Getting started in e-commerce can be exciting and daunting.
One of the most time-consuming and tedious parts of e-commerce is your shipping process. Some of the many steps involved are:
- Organizing orders from your selling channels
- Picking and packing orders
- Determining the cheapest way to ship
- Printing labels
- Scheduling pickups or taking the time to drop off packages
- Sending tracking information to customers
When you’re doing all of this yourself or with a small team, it can become overwhelming as orders begin to pile up. Particularly now, as more and more people head online to purchase just about anything, you need to streamline and cut steps from your shipping process.
Ditch Manual Processes
Automation is key when it comes to streamlining your fulfillment process. One way to set up automation is with sets of if/then rules that trigger when certain parameters are met. Automation can also be built into certain software solutions, such as ShippingEasy.
What this means for your shipping fulfillment is fewer decisions made each time an order comes in. If you’re doing the same task every time an order comes in that fits a set of conditions, why continually have to make that decision? Let’s look at a couple of examples where automation can make your shipping fulfillment much easier.
Flat Rate Options
All of the major carriers offer flat rate shipping options: UPS has Simple Rate, FedEx has One Rate, and USPS offers Flat Rate and Regional Rate options.
There are instances where each of these has a benefit over another shipping option. As a busy merchant trying to grow your business, you don’t have time to make that situational comparison every time you go to ship an order, right? This is where automation rules can really streamline your shipping fulfillment processes.
There are many factors that can go into this: product weight, whether the product will fit in the predetermined box sizes of USPS and FedEx or if you need to use your own box, the distance the package will be traveling, etc.
Want the most complete breakdown of flat-rate shipping options across all major carriers? Download our free guide!
Packages Under One Pound
For any packages weighing 15.999 oz. or less, you simply cannot find a cheaper quality option than USPS First Class Package service. You can use your own packaging, your package will typically arrive within a few days, and the cost savings can be massive.
Let’s say you’re shipping a 7 oz. package to Zone 3
- FedEx Ground: $8.58 (not including fees and $4 residential surcharge)
- UPS Ground: $8.65 (not including fees and surcharges)
- USPS Priority Mail: $7.46 (USPS Commercial Rates)
- USPS First-Class Package: $3.49 (USPS Commercial Rates)
On a single package, you’re looking at a minimum of $4 savings in this instance. Over a month’s worth of shipments, that adds up quickly. Even using small flat rate options for the carriers above doesn’t come close to the cost savings of USPS First-Class Package Service.
Automation can be triggered when you have weights associated with your products. A shipping solution can trigger First-Class Package Service as the shipping method any time an order weight comes in under one pound. ShippingEasy takes it one step further and does this automatically with our feature called InstantRate. No need to even set up the rule manually!
Approach Multichannel and Multicarrier The Right Way
To run a successful e-commerce business, you need to diversify if you want to expand your reach, increase sales, and broaden your customer base, and that means placing a focus on multichannel marketplaces.
Shifting to a multichannel marketing approach is key because consumers today are engaged across multiple marketplaces. A majority of online customers start their product research on search engines or marketplaces—for example, over 63% of all product searches start on Amazon.
Having a brand presence across multiple marketplaces increases the likelihood of potential buyers for your product but it also requires additional work, resources, and investment. Managing data across multiple marketplaces can be complex and challenging.
Specialized software systems that assist with inventory management, order management, and product listing management can help businesses overcome the challenges of managing their e-commerce orders across multichannel marketplaces.
Need more information on how to become an effective multichannel seller? Check out our blog, Tools for Multichannel Sellers.
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Assistance
Shipping doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact here at ShippingEasy we want to make sure that your shipping and fulfillment processes are well, easy. Not only do we offer award-winning customer support for all merchants, but help is always free.
Besides ShippingEasy support, there’s a number of other resources available to you. Reddit communities and Quora are a few of our favorite online community forums. Both of these online communities provide valuable resources on anything and everything you have questions on, including shipping!
Reddit is a large community made up of thousands of smaller communities. These are sub-communities within Reddit known as “subreddits”, created and moderated by users like you, dedicated each to certain topics or ideas.
Once you’re comfortable navigating Reddit, take some time to remove subreddits from your home feed that you’re not interested in, and follow others that you are. There are communities for almost everything under the sun! Try r/shipping, r/ecommerce, and r/smallbusiness.
Like Reddit, Quora is a place to share knowledge and better understand the world. It’s easy and free to sign up. If you have a question or want to browse conversations, all you have to do is search for it. Here are some helpful topics to browse e-commerce, shipping, and USPS.
ShippingEasy Knowledge Base
At ShippingEasy, our solution works right out of the box. We also understand that questions come up – and we have an answer for all of them! Our support is delivered in a variety of ways, including articles, personalized training, and live support. We back our application with online tools and a team of solution-focused support representatives.
Our award-winning customer support includes live chat, email, and US-based phone support for all merchants. Unlike other platforms, help is free and you’ll always get a real, live human.
Whether it is your first day at ShippingEasy or years down the road, there are many ways ShippingEasy can help:
- Online Support
- Live Support
- Community Forums
We encourage everyone – especially our Starter subscribers – to post their support inquiries there, so other users can share their experience and tips. Our Customer Success team monitors our community forums and if direct assistance is required, we will escalate to our team. Learn how to participate.
- Help Center
In the lower right corner of the app, click the (?) Help Center tab to access our Quick Start Checklists and Frequently Asked Questions, brimming with expert articles.
- Getting Started Guides
Our Getting Started Guides can help get you started with Shipping and Customer Marketing, as well as learn how to use our advanced features.