Thanks to its convenience, e-commerce has become an indispensable part of your life.
E-commerce has become an unstoppable phenomenon that any serious entrepreneur cannot ignore. It’s fast, easy, convenient, and safe, and they don’t even have to leave the comfort of their own homes to get the items they need.
E-commerce can occur through various channels, including online marketplaces, social media platforms, and e-commerce websites. Being an entrepreneur takes work, no matter what products, services, or software you want to buy or sell or how you source them. There’s a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes.
If you’re selling your products through the e-commerce approach, you’re developing your unique brand of products. You need to consider how you will market and advertise to raise awareness among your target customer base. They need to know you exist and that you’re here to sell. You need to source your suppliers, handle the orders, ship the orders, handle customer complaints, and return any. On top of that, you need to keep tabs on your business’s finances too. So much to do and so little time to do it.
One of the main aspects of e-commerce that needs to be identified from the get-go is e-commerce shipping. Click here to learn more.
What is e-commerce shipping?
Shipping is a critical aspect of e-commerce as it directly affects the customer’s satisfaction with the purchase.
E-commerce shipping refers to the process of delivering products that are purchased online from an e-commerce website to the customers. E-commerce shipping involves all activities related to transporting goods, such as packaging, labeling, and delivery.
Efficient shipping and timely delivery can contribute to positive customer reviews and repeat business, while poor shipping practices can lead to negative reviews and lost customers. This is why choosing the right shipping partner, such as https://firstmile.com/what-is-ecommerce-shipping/ is crucial.
E-commerce businesses have several shipping options available to them. These are:
- In-house Shipping: involves the e-commerce business handling all aspects of Shipping, from packaging to delivery
- Third-party Shipping: involves outsourcing these tasks to a shipping company.
- Dropshipping: involves the e-commerce business partnering with a supplier who ships the products directly to the customer on behalf of the business.
E-commerce shipping also involves several considerations, such as shipping rates, shipping times, and tracking information. Most e-commerce websites provide customers with shipping options and estimates, allowing them to choose the option that suits their needs and budget.
Which e-commerce shipping is better for your business?
The choice between in-house Shipping, third-party Shipping, and dropshipping depends on various factors, including the size and nature of your business, the type of products you sell, your budget, and your logistics capabilities. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice for your business depends on your specific needs and circumstances.
A suitable shipping method will decide how smoothly your business operates, so you must allocate time to this crucial decision. As a new seller, the best advice would be to go with a dropshipping option until your business has picked up the pace. Here are the pros and cons of the three primary options you could consider in the early stages of your business:
It is common for new sellers to run their new business out of their garage or a temporary warehouse, and it is unlikely you’ll have a lot of capital to work in the beginning.
This means you will store your products in your garage once the supplier sends them to you. Once a customer has placed an order, you would ship it to the customer by yourself.
Pros: With the private shipping option, you are familiar with what is going on every step of the way because you are handling it yourself. You learn the inner workings of the shipping business. It allows you to add a personal touch to all your orders. Adding a customized note to each of your packaging for your customers makes you stand out because not many established sellers have the time to do this. Personal notes are also an excellent way to introduce yourself to your customers when you are new.
Cons: With personalized notes, packing it on your own, and managing your business from your garage- it takes significant time and resources on your part. Plus, starting is more expensive, and you need more sales volume to negotiate more favorable rates.
This is the most convenient and time-saving way to fulfill your orders. You let a shipping company handle the process so you can focus on other aspects of your business, like developing your reputation.
Pros: While you need to pay fees to the platform to handle the entire process for you, it is a small price compared to the workload and the headache you are saving yourself from. The most significant part of your job in this entire process would be to get your product safely to the shipping company’s warehouses, and the team will take it from there once your products have arrived.
Cons: Involving a third-party means you need more control over the shipping process and customer experience. There are also fees, especially if you are trying to control costs.
Dropshipping means you don’t physically keep the products on hand or in stock.
Pros: This eliminates the need for your brick-and-mortar store to keep stock of these items or even rent a warehouse where you’d need to keep these products until a customer orders them. When a customer orders a product, what happens is that the seller will then purchase the item from a third-party vendor. The merchant will not be directly handling or seeing the product in question. This third-party vendor is responsible for shipping the item now to the customer. Third-party suppliers focus on manufacturing or wholesaling. This retail partner effectively works with the drop-ship supplier who does the manufacturing, warehousing, packaging, and Shipping of these products on behalf of the retailer.
Cons: There’s also a lack of control over the shipping process and customer experience with this option. Since you don’t see the product, you don’t have direct oversight, so quality is compromised. You also end up paying the supplier and the shipping company to handle things for you, in return, costing you lower profit margins.
Which option would you go for?
You may be interested in: How To Automate Your E-Commerce Business With Dropshipping Software