Running an e-commerce business means handling various tasks.
Luckily, you can delegate and outsource some parts of your business operations. For instance, you can hire NitroSell’s digital marketing team to handle your online campaigns.
Like your digital marketing, you can also improve your shipping strategy. Doing so allows you to streamline the process and ensure that your customers are happy.
Keep on reading to find out how you can simplify your shipping services:
Know your shipping strategy goals
Whether you are an independent or multi-store retailer, there are various reasons why you should improve your shipping strategy:
- Increased Conversions. Your shipping options and rates can impact your conversion rate.
- Increased Average Order Value (AOV). You can offer free shipping in exchange for a qualifying basket size.
- Expanded Market Reach. When you partner with the right logistics companies, you can expand your market reach without hassle. That’s because they are more likely to have warehouses in various locations.
- Decreased Operating Cost. Having the right logistics partner means that they can handle your products’ storage, packing, and delivery. The right technology also allows you to be efficient, which reduces costs due to complications and human errors.
- Improved Efficiency. A simple shipping strategy allows you to focus on what’s essential for your e-commerce business. It also prevents you from making mistakes often.
Whatever your goals are, it is crucial to consider customer satisfaction. After all, they are the reason your online business exists.
Moreover, identifying your goal allows you to lay out a robust plan to improve your shipping strategy.
Simplify your shipping options
It can be tempting to offer a handful of shipping options when running an online store. But having one too many can lead to confusion and human error. This can also result in shipping delays.
Thus, the first step to improving your shipping strategy is to simplify your shipping options.
Here’s an example of simplified shipping options:
- Shipping within the county or state
- Shipping from one state to another
- International shipping
Another great example is regular or expedited shipping.
When you simplify your shipping options, you also narrow down your list of logistics partners.
You can employ one carrier for state-wide shipping and another for inter-state shipping. Plus, you can partner with an international logistics company for your international shipping.
Carriers have regular and expedited shipping services, which simplifies your shipping needs further.
Know what you need
You cannot simplify your shipping services if you do not know what you need. Hence, it is imperative to evaluate your shipping needs if you want to improve your e-commerce processes.
PRO TIP: Many of your outbound shipments fall in a general category based on weight or size. Hence, you are doing your customers a disservice if you make shipping arrangements based on your products.
What you can do is let your logistics partner handle a broad category of products. Think small (two kilos or lighter), medium (two kilos to five kilos), and large (five kilos or heavier).
Luckily, your preferred logistics partners have provisions for various shipping sizes. You can opt to leverage it to simplify your shipping strategy.
Doing so also decreases the risk of shipping errors. That’s because a simplified process results in efficient e-commerce fulfillment.
Consolidate your distribution network
Consolidating your distribution network is ideal if you own a large e-commerce business. Either way, this is another excellent way to improve your shipping strategy.
To make this work, there are two things that you need to do:
- Know where the bulk of your order comes from.
- Monitor your shipping partners’ route.
These allow you to identify which of the networks needs simplification and how.
Imagine this: You notice that the majority of your customers are from the northeastern United States. Yet, your logistics partner always detours in the Midwest to deliver other items.
This can lead to added shipping costs or hiring more dispatch personnel.
What you can do is build your distribution network based on consumer demand.
Using our example, it can be through setting up warehouses near the midwest and the northeastern United States. If not, you can opt to book separate shipping partners: One in the northeast US and one for the midwest.
Doing so allows you to run an efficient shipping process.
Talk with your logistics partner
Once you are done identifying your shipping goals and needs, the next step is to coordinate with your logistics partners. This is to know whether your preferred shipping partner can cater to your needs.
This includes the following:
- Product size and weight
- Delivery options (e.g., free pick up and same-day delivery)
After all, your delivery options can impact how much it will cost. And this can also make or break your online business.
Nonetheless, a simple shipping strategy allows you to be in control of how you run your business.
As Ashley Overton of ShipperHQ puts it, being in control of your shipping options allows you to offer the lowest shipping rate possible.
Another advantage is that you can offer options that your customers want. You can also provide free shipping without compromising your finances.
Efficient Shipping Process Makes Your Customers Happy
If you find your current shipping strategy cumbersome, know that you are not alone. A lot of online businesses encounter issues on product delivery, especially now that there is a pandemic.
The key to improving your shipping strategy is to focus on what you need. And most of the time, what you need is a logistics partner that can help you serve as many customers as possible.
This could mean shipping your products internationally with ease. You can also offer free shipping costs without hurting your finances. Another thing is to deliver as many products as possible, so long as they are within the same area or do not require a detour.
Doing so lets you simplify your shipping process. And a simple method is an efficient process. Meaning, you can deliver your products on schedule, which can make your customers happy.
About the Author: Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment, a trusted third-party logistics company. He has years of experience in e-commerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.
Share your email with NitroSell to get e-commerce tips and industry insights direct to your inbox.