New business owners are often intimidated by sending out their own products. The act of shipment can set your e-commerce store up for success or for failure. When it comes to the e-commerce world, fulfillment and shipment are two of the most operations that entrepreneurs should take. Here are five things that beginners should keep in mind.
Know How Much Your Products Weigh
It is important when sending out your products to know how much they weigh in order to charge shipping rates accordingly. Your product’s actual weight is not its shipping weight. When it comes to calculating these costs, it could also depend on types of material handling equipment being used.
You need to know what your products weigh when they’re packed and ready for shipment. If you estimated your costs based on your product’s actual weight, you could pay a lot more for sending them out. Know your products actual weight as well as their shipment rate, and use these to estimate delivery costs accordingly.
If your products are really heavy, consider using caster wheels. A caster is a device with attached wheels that make it easy to maneuver some of your heaviest products. They come with features like brakes, various weight limits, and different material options. Casters can be found at hardware stores, home improvement centers, and postal services.
Use Flat-Rate Shipment Services
Flat-rate shipment services are the best option for beginners. While flat-rate shipment isn’t the cheapest way to ship, they’re still affordably priced and they’re the easiest to use shipment methods. These services offer you boxes, which can save you money on purchasing packaging materials.
As your e-commerce store grows, you should include other delivery options. In the beginning stages, flat rate shipment and regional shipment services are your best option.
Use Shipment Software
While you can get shipment software from your local post office, it’s not the best option. Even new and small businesses would benefit from investing in their own shipment software, which often requires buying your own postage. Shipment software allows you to purchase postage or shipment supplies at a discount. You can enjoy many features, such as automation, integration with online marketplaces, and online tracking.
Remember to Represent Your Brand
Whenever you ship out your products to a customer, it’s important to maintain their interest. Your box, product, shipping label, and even the types of material handling equipment should represent your brand. Don’t reuse boxes that were previously used.
New businesses often get their products shipped from a large number of manufacturers and suppliers. They realize that packaging costs money, so they’ll try to cut costs by using the box that the product was originally shipped in. Reusing old boxes makes you look like an amateur.
You won’t get repeat customers if you slap a label on an old box and call it a day. If spending extra money on a new box increases your chances of getting repeat orders from your customers, then it’s well worth the investment.
Return Costs Are Important
Return costs are a part of doing business with your customers. Sometimes the return costs are more than the original shipment costs. But you can’t worry about the return costs. Some orders are going to eat up your profit.
Rather than focusing on the return costs, make a large majority of your sales profitable. Consider the costs for the total week or month rather than an individualized amount. You won’t always know how return costs will impact your orders, but it’s a risk you have to take.