With the popularity of online shopping increasing, ensuring your business’ shipping process is as efficient and reliable as it can be is of utmost importance.
Shipping charges, time, and return options can influence a customer’s decision to make a purchase or take their business to the competition. It is therefore essential that you improve your shipping process in any way you can.
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Offer multiple shipping options
Customers like to have choices. After all, some customers will need a product urgently, while others will have a specific budget they’re looking to stick to and skip ordering if shipping costs are too high.
Make sure you have an expedited shipping option for those who are willing to pay more to receive their order faster. If possible, it’s also a great idea to offer free shipping above a certain price point.
Use freight brokers
Most businesses have contracts with carriers that allow them to ship a certain amount at a certain price point. However, sometimes the unexpected happens and you end up needing to ship more product than you originally planned for. This can happen around holidays or when a sudden increase in demand occurs.
A great solution to times like these is to work with freight brokerages. A freight brokerage hires freight brokers who find shipping carriers for businesses as the need arises. This allows for greater flexibility.
Offer free returns
Ordering products online comes with a high degree of risk. Customers are forced to make a purchasing decision based on just a few online photos. With this risk in mind, when customers see that there is a cost associated with returns, they may choose not to go through with the purchase.
Unless you own a massive company with retail locations in every major city, most customers will not be able to return in-store for free. If you believe in the product, you should be able to offer free returns. Sure, you’ll lose out a little on the return shipping cost, but you’ll also increase sales by attracting more customers who will take a chance on your product and choose to keep it.
Streamline your warehouse process
There’s nothing more frustrating than getting a notification that a shipping label has been created for your order, only to see it remains at the warehouse for days before being picked up for transport.
Streamline your warehouse process by improving direct communication with the warehouse team, creating a standardized packaging process for employees to follow quickly and efficiently, and using a single shipping software package to reduce any confusion or miscommunication.
EDI, or electronic data interchange, replaces the paper trail with data that is entirely electronic. EDI has many benefits, including:
- Saving money by replacing paper
- Increasing productivity
- Reducing the chance of error
- More convenient and accessible
EDI is also beneficial for customer service, as if a customer calls with a request about where their package is, you’ll be able to look up their information with just a few clicks. When selecting shipping software, look for a package that comes with built-in EDI.