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Shipping and Fulfillment

6 Ways to Optimize Your Ecommerce Shipping

By Katie McCann

It has never been said that running a business is easy. Any entrepreneur can attest that there are difficult decisions to be made every day. Do you bring in new products? Hire help? How do you improve your ecommerce shipping? There's constantly decisions to be made.

One would think, though, that in today’s market one of the easiest decisions for an entrepreneur to make is to bring their business online.

Despite that, a study from Fundera shows that only 64% of small businesses currently have websites. 

It may seem like one-third of small business owners are choosing to leave money on the table, but there is certainly reason behind this hesitation. Branching into the world of ecommerce can be a large, potentially costly, undertaking, especially if you’re not optimizing your shipping.

To set you up for success, let's look at some steps any entrepreneur can take to ship smarter and make the jump into the ecommerce world a little less daunting.

The Right Carrier is Key

It is so important to choose the right shipping carriers for your ecommerce shipping efforts. Everything ranging from what you ship, where you are shipping too, and how much you ship at a time, will factor into which carrier is the best fit for you. 

Further, it is important to note how using trusted carriers can have an impact on how your customers perceive your business. 82% of consumers favour brands that they recognize, and in partnering with carriers that your customers know and trust, that brand recognition easily translates to a stronger sense of trust in your business.

Tracking Equals Trust for You and Your Customers

Consumers like to feel in control during and after their purchasing decision. Offering tracking information is practically a must these days, so much so that 62% of consumers consider it essential

Offering end-to-end tracking provides your customers with up-to-date information about their package’s whereabouts, it also offers you the ability to provide a more holistic customer experience. Access to real-time updates on your business’ end allows you to beproactive in reaching out to your customers if there are shipping delays or other unforeseen complications and shows that you care about your customers beyond the point of sale.

Faster Shipping May Equal More Customers

Customers want fast shipping, period. It has become so important, in fact that 41% of consumers are willing to pay extra for faster delivery. While many carriers will offer expedited services at various price points, the equation becomes more difficult the broader your customer base becomes. 

Having the ability to consider rates from several different carriers is essential in todays eCommerce environment. It not only provides choice to your customer at checkout, but it also gives them numerous options at different price points for them to select. 

Prepare the Proper Packaging

While it is true that weight is a factor when calculating shipping costs, it is not the only one. No matter the carrier, package dimensions will always factor into their pricing. It can often cost less to ship a smaller, heavier package, even compared to a large, lightweight item.

There are cost benefits to using proper packaging that go beyond your shipping rate, too. For instance, packing your orders into a smaller space means you will require less packing material. This not only cuts material costs, but it also helps prevent damage to your shipment while in transit.

In addition, using less packaging is an eco-conscious decision. Wasteful packaging is gradually becoming a greater concern among consumers, and in reducing potential waste when you ship you are showing your customers that you share those concerns.

Keep Your Rates Competitive

Good shipping rates are great, but free shipping is even better.

Offering free shipping, typically above a particular order threshold, is a nearly foolproof way to not only increase sales but save on shipping yourself!A study by Red Door showed that websites that offered a free shipping incentive saw an increase in orders by 90%, and an increase in Average Order Value (AOV) by 7.32%.

What does that mean? Not only will your customers buy more, but they will buy more in a single order, rather than multiple orders over time. That means fewer individual packages, and fewer individual shipping charges. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!

Ecommerce Fulfillment Can Bring it All Together

If you’re unfamiliar with ecommerce fulfillment, at the core of it you can scale your business up without the fear of increasing your overhead.

The service has become so popular that 90% of Fortune 500 companies use some type of 3PL fulfillment!

Does this mean that fulfillment is specifically for the big players? Absolutely not! In fact, ecommerce fulfillment services can be for businesses of all sizes!

Ecommerce shipping extends beyond simply offering warehouse space. Your customer’s orders are also picked and packed by highly trained warehouse staff and shipped out directly from the warehouse to your customers.

Streamlining your order fulfillment process with an eCommerce fulfillment service means that you are able to ship more, ship faster, and ultimately save on shipping.

Are You Ready to Optimize Your Shipping?

There was a lot covered above. Let’s take a moment and touch back on the key points:

  • Choose the right carrier for your shipments. Using reputable carriers – or finding a partner who works with reputable carriers – will help build trust with you customers.
  • Customers expect tracking, and providing it offers peace of mind and a good customer experience.
  • Offering multiple shipping options to your customers can benefit your bottom line.
  • Using proper packaging can reduce cost and waste and help protect packages in transit.
  • Competitive shipping rates can increase your average order numbers and value.
  • Using eCommerce fulfilment can offer all these benefits in one place, and help your business grow faster.

As mentioned at the start, getting started in ecommerce is a large endeavor for any small business. Remember these tips and rest assured that your ecommerce shipping will be the least of your concerns.

Katie McCann
By Katie McCann

Katie is the Content Marketing Manager at Bolt, creating resources to help ecommerce businesses of all size thrive. When she's not tracking her online orders right to her doorstep, she's obsessing over her pandemic puppy and learning TikTok dances.