In 2016, the total amount of physical goods sold online reached a staggering $360.3 billion. Furthermore, experts forecast this amount to almost double come 2021, at $603.4 billion.
A primary reason is that eight in every ten consumers in the U.S. now shop online.
Now, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that kind of market?
But there’s more to having an online store than just offering quality products. You also need to use the right shipping options.
After all, that’s the primary method of delivering what your customers purchase from you.
The question is, which shipping methods should you use? How can you ensure they satisfy the needs and demands of your clients?
Don’t worry. That’s what we’ll share with you today.
So, read on to learn about ecommerce shipping done right!
Shipping Options Made to Satisfy and Create Profits
As an online vendor, you need to reach a balance between on-time deliveries and profit-making. It’s easier said than done, what with the following crucial considerations:
- Packaging materials
- The most appropriate shipping solution for each type of parcel
- Creation and set up of a shipment fee model
- Studying up on taxes and duties
- Choosing a delivery courier to partner up with
As you can see, there’s quite a lot that goes into choosing ecommerce shipping solutions. So long as you follow this guide though, all that time and effort will be worth it. Especially once you start receiving all those rave reviews from happy and satisfied customers.
Packaging Done Right
Did you know that the packaging sector is a whopping $9-billion industry?
With e-commerce poised for a substantial growth in the following years, this’ll only continue to grow. After all, packaging is essential for the proper containment, safety, and transportation of items. Particularly when it comes to shipping valuables.
Since your business deals with deliveries, you need to ensure your packaging materials will protect the items, lest you want irate and mad customers. As such, it’s a must you choose materials made to preserve the quality of your buyers’ purchases. Think bubble wrap, strong adhesive, peanuts, zip-top bags, and sturdy boxes.
But the right packaging materials don’t only keep the items safe. In fact, certain laws and regulations surrounding packaging exist. For instance, there’s some that cover child safety and product waste reduction.
All in all, proper packaging is as essential as timely delivery to your shipping program.
Which Shipping Solution Works Best?
In most cases, the “best” shipping solution is a correct proportion between shipping fees and delivery times. These two play a critical role in preventing shopping cart abandonment in your site. FYI, 61% of shoppers abandon their carts due to high extra costs (hello, expensive shipping fees).
That’s why you need to invest time in determining which types of shipping methods to go with. You have two primary choices: A postal service and a private courier.
A postal service is one operated by the government (think USPS or Royal Mail). A primary advantage to this is the cheaper rates. But of course, there’s the risk of delayed deliveries.
Private couriers or shipping providers, although more expensive, lets you reap exactly what you pay for. That means guaranteed safe transport and delivery of parcels. To top it off, there’s little risk of delays in shipment, which means fewer instances of unhappy customers.
A good way to determine which of these different shipping methods to choose is to base it on your products’ retail value.
For instance, more affordable products are often associated with greater price-sensitivity. This means a higher likelihood of buyers wanting lower-cost shipping services. Higher retail value items, on the other hand, are less cost-sensitive, so buyers of such may put a greater priority on faster shipping and delivery.
What Goes into Shipping Costs?
Before you start offering free shipping for all your offers, you’d want to know how much you’ll shell out first. This’ll also help you figure out which cases to offer free or discounted shipping, or charge the entire cost.
Here are the most common influencers of shipping costs:
- Size and/or weight of package
- Originating location (from where you’ll ship the product, such as the state or city)
- Destination location (within the same state, another state, or outside of the country)
- Tracking services
As for insurance, you’ll find reputable couriers that already include coverage with their quotes. The main differences between these services’ insurance are the products they’ll insure and the maximum amount they’ll reimburse.
These said, you’d want to do a thorough research on each of your prospect’s insurance policies. Especially if the items you’ll ship have a higher retail value.
The Best Practices to Cover Your Shipping Expenses
90% of online shoppers consider free shipping as the top incentive when making web-based purchases. Free shipping pushes them to shop more, which means a potential increase in your sales. Keep in mind though that free shipping shouldn’t apply to all transactions.
So, when should you offer this?
One instance is when a customer orders a high-value or luxury item (pricey gadgets, hand-made crafts, etc.). So long as you’ll still make a good profit from the sale of the item (after out-of-pocket shipping fees), then free shipping is a good incentive to both you and the customer.
Another is when a buyer orders a lot of items and reaches a certain price quota. For instance, you can set the bar at $50. Any orders that go beyond this may qualify for free shipping, or at least a discount.
Find the Best Ecommerce Shipping Solution for Your Business Now
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to shipping options. As such, you want to delve deeper into this aspect of your ecommerce site and allow time to compare shipping providers. Make sure you check their business history, compare their fees, and have a stellar record when it comes to timely (and safe!) delivery of parcels.
Don’t let your potential sales become abandonment statistics. Connect with us now so you can learn more about the best solutions for all your ecommerce shipping needs!