Shipping is not what it used to be. People do not accept shipping conditions such as four to six weeks. Today we can get deliveries even in four to six days. Amazon is taking things even further and offering same day delivery in some cities. E-commerce shipping is evolving and it is important as an e-commerce business to know the details of it.
E-commerce shipping is an important aspect of the e-commerce business since the modern customers expect the best they can get. Better shipping offers can create incentives for customers to converge to other e-commerce businesses. It is a tough environment and the expectations are high.
Improving your shipping conditions requires you to consider all the factors that affect the process. There are a lot of events taking place before your product reaches the customer. You go through a variety of vendors, use a lot of different technologies and work with many service providers. You don’t even have to know that you are doing business with them but when you are working with one of them remember that those businesses are going through many processes just like you are.
Before choosing your vendors you need to know a few things about your business to find the right vendor for your business. Your sales volume is one of those aspects. What is the approximate number of your sales in different periods such as daily, monthly, yearly or seasonal? Another aspect is your packaging. It matters what kind of a packaging you are using or do you need labels on them. How much are they costing you per package? The weight of the usual customer order is also important when it comes to shipping costs. You also need to know how much time is spent on preparing these packages. After you create your packages the next step is to send them to your vendors. It is important to find vendors which are closer or if not when is it faster and less costly for you to send them to the vendors. These also differ according to your product If you are selling clothes your products are not time sensitive but if your products are vegetables or fruits then your products need to be shipped in different kind of packages according to their temperature of preservation. Also these kind of products are time sensitive which requires you to be quick.
If your e-commerce business is not a big one you may rely on regular shipping companies such as FedEx or UPS but it is important for you to plan ahead. Your business may take the next step and become a higher scaled e-commerce business. This will provide you with many problems over your shipping systems. It would be wise to at least have a plan for your expected high scale business conditions and come up with a system of shipping for them beforehand. Also even if you are going with UPS and FedEx you need to keep in mind that your customer locations can vary. And having only two choices for shipping may not be the most efficient one. A different option can be local postal services. Because, your cost of delivery on weekends or in rural areas might turn out to be higher than you think. Drop shipping, is another favorable shipping system. Without having to create the space for storage of your orders, you can send them to a manufacturer’s or a wholesaler’s warehouse and ship the products from there.
Technological developments also change the course of shipping. E-commerce businesses can operate in many countries, cities and may have to use different vendors, service providers etc. This kind of a big scale operation is due to have many problems in the supply chain process. Thanks to technology tracking the shipping processes is one of the things that got easier. If there is any kind of problem with the order you can track down the troubled step of the shipping and work it out. Optimizations will become more successful with this integration. Also technology allows you to provide your customers with the tracking numbers for their orders which provides them with the up to date knowledge of their orders’ whereabouts.
An important thing to protect your business from problems is to make sure you have solid return policies. E-commerce has shortcomings of its own since people cannot see the product in front of them until they buy it problems can occur. Providing them with return policies can be a resolution for this problem. As we mentioned earlier in here, apparel sector is one of those sectors which comes across many returns due to its lack of brick and mortar experience of purchase. Having a customer friendly return policy can become their life saver.
Also as we mentioned earlier in here, your shipping process is the last process which faces the customer. Having a professional staff of delivery will be a positive image for your business. Your packaging can also improve your image as well. There are many creative things that are applicable to the shipping process. But before you get into that make sure that you go through our short list of things to do above. We wish you good luck on your e-commerce business and a great shipping process.
Shipping is one of the most important processes of e-commerce to be successful.