more after adding these charges with the actual price of the product.
The above three-four factors determine the cost of your e-commerce shipping mainly. Make sure to estimate everything before rolling out in the market.
E-commerce Shipping Rates
Various shipping options with different rates are available and you can offer the same to your customers. We’ll guide you on what rate should you fix for different shipping services.
Flat-rate shipping is charging the same for all orders in a particular weight range and other criteria. Some company offers multiple flat rates for certain order values. For some items, the cost would be justified and for some, it may be overpriced. Make sure your costs should cover by offering a flat rate.
Real-time carrier rates
Real-time carrier rates mean you’re charging the exact delivery amount to your customer. By analyzing the delivery location, courier weight, and other preferences, the software calculates the exact shipping rate at the time of check out. This method maintains transparency between you and your customers.
Free shipping increases conversation and reduces cart abandonment. No-cost shipping becomes obvious for brands to gain customer attention. Here is how you can offer free shipping without cutting your profits –
- Add the shipping cost with the product price
- Set a threshold shopping amount to get free delivery
- Create a premium membership or loyalty program, take a subscription fee and provide free and fast shipping. Ex – Amazon prime.
E-commerce Shipping Solutions
Your business needs a one-stop shipping solution and here are a few suggestions to look at.
Are you looking for a reliable international delivery option? Then the first name that came to everyone’s mind is DHL. They have the best distribution network around the globe.
Want an allrounder in the team? Take FedEx. They have a wide range of services with every type of delivery solution. Same-day, next-day, overnight, express, international, and many more. You just tell and you’ll get that here.
USPS is the king when it comes to last-mile delivery. It is one of the cheapest options for local delivery. USPS is the most popular courier in the US. Also, they’re the largest postal service provider.
It is the oldest and most trusted courier delivery provider in the UK. Known for delivering advanced courier solutions for over 500 years. More than 50% of businesses use Royal Mail as their primary delivery partner in the UK.
DPD, UPS are also some popular courier services out there.
Insurance & Tracking
The shipping process doesn’t end till it reached the customer’s hand. And your job is not only to hand over the package to the courier partner but also to give your customer the flexibility to track their items in transit. Provide tracking id and let your customers satisfy by tracking their parcel.
In the case of returns, you should be prepared for the process. Picking up the item to get it delivered to your doorstep, confirming the item, and initiating a refund – are the steps that you need to set up.
Insurance gives you security. It builds trust among customers and helps in collaboration with other companies. Insurance is generally inexpensive but it depends on what damages it covers.
Labeling Your Packages
Shipping labels provide important information about the receiver and seller. Labels should be clearly visible at the top of the box. In starting you can just write the address of the receiver and sender in the package. But it is time-consuming.
Using computerized labels helps in computer record and seamless delivery experience at the same time.
A label should include seller address, receiver’s full address, shipping id, package weight, and dimension.
Tips For Better E-commerce Shipping Solution
Things become quite handy when you do the trick. Here are a few essential tips that will take you one step ahead in your e-commerce shipping journey.
Clear the shipping cost in the first place
Mention the shipping cost clearly on the website or time of check-out. Don’t keep any hidden charges. Customers will get a negative impact on your business and are more likely to avoid shopping from you. Keep the process transparent.
Mention the expected delivery time
Mention the expected delivery time along with the price in check-out time. Customers get an idea of when they’ll receive the item by doing so.
Try to provide better than you promise
By saying that, we’re suggesting you provide a better customer experience by putting in some extra effort. For example, delivering the item one or two days earlier than you promised to. It’ll develop a good relationship between you and your customer.
Provide tracking option
After purchasing, you don’t want your customers to leave in the dark. By providing them tracking option you literally help them to take interest in their purchase till it’s get delivered. Now, it is common among all shipping companies to provide product tracking options.
Return & refund policy
This is a big issue with many e-commerce shippers. You should have a clear and effective return policy so that customers can return your product smoothly in case of any issue.
Customers with bad return experiences won’t prefer to shop from your store again, many surveys said that. Also, come up with a good refund solution.
All these things make a huge difference between a successful e-commerce business and a struggling one. Remember, you grow when you improve not complain. Hope this information will help you a lot in setting up your own e-commerce shipping solution.