Can you think of the most important aspect of your e-commerce store that you are in complete control of?
Well, some would say all of it but that’s not the case for lots of e-commerce business owners. Some business owners only focus on the financials of their business while they hire others to focus on other aspects.
If you are a successful e-commerce business owner, you’re eventually going to need to hire out because there’s no way for you to do it all.
Take a look at 4 of the shipping strategies that will help your businesses obtain more customers and help you manage your shipping processes better.
Enhance e-commerce customer experience
Even in the midst of running your business and hiring others to help you in other areas, the one thing you have complete control over is the customer experience you want to give customers.
If you are an entrepreneur and are in the very beginning stages of starting your website, one of the first things you need to immediately do is get your domain name registered, get all necessary licenses, and obtain the required company and ID numbers.
Aside from the legalities of establishing your business, your next focus will be in determining the type of experience you want customers to have when shopping at your online store.
There are so many factors at play in giving customers a good online shopping experience, such as:
- Store’s loading speed
- Easy navigation
- Make it easier to checkout
- Stylish website design
- Quality photos of products with detailed descriptions
- Give full and complete details on shipping costs
In order to be successful, you really need to take the time out to strategize your shipments. E-commerce business owners fail to realize that if you’re selling internationally, every country has rules, regulations, restrictions, and taxes that you need to be aware of so that you don’t end up with unexpected surprises (additional fees or delays in shipment) for your business or customers.
Being thoroughly informed will not only be good for business but it will also contribute to the customer’s online experience with your store.
Out of all of above factors that contribute greatly to good customer experiences, do you know which one is overlooked quite often? It’s the information about shipping.
Enhance shipping experience
Shipping might not sound like a big deal but it actually holds its own weight of importance in your business.
For instance, look at transit time. You can guarantee a transit time but guaranteeing it is one of the biggest complaints that shippers have with carriers. People will either think someone stole their package or think it got lost in transit when the reality is that it just got delayed.
Not only that but also from the moment a customer orders a product from your business, it is immediately handed over to a stranger to be shipped out.
This stranger could be completely reckless with your shipping your packages and depending on what that customer ordered, it could truly make or break your business.
That’s why it’s so important to make sure you choose the right shipping partner. People tend to think that shipping is as easy as just finding a courier and shipping your products right out but it’s not that easy… new e-commerce business owners tend to do this quite often.
Use your packaging as a tool to market your business
It’s pretty apparent that the world of e-commerce is constantly evolving and the same thing can be said about its customers as well. It’s pretty safe to say that years ago, customers could care less about packaging… the only concern among customers was that they got their package without any damages. But today, customers have gotten fancy with their wants and needs.
Today’s customers not only expect to be impressed by your website’s design and quality of the actual product they ordered but they also expect you to impress them in the way they receive their products too! Is that asking too much?
Some business owners think it’s a bit much but other business owners choose to look at their demands as a way to market their business.
The way you package your products is what will help customers separate your brand from other brands. It will give your customers another way to experience your brand outside of the product itself.
In addition to that, you also want to make sure your packaging will secure your customers’ products and prevent cargo damage as well as represent your brand in a positive light that will stick in the minds of your customers to make them repeat buyers… get creative!
Know your shipping options
Before you can even begin to think about shipping products out, you need to have a strategy in place for shipping because this is the area where people will leave their “shopping carts” abandoned.
The bottom line of this area is to find a way to satisfy your customers, price-wise, all while cutting into your margin the least.
Offering free shipping is one of the quickest ways to get more customers but it can also work against you by cutting into your revenue… if you don’t strategize it well enough. Typically, this option works great for domestic shipping but it can also be useful in national and international deliveries as well.
So, in knowing that everyone loves free shipping and that it attracts more customers, what’s the best way to cover it without losing too much revenue?
This can only be achieved in two ways: You can either just absorb the costs altogether or you can increase the price of the products a little. If you choose to absorb the shipping costs, you can just simply require a minimum amount per order, which will then cover the shipping costs. This is a great way to gain more customers as long as you strategize it well.
Offer Flat Rates
Flat rates is another strategy that you can use to figure price based on weight range and totals of orders. You’ll want to be sure you choose the flat rate that works best for your business and decide whether you want to price it based on weight or order total. Whichever one you choose, it will definitely require some a strategic approach with testing to see which one works best.
Whether you realize it or not, shipping is an integral part of e-commerce. UPS stresses the importance of a solid shipping solution, stating that it can be the success or failure of your business.
There will of course be problems and circumstances that you will not be able to prevent but outside of that, you want customers to be able to associate your business as one that has reliable shipping strategies.
So take the proactive approach and familiarize yourself with the various shipping strategies available in the market as there are several more outside of those listed here. You just need to understand them and figure out which one will work best for your business.
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