Setting up an e-commerce business can be a very exciting prospect. Once you set up your website and are ready to take orders, you need to master one crucial aspect of the business — shipping. Shipping isn’t just transporting the product from the warehouse to the customer. You need to learn how to pack orders and monitor expenses as well.
Here are a few shipping tips that every e-commerce entrepreneur must know;
Understand how to charge
Three common ways of billing include:
Free shipping: This reduces shipping cart abandonment and helps in differentiating your brand from the competitors. You have to remember that the shipping is free for the customer, not for you. As an e-commerce company, you have to pay the shipping fees from your margins.
Flat Rate: You can offer a flat rate of shipping on all the products. This would be the best option if you have a standard product line with similar weights and sizes.
Carrier Rates: In this option, you will have to charge the carrier rates for the shipping. The shipping costs can be passed onto the customers.
Review Product Size and Weight
It’s critical to know exactly how much a product weighs before you ship it. For large shipments, you can use industrial floor scales to check the weight of every product being shipped. Preferably, products should not weigh more than 50 pounds, for safety reasons. If a package exceeds 50 pounds, you must label it. The combined weight of the pallet and the products should not exceed 1,500 pounds. It’s equally important to secure all the packages with appropriate binding materials.
Choose the Right Packaging and Labeling
The packaging and labeling options used for the product make a lot of difference. Opt for unconventional packaging materials that are cost effective, without compromising the quality. Don’t skimp on the protective padding if that is necessary. Contact large packaging suppliers for wholesale prices of the packaging materials. Use floor scales to ensure the products are of the right weight while packaging.
After packaging options are finalized, focus on the labeling. With the right labeling, you can streamline the shipping process. Write the shipping and return address by hand, however, this option won’t be scalable once the company starts growing. In such cases, consider numerous e-commerce platforms which allow you to print shipping addresses from the orders page, which can then be stuck on the packages.
Use a Fulfillment Warehouse
A fulfillment warehouse helps you automate and handle the shipping of the products. One advantage of working with a fulfillment house is that you can choose inventory at their workhouse. Depending on the integration of the warehouse’s system with your shopping cart, the fulfillment partner will automatically be forwarded orders as they come in. Products are packed and shipped on your behalf, making e-commerce inventory management extremely efficient.
Understand Shipping restrictions
If you’re shipping your products internationally, then you need to be aware of the shipping restrictions and customs requirements of each country. Research well before shipping and learn about the duties and taxes at the destination, regulatory forms for the product declaration and any certificate requirements to prove the products’ country of origin. It’s important to pay attention to the minutes of the details and never assume anything as it could lead to denial of delivery or holding costs.
Shipping can really make a huge difference between success or failure of your company. Simple steps like using floor scales to weigh products go a long way in ensuring that the aspect of shipping is a success for your business.
Kevin Hill heads up the marketing efforts at Quality Scales Unlimited in Byron, CA. Besides his day job, he loves to write about the different types of scales and their importance in various industries. He also writes about how to care for and get optimized performance from different scales in different situations. He enjoys spending time with family and going on camping trips.