In business, the key to success is a balance between seeing yourself succeed and foreseeing all the possible situations that could go wrong.
When it comes to managing an eCommerce store, one crucial factor you need to consider is shipping. Doing shipping right ensures that when your customers are led to your product listing, they will end up clicking the buy button because they are pleased with your shipping offer.
This article will list all the possible hassles you might face in shipping. Solutions are also included to prepare you to face challenges that will hinder the growth of your business. Let’s begin!
Problem 1: Overspending on shipping
There are plenty of reasons why you might overspend on shipping, like not going through all the shipping options before deciding which to use, not knowing your customers and competitors, and using expensive packing materials. Let’s check on the quick fixes for these issues.
Customer and competitor knowledge
According to a survey made by Statista, free shipping has been affecting customers’ purchase decisions since 2012. Know what your customers want, and check how you can satisfy them while ensuring profitability.
Be on par or ahead of the competition. Know the shipping strategies of your competitors and offer similar or better options than what they have.
Research different shipping options
Going through different shipping options and checking the advantages and disadvantages of each will allow you to find the cheapest shipping rate; maybe you can even offer coveted free shipping.
Some of the options you can choose from are Canada Post, UPS, FedEx, DHL, USPS, Stallion Express, Chit Chats, and DYK Post.
Check the shipping packages they offer and see if you can negotiate for discounts, especially if you’ll be shipping with them regularly.
Cheap but quality packing
After determining who you’ll partner with, optimizing your packing is next. Ensure that you are using quality materials at lower prices. When you pack, maximize the envelope or box space as shipping costs are determined through dimension measurements and weight.
Problem 2: Understanding the ins and outs of international shipping
It may seem like you have a whole world to understand once you venture into international shipping. Aside from shipping strategies, you also need to know to abide by customs and border laws and regulations of the country you are selling your products in. In addition, maintaining low expenses despite the far shipping distance is also a hassle you need to resolve.
Knowledge of the country’s export and import laws
Arm yourself with knowledge about the laws of the country you are selling your products in. Although most international shipping companies handle customs and border clearance, it helps to know the basics of importing and exporting.
Check which products are prohibited and regulated, know what documents you need to accomplish, and above all, discover the costs.
Going through an international shipping guide can jumpstart your research.
Choosing the best international shipping option
Armed with information about international shipping, especially the costs, you can make better decisions on what shipping method to choose.
National Carriers: You can choose companies with more prominent names to send your products to another country. They have reliable processes, but their rates are usually more expensive.
Cross-Border Shippers: Choose a cross-border shipper like Stallion Express or ChitChats. These shippers will handle your shipment across the border, but you’ll need to buy postage from USPS or any US postal service provider for this option. Although most cross-border shippers are startups, their rates are way cheaper.
Problem 3: Handling tough shipping challenges
There are many challenges you will face, but here are the three most common ones:
- Damaged and lost items
- Product returns
- Delayed delivery
Insurance is the key
You can sign-up for the insurance offered by your partner shipping company or get third-party insurance. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
If you get the insurance from the shipping company, you can ship the hassle of looking for third-party insurance. Nonetheless, the search will be worth it if you are looking for a cheaper option as third-party insurance is usually cheaper.
Create a process for product returns
Even companies on top of their quality checks can face product returns, so it is best to think and plan by creating a process for customers to follow if they want to return items. Include return details in the terms and conditions your customers have to agree to before proceeding with the purchase.
Many fulfillment companies, such as Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), handle product returns and customer service for you.
Be on top of delayed delivery
Holidays, natural calamities, and current events occurring in your or your customers’ locations are some of the reasons your deliveries might be delayed. Practice your superb customer service and let your customers know what’s happening and what you are doing about it.
Problem 4: Shipping during peak seasons
You’ll be in a unique position before, during, and after the holidays. This season is a double-edged sword as your sales will surely spike, but at the same time, you will be swamped with orders which may be beyond your capacity to handle.
The same goes for your shipping provider who will be faced with tons of packages. Do not be surprised if they give you a heads-up about the delayed arrival of your packages.
Create a shipping calendar
The best thing to do to avoid hassles during holiday seasons is to create a shipping calendar. Stock up early, so when Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, and other significant events occur, you are prepared and will not run out of stock.
It’s a great advantage to store your products in warehouses close to your target customers—this will make it easier for you to ship.
Inform your customers of possible delays and extra charges
To minimize angry customers, set the right expectations. For example, request that your marketing team create informative posters and messages to inform customers of holiday shipping and extra charges.
Problem 5: Scaring off customers with your shipping option
Your click-through rate may be high, and you have a solid copy to entice customers to buy, but when they see your shipping option they leave your listing without buying. Unfortunately, this scenario is common, but there are solutions to it.
Highlight the advantages of your shipping solution
No matter what shipping option you provide to your customers, your product’s quality and the convincing powers of the ads about your shipping method will get customers to buy. Therefore, it’s best to highlight the benefits your customers will get from your shipping method.
Compensate for the shipping costs customers pay
If you are passing on the shipping cost to your customers, show them that their payment will be worth it. You can offer discounts on the product they are buying or add some freebies to their order.
These are just some of the shipping hassles you might experience in the course of growing your business. With all these problems, always remember that there are available solutions.
Since you know the challenges you might face in advance, the best strategy you can do is to proactively work on the steps you need to take to gain traction for your start-up business. Enacting these solutions when the difficulties come is great, but it is always better to avoid the obstacles instead.
Whichever path you choose, make sure to take action as soon as possible to continue your business’s development and growth.
Our Guest Contributor
Jayce is the managing director of Seller Interactive, an Amazon advertising agency committed to building brands on Amazon. His content marketing expertise has led him to work with brands such as Toyota and GoDaddy, producing content that has reached over 20M views in a month. He is ready to assist D2C brands by offering services in Amazon suspension to PPC management.