Shipping for your business: Considerations to make
Shipping is a very involved part of your business, that affects every side of it, from your site to your products to your customers. A lot must be taken into consideration when coming up with a shipping policy, how you’re going to ship, and what level of service you should primarily use and offer to customers when it comes to delivery. We’ll go over some of the considerations to make in this article.
If you have products that are in demand outside the country in which you operate, offering international shipping obviously benefits your customers in those countries—as well as your sales volume.
There are many variables to consider, but if the demand exists and you can cover (or charge the customer for) the incremental shipping, handling, and governmental costs, selling internationally can be straightforward to enable with a robust shipping platform.
Selling internationally: Considerations to make
Delivery Service: Options
While most customers are willing to wait five or more days for an order to arrive*, the availability of expedited delivery is fast becoming table stakes for eCommerce sellers. In order to decide how many service levels to offer, you have to balance what your specific customers want versus the complexity and cost of offering multiple options. Notice that the decision to offer multiple service levels is separate from how you should structure the associated fees and thresholds; those topics are covered in the next section, “Shipping Pricing Options”.
Delivery service level options typically include:
- Standard/default: the least expensive and slowest option, often defaulting to USPS or the ground option on a private carrier
- Expedited: typically a trackable 2-3 day service like USPS Priority Mail or UPS Second Day Air, offered at an incremental shipping cost—or free as part of a subscription service (e.g., Amazon Prime) or as a promotional incentive
- Overnight: trackable next-day delivery with the highest incremental shipping charge
Shipping Pricing Options
Of course customers want free shipping; in fact, 85 percent of them are willing to accept a five-day delivery time frame to get it* . Your decision as to how to price your shipping options should be based on a combination of what your particular customers want and what your business model can support.
Here are the typical pricing options and key points to consider for each; notice that if you offer multiple service levels (see previous section), your pricing model will need to reflect these options.
Delivery Flexibility & Customer Preferences
Customers increasingly look for the ability to have orders split between addresses, to have items with different fulfillment times consolidated into a single delivery, to ship to locations other than their home address, and to change delivery dates or have packages rerouted once shipped.
This article is from The Definitive Guide to eCommerce Shipping