Small Business Guide to Understanding E-Commerce Shipping

Consumers today expect that they are afforded fast free shipping whenever they shop for goods online. This is not really an issue for large business organisations and corporations. But for small and medium sized businesses that are quite struggling to operate within a very tight budget, offering free and expedited shipping can spell additional burden. On the other hand, if they can get it right and fulfil their customers’ expectations then even the smallest of businesses can look forward to more fruitful customer interactions and stronger, more loyal customer base.

The Right Partner

Small businesses have to think about the goods that they are sending out on a regular basis and determine the most appropriate shipping vendor to partner with. It is quite easy to always go for well-established organisations like FedEx and UPS, although there may be other options that need to be explored. The point here is to take time to really analyse and determine the correct shipping mix that best reflects the needs of your business.

Drop shippers are preferred by small businesses because they can easily boost the volume of their shipment without necessarily requiring a commensurate increase in inventory storage space. Third party logistics providers, on the other hand, can be appealing to small businesses that send out smaller volumes of goods at any one time since 3PLs take the combined volume of inventory of different small businesses.

The Right Packaging

Large logistics organisations usually adhere to a dimensional pricing model. This means that the shipping costs are directly proportional to the size and weight of the shipment. As a matter of rule, small businesses should use the least amount of space their shipment can possibly occupy. It also makes sense to pack your products for shipment with due consideration for safety and density. Choosing the right box to contain your products is also important.

Shipping multiple smaller items should be accomplished by packaging individual units in shrink-wrapped pallets before individually labelling these. This makes it a lot easier to sort the packages once they reach the distribution centre. This saves time, bringing your product a lot faster to your consumers.

The Right Analytics and Technologies

Choosing the right partner and the packaging techniques can help you deliver your goods to your customers. However, you will also need to rely on technology and analytics to help you keep track of the progress of your shipments and manage problems that may crop up along the way.

You’ll need to stay abreast of the shipment process so that you’ll know if your customers will receive your goods in time and in order. If not, then you can take the necessary proactive steps to advise them. Customers also would like to track their own orders. Technologies can provide your business with such platforms and allow you to keep in touch with your customers while the shipment is in transit.

Small businesses can provide exemplary service to their customers by ensuring their orders are delivered in a timely and appropriate manner. Adhering to these three simple rules should help businesses weather the otherwise stormy e-commerce shipping.