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The Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce Shipping

by
Tamara Buck
|
Fetchy Team
December 4, 2018
shipping, guide, packaging, branding, The Trunk Club, labelling, shipping strategy,

As much as have full control over every stage of the customers journey, from writing ads, amending your website, and brand messages, there is no denying that once the product leaves you, you’re passing your brand over to the hands of a stranger!

 

Planning your shipping strategy is one of the most valuable pieces of advice I can give you. If this is not taken into real consideration then it could leave your business unprofitable, and expose your clients to a poor experience. Your partners are your brands best friend, when selected strategically!

 

 The confusing, complex world of shipping can leave new ecommerce entrepreneurs overwhelmed and often such people ignore this extremely large elephant in the room which is preventing their business to flourish.

 

Our goal in this post is to delve into this world, and simplify this topic for you, making sure you’re given The Ultimate guide to Ecommerce Shipping and Fulfilment!

Packaging and Marketing

 

Throughout the evolving world of ecommerce, we have equally seen an evolution in the expectation of the customer. Customers now want to see the quickest, cheapest and reliable method of shipping, along with the perfect packaging with impeccably seamless messages and feel. Vividly beautiful packaging of a product is a way to create a positive image in the minds of the consumers. Thus, making the packaging not primarily only for the protection of transportation, but a much stronger promotional tool.

 

The expectation of simply receiving a product has been removed. All of today’s customers are looking for an experience, and this is especially important if you have an expectation of customer loyalty. Impress your customers, excite them at each step of their experience with your brand, give them something to talk about, and make this be a huge part of your marketing strategy!

 

Presentation and packaging as a way to differentiate yourself from your competition would help you to be ‘above and beyond’ from others.  Offering different packing solutions, like that of Net-A-Porter could be one way to improve this customer service.

Another way to really engage the customer through packaging could be through the opening experience. For example, Trunk Club have created an exceptionally unique experience by creating an element of surprise through the unboxing process.

Furthermore, Everlane is another great example of a company which has consciously thought about the way a customer is going to receive their products. When a customer receives an Everlane product, it is wrapped in craft paper, with a branded sticker and a thank-you note to encourage a social media hype around the purchase. This is also similar to word of mouth marketing and customer based content which feeds the brand with new customers.

In a world where black bags and white labels are considered standard, be the brand which creates a unique experience and stand out from competition.

Packaging Options 

It is crucial that products are packaged correctly. Making sure each product Is as safe as possible in transit is a very important consideration. There is nothing more frustrating for a client than to receive a faulty product because of “damage in transit”. It is likely that your product will need a hard box, stuffing, and cushioning inside.

For other merchants, who are aiming to be a little more alternative or unconventional in their branding messaging, and packaging methods.

 

Think about dimensions and weight! Because many couriers charge based on these things. The smaller and lighter, the better – this way you can make sure that your shipping strategy enhances your profit margins instead of eats into them.

 

Customer Shipping Options

 

This is usually the make or break point for a lot of ecommerce shoppers. If shipping prices are too high, customers will abandon their shopping cart, and turn elsewhere, maybe to a competitor for cheaper shipping solutions. Before you start selling your product online, consider this – consider what your competition is doing, and offer a better solution.

  

Offer Free Shipping

 

This is a fantastic service to offer your clients and reduce the abandonment of shopping carts, but just remember that someone has to incur the costs of shipment – and if this is you, then there are three ways to approach this method:

 

1)    Pay the full price of shopping out of your own margins.

2)    Increase prices of product to ensure that the cost of shipping is included within the price of the product.

3)    Slightly increase the price of the product, and add a smaller flat rate for the shipping cost.

 

You could also offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount of money to encourage people to spend more money on your site than an average shopper would.

  

Charge a Flat Rate

 

The flat rate is the most effective method when your product offering is usually of the same weight and size, and doesn’t fluctuate too much from one product to the next, ensuring that you’re not under or overcharging a customer too much.

Shipping Options

 

As I am confident you know that there are numerous shipping options available to all companies –UPS, DHL, UK Mail, FedEx, DPD, to name a few – making this process confusing and challenging. Fetchy is a platform which will combine all of the offerings and make sure that not only are each of these available to you, but we will make sure you’re using the most optimized method in the market, and available to you. This is one of the ways you can add value to your client, and profit margins, as well an ensure that your shopping carts are no longer abandoned. For more information – please sign up above, and one of our experts will be in touch.

 

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Calculating Rates

When calculating the cost of shipping, there are a number of things to take into consideration, these include:

 

·      Departing country

·      Destination country

·      Package size

·      Package weight

·      Insurance

·      Tracking

 

It is advised that you shop around on price comparison websites, and also to check out the amazing prices and services that the Fetchy offering provides, ensuring that you’re making the best decision for your business.

 

Prior to exploring which method or strategy you decide to implement, it is advised and highly important that you take the appropriate steps in your research to ensure you’re in a profitable place, and not losing money from shipping as this is a considerable expense and headache for any ecommerce business. The best gift you can give to your business is to understand how you can ship profitably.

 

To prevent yourself from getting caught in the trap of losing money in shipping, we advise you to create a chart which encompasses all of your costs. The following, are the factors to consider:

 

·      Cost of Product

·      Packaging

·      Shipping Costs

·      Duties

·      Credit Card Fee

·      Profit margin

 

Insurance and Tracking

 

Depending on the product that is being sold, will depend on the need for insurance and tracking. It is highly advised and recommended that this is taken to ensure your merchandise is safe and you have exposure to the whereabouts of your shipment.

Moreover, it is highly recommended that tracking and insurance is taken because you, as a merchant would be able to offer the best possible service to your client.  

 

The more expensive the product, the more one should consider tracking and insurance. Keep in mind that Fetchy allows merchants to choose whether or not the client wants to track a product, and anything over £70 will need to be insured personally.

 

Customs Declaration and Forms

 

There are specific forms and documentation that will need to be provided when shipping merchandise overseas. These forms tell the custom officers exactly what in being shipped, the cost and whether it is a gift or purchase. These forms can be found online or in your local post office.

 

It is crucial that these forms are filled in honestly and precisely to ensure the product is not held up in customs. To understand exactly what is needed, you will need to check with your countries postal service.

 

Getting stuck in Customs

 

This is something that unfortunately is out of your control. Sometimes product can get suck for a few days, and sometimes even longer – please remember to tell this to your client, and make them aware that this is not your fault, and out of your control.

 

Tariffs, Taxes and Duties

 

There may be fees that need to be paid at customs, which are paid by your customer. This is usually paid at the time of delivery. To prevent unexpected surprises, it is highly advised that you inform you client of this at the time of purchase on your ecommerce store.

 

Here is an example of that is typically displayed on the ecommerce pages regarding these additional charges:

Labelling your Shipments

When making an order through the Fetchy platform, you will receive a label which you will print and stick on the front of your shipment using tape, in time for when the delivery man comes to collect the parcel. This has been incorporated into the app to ensure shipping becomes as streamline as possible. Fetchy integrates with your online store, and takes care of the whole process of ordering affordable and quick delivery, which has been done to remove all the mundane tasks involved in an unautomated shipment process and give you more time and money to focus on more important areas of your business.

 

 

Shipping is a very complicated, complex and challenging subject for many ecommerce businesses, and there are a lot of challenges which can display themselves along the way. The best thing a business of any size can do is develop a strategy which is efficient and scalable. This takes time to identify, tweak and perfect. This is also something that you want to continuously update and amend to ensure you’re as efficient, effective and communicating a real and clear set of values to your client through your branding.

 

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