Small Business Shipping Tips: You’ve Made the Sale, Now What?
Drawing in customers and making a sale is only half the battle when you’re running a small business. Having an efficient supply chain with fast order fulfillment is essential for making sure a customer will receive their shipment quickly and safely.
Whether you’re shipping something small or pallet-sized, the logistics of delivering your product can be complicated. Small businesses often struggle with order fulfillment as demand grows, but with planning, your business can provide top-notch order fulfillment and a positive customer service experience. Keep these tips in mind when handling shipping for small businesses.
Assess your shipping costs.
Make sure you understand how shipping costs are calculated for your eCommerce business. Pricing varies by speed and service, weight and dimensions, volume, and destination. In the United States, most consumers expect low-cost and speedy order fulfillment when they make a purchase online.
You want to make sure you are using the most cost-efficient packaging and that you’re communicating clearly with your customers about the time it will take to receive their shipment. Small businesses need to provide excellent customer service to stay afloat, and feeling like your shipment is unexpectedly late is damaging for customer satisfaction.
Design a return policy.
It doesn’t mean anything negative about your product, the reality is some people are going to need to return a shipment from time to time. You might sell goods by the pallet, but needs change and sometimes products get damaged.
Make sure people aren’t frustrated with you or your customer service if they do need to make a return or exchange. Make the return process as simple as possible so the logistics aren’t confusing for the customer. Take a closer look at return policies from successful small businesses like yours and make sure your policy is competitive with other eCommerce businesses.
Pay attention to packaging.
Make sure you’re packaging your products for shipment in a way that looks professional. If you’re struggling to handle this on your own, look into 3pl companies that can handle shipping logistics for you. For larger shipments, access to technology like stretch wrap machines might become helpful.
Eventually, you’ll be able to expand to afford machinery like this on your own. For the time being, 3pl might be helpful for you. Think about customer satisfaction when you’re evaluating what kind of packaging to use, everyone wants their order to arrive promptly and in one piece.
It’s imperative for any eCommerce business to develop a reputation for positive customer service, and that includes impressing with things like the packaging too.
Get your packages out!
The logistics of shipping can be tough, but it’s imperative you ship on time so your customers get their order when they’re expecting it. To that end, looking into 3pl companies might be a smart idea for you. A 3pl company can provide a storage facility for your products and act as your shipper. Using 3pl, or third-party logistics takes a large portion of the order fulfillment process out of your hands. You can focus on running your eCommerce business and let a 3pl company handle the shipment portion of your supply chain.
Small businesses can benefit greatly from 3pl companies since they can save money on not needing to purchase packaging equipment. 3pl companies have access to tools like a pallet wrapper machine, so you have access to the benefits of technology like a stretch wrap machine even before you can afford to purchase technology like that for yourself.
Making a sale is important, but it’s only the first step for small businesses that require order fulfillment. Whether you’re selling by the package or by the pallet, professional service is important. You can provide that on your own or use a shipper to assist you. A 3pl company can act as your shipper and handle that portion of the supply chain for you.
Whether you’re only shipping to North America or around the globe, 3pl can help. If you want to become an industry leader or just maintain a successful eCommerce business, effective supply chain management is a requirement.
Finding or making your products is only the first half of your business, making sure customers receive their products in a way that maintains their satisfaction is just as important.