Ecommerce Shipping: How to Choose the Perfect Solution
As your business grows, streamlining operations becomes critical to your bottom line. Ecommerce shipping is an area where enterprises can improve to provide better customer service while reducing the cost of last-mile services.
A Retail Touchpoints Consumer survey found that B2C eCommerce saw a 50% increase in last-mile services in 2018. So how do you streamline the last mile, and what is the perfect solution for eCommerce shipping?
We’ll explore some of the best eCommerce shipping solutions and strategies to help you reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and grow your business online and internationally. Successful eCommerce enterprises utilize strategic shipping options to increase margins and provide better quality service.
The Perfect Solution for Ecommerce Shipping Requires Coordination Between All Teams
Before you can tackle your eCommerce shipping strategy’s details, you need to identify all the stakeholders. These teams within your organization are involved with and affect your ability to provide quality eCommerce shipping solutions. Teams that are typically involved with your eCommerce shipping are:
- Marketing: They are responsible for communicating and offering different shipping options and promotions. They also focus on increasing the average order value.
- Web Design and Development: They are responsible for clearly displaying shipping options and ensuring customers understand and select their desired shipping options.
- Fulfillment: They ensure each order is accurately picked, packed, and shipped to the customer’s specifications. They also negotiate and optimize shipping operations to make sure the order is delivered within customer expectations. 52% of retailers cited delivery/fulfillment logistics as a significant challenge.
- Customer Service: They communicate, troubleshoot, and resolve any concerns that customers may have with shipping and deliverables. They need to be well informed about the eCommerce shipping strategies and policies for every shipping option.
All of these teams should effectively collaborate to define and execute the eCommerce shipping strategy.
Related Link: Ecommerce Shipping: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Shipping
An Effective Ecommerce Shipping Strategy Clearly Articulates The Company’s Ecommerce Goals
Teams will want to work together to devise an eCommerce shipping strategy that will achieve company eCommerce goals. Some of these goals may be:
- Improve Customer Experience (CX)
- Decrease costs
- Expand the target market
- Increase average order value
- Improve operations
- Increase conversions
- Expand internationally
You’ll need to identify which eCommerce goals are most important to your business and focus your shipping strategy to facilitate reaching those goals. A Convey Report found that 83% of retailers see CX as a driving company-wide goal and feel pressure to improve.
Are you worried about your CX when you expand internationally? Learn more about Parcll’s Ecommerce solutions that can improve your cross-border CX.
Related Link: Hacks for Saving on Shipping Costs
Offering Desirable Ecommerce Shipping Solutions
To reduce cart abandonment and generate more sales, it’s critical for an eCommerce site to offer your target consumer the right shipping options. Two-thirds of eCommerce customers will choose a retailer based on delivery options.
Meeting customer needs while covering costs is a delicate balance when defining shipping options. Your shipping rates need to be low while still covering costs and ship within a reasonable amount of time to the consumer. The typical eCommerce shopper expects most goods to deliver within three days.
To meet customer expectations, retailers generally have these types of shipping options:
Free In-store Pickup
The free in-store pickup shipping option works for businesses that have brick-and-mortar locations near their customers. An eCommerce shipping strategy would be to incentivize customers to use this option to increase brand loyalty and give the consumer a reason to go inside the retail store.
LTL Freight Carriers
Used mainly for B2B sales, LTL freight carriers ship large items and orders. This is a good shipping option for orders that exceed standard shipping weight limits.
Same-day delivery is for more localized sales of perishable or time-sensitive goods. This only works for enterprises that have warehouses or retail stores in major urban areas. Customers generally expect an additional surcharge for this type of delivery.
Flat Rate and Table Rate Shipping
A flat rate is a set amount, which is the same regardless of the items or value. Table rate shipping increases the flat rate depending on the delivery location in relation to the fulfillment warehouse. Both of these options are often used to reduce the confusion and complexity of a standard shipping cost.
Live Shipping Rates from a Carrier
Live rates require more calculating in the shopping cart because real-time rates are determined by a large shipping carrier like UPS or FedEx. Live rates guarantee that you won’t absorb the shipping cost, but it can be difficult for your customers if the charge is more expensive than they expect when they go to check out. This can often cause shopping cart abandonment.
Expedited shipping can charge a surcharge fee for reducing delivery time. Most consumers expect to pay more when requiring a faster delivery time. You can use this option to upsell faster transit for items that are in demand. It can also entice customers from picking it over free shipping when you set longer delivery times for the free shipping option.
While most customers expect free shipping, a retailer can use strategies to offset shipping costs. Many eCommerce sites require a minimum purchase amount to qualify for free shipping. This requires customers to buy more items, which also increases the average order value.
Often the most popular solution because customers expect it, free shipping can also increase order value, increase conversion rates, and decrease shopping cart abandonment.
To offset the shipping cost, you’ll need to incorporate the cost of shipping into the product MSRP or make it a marketing expense.
Offering a good mix of these different shipping options can increase sales and give the consumer options based on their desired delivery expectations.
The Best Solution for International Ecommerce Shipping
First, you need to decide if there is a demand for your products in international markets. You’ll need to explore different shipping services that can handle the last mile for you. And you’ll need to learn all the tariff codes, customs, duties, taxes, and other restrictions that apply to selling goods and services internationally.
The Perfect Solution for Ecommerce Shipping is Offering Options that Support Your Strategy and Goals
When you tailor your eCommerce shipping options to reflect and support your enterprise’s eCommerce goals, you’ll be able to reduce costs, streamline shipping fulfillment, and exceed customer expectations. But crafting the right strategy will take collaboration from all the teams that affect shipping.
And if you’re considering shipping internationally, you’ll want to research the best carriers that can help you reach that last-mile delivery. Parcll is a leading business to consumer (B2C) cross-border shipping carrier that offers last-mile delivery service from the United States to Europe.
Related Link: Trends in 2020 Affecting Retail Logistics
- By Vanessa Tran
- Jan 30, 2021
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