e-commerce Fulfillment for Beginners
The Beginner’s Guide to Ecommerce Shipping and Fulfillment by Richard Lazazzera provides the following advice for ecommerce entrepreneurs who don’t give enough thought to shipping:
Packaging and Marketing
In the past, packaging was simply a matter of getting a product ordered online out to the customer. Today it has developed into delivering more than just a package but also a customer experience. The way retailers package and present their products can help them stand out from the competition.
Keep in mind the need for safe transport of boxes or envelopes using padded or unpadded options. Using a fit-to-size box also makes the overall parcel process satisfactory for the customer and is a cost efficient method for the vendor.
Keep it Small and Light
By keeping packages as small and as light as possible, retailers can save on shipping costs and also keep packaging costs to a minimum.
Different strategies are available when it comes to charging customers for shipping services:
Free shipping implies the retailer has increased the price of its products in order to cover shipping costs and in this case the customer ends up paying. Another option is that the retailer pays the full shipping price from its profit margins. Or retailers can increase the prices of their products slightly to partially cover the shipping cost and in this case both the retailer and the customer pay something.
Real-time carrier costs
Certain ecommerce platforms have the capacity to integrate in real-time with various carriers to find shipping options and live pricing options. Customers can choose and pay for the service that meets their needs.
The least popular option is that of flat-rate shipping. This tends to work best when there is a standard set of items to ship of a similar size and weight. This option becomes complex when there are shipments of different sizes and weights.