Every brand has aspirations of success and growth. When you start your company, there are many factors that you prepare for, from inventory, production, manufacturing, and marketing. One of the facets that many tend to gloss over is the shipping side. This is a significant part of any business and is especially essential to the growth of any eCommerce company.
Here are 8 factors that you need to know when it comes to product shipping.
1. Price Comparisons
When all is said and done, your pricing is going to play a significant role in how your company can do business. You want to compare prices between competitors as different price points offer different services. You will need to factor this in with your budget and see how much you can afford, depending on the size of your brand and the stage in its growth. The price will be determined by many factors. It will be the first thing you consider, but there are many other facets that you need to recognize as well.
2. Consideration of Products Weights
A big factor to consider when shipping products is the weight of said products. A lot of companies will have restrictions and limitations set on different weights, as well as tie together different prices on the various weight classes during shipment. Having this information will be crucial in determining your shipping options and translate to the pricing options you set up for your website and eCommerce business.
You will want to ensure that you have a scale or a method to measure the weights of your outgoing products prior to shipping to avoid unexpected price changes. A good option for many businesses is to look for flat rate options to keep your shipping costs low.
3. Shipping Methods
The method of shipping is important to consider with your eCommerce business. You need to establish what options you want to provide your customers, and at what price points. There are several methods to choose from such as ground, priority shipping, or first class to name a few. It is necessary for almost every business to offer several options.
An express or expedited option may not be used frequently, but your customers will appreciate the option and be likely to shop with you if provided that opportunity.
You will never know when a customer needs your products the next day, perhaps forgetting a crucial birthday or anniversary. Also, consider tracking options for parcels as your customers will appreciate the ability to track their packages. Anything to increase the likelihood of a customer choosing you will benefit your eCommerce growth.
4. Understanding How Long Shipping Takes
When looking into the shipping options you have with different services, understand the length of time for the shipments. Consult and use domestic zone maps to help you with your understanding.
It is important to relay this information to the customer and also be able to provide services or guarantees such as warranties and returns that consider this time frame. This information will help your customers in deciding if they should shop with you or continue to give you their continued patronage.
5. Domestic Shipping and International Shipping
As you continue to operate and grow your eCommerce business, you need to consider shipping options and your customer base. You want to be able to relay to customers where you offer shipments, whether you are only operating domestically or are offering international shipping.
There will be differing costs, shipment times, border restrictions, and trade policies to consider. You want to learn about these options as this will help you establish your customer base and prepare for international growth.
Once you have made all the considerations of the different shipping methods you will provide customers on your sites, you will need to consider the packaging. As mentioned, you can use the flat rate boxes that provide you consistency in prices, but this will all vary in terms of your local postal services.
Your own packaging can also be an inexpensive option. For different options in terms of size and weight, see website for details. There are many different options that you need to consider depending on the product itself and what works with your company and the customer.
7. Reliability of Shippers
Pricing plays a huge factor in which shipper or which methods you choose to ship. However, it is necessary to do your research into the reliability of different services. Different companies have certain levels and standards tied to their name, and their reputation can have an impact on your own business. Shipping with a service that has a proven track record of being unreliable will cause your customers to be dissatisfied with their interaction with you and your company.
Even if your company is a separate entity than the service you choose to ship with, your customers will see this choice of the shipper as a reflection or tied together with your brand. It is up to you to choose shippers that will provide the same attention and care to detail that your brand does when it comes to your products.
8. Packaging Slips, Return Information
Along with the packaging and the items within the packaging, you want to enclose slips and information with your products. This adds a personal touch, especially for businesses that cannot afford to ship using their own personalized packaging, but still want to provide outstanding customer service and create that relationship.
Adding things like a thank you note, instructions, return information, and customer support options will give your customers a positive feeling at the very end of the transactions. Business is often a very depersonalized experience, so adding a touch of humanity into the fold can help foster a brand’s growth.
Once a product leaves your company’s hands, the transaction is not complete until it reaches the customer. With this in mind, the shipping stage of your company is integral to your day to day business. Many factors need to be considered in the shipment process and you need to understand and be prepared to handle everything that is involved in this stage.
Interesting related article: “What is Shipping?”