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Shipping and fulfilment can be one of the most expensive things that a business will do, and this goes double if it is poorly managed. Customers are now used to having some of their purchases delivered the same day, and in some areas (Amazon Prime Now) within two hours. So you better believe they don’t want to wait.
That makes shipping a vital part of your company. So you have to get it right.
If you are a small business, for a period of time you will rely on standard postage and eventually, you will use a shipping company – or decide it is the best thing for your business to have your own shipping arm.
Eventually, you are going to need to have the best team in place to run the shipping and fulfilment. Orders will need to be picked, packed and shipped with accuracy and speed. This is where the right database to manage inventory is going to make it a more manageable job. You’ll need the best drivers too, but be ready in the event of any truck accident lawsuits.
You are going to need to either work with a warehouse or have your own. This is where you will safely store all of your inventory. The bonus and opportunity here are in the ability to provide storage and shipping for others too.
This is going to be an essential part of your service. Sure you can get things to your customers on time, but what if it doesn’t fit, or is the wrong item? They need to be able to get it back to you – at no cost to them. And returns are going to be inevitable. How you manage them will dictate how successful you are.
Make sure that all of your returns policies are on your website, this is even more important if you ship internationally – because taxes and shipping can be expensive.
Here is where you might just find a lot of baskets, left filled with goodies, but abandoned. Because the price of shipping can often dictate if someone buys from you or not. This gives you the chance to opt for the lower-cost shipping options. Why? Because people are willing to wait longer for free shipping, rather than pay a premium for quicker delivery.
Not only that, but customers are more likely to want to reach a paid goal in order to get free shipping. Free shipping on orders over 50 is more tempting than you might imagine.
But not everyone can offer free shipping, so having a flat rate structure might be the best alternative for you.
Your packaging is the final space for you to be able to display your branding. So make sure you take the opportunity to do so. It could be the wrapping paper, it might be the box, or just a simple card and a logo on the invoice too.
Your shipping is so much more than just getting a product from a to b, it is safely delivering your goods to your customers in the best possible way.