When you start a business or pursue becoming a reseller, one of the important factors that you ponder on include which courier company you’ll work with. A good working relationship with a chosen shipping company means you’ll create a great customer experience too. Consider time and safety when you ship parcels to your customers. One of the vital things to remember when it comes to shipping, securing the package and ensuring it is delivered without any damage. Hence, finding the best eCommerce shipping solutions for your needs should be your top priority.
With the rise of eCommerce sellers and businesses, sales for the year 2021 is projected to be at $485 billion annually in the US alone. As the market continues to evolve, more and more businesses adapt to stay ahead of the competition.
Some quick facts to enlighten you:
- 61% of online shoppers abandon their carts due to expensive shipping fees
- 79% of online customers share that free shipping always entices them to revisit the store more than once
Before we take a deep dive about choosing the best eCommerce shipping solutions for your business, let’s first discover what affects your choice and what factors you need to consider.
What services do you need to watch out for with these eCommerce shipping solutions?
In order for your business to perform and satisfy your customers needs and wants, you ensure that your business works with a courier service that you trust. They will be the ones responsible for the transportation of your products.
Make sure you take note of the following:
- Software tools - This is what the shipping company uses to process orders, send out invoices for shipping expenses, send confirmation emails, create and categorize labels, and update customers through notifications sent through emails or texts.
- Automation tools - A shipping company maximizes automation tools to help save time. With automation tools, companies can automate processes, like prefilling shipment detail info (e.g. weight, dimensions, description) so you don’t need to do it individually. Or maybe, you always prefer a certain postage type. Save an automated filter so it defaults to this postage type every time.
- External management service - A shipping company comes with their own warehouse where they store their clients’ products or goods. This is where the majority of the logistic operations happen particularly, sorting packages into different areas for bulk delivery. Moreover, returns happen here especially if customers are allowed to drop defective items in this location.
- Direct Pickup - This service eliminates the hassle and time wasted dropping off the items to the branch location. Aside from that, customers can save money on gas, and allot their time to some other tasks.
- Pick-up points - One of the factors that is included among eCommerce logistics and shipping software solutions entails partner stores that accept packages from customers. Then after the cut-off time, a representative from the shipping company picks up those packages and categorizes them for delivery.
Factors to consider when choosing the best eCommerce shipping solutions
Before choosing a shipping company, you carefully determine which ones fit the budget and your needs. Now, here are the vital factors that you need to look at when choosing the shipping partner you want to work with.
A lot of the eCommerce shipping solutions in Canada consider the size and the weight of every parcel being delivered. This is one of the vital factors that you need to check before choosing a shipping company. Simple as to say, the larger your package is, the more you need to pay for the shipping.
Another factor to look at are the shipping packages, like the shipping insurance. For example, Stallion Express offers the Stallion Protection that allows Canadian online sellers to feel at ease while sending their packages to their customers via our shipping partners. It is a package offering full coverage shipment protection at the most competitive price in the industry. Furthermore, it also offers:
- Fast and stress-free online claims process directly through their website.
- Flat-rate pricing, regardless of the parcel’s destination. It covers most international shipments.
- The best in the industry when it comes to turnaround time as you can get your claims within 3 to 5 business days.
Most online businesses that you find these days offer free shipping to their customers. One of the most common reasons that they offer this is that costly shipping fees tend to drive away customers. Eventually, this makes customers abandon their carts altogether. You don’t want that, right?
The challenge with free shipping is that you may not be able to breakeven with the other expenses that you incur. What you could do is offer free shipping for a minimum amount of purchase from the store.
Some eCommerce shipping solutions in the UK offer a flat rate for parcels that will be delivered in the same area. This way, your customers determine how much the shipping cost will be.
Most courier companies use these metrics to determine how much will it cost you to ship your parcels:
- Point of origin (Where is the package coming from?)
- Destination (or delivery address)
- Insurance (may be optional)
A number of shipping companies provide integration with your preferred eCommerce platform. Some of those online platforms include Shopify, Amazon, and Etsy. Integrations are beneficial, especially for bulk orders in different online marketplaces.Integration allows you to import all your open orders (from multiple marketplaces) with the click of a button. No need to spend time managing multiple tools, copy & pasting, etc. when you can do it all within one screen. One example you can check is Canada’s leading shipping partner, Stallion Express.
eCommerce sellers are empowered by the platforms they use to ship internationally as anyone can see their online store. So, finding a shipping company that ships internationally is one of the priorities that they pay attention to.
