6 Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Carrier for E-Commerce Shipping

E-commerce retailers tend to have a more difficult time keeping a competitive advantage compared to traditional retailers. This is because, while local businesses compete with other local businesses, e-commerce retailers often find themselves contending against other similar companies across the internet. 

The internet allows online shoppers to access a plethora of stores with a simple click. This is why it’s crucial for e-commerce retailers to stand out and create the best customer service experience possible. Part of that customer service experience is your shipping process, which comes down to who your carrier for e-commerce shipping is and how well they meet your needs.

Choosing a carrier for your shipping needs is not a task to take lightly. If you find yourself needing a carrier for your shipping needs or you’re evaluating your current situation, take a look at these six tips to help you make the right choice for you and your customers.

1. Types of Items Being Shipped

Take note of what types of items you’re shipping. Are they large items that might be on the heavier side? Are your items fragile and need to be cushioned? Do they vary in size? 

You should also be considering the number and frequency of items you’re shipping. How often are you shipping items? How many typically go out in a month or a quarter?

Nailing down exact answers to these questions will help in finding a carrier that will best meet your needs, as well as meeting the demands of your customers.

2. Shipping Destinations

Not all shipping carriers ship items to the same locations, especially when it comes to shipping internationally. You’ll need to identify not only where you are currently shipping items to, but you should also add new location ideas for future expansion. As with any aspect of any business, one eye should be kept on the here and now and the other should be looking toward the future. Always look for ways to expand and grow your company.

3. Carrier Reputation

This is easily one of the most important things to consider when choosing a carrier for e-commerce shipping. Be sure to pay attention to what other customers and clients of theirs have to say.

How reliable are they? How easy are their returns and refunds procedures for both your customers and your company? Do they accurately track all packages? What do they do if an item that has been shipped is lost?

However, you shouldn’t stop there. Do your research, ask others in your industry and see if they have recommendations for carriers. The idea is to find a reputable carrier that will help provide your customers with the best customer service experience possible.

4. Integration with Online Store

How well does your e-commerce shipping carrier integrate with your current e-commerce store platform? Some platforms don’t support certain carriers and vice versa. Be sure to ask if they can and how well they are able to integrate with your store. 

The important thing to remember is that the platform you choose to use is the one that works for you. Don’t change your store to match the carrier; find a carrier that will integrate well with your already established processes.

A carrier that integrates easily with your store’s hosting platform is a big step to providing an easy and enjoyable experience for customers. The easier your processes, vendors, suppliers and shipping carriers integrate with each other, the easier it is to provide the customer with a great shopping experience.

5. Returns

As mentioned earlier, a poor carrier and store return process are the quickest ways to lose customers. An inevitable process of being a retailer is facing a return or a refund from a customer. It’s going to happen, but how it’s handled is key can make all the difference.

Your e-commerce shipping carrier’s return policy and your refund policy should be well integrated and flow together. Make sure the carrier has a policy in place for handling returns that is as efficient and timely as their method of fulfilling orders. 

The takeaway here is that a customer who has a return or needs a refund is just as important as any other customer. Truthfully, customers awaiting a return or refund are just customers whose customer experience isn’t over yet. 

6. Tracking Shipments

Tracking a package is crucial to all those involved in the order fulfillment process. A customer wants to make sure they know exactly where delivery is once it’s been shipped. A carrier wants to be transparent with both the retailer and the customer. And the retailer wants to ensure customer satisfaction and a mode of safe transport.

With this in mind, make sure the shipping carrier you choose is able to provide a way for customers to track their packages, especially if you are shipping items internationally. Items from overseas can take a while, and a carrier who is transparent about where a package is will go a long way toward ensuring repeat customers.

Choosing the Right Carrier for You and Your Customers

Having the most up-to-date website, marketing strategies and a great business plan are essential for running a successful company, but meeting the shipping needs of the customer cannot be neglected. Customers want their items when told they’ll get them, to be able to track their orders and want to know if something goes wrong they will be taken care of.

A truly successful business will set those goals and find ways to reach them. When it comes to e-commerce retailers, an efficient supply chain is a huge part of ensuring those goals are met. The right carrier for you will allow customers to track orders, have an easy returns policy, grow with your company and integrate well with your store’s platform in order to provide a seamless logistics process.

Read Here: Buy Now Pay Later Market Report

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