When you plan to start an online business, there is a lot of hard work involved. From the initial stage of designing the website, and before running social media campaigns, you’ll have to face the not-so-interesting task of selecting your shipping provider.
Your shipping provider is one major component that will decide the success of your business. So, it becomes important for you to be careful while you select your shipping provider.
Implementing too many shipping provider, can be confusing, but that doesn’t mean you have to limit your shipping option to one; instead offer choices for your customers depending on the size of your business and type of products you’ll be transporting.
1 – Type of products
The first component to keep in mind is to always consider the type of products you will deal with your customers. Your shipping provider should offer a complete shipping management system that does not limit your product offerings, such as if your are selling edible or perfumes. You may also come across certain shipping provider who limit their service to very expensive or fragile products. So, know your products and it’s shipping requirement when consulting various shipping providers.
2 – Area of service
Know your target audience and consider your area service while selecting your shipping provider. This is one more crucial factor to consider, as you’ll know whether to implement both national or international providers in your options.
3 – Credibility
Shipping customers order in timely manner will make them happy and entice them to shop from your site only! So, check the credibility the shipping provider your consider in your shipping options. There are many providers with cheap rate but they may end with costly errors like lost package or package not delivered on time- this will directly hit the bottom line of your business. Ensure you check reviews of the shipping management software you would like to implement.
4 – Accuracy & Speed
Every online shopper would expect a quick shopping experience. So, consider those in your options who offer both accuracy and speed of delivery in local as well as national locations.
5 – Tracking service
Your shipping management provider should allow tracking ability in real-time. This is one of the most important points to consider while you select your options as it will allow you to track customers order as well as you can monitor their level of service. Also, in case of delay in shipping process, with real-time shipment capabilities you can easily contact your customers and keep them in loop with their order status and also allow them to track shipment status online.
6 – Security
One of the shipment challenge for many retailers, is package lost in transit. Therefore, to have a peace in mind you should ensure that your shipping provider will offer a security for products lost in transit. Please not all shipping providers offer security, so select the one’s that does, compare prices and consider those in your shipping options.
7 – Flexibility
Your customers may demand flexibility in delivery. And, fulfilling their demands will help you stand out the competition. Ensure your shipping provider is open to same-day deliveries, re-route packages, and much more.
8 – Live rates
Ensure you implement a shipping provider that allows you to calculate shipping and postage costs based on service level required, location and weight. Having this feature, you get a clear picture of the costs associated with each provider and can easily compare shipping options.
9 – Type of shipment methods
Almost 70% of online shoppers will opt for cheapest shipping option available. Ensure you focus on type of shipment methods when you consider your shipping options. Flat rate and free-shipping methods are standard ones that your shipping provider should offer.
10 – Pricing
Shipping provider has a costs for the service they provide – delivery surcharges, delivery confirmation charges, insurance fee. So, include these extra charges when you calculate the cost of shipping and compare provider and settle for the best in your shipping options.
11 – Integration with business system
Co-coordinating your shipping provider with your order system will ensure a smooth flow eliminating costly errors like shipping products twice to customers. Ensure you settle for a provider that allows integration with business system, like inventory and order to optimize your fulfillment process and minimize errors.
12 – Handle returns
Returns are a part of any retail business, and it’s difficult to prevent such scenarios. But, managing those returns efficiently will keep your customer satisfied. Ensure your shipping provider allow tools to automate your returns process maintaining good customer experience – leading to repeat sales and recommendations.
You might also like: How shipping management software can help reduce shipping rates?