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8 Important eCommerce Shipping Considerations – A Startup Guide

Are you looking to venture into eCommerce? Learn about how shipping works. Here’s a compilation of eCommerce shipping considerations you have to keep in mind.

The retail landscape has been changing rapidly since the introduction of eCommerce. Advanced technological progress and the current Coronavirus pandemic have paved the way for people to rely mainly on online shopping for their needs.

Businesses, both large and small, need to adapt to the eCommerce landscape to survive. Online shopping is becoming so significant in today’s economy that retail shares for eCommerce are expected to rise even further—mainly due to the pandemic that drove the spike up from 13.6% in 2019 to 19.5% this year. Current data available suggests a continuous upward trend in eCommerce market shares for the next few years. It’s safe to say that the pandemic changed the way people shop, maybe for good. 

Traditional businesses are keeping up with the status quo and transitioning to online platforms in selling their products. Online marketplaces foster an environment where small businesses can expand without the extra components and costs of physical stores. Growing despite a low budget is possible in the eCommerce stage if you only know how to do it. 

One of the most vital things to contemplate is eCommerce shipping, it is the bread and butter of online stores and having a reliable delivery service could be the key to your business’s success. It is essential to start thinking of some eCommerce shipping considerations you’re going to have from the moment you plan your online venture.

  1. Shipping Goals

Lay down the objectives you want to achieve in the eCommerce area of your business. Make your goals realistic and set a time limit on fulfilling them. This will help you organize your general business plan. Here are some examples of the aspects to consider:

Prioritizing Profit

The main point of entering the eCommerce world is to make revenue. This should ring true in all aspects of the business. From the conception to the completion stage, business owners should always find ways to maximize their earnings. 

Choose a shipping partner that can save you money with their deals. Look for companies that align with your business plans. 

Getting Great Reviews

Feedback is everything for an online business. Unlike physical stores, customer reviews for eCommerce shops are posted online for everyone to see. Wise online shoppers always check reviews before buying something. With the rise of eCommerce comes a drop in trust from customers because of rampant misinformation and fake news on the internet. 

Customers review the whole shopping experience with a business. From the moment they check out a product to the time it takes for it to arrive, they post it all. Work with a shipping company that can deliver your goods in a timely manner. 

Expand the Business for a Wider Reach

As a business owner, it is crucial to think ahead and have goals to expand your business. In eCommerce, reaching a wider audience is easier to do. Your products are available to view from different parts of the world. Make plans in advance to deliver outside of the country. Check your options in advance for international delivery at an affordable cost. 

Method of Delivery

Once you’ve established your eCommerce shipping goals, it’s time to plan your method of delivery. Narrow down your options by focusing on whether you want to deliver locally first, or take the step and proceed with overseas shipping. 

Learn about the differences between standard or regular delivery and express shipping. Try to incorporate this into the shipping information upon checkout. As much as you can, keep the customer informed about their delivery options to avoid negative reviews. 

Choosing a Courier

ECommerce shipping services typically have a list of courier companies you can choose from. If your customers are from your own country, check out the local courier companies available. If you are delivering goods overseas, look for a shipping guide from Canada to the USA to prepare. 

Keep in mind that courier companies predict time of arrival. Local deliveries take less time to arrive compared to shipping abroad. Manage your customers’ expectations by letting them know the projected time to ship their products. This can save you from any negative feedback about shipping delays. 

You can also enhance your customer’s shopping experience by giving them a choice of the courier they want to handle their orders. To do this, choose an eCommerce shipping service with several courier options. 

Packaging
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Packaging 

Aesthetics play a crucial role in the eCommerce industry. Your product listing should have good pictures to entice buyers. This focus on aesthetics extends to the product packaging as well. Unboxing videos are popular on the internet, so you have to deliver and up your game as an online store owner. 

Product reviews usually contain pictures of the product from the moment they arrive in courier boxes to the “product reveal.” Packaging your goods thoughtfully can earn you positive feedback. 

Packaging can also be a critical statement of authenticity. Distinguishing your product from counterfeits carries on to the wrapping materials you use. Plastering your business label (even on the packaging) will remove suspicions of counterfeiting. 

Avoid delays in shipping by having everything you need to pack your goods at hand. Print the labels of your store and paste them on the inside and outside of the parcel. Make sure you have more than enough wrapping boxes and materials to prepare your orders. 

Promos

Product promos are an old trick in the marketing book. The wonders of promotions were not lost when physical shops converted to online businesses. To keep up with the fast pace of eCommerce, you have to think on your feet for strategies to sell your products. 

From product bundles to discounts, online shops try many marketing methods. A tried and tested method you can use is to have free shipping promos. A study on online shopping behavior suggested that 53% of shoppers proceed to checkout because of free shipping options. 

Though there is no such thing as totally free shipping, you can still use that marketing method on your goods. You can up the price of your goods to cover a portion of the shipping fee, impose a minimum amount for shipping to be free, or incorporate the shipping cost into your expenses. 

Costs

One of the gruelling aspects of an online business is calculating how much shipping costs can set you back. Consult the eCommerce shipping service you are partnered with to have an estimate of how much the couriers charge for deliveries. 

If you have buyers from outside the country, international shipping costs should factor in your expenses as well. Overseas shipping is a little trickier and more expensive to deal with than local shipping—ready yourself for customs fees and other costs to send your product to a foreign country. 

Safety Net eCommerce Shipping Considerations

Conducting business in an industry that is heavily reliant on the help of logistics companies to distribute your goods can have many problems. Disaster stories like products getting lost, damaged, or shipped to the wrong address can happen to anyone dealing with online stores. 

Unfortunately, in shipping horror stories, the customers go to the online shop directly to complain. If you’re not ready for these situations, you could lose everything you worked hard for. Be prepared and make sure to have insured shipping on your products. Don’t make the same mistake countless others have made before. 

Work with an eCommerce shipping company with tracking options as well. That way, you can communicate the progress of the shipping to your customers until it reaches their doorstep. 

Documents
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Documents in eCommerce Shipping Considerations

Finally, when all your planning is done, get your legal proofs in place. Process the registrations you need as an eCommerce business. Get your permits to operate and distribute your goods. 

Research about what courier companies need from you to legally deliver your products. This is crucial when you are shipping abroad. Check the country you are shipping to for the papers you need to prepare before sending goods across the border. 

Look at the limitations on what kind of goods can enter the country too. Get in contact with the customs department to know how long documents need to be processed or how long they are valid for. Make sure to have all the necessary documents on hand before shipping so that you are ready for any situation that can arise. 

Final Notes

Venturing into eCommerce can be fun and challenging. You will face many problems, but being prepared for them and surmounting them is extremely rewarding. Know that starting a business online is as massive a risk as starting a physical business—planning ahead and making contingency plans is always good practice.

In an industry that depends on external logistics to transport goods, choosing a shipping partner is a vital decision. Settle for services that align with your goals, get to know them and the options they offer thoroughly and build a safety net for worst case scenarios. Who delivers your goods is a principal contributor to your success, so take every precaution possible. With a trusted shipping service, your small business will flourish and eventually expand to the world!

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Diana Zheng
Diana leads the growth marketing initiatives at Stallion Express, a shipping company offering the best rates for shipping from Canada to US. As a personal trainer turned digital marketer, Diana is obsessed with equipping Canadian eCommerce entrepreneurs with everything they need to scale their online businesses.

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