You’re just starting out your brand new business, so as a new retailer, it might not occur to you at first, but one of the most important things you have to do is to decide on a company to ship your orders with. It may not even seem like an important decision, but a choosing a good shipping company can make or break your business – it really is that simple! Having a slow or sloppy delivery service can cost you customers, so it’s worth getting your shipping on point if you want to keep your customers satisfied and loyal.
Fun fact -Did you know that shipping cost is the most common reason for shopping cart abandonment? In fact, according to research, 44% of buyers do not complete the purchase because getting the product to them is too expensive.
Aspects to keep in mind when choosing shipping companies
While it may sound obvious but first and foremost, your provider should be able to service all locations you ship to.
Many stores shipping only to their local markets use local courier companies to deliver their goods. They can negotiate good prices with them and also, able to process shipments much faster than bigger companies could.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is that if you ship internationally, you might need to employ a much larger company.
What about the products that you ship?
Unfortunately, not every provider will be able to ship your goods. Your products might be too big or require special handling which the shipping company can’t provide.
As such, if you sell delicate electronics or medical equipment, or inflammable items etc., you may have to find a carrier that can ensure a safe and proper delivery of those.
Another aspect that might impact your choice is the average number of orders you ship per day. If you don’t ship too many orders, you might get a better deal from a smaller shipping company. But if you have thousands and thousands of orders per day, a large and reputable company might be your best bet.
Flat Rate Shipping
While sometimes you might not be able to offer free shipping, instead you might be able to charge a flat rate for deliveries, regardless of what products customers order. You can offer flat rate on every package you sent, or ranges for various weights or order totals.
Of course, in order to introduce this option you need to estimate the average cost of shipping the package. With this information you can to come up with the right cost to ship to your customers.
Tracking is important
Choosing a carrier that provides a tracking service is very important for your customers. This assures both you and your customers are at ease while monitoring the delivery process.
These carriers can set up notifications to inform your customer in real-time when the package has been sent out, when it’s on its way, and when it reaches its destination. It’ll also tell you the locations of the packages so it can be tracked at all times.
In addition to the carrier tracking, it’s also smart to have your own branded tracking page to brand your shipping and further your customer’s experience.
Postal couriers and express couriers
What about postal services? Many online retailers use these. Well, postal services, such as US Postal Service, Hong Kong Post, RoyalMail are normally operated by national governments. Express couriers, such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL, are companies that have courier networks around the world and operate globally.
In terms of pricing, postal services are simple and relatively affordable: you mostly pay for the shipping costs. But, this usually means that delivery times are longer, and depending on which country you’re in, can sometimes lead to subpar service quality.
On the other hand, express couriers provide fast and reliable delivery services. However, their pricing is more complex and can include additional costs such as fuel surcharges, remote area surcharges, and parcel-handling fees. Nonetheless, these offerings provide a lot of value to your business, and can be worth the price to ensure that your product is handled correctly and gets where it needs to be in the given timeframe.
It is very important to take the time to research multiple couriers and see which one is beneficial to your business, as it gives you the opportunity to find optimal solutions that not only save you money, but provide the best service to your customers. As such, by taking a customer-focused approach to shipping, you will exceed the customer’s expectation to deliver and encourage their loyalty.
Never underestimate the importance of quality shipping and a good shipping company. It is just as important as having a modern-looking and intuitive website and just as important as selling good-quality products.