With e-commerce purchasing increasing year after year, it’s critical for online sellers to identify ways to strengthen their shipping efforts. Makingshipping a priority when it comes to optimizing e-commerce businesses must top to-do-lists in order to keep online shoppers happy and online sellers successful. Keeping this in mind, consider how the five points below can help.
#1: Use Data to Understand the History of Your Shipping
Gaining clarity from your past shipping efforts can help you in your future shipping efforts – plain and simple. For ShipWorks customers this is easy thanks to detailed reports on nearly every data point, ultimately allowing businesses to be more effective in their shipping strategies. Through this data, online sellers can identify where their greatest shipping spend is, where opportunities to save money are and what efforts may not be as streamlined as possible. Collectively, these details welcome e-commerce businesses to improve their efforts and save money along the way.
#2:Benchmark Carrier Rates and Services
Understanding the range of services and costs involved that shipping carriers offer is among the best ways to optimize your shipping efforts. Industry leaders UPS and FedEx, for example, each provide similar delivery options – yet their rates may vary based on your location, where you are shipping to and more. These factors among others influence your bottom-line, therefore you need to be aware of these key details all year round. Go one step further in this process and be sure to review your carrier contracts no less than annually in an effort to gain the best rates and service possible for your ecommerce business. Explore more about contract negotiations and how they can benefit your online business here.
#3: Provide Easy-to-Navigate Check-Out Experiences
Among the most frustrating parts of shopping online for customers is the check-out process – which includes payment and identifying shipping options. But this does not – and should not – be the case for your e-commerce business. Whether you require customers to login or offer guest checkout experiences, your goal should be to provide an easy to use check-out experience for online buyers. From the number of clicks it takes to make a purchase to the amount of necessary information they need to input as part of their checkout process, your goal should be to provide clarity and efficiency in your online check-out experience. Among these details will also include your shipment options as part of this journey. Since delivery is a key component in online purchases, offer shipping choices that include overnight, 2-day, free with purchase and more are important options to include in your check-out experience. The catch? Be sure they are each priced accordingly so that you don’t lose money when incorporating shipping into your online selling strategy.
#4: Introduce Parcel Auditing Into Your Shipping Management
When working with carriers such as FedEx and UPS, it’s your right as a sender to capture refunds or money back on your shipments when deserved. Through parcel auditing, your e-commerce business can gain clarity – and control – over your shipping spend thanks to the automated parcel tracking that parcel auditing provides. This automation allows you to do what your company does best… sell, sell, sell… and leaves the boring task of identifying when and why refunds are deserved to your business through complex software that easily integrates into your shipping management. Gain money back without the headache of ever having to try! Learn more about parcel auditing here.
#5: Incorporate Packaging as Part of Your Shipping Strategy
Customers turn to online shopping for a variety of reasons, but among them include the experience of welcoming an online purchase to the comfort of their home. At this moment, what was digital now becomes tangible and connects with the customer unlike any online touchpoints can. It’s this reason alone that the packaging of your inventory becomes an important part of your e-commerce shipping experience. To help strengthen this experience for your customers and your brand, aim to make your packaging compliment your brand experience. Using thank you notes as part of your package or an incentive for a future purchase are among the ways to do this, but also consider if you need to provide a return-label with easy shipping instructions included in your package. Since shipping has such a huge influence on e-commerce, make sure all the details of shipping – including the packaging that supports it – are something you consider.
Finally, remember that the reality of e-commerce is that it can be complex. From inventory management to CRM to shipping and much, much more, there is a lot to consider. But when you welcome external partners to help you streamline your operations, you can gain more control over your entire e-commerce efforts – including your parcel management. Rather than allow these e-commerce factors to influence your business, take control and influence these factors instead. This initiative and control is what will separate you from being simply an online seller to being a successful e-commerce leader – and a more profitable one, as well.
Brian Gibbs | President of Refund Retriever
Brian Gibbs founded Refund Retriever in 2006 while running his first eBay based business and seeing the shortcomings of other shipment auditing companies. Refund Retriever’s primary focus is FedEx and UPS parcel invoice auditing. After graduating from Texas A&M University in 2001, he then graduated from the University of Houston in 2004 with a JD and MBA. Gibbs has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur and other publications discussing parcel auditing, shipping, e-commerce and more. Learn more at www.refundretriever.com or call (800) 441-8085 for more information.