When you are a small business owner, order fulfillment is fairly easy. You take the product, put it in a box, and ship it to your customer. But as your business grows, you need to find strategies that could make the shipping process fast, efficient, and less expensive.
Shipping is one of the significant parts of an e-Commerce business. You could have great products, excellent offers and discounts, and promotional strategies, but the whole online purchasing experience takes a hit if you lack quality, reliable shipping.
The packing and shipping process is not as simple as it looks, and so many things can easily be overlooked. If you have custom orders, they will take more time to pick, pack, and ship and require more staff and resources to meet the shipping needs. Read on to learn more about e-commerce packing and shipping and how you can handle them more efficiently.
Common Misconceptions About eCommerce Shipping
The bigger the box, the better. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make while packing and shipping your products. Bigger boxes take up extra space and cost more. Packing experts know exactly how to save costs by choosing the right packaging materials.
Packing materials are not eco-friendly. Yes, some packing materials end up in landfills and are non-bio-degradable. But there are many eco-friendly packaging options such as packing peanuts, recyclable air cushions, shredded paper, and more that you can use for your packing.
Order delivery is seamless. Most businesses think that their part is done once they ship the product. Choosing the wrong carrier would lead you to a delayed delivery, excess shipping costs, and an annoyed customer. You need the right shipping partner to help you make efficient delivery and handle any damages or returns.
eCommerce 101: Pick, Pack and Ship
No matter how big or small your business is, some of the processes in packing and shipping remain the same.
Pick: You pull out the products according to the order, from the warehouse shelves or your eCommerce fulfillment center
Pack: Depending on the order details, you pack the products and prepare them for shipping
Ship: You send out the packed products to the customer
These three simple processes consist of the order fulfillment system in the e-Commerce business and it can be either done by in-house staff or by a 3PL fulfillment center, the latter of which can significantly help reduce shipping costs and improve customer satisfaction.
Types of Shipping Options
Due to the pandemic, there is a significant rise in online shopping, and majority of the customers expect free and fast shipping. But when you are a business owner, handling overnight deliveries every day is not a feasible and cost-friendly option. You should be able to offer the customers a few shipping options and a free delivery that’s fairly faster. So how do you do that?
Two Day Shipping
This golden shipping option was introduced by Amazon back in 2005, and it has become the standard since then. Data shows that most customers prefer this to be a free shipping option, making it one of the significant motivating factors behind choosing an e-commerce business to purchase from. However, 2-day shipping is mainly feasible only if you have multiple fulfillment centers close to the customer, smart shipping strategies, and reliable shipping partners.
Same Day Shipping
Let’s be honest, some products that customers order online might be urgent, and they might even be ready to pay extra for the delivery. But the question is, are you prepared to offer and fulfill same day delivery? Do you have enough resources or order fulfillment support to offer this kind of shipping option?
Many popular delivery services like FedEx offers overnight shipping services at a specific price for each region. If your e-commerce business is equipped to offer overnight shipping, you will be able to reach a wider, loyal audience. For this, you need to have real-time shipping information and a tracking system.
Express shipping or expedited delivery is faster than your standard delivery option, like a priority mail or a speed delivery. This shipping option is also offered at a surge rate.
Choosing the Right Shipping and Warehousing Partner
Partnering with major shipping carriers on your own may seem ideal for your business at first. But as your business grows, you need an order fulfillment partner with multiple locations and exceptional shipping strategies to lower your costs. There are many benefits to choosing a fulfillment partner:
Reduced shipping costs: If you want to increase your shipping volume without spending too much on renting or buying additional warehouse space, a 3PL fulfillment center is your best shot. Whether you are a small or an established business, having a fulfillment partner can offer you multiple shipping options, warehouses closer to the customer and organized inventory management.
The right technology: The perfect fulfillment partner will have the whole package for you. Using the right software and systems, you will do better inventory management, packing, shipping and even real-time tracking.
Packaging: It’s crucial to pick the right box for the packing - not too big, or small. This dimensional packaging and pricing model will help you reduce unwanted shipping and packing costs. You don’t have to worry about picking the right boxes, shipping options, or offering a faster, seamless delivery with a fulfillment partner.
Shipping schedule: If you are aiming to build a loyal customer base, consistency is the key. Apart from the quality and reliability of your products, customer satisfaction plays an important role in e-Commerce business. Forecast how frequently you will need to ship and the shipping volume. This will help you to meet the demands and ensure hassle-free shipping and delivery.
Shipping support: When you are a growing business, offering shipping support both internationally and locally should be on top of your list. Customers sometimes may have questions about their order and it’s always better if you can connect them with a representative. Having a fulfillment partner makes this fairly easier.
If your eCommerce business is heavily dependent on large volumes of inventory and warehouse storage space, it’s better to partner with a 3PL fulfillment center than managing everything in your own space. At ShipBots, we offer seamless packing and shipping services along with real-time order tracking and state-of-the-art warehouse management technology to organize and maintain your inventory. Contact us today and our experienced professionals will help guide you through streamlining your order fulfillment process.