Monday 27 May 2019

Factors to consider while choosing an eCommerce shipping solution

Factors to consider while choosing an eCommerce shipping solutionBy Saahil Goel

Shipping is one of the most vital aspects of the order fulfilment process. It can make or break your impression on the client. Therefore, businesses need to be equipped with the best solutions to make sure that they provide customers with what they’ve purchased. When we speak about shipping, the process and technicalities of the logistics processes involve courier partners, intermediary players, insurance companies, and more. 

Following are the steps to choose the best shipping solutions for exporters:

Weigh your options: First and foremost, you should weigh your available options. Here, you need to try and assess your requirements for shipping first. This should begin with the end-to-end products that you are planning to deliver as well as the overall size and weight of the shipment. Also factor in distance and the destination country. Look for all players that ship in your desired country and handpick a few based on the features that you require. Don’t entirely rely on the customer testimonials over the website since platforms usually highlight their best feedbacks over the platform. You must check genuine customer feedback over the internet to avoid any undesired outcome.

Carrier’s track record:
 As the maxim goes, a bird in the hand is always better than two in the bush. Nothing beats track record in delivery. It gives you the visibility of a shipper’s performance and ensures that the said SLA (Service Level Agreement) will be met. Assess the reputation of the carrier through in-depth market research. Look for the additional benefits that the carrier will provide you and the after-sales services. Also, try to find how a particular shipper resolves customer grievances. It will give you a clear picture of the available options with you if an SLA violation takes place.

Timely deliveries: With the recent industry sophistication, customer demands have changed drastically. The customers have a positive outlook for spontaneous services and can be often seen looking out for one- to two-day delivery feature. Using a carrier who is not able to provide such features can make you lose your customers to the nearest competitor who provides them. This customer attrition can, at times, be very high and can also take your shopping cart abandonment rate to as much as 46%. That’s losing about half of the customers which directly decreases your sales volume and hence, profit margins. So, if time is integral to your customers, make sure that your shipper delivers on this front.

So how does a perfect eCommerce shipping solution look like?Shipping can turn out to be a nightmare if your sales are driven by multiple eCommerce channels (such as your website, mobile app, eCommerce platforms, channel networks, etc.). The more places that your sales are driven through directly decrease the overall visibility. This increases the chances of errors and omissions and, as a result, customer attrition. And, this is precisely where eCommerce shipping solutions make the difference.

Such a solution allows the exporters to club their orders from multiple selling channels into a single, easy-to-navigate software. Moreover, it enables you to view all the orders in a centralized location, batch orders quickly, and create shipping labels with the connected carrier accounts.

It also allows you to track numbers, shipped statuses, returns, and all selling channels to complete the orders. In doing so, shipping solutions dramatically reduce the overall fulfillment time that is usually spent in navigating between multiple software and browser tabs to create labels and copy/paste shipping information individually. It also decreases the scope of human errors as already mentioned.

Shipping software offers far more advantages and connects your selling channels and carrier accounts. Above all, their technological intervention in shipping (which includes state-of-the-art solution deployments such as AI and Big Data) enables you to better visualize all available shipping options as well as their time-efficiency and cost-effectiveness, thereby helping you to choose the perfect mix of both as per your business model. Moreover, having all of your orders in one place helps you build a robust and efficient workflow. 

Global shipping is one of the most complicated processes that have a lot of dynamism within it. If you wish to take the next logical step to drive your business venture further, consider the above-mentioned tips to make the most out of a business venture. 

(The author is CEO & Co-founder, Shiprocket, a technology driven logistics platform)

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