Mastering your e-commerce shipping solutions will improve your business in ways beyond your imagination. The act of managing shipping, from packing orders to monitoring expenses, can lead you to success and is one of the most important operations for small- to medium-size business owners. The following shipping tips for e-commerce will help you start improving your operations like never before. Implement these to set up your dream e-commerce shipping company.
Shipping Tips for e-Commerce Beginners
Know How Much Your Products Weigh
It may seem obvious to know how much your products weighs, but in terms of calculating shipping costs, there is more than meets the eye. Product shipping weight does not refer to the product alone; it also includes the stuffing and packaging necessary to safely ship the product. For example, if you are selling items made of glass, you will need to layer them in packing materials such as foam, air pillows, bubble wrap, or packing peanuts. These packing materials, the cardboard box, and the tape, all add to the shipment’s total weight. On the other hand, if you’re selling something lightweight but bulky, like a large stuffed animal, it may be subject to what is known as dimensional weight. Dimensional weight pricing charges shippers either the average weight of a package of about the same size, or the actual weight of the package, whichever is greater. Knowing how much your product actually weighs will help you estimate shipping costs more accurately.
Use Flat Rate, Regional Shipping
Often, the best choice for a new e-commerce business is to use flat-rate and regional rate shipping services. Although the services are not always the most affordable way to ship, they are typically competitively priced and are definitely among the easiest to understand out of all the shipping methods available.
Offer Free Shipping
This may seem like a backwards idea, but sometimes you have to spend a little to make a lot. Offering free shipping is a popular option for many companies because it reduces shopping cart abandonment. Many people cancel their orders after placing it in the online shopping cart because of the shipping costs, but you can eliminate this problem completely by providing free shipping. You might be spending money on shipping, but you have the potential to make much more money on fulfilled orders. To do this in an even smarter way, you can increase the cost of your products to cover the shipping cost, so the customer pays it without being aware. Or, you can outright pay for their shipping, considering the cost as a means to gain more money. A third option to implement free shipping, is to guarantee it with a minimum order amount. This way, you can offset the cost of the shipping by increasing the amount you make on the order. For example, ask your customer to spend at least $50 to receive free shipping. That way, if they plan to spend $35, they may be more likely to increase their order with extra items to benefit from free shipping.
Use Shipping Software
Possibly the worst place to buy shipping or print shipping labels is at your local post office or UPS store. Employing shipping software, even if it means simply buying your postage online, will help you purchase shipping or postage at a discounted rate. You may also benefit from other features through this method, including better tracking, integration with marketplaces, or some level of shipping automation.
Ensure Correct Product Specifications
Be sure when you’re listing your product online, that you provide correct product specifications, or else you could lose customers and money. The weight and size of your product gets factored in to generate a general shipping amount. But if your product specifications are incorrect, the estimated shipping will also be incorrect. Unless you want to cover the difference, be sure to accurately list your product specifications.
Get Insurance and Tracking Services
Insurance and tracking services and rates depend on the value and type of product you’re selling. This factor is not necessary in all cases, but it can offer you great security if you are shipping valuable items. Insurance and tracking services are available to you for a low price by most courier service providers, but these expenses are often built into their shipping costs. You should make sure you check the exact services these providers offer you when you’re comparing prices. If you are now starting the e-commerce process, you must find ways to ship smart. Shipping is a large expense and you must do your research carefully to know how to ship without losing too much money. Map the costs carefully, be aware of little charges that can add up in the long run, and make sure you understand all the savings options courier services have to offer you.
Represent Your Brand with Packaging
It is important to remember that your product, shipping label, and even your box all represent your brand. When you send an order to a customer, you are sending customers information about your business and brand, as well as the product. This is why you should never reuse boxes that have been sent to you. Reusing old boxes tells your customers that you are amateur and unprofessional. Making a good first impression with your customer is extremely important when compared to the cost of your shipping boxes. Is it not better to spend the money on a new box if it means that your customer might more likely order a second time?
Work with a Fulfillment Partner/Warehouse
If you need assistance in automating and handling your shipping, working with the fulfillment warehouse can be extremely advantageous. These professionals allow you to choose inventory at their warehouses, help you integrate your operations, manage your packing and shipping for you, and get your product to the end-user faster and at a more affordable rate.
E-Commerce Shipping Services for Beginners in Florida
If the e-commerce shipping tips above got you excited about saving money and gaining repeat and new customers, but you don’t know where to start, you may require some professional advice. One of the many services APS Fulfillment, Inc. provides, is advice on e-commerce shipping service best practices. Additionally, we are able to provide you with a variety of hands-on services, which include e-commerce fulfillment, product fulfillment, direct mail marketing, fulfillment solutions, and fulfillment markets. We also use the best quality software systems to manage your warehouse, so if you’re looking for the right company, look no further than APS Fulfillment, Inc. You can contact us by e-mail at [email protected] or toll-free by phone at (954) 582-7450.
Photo Credit: iStock.com/BrianAJackson