For most eCommerce companies, shipping isn’t exactly the most exciting part of running an online business compared to sales, marketing, branding, or product development. However, a solid shipping strategy plays a key role in the success of any online business.
Ecommerce business owners can use their shipping strategy to gain a competitive edge over their competitors and increase their overall profit margins. Shipping operations are much more complicated in the eCommerce business.
What is eCommerce Shipping?
Ecommerce shipping includes everything from receiving, processing, picking and packing, and delivering the product. The process starts when the customer orders an item on the website and ends when that item reaches the customer.
In the initial phase of your eCommerce business, you may want to cut costs and retain control by handling your shipping yourself. However, as your business scales, it becomes much more complicated to handle the shipping operations yourself. Working with the right third party logistics (3PL) partner, you can ensure fast, reliable, and affordable shipping to your customers while maintaining a manageable level of control over your business.
Importance of Ecommerce Shipping
Your business can lose even loyal customers when their packages arrive late, damaged, or even misplaced. Higher return rates due to poor shipping operations can result in an increase in eCommerce shipping costs.
The speed of delivery is also the make or break factor in the case of a customer experience in the eCommerce business. The introduction of Amazon Prime and quick commerce has already raised the standards in the eCommerce industry by offering same-day delivery. Customers demand and expect a premium online shopping experience so it is no surprise that fast delivery is one of the most important factors for eCommerce buyers.
How to Optimize your eCommerce Shipping Operations
For your shipping strategy to work perfectly you need to optimize your shipping operations. If you are handling your shipping in-house, then you can optimize your shipping through the following ways.
Using Automation & Integration
Manual operations increase the chances of human error and you can always handle a limited volume. Automation increases efficiency and decreases the labor requirements for handling the shipping operations. An integrated system with your shipping carrier can make your shipping faster and more accurate.
Inventory & Warehouse Management Systems
Warehouse and inventory management systems track the incoming and outgoing inventory from your warehouse. It also increases the workflow efficiency of your whole shipping operations. Without the right logistics technology stack, it is almost impossible to stay competitive in the eCommerce business. With SKU number and barcode scanning, the system automatically updates the status of the stock. It also helps in maintaining the right amount of inventory at any given time to avoid under and overstocking.
Choosing the Shipping Carrier
Shipping carriers are responsible for the fast and accurate delivery of an item to the end customers. However, if things go south during the shipping journey, the customer almost always blames the brand and not the courier company. It is therefore crucial to choose the right shipping carrier with a nationwide and international delivery network as your shipping carrier. Your carrier should be reputed enough to deliver items accurately, efficiently, and on time. It is also important that your carrier must provide you with integration with their system so that you can print labels and your customers can track the order at any given time.
If you are delivering nationwide then you must distribute the inventory across multiple warehouses nationwide to ensure a faster and a two-day delivery option to your end customers. You can find the hotspots through your sales insights and strategically divide the inventory based on the customer’s location.
All of the above may sound a bit complicated and overwhelming because although important, shipping is just one aspect of your eCommerce business. In order to better focus on product development, marketing, and branding, you might feel the need to outsource your shipping operations to a trusted 3PL fulfillment partner like ShipBots.
Outsourcing Shipping & Logistics to a 3PL like ShipBots
ShipBots integrates with your sales channels and other major eCommerce platforms to optimize your shipping operations to ensure scalable growth of your eCommerce business. Its industry-leading logistics technology stacks ensure maximum automation to further streamline the shipping operations from order confirmation to its delivery.
ShipBots inventory management software provides you actionable insights about your inventory position, stock count, and placement at its three strategically located warehouses across the country. ShipBots also offers simple and transparent fulfillment pricing for all the services including picking, warehousing, packing and shipping. ShipBots also partners up with all the major carriers nationwide and internationally to enjoy discounted shipping rates to pass on to its customers.
ShipBot’s logistics experience and expertise enhance our capability to handle any order volumes throughout the year and shopping seasons. Real-time tracking, returns management, enterprise-grade security, and multilevel user access are some of the additional features to make your shipping operations hassle-free for you and a delightful experience for your customers.