A Startup Guide To Important Ecommerce Shipping Considerations

a guide on international shipping

Everything is all set, and your products are tightly and safely packed inside boxes, which will be shipped to your partner shipping company, fulfilment centres, and your customers. Everything’s working well with your business with steady sales.

These are your visions for your company, aren’t they? Let us help you make this vision into reality by pinpointing the critical factors you need to consider in shipping.

As an eCommerce startup, you’ll have a lot to think about, but these five considerations are a good starting point. Let’s get into them one by one.

1. How you will ship your customer’s orders

First, among the hundred questions you need to think about is how you will ship your customers, which you need to think about even before your first sale comes in. Here are some of your options:

Shipping companies

You will not have a hard time looking for shipping companies as their numbers have grown together with the rise of eCommerce as a form of selling and shopping. Although, you’ll find it challenging to choose which of them is the best.

You can look into National Carriers like USPS, Canada Post, UPS, DHL, and FedEx to check what shipping package works best for your shipments. At the same time, consider new shipping companies and cross-border shippers like Stallion Express, Freight Center, DYK post, and ChitChats, as you may see cheaper shipping options from them.

Fulfillment centres and third-party logistics

Another convenient way, not only to deliver orders but also for product storage, is through fulfillment centers. If you are or are planning to sell on Amazon, you need to check Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA). This service is a one-stop shop for everything you need: storage, packing, customer service, and delivery. Third-party logistics also work in the same way.

To make the right choice consider your budget, the volume of your shipments, what your customers want, and the reliability of the shipping company.

2. Offer free shipping

Speaking of what your customers will love, let’s talk about the most coveted free shipping. It is not just a myth, but data backs it up that 9 out of 10 consumers rely on free shipping as a factor to shop more.

With this fact, it may not be a question anymore if you’ll offer free shipping--you should consider it. Here’s how you can make it work without putting your business profitability at risk.

Check your pricing

Check if you can increase your products’ price to cover the costs of shipping. Check your competitors’ pricing and if you’ll still be at par or even cheaper despite the price increase. This strategy can allow you to offer free shipping for all your products.

Make sure to ace your strategies in promoting a new product, so customers cannot help but click the buy button regardless of the slightly higher price.

Check the purchase price range when you’ll offer free shipping.

Do you sell several product types? Consider offering free shipping if customers shopped at a specific price range.

Look for the cheapest shipping option.

Last but not least, look for the cheapest shipping company you can partner with. Having a cheap shipping option will allow you to offer free shipping without increasing your product price as the shipping cost is not too high that you can handle it and not pass on the cost to your clients.cheapest shipping company you can partner with. Having a cheap shipping option will allow you to offer free shipping without increasing your product price as the shipping cost is not too high that you can handle it and not pass on the cost to your clients.
improving business productivity

3. Pack like a pro!

As your sales rise because you have already figured out how to do free shipping right, prepare yourself for some packing! Let’s help you pack like a pro by checking these three factors.

Product size

When you are still thinking of the product to sell during the brainstorming days, consider a simple and easy-to-pack product and packaging. Products that have different sizes are difficult to pack and challenging when it comes to estimating your shipping costs.

Packaging hacks

If, in case, you have products that have different sizes, pack together those with the same sizes. If you cannot help pack items of different sizes, make sure to fill in the empty spaces to avoid movement that can damage your items.

If you have products of the same sizes, you can use customized boxes for efficient and aesthetically pleasing packaging.

Delegating the packing to your shipping/fulfillment partner

Part of improving business productivity is task delegation. When you are already selling items more than the amount you can pack on your own, you can delegate the packing tasks to a shipping company that offers a packing service. FBA, for instance, has the FBA Prep Service to help you pack.

4. Shipping internationally

From the vision of shipping domestically, here you are a guide on international shipping to be armed with proper knowledge. Your first option, undeniably, will be your country’s national carriers, but you should know the other option too.

National Carriers

The advantage of shipping via national carriers is the wide variety of their shipping packages that vary depending on the delivery speed and shipment volume. Their reliability is almost unquestionable because of their shipping experience and tried and tested processes.

Cross-border shippers

On the other hand, cross-border shippers are the go-to international shipping option if you are looking for a more affordable shipping option. What makes it cheaper is the discounted postage you can get online, through the shipping company, or in a post office. These companies are partnered with shipping companies across the border that will do the final stretch of deliveries.

Aside from the shipping options, you have to do more research regarding the customs and border regulations of the country you are exporting your products to. Know the prohibited and regulated products, tax and duty calculations, and how customs brokers can help make your international shipping smoother. Indeed, knowledge is power, you should also check out Freight Mart International.

5. Shipping insurance

In the process of shipping a $497.99 QLED television, for some reason, despite the proper packaging, it got damaged. Who will handle the replacement costs?

If you have insurance, the insurance or shipping company will reimburse you an amount based on the terms and conditions for the damaged item. The exact process goes if the item is lost or stolen. Should you get insurance? Definitely, yes, especially in these two situations.

Product value and shipment volume

If you sell products like a QLED TV, definitely get insurance as, without it, you’ll handle all the cost of product replacements. Shipping companies have insurance policies, especially for costly shipments, but your packages are still insured even for regular shipments depending on the value you declared.

For instance, for USPS, for a $100.01-$200 worth package, you need to pay only $2.45, but if your shipment gets damaged or lost, the insurance or shipping company will reimburse you the same amount as what you lost. This cost may even be 50% cheaper if you have third-party insurance.

A few dollars to add to your shipping expenses won’t hurt if you ship many packages to ensure that insurance or the shipping company will replace lost and damaged shipments.

Key takeaway

There are more shipping considerations to check, but these five can get you started. Figure out how you will send your orders to your local and international customers, how you will pack those orders, offer free shipping while remaining profitable, and ensure your packages in the worst-case scenarios of loss or damages. Once you’ve dealt with these five, you can face the other five considerations. Slowly, you’ll become a shipping expert, and with that, your vision of your business is also steadily coming to life.
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