When it comes to online shopping, specifically products, people want the search and pay to be swift – but they want their goods to arrive within 24-48 hours. 

With so many shipping options, people would often rather pay to have their goods delivered faster. And if you aren’t competitive in shipping, no matter how good your user shopping experience is, you’re going to miss out on profits. 

The user experience starts before they even arrive on your website; it actually starts with your social media and how you interact with them. Then you have to keep the UX simple and smooth on your websites. Payment processing should be fast, and emails with notifications should be automated. 

But, the experience doesn’t stop there – it doesn’t stop until your customer has the goods in their hands, they have used them and have an opinion. 

So if your shipping process needs to be tightened up, here are some things that you can look at to streamline and improve what you do. 

Photo by Bannon Morrissy on Unsplash

Why should you streamline your shipping process?

Since you are making sales, why should you spend time looking at the shipping process? As mentioned above, it is part of the customer experience, and it has big benefits for you as a company. 

Reviews

All of your hard work should culminate in customers leaving favorable reviews of your products and your company. If the issue of shopping keeps coming up as slow or ineffective, then you’re going to see a steady decline in the number of orders you get. 

95% of shoppers are influenced by reviews – make sure yours are good. 

Conversions

More than 50% of your customers are going to expect fast shipping options, and without them, they might look elsewhere. If your fulfillment process is slow or is filled with issues, then you’ll see more abandoned carts that you’d like. 

Time

When it comes to time, a bad fulfillment procedure can be a huge drain on your already few resources. Time spent hunting for orders, packaging products, and dealing with unneeded customer complaints might be better spent building your business and fulfilling more orders.

Profit

Low conversion rates, time chasing abandoned carts, and a long fulfillment process mean spending more money than you need to. 

So how can you streamline your shipping?

Always keep your customer in mind when you are streamlining the processes that you use. Anything your customer is expected to use needs to be thoroughly tested. 

Inventory management

Depending on the size of your eCommerce business, you might have your inventory in your own storage; for larger businesses or those that are scaling getting ready to grow, then order fulfillment companies offer the best solution. 

You need to have a firm grip on how much you have in inventory, how much it costs to store it, and wherein the buying journey that stock is. 

There is nothing worse than losing track and overselling. Apology emails and refunds never go down well with customers. 

Integrations

Anytime you are looking at new software or new ways to streamline – one of the most important factors that should come into consideration is that your software should work together. Integrations will mean that all of your accounting software, shipping, customers, customer services, and more have the information they need to act quickly. 

When integrations work together, you have the data necessary to make the right decisions.

Customers

You can use the eagerness of your customers to improve the process further. Customers have a short attention span. Customers can’t seem to get their minds off their purchase and want to know how long it will take. 

If you provide tracking information, your consumers will be able to discover it on their own. As a result, you won’t have to worry about answering calls or emails. Even better, multi-channel management software simplifies the process of mass uploading tracking data to different sales channels.

Problems 

You might not be able to see problems until you take part in the process yourself. It is also important that you have impartial people test the process. Often since we designed the process, we aren’t as willing to accept there might be issues. 

Your staff can usually help you identify areas that need extra support and iron them out.

Once you can see the issues, it is easier to make sure that you are actively removing anything that is blocking your sales process. 

Automate

Unless there is a reason you need to perform a task manually, often, it is faster and more accurate to have the task handled by software. Automation will take the effort and the potential loss of time out of those tasks that take up more time than you have to give. 

Once you are freed up from these tasks, you can focus on other areas of your business. It is also beneficial to automate in places that might ordinarily require a paid member of staff. 

Cut-off time

Sometimes a customer might order something late at night from a huge company, and their order will arrive the next day. They might expect the same from smaller companies – because we are so used to this convenience. 

Make sure that you have it clearly written everywhere that you have a specific order cut-off time if they want to have their goods the next day. This will help you stay organized and set expectations with your customers. 

Refine

Even with automation, highly trained staff, organization, and outsourcing, your shipping process is not a one-and-done situation. You should be coming back to this process at regular intervals to highlight more areas of opportunity to improve the service. 

It isn’t just your shipping that can benefit from your streamlining efforts; it should be something that you consider across the entirety of your business. Everything you do can be improved to be more efficient and see a healthier profit margin at the end of it. Here are some tips that you can use in your streamlining: Tips To Increase Efficiency In Your Business.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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