If you’re growing a product-based business online, you already know how important shipping is. If you can’t get your product to customers in a reasonable period of time, their impatience can ruin their impression of the product, even if it was something they would normally love. Lost or damaged products need to be handled with care if you don’t want to lose a customer. What’s worse, poor shipping practices can end up costing you money making your business less profitable. The following guide will explore one component of properly managing your shipping as an eCommerce business: eCommerce shipping software.
What Is Shipping Software?
Before we begin, it might first prove useful to explore what shipping software is. Shipping software is software that helps businesses move their products from warehouses to their customers quickly and inexpensively. Elements that make for a strong shipping software option include: low-cost shipping, lots of carriers, fast shipping, label printing, multiple shipping methods, international shipments, multiple sales channels, platform integrations, and tracking and return support.
Multiple Shipping Methods
Having multiple shipping methods available can help you ensure you’re giving customers the options they need. Shipping methods are systems that determine the process and cost of shipping. Common shipping methods include flat-rate, overnight, international, air, ground, size or weight-based, and day-based (two-day shipping, seven-day shipping, etc.). Most shipping carriers use different terms for each of these methods.
Working With Various Shipping Carriers
Depending on where you’re shipping things to, you might encounter a wide variety of shipping infrastructure. Being able to work with multiple shipping carriers can help ensure that you have access to the best options for you and your customers, regardless of where you’re shipping to. High-quality shipping software can help you work with different shipping carriers and receive help should something go wrong. This means the right software can help you with anything from securing dedicated support for last-mile delivery in Singapore to finding a sea-shipping route to a small town in Alaska. There are many shipping carriers on a national level (Canada Post, United States Postal Service, etc.), but there are some popular international carriers like UPS, FedEx, and DHL. There are probably far more shipping carriers than you’re familiar with.
Provide Your Customers With Choices
When you’re packaging each item yourself and mailing them out to customers at your local post office, you’re incredibly limited in what you have to offer customers in terms of shipping choices. Sometimes people are happy to pay more to get an item faster. Sometimes, people would rather wait for free shipping. Presenting options for customers shows that you understand that one size doesn’t fit all. This can help you tailor your services to your customer’s needs and leave them feeling respected and cared for. These methods can also make managing retail deliveries on your own a lot easier because you’re setting up expectations for your customers. With multiple options, your company can sparse out deliveries and plan routes accordingly with the help of route planning software.
Automation can help you save a ton of time when it comes to shipping. No matter the size of your business, wasting time costs money. Shipping software can present you with automation options that save time but also reduce the risk of errors. Automatic transferring of an address onto a label, for instance, results in far fewer instances of mistaken addresses. The time saved can also help ensure that your customers get their packages as soon as possible, which can help keep them happy with your services.
Managing Taxes And Tariffs
Shipping things internationally involves following strict regulations. If you’re shipping to multiple countries with different sets of regulations, things can quickly get confusing or tiresome. Good shipping software can help you keep up with all your tax and tariff obligations and ensure that you’re following them.
Losing a package can be exhausting; you’re left wondering if it’s going to turn up somewhere or whether you’ll need to send a new item to your customer free of charge. Often you end up sending a new item and paying crazy fees to get the old one back once it’s finally located. Your customer is left wondering if their package is going to come or if they’re going to have to go through some strange reimbursement process. Good shipping software will help you keep track of packages so you can figure out exactly where something is at any given moment.
The above information should have outlined a handful of benefits shipping software can provide for business owners. Of course, every business is different, and this means that shipping needs can vary widely. If you have a concern that wasn’t mentioned above, reach out to a shipping software provider to see if your needs can be met.