E-commerce order shipping is an increasingly common business practice and has seen an ever-increasing share of retail sales in the past few years. Since it has a relatively low barrier to entry, e-commerce shipping is popular for small businesses. Those same small businesses, however, may begin to face order shipping challenges that can weaken their competitiveness if not successfully navigated. Here is a handy guide to some of the common challenges faced when using e-commerce shipping solutions as well as the best practices in e-commerce shipping needed to overcome them and thrive.
E-commerce businesses are always looking for the most effective ways to deliver their orders. Drop shipping usually comes up as a viable option because it seems to take away some of the hassle. But some of the drop shipping challenges may not be immediately evident, and when a distributor or manufacturer takes on the responsibility of delivering their products directly to the consumer, there are several factors that need to be considered.
Multichannel selling in e-commerce is simple to understand but tricky to master. In short, multichannel selling is the use of multiple venues to bring products to customers. In the old days, this meant brick-and-mortar stores plus mail order catalogs. Now, it includes online stores, public marketplaces (Amazon, eBay, etc.), shopping-comparison sites, and so on. Despite this evolution, the ultimate goal and benefit of a multichannel selling approach has remained unchanged: attracting more customers and bringing your products to people who wouldn’t otherwise be reached by conventional approaches.
By now you must know that shipping e-commerce packages takes a lot of coordination. Finding the best way to ship a package involves many moving parts. And if you don’t have the correct system in place, it can be detrimental to your bottom line and negatively impact customer service.
The best way to ship e-commerce packages takes some know-how. Unless you’re experienced in fulfillment services, partnering with a 3PL is likely your best bet. In this article we’ll discuss some basic strategies for successfully shipping packages that will work for your e-commerce business.
As a business owner, you likely already know how frustrating the entire returns process can be. In e-commerce, you are likely to reach more customers than brick-and-mortar stores, but that also means that returns will be more prevalent. However, it’s a fair trade off if your e-commerce product returns management system is sound.
It may surprise you to know that a recent survey showed that an unclear return policy is at the top of the list for cart abandonment, followed by the customer simply being distracted. From the consumers’ perspective, they are taking a chance by ordering your product without having the opportunity to see it or feel it in person. If they are not confident that they can return this product if it doesn’t match their standards, then expect for that order to remain in their cart.
There are numerous reasons why an e-commerce customer would return a product ranging from ordering the wrong size to simply changing their minds. E-commerce orders face a higher rate of returns than brick-and-mortar store purchases, so there will always be a need for effective e-commerce product returns management. The importance of an effective returns management strategy is quite simple. If done well, you can recapture value from the products and minimize the costs associated with the process. If customer returns aren’t managed properly, then you face an unpredictable scenario where you can’t reliably trust how much of your sales profits are actually going to stay with your company. Fortunately, there are ways to improve the process.
“Omnichannel fulfillment” refers to any order fulfillment operations that service both business-to-business (B2B) and direct-to-consumer shipping (D2C). In today’s rising e-commerce environment, omnichannel fulfillment is usually seen when a business is shipping products out to retail locations as well as to any customers who order online. Being able to manage omnichannel fulfillment successfully can be a great boon for your business, as it allows you to sell products through multiple streams of business and have better access to consumers. Omnichannel fulfillment does come with challenges, however, but these can be made easier by finding the correct fulfillment services partner to work with.
If you’re already in the e-commerce retail business, you have realized by now that there has been an increase in shipment costs. That’s because the USPS was given the go-ahead to alter its prices, which overwhelmingly meant increasing shipping rates across the board. For businesses just getting into shipping this year, this cost obviously hasn’t changed. But those who have been shipping packages for a while would have had to adjust to the 2016 postage rate increase.
Omni-channel fulfillment is essentially when a company uses a single inventory source to fulfill orders through all channels. That includes e-commerce, wholesale, in-store, in-store pickup, and in-store delivery. The trend of omni-channel order fulfillment is based on having one system handle all logistics, which means all products can be selected simultaneously regardless of the channel.
Whether or not your business decides to offer free e-commerce shipping is a big decision. You are faced with customer demand and increased competition from other e-commerce businesses already offering free shipping, but you also need to worry about your bottom line. Free shipping can be a great way to increase online sales, but it’s up to you to figure out at what cost.
And for every business, deciding on free shipping will come down to factors specific to their company. But there are some pros and cons that should be weighed out before any final decision is reached. This way, you are fully prepared for the process and the outcomes.