The advent of online business and its continued growth has witnessed trading of goods across continents. One does not need to visit a store physically but makes their purchases online instead. As a result, the need for a reliable shipping system arises to deliver the goods to the customer safely and conveniently. Customers have canceled orders after the product took too long to reach them. This article will direct the reader on how to ship your products to customers on time and safely.
Table of Contents
Consider the weight of the products you sell before contacting the shipping company. The first thing a shipping company asks for when quoting shipping charges is the weight of the product. They will then ask for the destination, which might be tricky since you have no idea where you will be delivering the product. In such a situation, enquire if they have a zoning map. This will help you get an estimated cost of shipping which you can incorporate the total cost of the product if you want to pass it on to the customer. These are important details that must be asked to make sure the product is delivered to the right customer.
Type of Product
Some products are fragile hence need careful handling while others are perishable thus need special packaging when in transit. There are human drugs that need to be stored under specific temperatures. In this case, you will need to have insulated pallet covers for temperature-controlled products such as these and certain foods that need to always be frozen. It is worth noting that products that need extra special care when shipping will attract more charges than others that only need to be put in a box. As a company, you have to have some measures that allow you to ship a variety of products.
The way you package an item can determine if the customer will buy from you again. A customer needs to see that you took the time and care in ensuring that their purchase reaches them safely.
Different products require varied forms of packaging; for instance, you can use shipping blankets for fragile products to avoid breakage. Others need ample spacing; therefore, you should not stuff too many of them in one box. Let the packaging be presentable to the customer to the point of deriving satisfaction and excitement.
While still on the packaging, you can choose between utility packaging and branded packaging. Utility packaging is where you ship items to the customer in envelopes or boxes with no graphics or branding. On the other hand, branded packaging is a unique type of packaging where you include imagery, personality, and brand style on the package.
Branded shipping will cost more which can impact the overall cost of the product. However, depending on your objectives, such as advertising through packaging, you can group the branding cost as part of marketing. While drop shipping, you do not have the luxury of branding your packaging since the shipping charges are relatively low in drop-shipping.
This is a purchasing system where a product is directly shipped to the customer by the retailer’s supplier. In an ideal situation, finished goods are sent to your warehouse by the supplier where they are then sent to the customer after purchasing. Drop-shipping is suitable for products that would take up too much in your store or warehouse.
If you sell unique products that concentrate on a specific niche, then drop-shipping is the way to go. It works well if the product is in high demand where the manufacturer is offering it at a discount. Hence you do not want to incur the shipping costs.
Also, before you enlist a product for drop-shipping, ensure that the product is available from the supplier. Doing this will avoid inconveniencing the customer if they order when the supplier no longer has the item. It is also advisable to evaluate how the drop shipping company packages products and if they meet the product’s health standards. Finally, ensure that they do not include their marketing materials in the package when shipping.
While considering a shipping strategy, you should think about how the overall cost of the product will be affected by shipping. If you are a new entrant in online selling, it’s essential to be aware that shipping is a costly component of your business. Failing to consider shipping costs at the onset of the business, you risk not profiting from the store or getting a reward for your efforts.
While costing your product for shipping, consider packaging costs especially is there is custom branding, shipping rates, marketing materials, warehouse charges, and the value of the product. Also, have in mind that most retailers provide free shipping for goods worth over €20. Failing to offer free shipping might deny your sales as most customers will go for the retailer who will save them money on shipping. Therefore, strategize on how to incorporate shipping charges while pricing the product for local or regional purchases, and have a small shipping charge for international purchases.
Adopt the Right Tools
Having an excellent shipping strategy is not enough without the right tools and software for automation. Your online shop and shipping software should work in harmony without downtime to make the shopping experience seamless. If the customer is to incur the shipping costs, it should be automatically indicated once the customer states the delivery destination.
Lastly, issue the customer with a tracking code to notify them of the location of their package. This will help the customer make prior arrangements to receive the package. Also, always be truthful to the client on the expected date delivery. Some sellers state fast delivery periods to get customers to choose them over others. Once the package takes longer than you promised, the customer will give you a negative review which will affect your business. Let the customer know that their package will take 14 working days instead of just indicating 14 days.