Are you running an eCommerce business? Are you looking to build stronger connections with your clients? Then you need to find ways to make life easier for your customers.
With the ongoing pandemic, more people are now flocking online to shop. Moreover, there is a rise of online customers as well as sellers who are taking the plunge in eCommerce.
As the online marketing industry grows, the competition becomes tougher. Always strive to stand out and beat the competition.
One of the best ways to do so is to improve your shipping process. At the end of the day, the faster the items reach your customers, the happier they will be.
But how do you improve your shipment process? What are the shipping procedures you need to incorporate or improve?
Check out nine simple but valuable tips below.
1. Streamline the Shipping Process via Documentation
One of the keys to improving your company’s shipping process is by streamlining it. And one of the best ways to do so is through documentation.
You want to identify the aspects of your current shipping process that are doing wonders for you. Do the same thing with the ones that lengthen and potentially complicate the shipping process.
Make a list of all the items and brainstorm with your team to determine which is which.
Document everything and create a process list from scratch. Write down every step that it takes from the moment you receive an online order to the dispatching of the items.
The list should include the steps to retrieving the items from your warehouse and how you pack them for shipping. From there, streamline the process by weeding out the steps that you don’t necessarily need.
2. Refine Warehouse Communication
Another way of making your shipment process more efficient is by refining your warehouse communication. This is crucial especially if you want to prevent the orders from piling up.
Ideally, you want to process an order in your warehouse in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. Hence, don’t rely solely on your email. Although sending out emails offer accountability and better tracking, there will be times when speaking to your warehouse manager over the phone is the better route to take.
Emails can take minutes or even hours before people start to respond. There is also the chance that the receiver forgets to reply to your email.
Talking over the phone or speaking to your warehouse staff in person ensures everyone understands their tasks and duties. It will reduce the chances of miscommunication. Your people can ask questions right there and then.
Also, consider using tools like Hipchat or Slack for faster communication even while you’re outside.
3. Implement Electronic Data Interchange
Are you keeping track of your shipments using physical documents alone? Then it’s time to revamp your system by integrating electronic data interchange (EDI).
With an EDI in place, every time a customer checks out the online cart, the details of their order will automatically go to your online storage.
This means all the valuable information will be safe and secure. This virtually eliminates the risk of losing customer and transaction details that you initially kept using physical paper.
4. Declare Items Early
You should also practice declaring your items for customs ahead of time. This is important especially if you’re shipping products overseas.
The rule of thumb is to declare the items as soon as the customers place their orders. The customs is where items from different parts of the country need to go through before they can fly to their respective destinations abroad.
Unfortunately, the processing of items in customs can take a lot of time. Hence, declaring your items early will hasten the process.
5. Shipping Speed is Key
And speaking of hastening processes, you need to prioritize speeding up your shipping. Surveys reveal that customers want their online orders to arrive as fast as possible.
If they see that it takes very long before their orders arrive, they may look for a different merchant in their next purchase.
One of the keys to fast shipping is finding a good courier service. And if you need to use customized cardboard boxes, find a company that offers quality boxes.
6. Invest in Technology
Aside from finding a reputable courier, you also want to invest in technology. Make sure you use technology that will help you locate your items faster. An example of this is the scanning devices.
Through barcode technology, you can scan and track every item in your warehouse. As a result, they can save a lot of time finding items. They also reduce human error and help maximize your bottom line.
7. Build Local and International Connections
Do you have strong local connections for your shipping process? If so, then good. But if you’re looking to ship outside the country, you need to establish international connections too.
Build relations with someone in other countries you wish to cater to. These are the people who can point you to the best couriers in their area. In turn, it will ensure that the items will arrive at your customers safely and in time.
8. Update Customers Timely
For a shipping process to be successful, it should involve trust. Thus, to earn the trust of your customers, you need to update them regarding the status of their orders. Start by giving them the tracking details.
Text and email them the tracking links. This allows them to monitor the status of their parcels.
Also, inform them of any delays on your end. Shipments sometimes experience bumps along the way. Being transparent about these things will help earn everyone’s trust.
9. Negotiate for Lower Costs
Last but not least, consider negotiating with your courier service provider. Negotiate for lower shipping costs especially if you’re looking to partner with the bigger shipping companies.
If you get to lower your shipping costs, you can offer shipping deals and promos to your customers.
Take Your Online Business to the Next Level
Improving your shipping process is a crucial move that will result in many benefits. Your customers will be happier as you build your reputation as an online seller. But if you wish to take your business to the next level, there are other aspects you need to cover.
Learn more about growing your eCommerce business by reading our other articles. We discuss tips and strategies that will help your online store grow faster.