If you're an online shopper, then you know how exciting it is to find a package at your door the day after placing your order. While this brief moment of happiness can create a delightful shopping experience for a customer, many do not realise that a huge workforce worked round the clock to make it happen.
When you run an ecommerce business, the shipping carrier you choose will considerably impact how your customer experiences the product in person. A Circuit report surveying 1,000 people revealed that about 72.5% of customers who have a bad delivery experience will likely stop recommending the retailer. This means that even if your business and the shipping carrier are two different entities, the delivery experience your shipping carrier provides will have a lasting impact on how a customer perceives your brand. While you may not have control over how each delivery turns out, you can still avoid a lot of unpleasant situations by choosing the right shipping carrier to meet your business' needs.
Here are a few important factors to remember while looking for a shipping provider for your company.
Your convenience matters
Before choosing a shipping carrier for your business, you need to know your major preferences, and decide how much you'd be willing to pay for convenience. Do you want a vendor who could pick up the package from your home or warehouse, or do you prefer travelling regularly to drop off packages to the carrier? Are you going to pack the products yourself with extra padding and cushioning if needed, or do you prefer to save time by giving the carrier complete control over packaging? Whatever your requirements are, make sure the shipping carrier you choose will be able to complement your business functions to save you time and effort.
Be wise about serviceable locations
Initially, it might seem ideal to work with a carrier that can cover a vast range of delivery locations. But if you're looking to cut your operational costs and you're certain that your current customer base is within a specific geographic location, you can consider working with trusted local carriers. Often, these carriers can deliver goods quickly for a much cheaper price. Some may be flexible and provide customised shipping options for specific orders.
Balance the cost and speed of shipping
With companies setting the bar high with same or next-day deliveries, customers expect their packages to arrive quickly, even when they order from small businesses. But when a sparse population is spread over many acres of land, such as in regional Australia, speedy deliveries can prove to be costly. If you're still keen for your customers to get your products as soon as possible, you need to work with a shipping carrier that offers a short transit time and guarantees delivery by a specified date. While shipping charges are usually determined by the distance to be covered and the size of the package, you can reduce your delivery costs by raising the price of your goods or charging an extra fee for those who opt for express deliveries. However, if your customers prefer free deliveries over fast deliveries, you can cut your costs by asking them to add more products to the cart to qualify for free shipping. You can also choose a shipping vendor that offers bulk shipping discounts or flat-rate shipping, where the shipping fee is the same regardless of the product's size or weight. This way, you'll know how much you need to increase your prices or adjust your profit margin. It's always advisable to have a clear shipping policy on your website that clarifies any doubts your prospects might have about their delivery.
When running an ecommerce business, your responsibility doesn't end with getting a person to visit your website and place an order. You must also ensure that their order reaches them on time. For this reason, it's important to choose a shipping carrier that uses advanced technology to give you accurate real-time updates on your shipments. With shipping carriers now offering tracking services, your customers can easily find out if their package is on the way, or if there will be any delay. This helps maintain transparency and reduces the likelihood of any confusion while customers wait for their deliveries. Powerful inventory management solutions like Zoho Inventory can be integrated with various shipping carriers to help you better track orders, shipments, and rates. If you'd like to take advantage of these options, make sure the shipping carrier you choose uses the latest technology and offers various integration capabilities.
While price, speed, and technology can play a huge role in choosing a shipping carrier, reputation is also a crucial factor that shouldn't be ignored. During shipping, there's a high risk of packages getting damaged, misplaced, or lost. While most shipping services now provide insurance, it's still a good idea to do your research, look at their track records for successful deliveries, and learn how they've handled any unpleasant situations in the past. Australia Post, DHL, and FedX are some of Australia's popular ecommerce shipping carriers.
We hope this post helps you set the right expectations and find the right shipping carrier for your business needs. Are there any more factors or requirements you think are important to consider? Drop them in the comments below.