Effective Shipping Options and Strategies for eCommerce Businesses

By

Stephanie Rocha

|

Apr 10, 2024
an order being packed
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Shipping is not just a necessity—it's a critical component of customer satisfaction and business success. As the eCommerce industry booms, consumers' expectations around delivery have escalated, and retailers are compelled to adopt shipping strategies that not only delight customers but also preserve profit margins.


What exactly is eCommerce Shipping?

Discovering the best eCommerce shipping solutions for your business can be tricky, but it's an essential step to ensure your customers receive their orders quickly and smoothly. From order receiving and processing to fulfillment, there are three main stages of the eCommerce shipping process that you should consider to determine which solution is best for you. With the right eCommerce shipping strategy, you can track your items to make sure you have enough stock to process orders, confirm and verify all order data and generate picking lists to pick, pack, and prepare items for shipment. So, let's explore the various options available and find the right shipping solution for your business.

If you're already working with a shipping system, you may think you're all set. But, I'm here to tell you that you're missing out on the potential of finding a more suitable and cost-effective shipping option for your eCommerce store in Australia. With the right shipping solution, you could scale and grow your business more quickly, save up to 30% or more on shipping costs, and reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase conversions. 

Reasons To Choose the Right Shipping Strategy

Adopting an effective shipping strategy can revolutionize how your business operates and drastically improve customer satisfaction. This isn’t something that should be cobbled together; it requires careful planning and a clear understanding of the benefits:

Reduced Costs

By selecting the optimal shipping solution, you can trim excess costs without sacrificing speed or quality.

a customer at the shipping options part of checkout

Enhanced Customer Experience

Today’s consumers expect a range of shipping options that cater to their needs, as well as transparent tracking. Meeting these expectations can lead to higher customer retention.

Competitive Edge

An attractive shipping policy might be the deciding factor for customers choosing between your store and that of a competitor.

Scalability

The right strategy will grow with your business, accommodating increased order volumes without a drop in efficiency.

When your shipping aligns with customer expectations and is communicated transparently in your eCommerce shipping policy, trust in your brand builds, and customers are likely to return.

Shipping Strategies for eCommerce Businesses

Each eCommerce business has unique needs, and consequently, no one-size-fits-all approach exists. However, several strategies have been proven to enhance customer satisfaction while maintaining profitability:

Free Shipping

Say goodbye to hefty shipping fees and hello to free shipping! Nowadays, customers expect fast, free, and reliable shipping with every purchase. Offering free shipping can be an affordable option for your business and increase your conversions. At the same time, offering free shipping is a strong motivator for online shoppers. Get shipping rates upfront from providers based on the number of orders you process and consider offering free shipping at a minimum order quantity. For example, if your average order value is $40, try offering free shipping at $50 to accommodate shipping costs. Don't forget to specify an order cut-off time before 2:00 PM AEST to ensure same-day delivery. With free shipping, you can meet your customers' expectations and make sure their purchases arrive quickly and without any hassle.

Flat Rate and Table Rate Shipping

For easy understanding and consistency, a flat rate can simplify the decision for customers. More complex table rate shipping varies the cost based on various factors like order value or weight, which gives customers more flexible and tailored options.

courier checking the orders from his van

Expedited Shipping

In the era of instant gratification, options for faster delivery, such as those provided by same-day courier services, can significantly boost customer satisfaction. However, this should be balanced with the increased cost to ensure profitability.

Prioritise Packaging 

To ensure that your products reach your customers in perfect condition, prioritize packaging! Investing in high-quality packaging materials will not only increase customer satisfaction, but it can also help you be environmentally friendly. Consider flat-rate shipping based on the size of the package – a tight, compact and lightweight material will save on shipping costs regardless of the weight or destination. To reduce costs further, consider adding multiple items to one box if customers purchase two items or more. Doing this will reduce the number of boxes needed for shipping and help you save on shipping fees.

Location is Key

Location is key for optimising your eCommerce shipping process. Consider setting up your business in an area with other eCommerce merchants and businesses, like Workit Spaces eCommerce hub in Sydney, NSW. This will not only give you access to discounted shipping rates, but also the opportunity to collaborate and network with other business owners. If you’re already operating from a static location, look into switching your address to a more centralised area that offers discounted flat-rate shipping rates. Not only can you save money, but you can also access top-tier shipping services that can help you get your products to your customers quickly.

Integrate Your Sales Channel 

Choosing a shipping aggregator with integrations to multiple sales channels is an absolute must-have for any eCommerce business. With SKUtopia and other supply chain software, you can connect with platforms like Shopify and synchronize your data and inventory in real-time. This way, you always know how many orders you’ve processed, the number of orders, and inventory levels—plus, you can easily add tracking numbers. To ensure customer satisfaction, it’s important to give yourself a buffer on delivery times. Consider including a range of business days on product pages to give customers a realistic expectation of when to receive their package. You can even add a few extra days to under promise and over deliver on faster delivery times. Nothing beats the feeling of expecting a package to arrive in 3-5 business days and receiving it on day 2!

Offer Loyalty Programs

Reward your customers for their loyalty! Incorporate loyalty programs into your online and offline retail stores to increase customer retention, drive repeat purchases and boost brand awareness. Studies show that 79% of customers are looking for eCommerce merchants to offer loyalty programs, with perks such as faster and free delivery services. Take the initiative and craft an incentive program that has shipping rates built into the cost of products and services - your customers will thank you for it!


Improve your eCommerce Delivery Options

With the eCommerce industry constantly evolving, it’s important to stay ahead of the game by offering customers the best delivery options available. From premium shipping services and faster delivery times to carefully selecting the right shipping costs and partner, there are a number of ways to ensure your customers keep coming back for more. By investing in the right delivery strategy, you can reinforce your brand, build trust with your customers, and most importantly, increase your profits. With the right eCommerce delivery options, you can make sure your customers have the best experience possible.

Efficient implementation of these shipping strategies relies on robust fulfillment systems. Leverage robotic fulfillment solutions to streamline your shipping processes. Moreover, integrating an eCommerce fulfillment software can improve accuracy and shorten processing times, adding to both customer satisfaction and your bottom line.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shipping Methods and Strategies

1. How do I determine the best eCommerce shipping options for my business?

Determining the best shipping options involves analyzing your customer base, understanding their needs, and evaluating your business’s resources. Offer various shipping options, from free shipping to expedited delivery, and monitor which are most popular and cost-effective.

2. How can I manage eCommerce shipping costs effectively?

Effective management of shipping costs can be achieved through negotiating rates with carriers, considering hybrid services that offer the benefits of both postal and courier services, and by optimizing packaging to reduce size and weight.

3. What is eCommerce shipping and how does it affect my business?

eCommerce shipping refers to the entire process of managing and sending out orders to customers. It’s a critical touchpoint that can define the customer experience. By crafting a clear shipping strategy and policy, you create transparent communication with customers which builds confidence and loyalty.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, the right shipping strategy can set your eCommerce business apart in an increasingly competitive market. It’s an investment not just in logistics but in customer satisfaction and loyalty. By focusing on the right strategies and leveraging technology like SKUTOPIA’s solutions, businesses can strike a perfect balance between delighting customers and maintaining a profitable operation. Choose wisely, and watch your business soar.