Delivering your goods on time is harder than it sounds:
Although you can sum up eCommerce business in three simple words – picking, packing and shipping – this is also where the greatest bottlenecks tend to exist.
Imagine having a great system in place for handling the current amount of orders you’re getting. But then it falls apart when you get a sudden influx of customers (perhaps around the holiday season), so your system no longer works and you have to rethink it entirely.
Or, what if you started offering a new product, but your current warehousing software is so cumbersome and complex that it doesn’t allow you to add another item to your inventory?
These are hypothetical scenarios to be sure, but many business owners find themselves in similar predicaments.
Now that you know why you need shipping strategies for delivering goods on time, let’s start exploring what you can do to make things more efficient.
1. Let Your Customers Know When They Can Expect Their Orders
Although this is not an excuse for sloppy warehouse processing, when you set your own rules, you can win the game of shipping every single time.
After all, if you tell your customers when to expect their orders, and the packages arrive at their doorsteps sooner than expected, you’re a hero. If they show up later, you’ll be labeled untrustworthy, and your customers will wonder what went wrong (unless you notify them).
But by and large, this is a hack that can work in your favor. Just remember to be realistic with delivery times.
2. Print Your Own Shipping Labels
Let’s face it – shipping labels are a pain. It doesn’t make sense for a business owner to do the back and forth between post offices. It’s far too costly in terms of time and money.
Fortunately, there are services like Endicia that allow you to create and print up your own mailing labels – from the comfort of your own home if you so desire.
When you can streamline the printing of shipping labels, it’s worth doing. This can become a major pain point later if not addressed early.
3. Streamline Packaging
Boxes come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the same can be said for other packing supplies too.
Streamlining this part of your operation is a surefire way to ensure speedy response times. The more complicated it is, the harder it’s going to be for your warehouse staff to prepare goods for shipping.
Consider your options. Sometimes it’s better to have fewer box sizes for the sake of simplicity. At times, this can also be more cost effective. If you must keep a variety of shipping supplies in stock, make sure to document easy step-by-step procedure for your warehouse workers.
4. Understand the Nuances of Countries You’re Shipping To
Some products cannot be shipped to certain countries. Understanding region-specific regulations and requirements is critical to the efficiency of your supply chain.
When you’re planning on selling globally, then having country-specific websites is a given.
But you can’t just have product descriptions and policies translated word-for-word. You also have to think about things like pricing, delivery times, and in this instance, whether or not to make certain products available to buyers from specific parts of the world.
There are several websites that make regulatory information available, but you must do your homework if your strategy includes selling worldwide.
5. Outsource Your Shipping
Experienced distribution centres should already have streamlined shipping processes in place – things you would typically have to figure out all on your own through trial and error.
Additionally, if they are familiar with the regions you’re sending products out to, they should be aware of relevant requirements and regulations.
There are plenty of great options available, even for small to medium sized businesses. But take some time in finding the right partner. If they can’t package and deliver orders more efficiently than you can, it’s not worth the extra expense.
Ultimately, if you’re looking to deliver goods on time, outsourcing is one of the best options available to you – the key is to find the best distribution partner possible.
If you choose to handle it all on your own, you’ll want to get a lock on the right people, the right warehouse space, the right packing supplies, and the right systems.
Many distribution centres have already done the hard work of figuring these things out, and have a lot of experience in their domain.
Are you ready to conquer global markets and ship worldwide, get in touch with one of our international specialist and see how easy it can be to take your eCommerce empire worldwide.
Related Shipping Strategy Library
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