by Sidney Karanja
Today’s business environment is more globalized and complex than ever before. In order for online brands and ecommerce businesses to compete in this marketplace, it is essential to have a shipping process that is efficient and cost-effective.
Covering everything from understanding your customer’s needs to choosing the right shipping provider, here is your comprehensive guide to building the perfect shipping process for your business:
- Define Your Business’s Shipping Needs
- Choose the Right Shipping Partners
- Invest in Shipping Rate Comparison Solutions
- Decide on Packaging and Shipping Methods
- Establish Delivery Times and Expectations
- Create a Returns and Exchanges Program
- Track Your Shipments and Gather Feedback
1. Define Your Business’s Shipping Needs
Most businesses have some type of shipping need, whether it is sending out product orders or mailing invoices and marketing materials. With the rise of ecommerce, more businesses are looking for ways to streamline their shipping processes and get products to customers quickly and efficiently. Before you can choose the right shipping solution for your business, you need to take a step back and define your shipping needs.
What types of products are you shipping? How often do you need to ship orders? What is your budget? Once you clearly understand your shipping needs, you can start to research different shipping options and find the best solution for your business.
2. Choose the Right Shipping Partners
Choosing the right shipping partners is essential for any business that wants to succeed. The right partner will be able to provide a reliable, efficient service that meets your specific needs. They will also be able to offer competitive rates and maintain a good relationship with their customers.
In order to find the right shipping partner, you need to take the time to research your options and compare the services that each company offers. You should also consider your budget and shipping volumes when making your decision. Choosing the right shipping partner will help ensure that your business runs smoothly and efficiently.
3. Invest in Shipping Rate Comparison Solutions
Shipping rate comparison solutions provide a simple way to compare the rates of different carriers, find the best deals, and choose the option that best meets your needs. By investing in such a solution, you can ensure that your business is able to take advantage of the best shipping rates available, save money, and ensure that customers receive their orders in a timely manner. In addition, shipping rate comparison solutions can help to streamline the shipping process, making it more efficient and reducing the likelihood of errors.
4. Decide on Packaging and Shipping Methods
Choosing the right packaging and shipping methods is essential for ensuring that your products arrive safely at their destination. One important factor to consider is the type of packaging that will best protect your product.
For example, if you are shipping a phone, you will need to use a sturdy material that will prevent them from being damaged in transit. You should also take into account the size and weight of the products when deciding on the packaging. Larger items may need to be shipped in multiple boxes, while smaller items can often be shipped in envelopes or padded bags.
5. Establish Delivery Times and Expectations
One of the most important aspects of running a successful business is establishing delivery times and expectations with your customers. This helps to ensure that they are happy with their purchase as well as avoid any potential problems down the road. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver than to set unrealistic expectations and then fail to meet them.
Be clear about what is included in the delivery. If there are any additional charges or requirements, be sure to communicate that upfront. Do not forget to factor in time for unexpected delays. By being prepared for the occasional setback, you can avoid leaving your customers feeling frustrated or disappointed.
6. Create a Returns and Exchanges Program
Creating a returns and exchanges policy for your brand can be a great way to build customer loyalty and encourage repeat business. A good policy should be easy to understand and fair to both the customer and the business.
For example, most businesses allow customers to return items within a certain time frame, which is typically 30 days. The time frame allows customers to make sure they are happy with their purchase and also gives the business a chance to sell the item again if it is returned unused.
Customers should also be responsible for returning shipping costs unless the return is due to an error on the part of the business. In addition, businesses may want to offer exchanges for different sizes or colors when applicable. By creating a clear and fair returns and exchanges policy, businesses can build customer trust and loyalty while also protecting their bottom line.
7. Track Your Shipments and Gather Feedback
In any business, tracking shipments is essential to ensure that your products reach customers on time and in good condition. By tracking your shipments, you can also identify any potential issues that may arise during transport and take steps to address them. In addition, tracking your shipments can help you gather feedback from your customers about the quality of your products and the timeliness of your deliveries.
Building the perfect shipping process for your business takes time and effort, but it is essential to ensure that your products reach your customers safely and on time. By following these tips, you can streamline your shipping process and create a system that works for your business and your customers.
Sidney is the founder of Savo Store, a parcels to Kenya, logistics and procurement services provider that works with corporations, start-ups, and nonprofits to help them acquire and transport goods to their offices in Africa. Savo Store also operates a platform that allows individuals in Africa to shop hassle free at any U.S. retailer. Sidney founded Savo Store with the goal of eliminating some of the hurdles that plague cross-border transactions between Africa and the rest of the world.