E-commerce Shipping: Your Step by Step Guide to Shipping Profitability

Running an e-commerce business can be lucrative but also challenging because the competition is rough: if you cannot cater to your customers’ needs, they will find another company that can. Besides product quality that is mandatory, there are other aspects of your business you need to think about. 

Namely, the abundance of choice and the amount of information we are bombarded by each day make us additionally impatient. This means that to attract and retain customers, your shipping procedure has to function like clockwork. To help you make your shipping process more efficient, here are some steps you shouldn’t skip out on.

Tend to the packaging

One of the most important steps you need to take is to consider the packaging. Its original intention is to protect the goods so you need to ensure the boxes you use are sturdy enough to take a bit of shaking, especially during international deliveries. If the products are fragile, you need to wrap them carefully or add something to cushion any potential hits.

However, people have started to pay attention to the aesthetics of the package which means that a plain cardboard box won’t do the trick. You should include your brand’s name and logo, and also attach a ‘thank you’ note. All of this needs to also be cost-effective because if you opt for luxury packaging, you may not be able to return the invested and let alone earn a profit. An eye-catching but inexpensive packaging can be created by carefully researching the materials, boxes, and their prices. 

Modern technology is your friend

For the shipping process to function harmoniously, you need to rely on technology to help you run things smoothly. If you don’t leverage some of the software solutions available out there, instead of having a competitive advantage, you will be seriously missing out, not just in the shipping section, but also manufacturing of your products.

For instance, when it comes to manufacturing requirements planning (MRP), you need to ensure the availability of production materials, the efficiency of the manufacturing process, as well as for the delivery schedule to be respected. By using MRP manufacturing software, you would put an end on duplicate orders, get cost estimates, track time of different activities, etc. This software solution can cover everything from production planning and scheduling to inventory control system which is all reasons to make a decision to invest in technology that can help your business to be altogether more efficient. 

Study the shipping costs

One thing you need to ask yourself is whether your freight rates could be lower because your budget could greatly benefit by decreasing such costs. To be able to negotiate better terms, you first need to make sure you know the volume of your deliveries and whether you expect to increase the number of shipments. 

The next thing you need to do is to look into your current carrier’s competition and the specifics of what their prices include. This way you will be better prepared for the negotiations and the carrier might be more willing to cut down some fees when they notice you are well-informed. Also, one of the essential elements in striking a good deal is to read the fine print or otherwise, you may end up paying for a service you don’t need.

Take heed to your customers’ opinions

When in doubt if something needs changing or a new practice needs to be implemented, check the comment section, the customer feedbacks, and the most frequent questions your customers ask. In short, listen to the suggestions as well as complaints of your customers because some useful tips could be hiding there. 

Naturally, you shouldn’t take action based on every comment, because you are the only one that can see the bigger picture and whether your shipping process and in general, your business, would benefit from that decision. Another way to ensure loyalty is to react quickly – for instance, if by some accident, the package you sent to another country was damaged in the transportation and your customer complains on social media, you need to apologize and send your customer a new package. Also, it is paramount to investigate what led to the damage and whether such situations can be prevented in the future.

Over to you

Your e-commerce business could benefit immensely from a well-organized shipping process. Imagine how much money you could save if you cut down shipping costs, opt for less expensive but equally effective packaging or leverage different software solutions. These changes might need some time to be implemented but if done right, it is only a matter of time before you see a change for the better.

Jolene Rutherford is a marketing specialist - turned blogger, currently writing for technivorz.com. Interested in digital marketing and new technology trends. Love sharing content that can help and inform people.