Remember that sending items to different countries may need documentation. Reach out to our customer support team if you have a specific country in mind, otherwise required form fields are included when you create, purchase your postage. Other than that, you need to abide by the rules and regulations of the destination country. Make sure that you are transparent with your customers. Do this by putting shipping policies on your online store so they know and they are informed. Explicitly say that it’s no longer part of your responsibility if there will be local custom duties in some country.
As previously stated, you put up shipping policies on your website or the platform that you’re using. Mention about shipping multiple products will arrive at either different times or together. If you want to offer more economical and cost-friendly shipping options to your customers, this could be one option to include.
Another way to save resources and time for delivery would be to let your customers choose the most suitable shipping for them - standard or express delivery.
With the awareness of climate change, global warming, and other environmental issues, more and more customers appreciate and prefer sustainable packaging for their orders. They prefer a more eco-friendly packaging in order to reduce their waste and help the environment recover from all the pollution there is.
Some sellers who handcraft their products include some personal and handwritten notes for their customers. This way, it makes their customers feel cared for. Other than handwritten notes, you may opt to print out thank-you cards or even include gifts or coupons with their order.
Remember to include the invoice. If you are on paperless billing, send a digital copy through their emails or even text messages. Some include information on returns, exchanges, or even refunds.
Various eCommerce platforms now include the use of extensions that let sellers put barcoded labels to ease their operations. However, if you label your packages manually, it’s better to print it out than write it yourself.
Returns, refunds, and exchanges
When a customer feels disappointed about their order or they got the wrong item, they want to return it. Others file for a refund while some communicate with the seller for an item exchange. Make sure that when you compose your shipping policies, you include terms on how customers will be able to do these transactions.
While preparing the package, you may include a printed form where they can fill out in case they encounter trouble with the product. Then specify if they need to drop it off the warehouse or at a partner establishment. If you work with a third party service provider, ensure that they will manage and handle the parcels in good condition. Here, at Stallion Express, we offer U.S. and Canadian returns on orders that need to come back to you.
For example, Ana (the seller) is sending her customer’s order to John’s (the customer) US address. He received the parcel three days later, only to realize he ordered the wrong size. He gets in touch with Ana, and she creates a USPS return label and emails it to him. John puts the label on and seals the shipment. He drops this shipment off at any USPS post office near his residence. Ana will see this returned shipment arrive at Stallion’s U.S. warehouse. She will request this item back to their Canadian Stallion branch location for a fee of $3.99.
To simply put it, Stallion users fill out a one-time POA (Power of Attorney) form to meet our broker’s guidelines. Then, see all pending returns (U.S. and Canadian) show up for you within your Stallion dashboard. Choose to request your item back or dispose of it.
However, take note that Stallion Express return policy only applies to Stallion’s US and Canada shipping, since there are different policies when it comes to exporting items for each country, and the expenses the shipper needs to pay, international returns are not offered.
Some customers are very eager to receive their orders. Standard shipping may take at least 3 to 5 business days while putting a word about express shipping would be equivalent to same-day delivery or next-day delivery.
If you plan on offering this kind of service, do not hesitate to show the rates and be transparent with your customers. Include the information on your shipping policies.
How to choose the best eCommerce shipping solutions for your business?
Identifying what your business needs is the first step in choosing the best eCommerce solution. You factor in the expenses you incur and the method on how you want to pay them. Remember, don’t go over your budget cause your business will suffer too.
Another thing to factor in, the cost of making the product or sourcing it. Next, the things you need in order to securely package it. After learning about the packaging, you check the shipping expenses. Consider our APC DDP postage type option to expedite shipping times by paying for customs duty & fees ahead of time.
You may compare and contrast the services and the rates of every shipping company you encounter. Don’t sign any agreements just yet without checking how efficient their service will be to your business. Better yet, why not give Stallion a try without hesitation - no contract, or upfront costs and let the service speak for itself.
As your business grows, the volume of your shipments increases too. Remember to carefully evaluate what your business needs before availing of any service or giving out discounts.
Level up your online business with Stallion Express, your partner in providing a fast and high-quality shipping service. Don’t hesitate to send us a message or feel free to check our website and social media accounts to know more about us.