Suppose you’re steadily growing your eCommerce business. Congratulations! The next essential step you have to take is making sure your shipping and receiving services make customers happy.
There are instances when unexpected eCommerce shipping issues pop up. You might encounter miscommunication with manufacturers, suppliers, or your customers. Shipping internationally might be a challenge. There could be issues that are out of your control: restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, unexpected shipping costs and margins, and more. It can be overwhelming, but take it as an opportunity to improve.
The Basics of eCommerce Shipping: How Does It Work?
It is essential to have a clear understanding of the shipping workflow. Without this knowledge, it can be challenging to track the factors and prevent issues from occurring. eCommerce shipment is all about the transport of products purchased online and their delivery to the designated location. You want to make sure that every step of the process runs smoothly and leaves customers satisfied.
Receiving the order
The customer orders from your store. Check to ensure that the customer submitted all the required information to process the order. Work with manufacturers or suppliers for inventory. If you are a small business, use digital applications, such as MS Excel, to make it easier for you to do your inventory.
Processing the order
After verifying the accuracy of the customer’s data, the stock manager proceeds to confirm the availability of the order. The item should be in stock with zero damage, and safely packed. Once all is settled, the shipper gets the green light to pick it up. Again, if you are a one-man team, then it is your responsibility to check each product to ensure that it passes the standard.
Items are prepared to ship. The fulfillment of the order varies in method, such as outsource fulfillment, self-fulfillment, dropshipping, and more.
Delivery of the order
The order has been successfully delivered to the customer’s destination. The customer signs a receipt as an official proof of completed delivery. Hopefully, the customer leaves positive feedback, but some companies later ask for reviews on the purchase and delivery services.
6 Best Practices of Shipping for eCommerce
After learning the basics of the process, the next step to a growing and effective online business is setting a strategy. What makes an effective shipping strategy? Here are six essential factors to get you started.
Understand Shipping Responsibilities
The first step to building a shipping strategy is to learn the job’s responsibilities.
- Keep records of all products being shipped
- Ensure all orders (labels and shipping documents) are correctly filled
- Store information for verified incoming shipments
- Prepare and develop mailing labels and shipping documents
- Packing and unpacking of items in shipping containers
Loop Your Customers in on Real-Time Updates
One of the most critical factors in growing your relationship with customers is to keep them updated. Connect your e-commerce store with the system used in shipping. It shows your transparency and will increase overall customer satisfaction.
Set Clear, Specific Goals
Setting detailed objectives helps build the exact strategy you need. What do you want to accomplish in building your eCommerce business? Are you planning to expand globally? What about shipping costs and margins? Is there a need to improve in operations? Create your goals based on what you’re focused on achieving.
Understand the Digits
A primary goal of online shipping is to provide the right (and preferably lowest) shipping rates to customers. Think about your product size, locations covered, and available shipping services. Free shipping is usually a good starting point, but find out what truly matches your unique needs. An example would be finding which shipping service is cheapest, the services best for small business shipping in Canada, and more.
You also need to know duties, taxes, and tariffs. There might be additional fees required, and you should inform customers about this. Make sure to include it on your shipping policy page.
The Small Details Matter
With the large pool of competition in the eCommerce industry, you have to stand out to get more customers and sales. Therefore, you need more than just a simple shipping service.
One great idea is to add a type of packaging insert. Some examples are discount offers, personal gratitude notes, product samples, and more! You can be as creative as you please to impress your customers.
Find the Right People
Hire the right people and build the right team together. All these goals can only work if everyone shares the same spirit to accomplish them.
Shipping is only one of the many factors in eCommerce growth. It might be overwhelming at first, but take it one step at a time. If carefully planned and implemented, it will take you to unexpected levels of success. Give your customers a shipping experience they’ll never forget!