Are you planning to start an eCommerce business? Then one of the most important aspects that you need to establish is your shipping strategy.
With the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are relying on shipping services. People now order food online instead of going to restaurants or grocery stores.
Of course, there are many other items that people buy online. Some of these items even come from the other side of the globe. But as an online seller, do you know how to ship products to customers safely and conveniently?
Continue reading below as we give you some valuable tips on eCommerce shipping.
It Starts With Your Goals
The first step in learning how to ship products to customers is defining your shipping strategy goals. Determine specifically what you want to achieve using your shipping strategy.
One of the most common goals of any eCommerce business is increasing conversions. To reach this goal, you should meet your market’s expectations in terms of rates and shipping options.
Another goal is to increase your average order value (AOV). You can launch flat rate shipping or free shipping to excite people and get them to buy more of your products.
You also want to make expanding your market one of your shipping goals. This means shipping to areas where people do not have access to your products. You can offer international shipping or in-store pickups.
Furthermore, you want to make it a goal to improve your operational efficiency. This means making sure your fulfillment team has all the accurate information about picking, packing, and shipping orders.
Last but not least, you want to reduce your expenses. Do this by using real-time calculators to decrease your expenses by rates. Additionally, you can house your business operations under a single facility.
Pick Your Shipping Options
With your goals in place, you can now choose your shipping options. Examples include LTL freight carriers, same-day delivery, and free shipping.
If you’re shipping large items and bulk orders for B2B transactions, LTL freight carriers are your best bet. If your products are food and other perishables, same-day delivery is something that you will need.
Meanwhile, you can offer free shipping, especially when launching promos. Studies reveal that 90% of consumers say free shipping is one of the best things online shopping has to offer. Moreover, 61% of customers will somewhat likely cancel their purchase if the merchant doesn’t offer free shipping.
But before you finalize your shipping options, there are important considerations you must first look into. First is the size and weight of the product. Second is the shipping destination.
For the first consideration, you need to find the size and weight difference from your smallest and lightest product to your largest and heaviest ones. If your items are mostly uniform in these aspects, go for a per-item and zone-based shipping approach.
This means the shipping fees will vary depending on the location of your customers.
As for the shipping destinations, flat-rate shipping will work best for domestic shipping.
Invest in Shipping Software
Another secret to safe and effective shipping is using shipping software. A shipping software or program is something you can integrate into your online store. From there, you can come up with real-time shipping computations.
As your customers input their orders, the software can automatically calculate the corresponding shipping rates. The computations will use the weight, dimensions, and other factors about the product.
Moreover, you can print your shipping labels using the computers in your office. This means you no longer need to go to the post office to get your shipping labels. This also makes room for customization in your labels, which can help boost your branding.
Additionally, the software lets you print packing slips.
How to Ship Products to Customers Safely: Mind Your Boxes
No shipping guide is complete without tackling the packaging conundrum. With so many types of shipment packaging options, how do you know if you’re choosing the right ones? The answer depends on the size, weight, and type of product you’re shipping.
If your items come in moderate weights, corrugated boxes are excellent options. They are sturdy enough to carry average-sized items while providing ample cushioning. Moreover, they can also survive longer travels.
But if your products are small and lightweight, paperboard and chipboard boxes are your best friends. If you’re catering to the international market, investing in cleated plywood boxes is your wisest option.
Most courier companies offering air freight use these boxes for their cross-border shipping. Though these boxes are light, they are nevertheless sturdy and solid.
Wrapping Also Counts
Last but not least, you need to consider the wrapping and protective packaging. There are many types of protective packaging to choose from. Some of the best ones include packing foam, packing paper, and packing peanuts.
There are also the padded divider sets and shipping shrink wrap. When shipping glassware, mirrors, and other fragile items, use bubble wraps. Make sure to use multiple layers to ensure topnotch impact protection.
If you’re shipping durable items, your packing peanuts can provide enough protection. If you run out of packing peanuts, get some old newspapers and stuff the spaces between the items and the boxes.
After wrapping, you can then proceed to pack and seal the goods. Make sure there is little space for movement inside the box. To determine this, shake the box a bit and listen for any rattling.
If there is rattling, add some more padding inside the box. Complete the packing process by sealing the box with some durable packing tape. Be sure to seal off every opening.
You may also reinforce the box by putting tape along the sides and corners.
Take Your eCommerce Business to the Next Level
Learning how to ship products to customers safely is paramount to any online store. Sending your products in excellent condition reflects on the brand’s reputation. But eCommerce shipping is only one facet you need to cover.
Discover new strategies by checking out our other articles. We discuss helpful topics that will take your online business to the next level.