Shipping is one of the most important steps of the production line. It is the last crucial step of the fulfillment phase. The majority of the complaints from customers regards shipping. Sellers have to keep a close eye on this aspect of their business. The shipping cost of the products can eat up all the profits in no time if online retailers are not careful.
The product needs to be reached within the estimated date. The packaging should be done meticulously to ensure the intactness of the items. It is also important to make sure that the products reach the hands of the customer unharmed.
Otherwise, all the efforts and costs will go in vain, and the client will be dissatisfied. Moreover, the reputation of your business is on the line, and the haphazard handling of the product will compromise the quality of your product. This article will discuss the different ways and strategies for the optimization of the shipping process.
It is vital to properly pack your products in such a way that even the mishandling of the shipping personnel will not break them. Basically, do everything within your means to pack your items securely. Use bubble wrap and packing peanuts to act as a shock absorber, absorbing all the brunts and hits.
Different kinds of adhesive tapes are your best friends when it comes to secure packaging. According to the Tape Jungle, there are more than 300 types of adhesive tapes and other packaging supplies for every industry and application.
Good quality adhesives and packing supplies are essential for keeping your products intact and safe. Carton sealing tape, duct tapes, and bag sealing tapes are the staple items of strong packaging.
Before putting the items inside the carton, wrap it with plastic and then bubble wrap. This will help protect the product from any moisture and hits from the pushing and other forms of force exerted during delivery, which is vital for shipping fragile items.
Set the Difference Properly Between Shipping and Delivery
Most of the hard work goes behind the packaging, inventory update, and updated status of the product. Once this series of operations are fulfilled, the item is now ready to be sent. There are some instances where there are some discrepancies in the shipping.
There are unfortunate cases of packages being lost or damaged on the way, leaving the buyers disappointed as they are unable to get their product on time. These customers are not really aware that the delivery process is not within your control, and it is a risk you are bound to take.
Despite not being the delivery man who dropped the package accidentally and damaged the item, you will still be held liable by the general marketplace and consensus. It seems unfair, but this is the sad reality of running an online business.
However, there are some effective measures you can take to play it safe and prevent any unnecessary and painful outcomes that can harm your brand image, seller rating, reputation, and image. First off, ensure that your customer understands the difference between delivery and shipping.
Some buyers get the notion that they will receive the product within 48 hours when they see the statement “ships in 1-2 days”. To prevent your customers from having this misunderstanding, take the following initiatives.
It is best to have a landing page that is fully dedicated to shipping schedules/timetables. This will aid the shoppers in determining which type of postage (standard vs express, etc.) will be most convenient for them. This is an effective way of explaining the difference between delivery and shipping.
Write it out in simple terms that they should expect to receive the package after shipping AND delivery. It may feel like you are stating the obvious, but such a disclaimer is necessary as it is common amongst customers to confuse the two.
A customer leaves a negative review or feedback when they face shipping issues. With special notice, you can minimize receiving such negative testimonials due to a misunderstanding.
Include delivery and shipping specifics in your seller profile details. Do not stress over the repetition or redundancy. It is better safe than sorry with a negative review that will undermine your company’s reputation.
If it is possible in your sales channel, include this information in every buyer’s confirmation email. Ensure that the difference between the time the product has left the warehouse and the estimated time it will reach the customer’s doorstep has been clearly laid out. This will set precise expectations for the buyer regarding their order.
By presenting such accurate and honest details, you are reducing the risk of the customer being disappointed with the delivery time of their purchase.
Continuously Assess and Test Your Shipping Options
In the world of e-commerce, things change all the time. This also includes the shipping strategies and options. It is vital to continuously look for other options to get the best services and prices. The charging scheme, plans, and rates change quite often.
Hence, the size, dimensions, and weight of the items that were most cost-effective one month could change in the upcoming month. For instance, UPS and FedEx changed the pricing scheme. Instead of rating prices based on weight, they have started to charge based on the size and weight of the products. They call this pricing system dimensional pricing.
By browsing through various shipping options, you can measure which option is more reliable and convenient. You have to evaluate which option allows you to have a higher profit margin. The testing should be carried out independently and within the same amount of time.
Free shipping depends on whether you will bear the costs and bank on volume or raise the price of your product. Free shipping on a minimum amount of orders can help you counterbalance the cost of offering free shipping. A flat rate allows you to know all the costs and makes it easier to set up.
Real-time carrier rates depend on a range of factors. To help to decide on the best option, look into the shipping calculators provided by the following main carriers:
- FedEx Shipping Rates
- UPS Time and Cost Calculator
- USPS Business price Calculator
It is innate for business owners to try to reduce the costs of running their-commerce stores. Shipping costs are an essential part of budgeting. Finding a reliable shipping company can be quite tricky but is possible; you have to constantly assess the options out there. Always try to keep your customers informed about the shipping and delivery stages so that there is no misconception or disappointment.