Every time the shopping season comes, online merchants are gearing up for making more sales. Still, as orders increase, shipping gets congested, affecting customers' shopping experience negatively. It may incur bad reviews and hurt your business in the long term. That is why you need to know how many shipping services you can have and offer in different periods of the year to lower the chance of getting bad results.
Why is shipping crucial to running e-commerce?
E-commerce shipping is the closest part to the customer in the entire e-commerce supply chain. It is responsible for all the processes of shipping products to customers. If customers are satisfied, you will leave an unforgettable impression on them. Therefore, big brands have accelerated their delivery time and improved the shipping experience to differentiate themselves and gain a place in the fiercely competitive market.
If e-commerce shipping can meet the following two requirements, it will help build a good brand image and increase sales.
1. The faster the shipping, the more customers love
Since online shopping differs from in-store shopping, the customer's demand is still not met before receiving the goods. Therefore, large brands are working on helping the customer get the purchased items faster. One-day delivery or even 12-hour delivery may not be enough. Now there is a one-hour delivery service, allowing customers to receive the goods quickly, and at the same time to enhance the customer's preference for the brand.
2. The more stable the quality, the more customers trust
It is necessary to send goods quickly and ensure that the goods shipped are correct and intact. The quality of the goods is exchanged for the trust of customers in the brand. It is also an excellent way to demonstrate the professionalism and customer-first spirit of the brand.
What are the shipping services for e-commerce merchants?
Common e-commerce shipping options include self-order fulfillment, eCommerce platforms, third-party logistics.
1. Self-order fulfillment
The name says itself. Self-order fulfillment is the seller option that gives you the most control over the selling and shipping processes. In other words, you need to manage the packaging, warehousing, and pick-up schedule all by yourself.
On the bright side, you can work with any couriers that provide you with the cheapest shipping rates. It can help you reduce shipping fees.
If you are just getting started your online business, you can try one of the shipping software listed here. The software provides a lot of shipping discounts for all shipping services. That can help you better control your shipping cost in the early stage.
Self-order fulfillment is more suitable for running a small online store.
2. Fulfilled by the eCommerce platform
Joining an eCommerce platform like Amazon and selling goods is the most popular way of doing online business. Usually, the platform will provide 2 shipping options for merchants: self-order fulfillment and orders fulfilled by the eCommerce platform.
For orders fulfilled by the eCommerce platform option, you need to send your products to the distribution center of the platform and pay the storage fee. The logistics system of the platform will send the products out after your customers place orders.
However, eCommerce platforms have more restrictions. For example, they may require you not to put your brand logo on the outer packaging box. Suppose you want to know how many restrictions these eCommerce platforms have. In that case, you can read these Amazon or Walmart's shipping rules for sellers.
Therefore, when choosing an online selling platform, it is recommended to consider the future development and limitations of the platform.
3. Third-party logistics(3PL)
A Third-party Logistics company assists you in handling product warehousing, sorting, packaging, shipping, and returns. The benefit of working with a third-party logistics company is that you can send a large number of products to the third-party logistics company at one time. The company will repack and distribute your products.
Therefore, the professionalism of the third-party logistics company is essential so that the products can be delivered to customers stably and quickly.
2 things you need to understand before choosing a logistics method
In addition to understanding the e-commerce shipping service options, it is also vital to understand the relevance of shipping and packing. Knowing the following two logistics terms will help you better manage your logistics management.
1. Shipping volume and calculation method
Volume refers to the size of the packaging box. Usually, it is multiplied by the packaging box's length, width, and height, then divided by 27,000. That is the volume of the package.
If you use the logistics service of the eCommerce platform, you need to pay a storage fee. The calculation method is. Volume x storage days x commission charged by the platform = storage fee.
The commission varies from different eCommerce platforms. You need to read the service terms clearly before signing a contract.
2. Consolidation logistics
Consolidation logistics means a carrier or a shipping company collects shipments from various sources and then loads them up with one full container. Using this shipping service, you only need to bear the freight from the shipment to the warehouse, which is more cost-effective than sending packages in a small batch.
It is recommended that you evaluate which option is most suitable based on the scale of your company. The following 5 aspects can help you understand what problems you will encounter when using the methods above.
- Shipping method
Self-order fulfillment requires merchants to prepare everything and wait for the logistics company to pick up the packages. In contrast, third-party logistics can handle all the pre-shipping preparation and delivery.
Self-order fulfillment needs to pay a handling fee for each package. Third-party logistics services have multiple charging methods, including a monthly service fee or one-piece shipping rate.
- Suitable for company type
Self-order fulfillment is more suitable for small or start-ups. At the same time, third-party logistics services are more suitable for medium and large brands with stable sales.
You can ensure the quality of goods shipped by yourself with the self-order fulfillment method. Third-party logistics companies provide storage space and can help you save shipping trouble.
Self-order fulfillment requires you to handle shipments yourself, which is time-consuming and laborious sorting. The professionalism of the third-party logistics company determines the quality and stability of shipments.
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