Setting up an eCommerce store is the easy part, but the less fun realities of determining how you’re going to get your products to your customers soon follow.
Without a reliable shipping carrier, your customers may lose trust in your brand and it’ll be hard to gain traction because shipping is the main way you connect with your customers physically. For most eCommerce store owners though, choosing a shipping carrier out of the dozens in operation today can be a daunting task.
Ultimately, you must pick one that works for your business as there’s no one size fits all solution. However, before you commit to a particular carrier, it’s important to do your due diligence. This way, you can narrow down your options to a carrier with top shipping solutions and a streamlined experience that will help you delight your buyers.
How to Choose the Right Shipping Carrier
There are several factors to consider when choosing a shipping carrier that will help you find the best solutions for impeccable delivery times and allow you to save on shipping costs. Below are the key shipping carrier optimization variables to consider.
Different shipping carriers offer different services and rates for similar package weight to the same destination. Working with a carrier that will help you save on costs matters because high rates can devour your profits and erode your store’s bottom line.
Speed is important to online shoppers, but delivery time is largely determined by your customers’ shipping zone. However, there are other big-name retailers you’ll be competing with who have raised the bar in terms of consumer expectations for shipping across the board. Consequently, you need to be well prepared to meet the demand for same-day and next-day delivery, especially where the distance is longer, so as to have the package on the customer’s doorstep on time.
While longer distances also mean higher costs because you’ll have to pay more for express or fast shipping, some customers prefer free shipping and will wait for days to avoid extra charges.
Give customers shipping options that will provide the best service while helping them save on costs where possible. Your choice of a carrier should match your delivery time needs as well as offer weekend delivery as needed by customers.
Different carriers have restrictions on the size and shape of the products they ship. Other hindrances include federal policies and restrictions on certain items, such as vape products, so make sure to consult carriers about the products they handle before making a decision.
Read the fine print and know upfront the type of fees you’ll pay. Such fees include residential surcharges for remote deliveries, fuel surcharges, pickup fees for shipment volume, and handling fees for shipping fragile or high-value items. Many shipping carriers also add a surcharge when you reach a certain number of deliveries in a given period or shipment.
Package Tracking and Insurance
To avoid undesirable results like lost or delayed shipments, do thorough research into the carriers you’re considering. Reputable shipping carriers usually offer insurance and tracking services so that your customers can see their packages in transit and ensure that you have peace of mind that your shipments are covered.
The best shipping software helps streamline your shipping workflow and saves time and money so as to optimize your eCommerce store. Many buyers these days also want to see live rates, which entail automatic computation of shipping rates based on size, weight, destination, and other product features. Not every carrier offers shipping software, but if the carrier you’re considering offers an open API, you can integrate the shipping functionality into your store.
Develop a Winning Shipping Strategy
A lot goes into choosing a shipping carrier and negotiating for the best rates and services.
If you’re still lost when it comes to choosing a shipping carrier for your business needs, let X handle your shipping carrier optimization, routing, lane selection, and other solutions that your customers demand in a competitive marketplace.
Our open API connects you to the best regional carriers at drop-dead pricing so you can focus less on finding a carrier and more on providing your customers with a seamless brand experience.
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