Customers increasingly want to shop online, which makes the ecommerce component of your business more important than ever. In fact, more than 50% of consumers shop online more than they did just two years ago.1 As a result, retailers should develop effective shipping logistics strategies to meet customer expectations.
Since some retailers treat shipping logistics as afterthoughts, an effective strategy can really set your business apart. Let’s take a look at the factors to consider when developing an ecommerce shipping logistics strategy. A thoughtful strategy can help you satisfy your customers.
Why Your Ecommerce Shipping Logistics Strategy Matters
Considering 73% of shoppers have come to expect fast and affordable shipping every time they shop online, retailers should prioritize ecommerce shipping logistics.2 Of course, that strategy also needs to work for your business. You don’t want to find yourself losing money because of the shipping options your company offers.
Free shipping, for example, doesn’t make sense for every retailer’s bottom line. But businesses that can swing it stand to benefit by including free shipping in their strategy. Even offering free shipping strictly on qualifying orders can pay off. That’s because 24% of consumers say they’d spend more in order to qualify for free shipping.3
There are several different shipping strategies that retailers can use — free shipping is just the tip of the iceberg. Shipping logistics can be complex, but it’s important for retailers to get it right if they want to increase customer satisfaction and grow their business.
Ecommerce Shipping Options To Consider
One important shipping option is free shipping. It can help retailers attract customers, reduce shopping cart abandonment, and increase sales. However, free shipping can be expensive for retailers. So, it’s only one of the strategies worth considering.
Flat-rate shipping is another shipping option to have on your radar. With this strategy, a retailer charges a fixed fee for shipping regardless of the weight or size of the package. This can be a more cost-effective way for retailers to ship small packages and compete with rivals that offer free shipping.
In addition to affordability, customers also value fast shipping. So, same-day and 2-day shipping are other options you may want to include in your strategy. Super-fast shipping may not be feasible for every small business, but you’ll want to look into it.
Since 27% of consumers say they would choose to shop with another retailer if they offered better shipping options, it’s worth your time to consider your shipping strategy carefully.4 The right strategy for your business may involve a mix of methods. That way, you can balance your bottom line with customer expectations.
Factors That Influence Ecommerce Shipping Costs
When it comes to ecommerce shipping, a few things influence the cost of shipping products. For example, those factors include the weight and size of the product, the shipping distance, and the shipping company your business uses. You’ll want to keep all of these factors in mind while developing your strategy.
It’s also important for retailers to think about their packaging when it comes to ecommerce shipping. If a product isn’t packaged well, it could get damaged during transport and end up costing the retailer money. Conversely, over-packaging could lead to higher shipping costs and lost money on unnecessary materials.
Popular Ecommerce Shipping Carriers
Depending on where you’re shipping products to and from, there are several popular shipping carriers you could use. It’s a good idea to research your options in order to find the shipping company that can help you keep shipping costs down. It may make sense to mix and match instead of using one carrier for all orders.
If you have customers in the United States, then you’ll want to familiarize yourself with USPS, FedEx, and UPS. For customers in the United Kingdom and across Europe, Royal Mail and DPD are popular carriers. Then there’s Canada Post, Australian Post, and Correos de México to look into for customers in each respective country.
Some of these carriers offer international logistics shipping to help you send packages across borders. In addition to researching cheap international shipping options, your business may need freight shipping services. If that’s the case, then you may need to use international cargo shipping companies for especially large shipments.
Order Management, Tracking, and Return Policies
It’s no secret that a well-run order fulfillment process is key to a successful online business. When orders are mishandled or go wrong in any way, customers are quick to take their business elsewhere. So, your shipping logistics strategy shouldn’t overlook order management.
Tracking is an important aspect of order management because customers want to follow their order’s status. Customers value the peace of mind that tracking gives them. It also enables people to plan to be home at a certain time if they want to be there when the package arrives.
Another important aspect of order management is a strong returns policy. By having a clear and concise returns policy in place, businesses can minimize the hassle for both themselves and their customers. Plus, a clear returns policy makes customers feel comfortable placing orders.
At the end of the day, order management is essential for running a successful ecommerce business. By ensuring that orders are handled correctly and returns are easy to process, businesses can provide a smooth and satisfying experience. This can help you stand out from competitors and build customer loyalty.
Ecommerce Packaging Says a Lot About Your Brand
Your shipping logistics strategy should also include your packaging. Beyond practical considerations like protecting fragile items, your packaging can also say a lot about your brand. After all, unboxing their purchases is one of the ways customers interact with your company.
Custom packaging, for example, can set you apart from competitors and make customers feel like they had a special shopping experience. It doesn’t have to be over the top. It can be as simple as using boxes imprinted with your logo or branded stickers to wrap tissue paper.
Consumers also increasingly value eco-friendly companies. So, it may help your company’s image to use eco-friendly packaging. Online shopping has a lot going for it, but it does have the potential to create waste. So, eco-friendly packaging can be a win-win opportunity.
Making Shipping Logistics a Competitive Advantage
E-commerce is growing rapidly, so retailers need to have an effective shipping logistics strategy in place to meet customer expectations without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ve explored shipping methods, order management, shipping company logistics, and so much more.
You can use this information to help design your ecommerce shipping logistics strategy. Since every business is different, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Instead, you’ll want to read up on the options to land on the right approach for your business. Handling shipping well can undoubtedly give a retailer a competitive advantage.