Imagine a scenario where you are sitting at the table of your favorite restaurant. You have already placed the order, and now you are set to dine. Usually, you get the food within 10 minutes of placing it, but today was different. Even after 20 minutes of waiting, you still haven’t received the food on your table (must be very frustrating, right?)
This is how your customers feel after not receiving their ordered items at the expected time!
Shipping is responsible for transferring goods from one place to another; a robust shipping system ensures customers’ delight by timely delivery and helps companies lower their transportation costs (win-win).
In this article, you will find seven eCommerce shipping solutions that you can implement to deliver the best shipping experience to your customers. Let’s get started.
1. Free Shipping
Who doesn’t like freebies? Offering free shipping is a solid strategy to finally convince them to purchase. But as the saying goes, “There is no free lunch in the world.” So if your customers are not going to pay for the shipping, it means you have to pay the shipping charges on their behalf.
However, it may not be possible for you to offer free shipping on all the products, especially those with a thin profit margin. Here are some strategies you can adapt to provide free shipping without incurring heavy losses.
- Offer free shipping above a certain order threshold. You can set a minimum threshold like $100 cart value to avail free shipping. This would incentivize your customers to purchase more from you. In fact, 58% of customers are more likely to buy from you if you offer free shipping.
- Show price inclusive of shipping cost – Instead of charging a shipping fee over the regular price, you can simply make the product price inclusive of the shipping charge and use free shipping as a decoy.
- 78% of their US audience availed that subscription to get free shipping.
2. Offer a choice of shipping option
If the option of free shipping doesn’t seem feasible for you, then you can offer the following shipping options to your customers to make your offer lucrative.
- Expedited delivery – It is an arrangement where the customers pay a premium price to get the order delivered faster than standard shipping. For example, if the standard shipping takes five days and the customers are in a hurry to receive it soon, they can get it delivered faster via expedited delivery.
Pro-tip – you can slightly raise your expedited delivery charges and use the extra income to offer free shipping to the customers who prefer to wait for the regular shipping.
- 2-Day Shipping – As the name suggests, the customers can get their order delivered within 2 days. This option was popularised by Amazon, and the companies usually collaborate with carrier partners offering e-commerce shipping solutions to deliver on a faster basis.
- Same Day Delivery – It gets the order delivered on the same day as placing it. As it is quick, it attracts a premium price for the same.
- International Shipping – If your product is in high demand, you may strongly want to also test it out in the international market. International shipping is an expensive mode of shipping as it constitutes international taxation, higher shipping costs, finding reliable delivery partners.
No matter what option you end up choosing, you should be transparent about the costs and charges involved in shipping. Shoppers hate hidden charges, and you may end up losing a loyal customer.
3. Reveal the estimated time of arrival
The estimated time of arrival (ETA) would affect the choice of shipping by the customer. Ideally, it should be reflected in the checkout cart.
If you promise 5 days estimated delivery time, ensure that you live up to that. In case of any unforeseen delays, you should promptly communicate with the customer and take full responsibility. You should be extra careful with international shipping because it is expected to go through many checkpoints.
It shouldn’t be a hassle for the customer to contact your support staff.
4. Enable location tracking of shipment
Allowing your customers to see the live status of their shipment tracking can save a lot of time for your customer care team. This way, they won’t be bombarded with messages from the customers asking about the status of their shipment and can use that time to handle other queries.
By eliminating the objection of order status uncertainty, you are likely to win customers who are skeptical about the safety of eCommerce delivery. A survey reflected that 82% of consumers found it very important to get regular updates about the fulfillment and delivery of their order.45% of them preferred to get the updates via text. In comparison, 85% of them preferred it through emails.
If your delivery time is lengthy (let’s say international shipping), you must keep the customers updated with the status, so they don’t start worrying about it.
5. Be aware of international shipping restrictions
If you choose to offer international shipping to your customers, learning the international shipping restrictions associated with various countries pays off. Some products may be either illegal to export from your country or restricted to import by some other countries.
Some items are strictly prohibited from international shipping considering the hazards – Nail polish, Cigarettes, Dry Ice, Ammunition, Alcoholic Beverages, etc.
Put these restrictions into consideration while strategizing your shipping options.
6. Package it well
Packaging is a fantastic opportunity not just to safeguard your products but also to reflect your branding. To augment your customers’ delight, you can experiment with offering personalized boxes that resonate with your customers.
You must take extra precautions while shipping delicate products such as pottery. If not packed properly, there are high chances of these items breaking in transit, leading to a negative impression upon the customer.
Package labeling also helps with sorting such that your shipment doesn’t get mixed up with other packages leading to wrong delivery. Appropriate labeling ensures that the shipping company handles the boxes with a suitable delicacy as per the content inside.
7. Shipping insurance
The only thing certain about life is its uncertainty. Despite packaging it well and labeling it correctly, there are chances that packages can go missing while in transit. This is where shipping insurance comes to play.
If you are shipping expensive items (like jewelry), it makes sense to get those specific goods insured. It would save you a lot of money and make it easier to make your carrier partners pay for their negligence.
While shipping remains an integral part of your eCommerce delivery process, you should not just devote your full attention to offering speedy delivery. You should also factor in the eco-friendly aspect of the shipping process, like working with eco-friendly partners and using eco-friendly packaging. A study by IBM in 2020 found that 60% of consumers would prefer to alter their shopping habits to save the environment.
As more players enter the eCommerce industry, it gives customers access to better alternatives and quality services. You need to keep your shipping game strong to meet their rising expectations. Upon utilizing the strategies mentioned in this article, you will be able to ship effectively and also use shipping as an incentive to make the customers purchase more from you.
Simplifying complexity using words is my superpower. Being a Philomath, I love reading everything that I get my hands on and use writing to share my learnings. For me, writing is such a novel activity - it lets you experience the joy of being a student and teacher at the same time. Passionate about Marketing, Psychology, Philosophy, and binging TV shows.
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