Online ordering and shipping have been a part of eCommerce since its inception. The Internet has given businesses of any size the ability to send orders around the world, but the system is far from perfect. Technology has come a long way, and the process is the best it has ever been, but some things could still be improved. No single business is going to change how the eCommerce world handles shipping, but small business shipping can show new methods and avenues that could become more significant industry trends down the road. The online business world is still flexible and open for new ideas to shake up the ways companies view online ordering and shipping. However, the world of online shipping is not one you should stumble through; having a proper strategy and plan for shipping is critical in a system so large and complicated. Proper and informed strategies, solutions, and implementations are critical to eCommerce shipping success, regardless if you are a single employee business or a fortune 500 company. Below are just a few of the most straightforward online shipping solutions that businesses can use to navigate the eCommerce world better.
A Plan Everyone Understands
The biggest hurdle within a shipping system is the sheer volume of different people in different places and companies involved. In this regard, single-employee businesses have a slightly easier time because only one person must create, understand, and follow the plan. However, in larger companies, someone must create a shipping plan and communicate the plan to everyone involved in the process. Web designers must reflect the shipping plan and theme in the instructions for customers, warehouse workers must collect and pack orders according to the plan, and carriers must get packages delivered as expected, or else the main business may face unhappy customers. The primary business might only be directly responsible for a handful of the employees involved in the whole shipping process, which makes a clear plan and communication even more critical. A shipping plan and communication network should always be working and adapting as things come up, but so long as all parties talk about changes, change is usually for the best.
Give Customers A Choice Of Rates And Speed
Expensive or slow shipping is one of the most common reasons customers abandon shopping carts and never complete an order. The customers like your products and are willing to spend money on them, but shipping is the deal-breaker. Too many online businesses only offer one or two shipping options that are similar in price and speed. Rather than try to lower a single shipping price, try to offer a range of shipping options. Some customers are more than happy to pay a lower rate for a slower shipping speed. If you offer a selection of shipping choices, you lower the chances of a customer walking away from a sale because of shipping. Let customers who want the item the next day pay more for speed to make up for customers that want to pay less and are ok with their order taking longer. There are fewer options if you are shipping orders internationally, but you can work with some carriers to get deals. International air shipping will be noticeably more expensive than international barge shipping, but speed and distance also play massive roles in international shipping prices.
It is one thing to get the order box shipped to your customer, but what the contents inside the box look like upon arrival is another matter. A customer will not be happy if you get their order to them for free and quickly, but the items inside are broken because of rough handling and inadequate packaging. You do not need to wrap items in three layers of bubble wrap, but you must take some precautions to ensure orders are not damaged or destroyed in transit. Thankfully, technology has come a long way, and there are new eco-friendly and or fancy ways to pack orders. Packing foam made out of corn starch is more eco-friendly than traditional styrofoam materials, biodegradable plastics make for better containers, and recycled paper and cardboard gives otherwise thrown out materials a new life. Instapack is a new thermo reactive foam packaging that first became generally popular when shipping computer systems. The thin sheet starts easy to bend and shape, but once you start the interior reaction, the sheet starts to expand with foam and hug whatever you wrap the sheet around. These sheets are perfect for taking up empty space in a package where items could otherwise smash around during transit. However, each sheet is somewhat expensive, so this packing method is best reserved for expensive, delicate, and long-distance orders.
Shipping has been around for years, but there are still ways to make it better. Start by making a plan and ensuring everyone in the process understands what you’re aiming for and how you want to achieve your goals. Give customers a choice of different shipping options to reduce the number of abandoned carts and pay attention to packaging, so customers don’t receive broken orders.