Own an online store? Then, you definitely understand the importance of a reliable and efficient e-commerce shipping solution for a successful business. Sure, you need a good online marketing strategy and a user-friendly website to make your mark and attract customers. However, it is your shipping efficiency that speaks volumes about your brand to your customers. The way they receive your product creates a lasting impression on your customers and can create repeat customers. That is why one of the most impactful steps that you can take in order to expand your business online is making an effective logistics strategy with a reliable e-commerce courier service.
Do I need a third-party logistics service provider?
With big brands in the Indian online industry offering attractive features like “same-day delivery” and “free shipping” most online SMEs struggle to compete with them. However, with a well-planned logistics strategy, any business can distinguish itself from the competition and thereby increase its sales. One of the most important factors in planning seamless and efficient shipping is to rely on a competent third-party logistics service provider for your business – especially one that has rich experience in handling clients from your industry vertical.
Choosing an e-commerce shipping solution to handle your e-commerce logistics can be a tedious and difficult task. Primarily because it is an important decision for your business and requires careful planning and detailing. To make it easier for you, below are some pointers that can help you in creating a foolproof shipping strategy. This way you can make an informed decision while choosing a logistics service provider to help you streamline your online store and its shipping process.
Go for a technology-based logistics aggregator
Your entire business is online. So, how can your shipping be far behind? With a reliable logistics aggregator, you can take your business to the next level. A logistics aggregator gives you the choices of multiple e-commerce courier services and lets you decide the most convenient option. A technology-based platform can ease your shipping process through automation and tracking features. With a logistics aggregator, you can compare shipping rates and delivery time for different products. This way, you can find the most affordable and the fastest shipping option for each order.
With a technology-based logistics platform, you can minimize your manual processes to a large extent. Especially with a platform that works seamlessly with all types of e-commerce marketplaces and websites. This way all your orders can be automatically synced on a single e-commerce shipping solution. No need to manually involve in the process and create room for errors. Automation of your shipping process ensures that you can spend more time on expanding your business and less time on logistics.
Offer ‘free shipping’ and cheaper shipping rates to your customers
One of the most attractive offers on an online site entails “free shipping”. During the online shopping experience based on the Internet Retailer / Bizrate Insight consumer survey conducted in May 2018, 31.6% of respondents mentioned paid shipping as the main barrier for cart abandonment. However, free shipping is not an affordable option for most e-retailers. Providing free shipping for all orders can be a big blow on your logistics budget, but with affordable e-commerce courier services, you can reduce your shipping rates to a very large extent and even provide free shipping to your customers. Here are a few ways you can offer shipping rates to your customers:
1. Fixed shipping rate: One of the most popular ways of charging for shipping, this strategy involves a fixed shipping rate and charging every customer the same amount. This means irrespective of the number of items purchased and the type of the item, every customer who lives within the same geographical zone pays the same shipping charge for your e-commerce shipping solution. While this strategy makes sure that you will be able to recover your shipping charges, it can cause some of your customers to leave your shopping site. Especially if the shipping charge seems high when the customer is buying only a few products. On the other hand, if the shipping charge is low and stays the same for n number of products then it can prompt them to buy more – consequently increasing your overall sales.
2. Variable shipping rate: With this strategy, you can charge your customer the shipping rates depending on the value of their order. This way you can recover the charges of your e-commerce courier services. You can provide offers like Rs. 60 shipping charge for one item and Rs. 30 for two of them. You can also offer a threshold value after which you provide free shipping for all purchases. This will also encourage your customers to purchase more from your site.
3. Free shipping: Offering free shipping for all the purchases is one of the most effective shipping strategies you can provide. However, it is not a very practical solution for retailers. If you are providing free shipping to your customers, you have to make sure that you recover those costs some other way; and for that, you need to rely on an affordable e-commerce shipping solution. Once you have partnered with a logistics aggregator for your shipping, you can find the most cost-effective shipping option for your individual order. This way you can easily reduce your overall logistics budget which can consequently help you in providing free shipping to your customers.
However, if you feel that offering free shipping is still not a practical and affordable option for your e-commerce business, there are other ways to offer the same. You can provide promotional offers like free shipping for featured products, purchase value threshold, and one-day free shipping offers. With a cost-effective e-commerce courier service, you can easily offer these options on a frequent basis. Such promotional sales offers can increase traffic to your site and help you in creating potential customers.
Look for the real-time tracking feature
A technology-based logistics service provider can ensure real-time tracking of all your shipments along with automation of your entire logistics process. This is essential so that you can keep track of your orders. Also, you can share these details with your customers as well. With almost every online store now relying on an e-commerce shipping solution that provides location details of their orders to the customers, it has become necessary for smaller companies to do the same. Automated logistics service providers can easily generate shipping labels for your orders and this way helps you keep track of orders. Passing on this information with your customers can keep them relaxed regarding their product shipment.
Ensure COD cycle support
For a successful e-commerce business in India, you must provide cash on delivery as a payment option. This is because most online shoppers in India still depend on the COD payment option for their online shopping. So, make sure that your e-commerce courier service provides support for the COD payment cycle. With a logistics aggregator, you need not worry about this issue as you can easily compare and choose a courier service that will provide a COD payment option. Additionally, provide multiple payment options to your customers during checkout. With several digital transaction possibilities now available, several customers prefer certain digital wallets over others. The lack of these digital payment modes on your website can cause your customers to abandon the cart during checkout.
With a reliable and efficient e-commerce shipping solution, you can automate your entire logistics process by comparing prices for individual products, finding the most convenient shipping option, easily generating shipping labels and keeping track of all orders. So, what are you waiting for? Follow these tips for a seamless and enhanced shipping experience.
Gaurav Jain is an expert in the e-commerce industry with vast experience and keen interest for the same, he has come up with a number of thoroughly researched articles which can be helpful for every Ecommerce Shipping Solutions.