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When you have an idea for an e-commerce store and eventually develop the product and website design, the lingering question to tackle is ‘how do I ship my product?’ There are some essential steps that set a solid foundation on how to ship products to your customers. In this article, we’ll cover certain steps that will assist in developing your efficient shipping strategy.
Choosing Shipping Rates
There’s a lot to dissect in this part; from local shipping to international shipping, flat-rate shipping to free shipping. Let’s take a look at the variables you need to consider when shipping your products:
- Product Weight: To streamline the process of shipping e-commerce orders, you must measure the weight of each product you sell. This information will help you calculate your total costs while giving accurate prices to your customers.
- Product Packaging: Sizes and dimensions of your physical packages are important. Collecting the exact measurements of the box or package, alongside the product weight, you’ll be able to know your cost of shipping and accurately charge customers for a surplus. You can also receive packaging directly from USPS, UPS, or DHL, or invest in branded packaging (which tends to be more costly, but a strong piece of the branding process).
Free shipping is the best way to reduce shopping cart abandonment, and entice customers to complete checkout. However, free shipping is never actually free. In order to offer this perk to your customers, you need to do one specific thing to maintain a strong budget surplus: increase the overall product prices, which would include the cost of shipping.
You may also try free shipping based on a minimum order amount. This strategy can help offset the costs of shipping by increasing the average customer order size. For example, you may have wording on your website to entice customers such as ‘spend $150 total for free shipping.’
The best practice for the flat rate option is to try and make sure that you do not undercharge or overcharge your customers. This method of shipping works best when you have a similar product line of items that all have similar weights and dimensions. A base flat rate can become too complicated and less effective if you sell a wide variety of products with varying sizes – this can affect your margins.
To run a successful e-commerce business, you always need to keep a close eye on your product margins (being tedious in this case is a good thing). Shipping for e-commerce represents a significant expense for online merchants and if not prepared, could lose money during the process. It’s crucial to calculate all your product sizes, weights, and packaging dimensions as all the small details can quickly add up and greatly affect your profit margins.
Customs and Declarations
For international shipping, you’ll need to include the correctly filled-out customs documentation. These can be available at your local post office or online (with your e-commerce platform). These documents inform the customs officers at the country of import what is included in the package, the total cost, and the context of the merchandise.
Additional customs fees can happen when a package reaches its destination, and your customers will be responsible to pay for it during the time of delivery (or prior to delivery when informed). Because of this, it is a good idea to include this information in your shipping policy page so customers aren’t shocked by unexpected fees.
Pick, Pack & Ship Affordably
It can be difficult to compare carrier service rates as they all offer slightly different options. With a 3PL like Simple Global, we’ll handle all the complexities of shipping for you, with your own unique shipping preferences designed solely for optimal cost savings and fast delivery. We also cover the customs declaration forms and any tedious paperwork that would otherwise cause delays to your e-commerce business if not done correctly.
Visit our YouTube channel for more information on who we are and what our order fulfillment process is.
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