Logistics is one of the most overlooked aspects of running a business. It’s also completely necessary to conducting eCommerce.
You can’t effectively sell goods online if you don’t have a way to get them to customers. There are several factors to consider when formulating your logistics strategy.
Here are a few things all eCommerce vendors ought to know about logistics.
Packaging is the first step in the shipping process. While it might not seem like a big deal, the packaging is critically important. There are a few reasons why this is a necessary element of your eCommerce logistics approach.
First, you need to ensure your products are going to reach their destinations in one piece. You can’t assume the people handling your packages will be careful with them.
Expect the worst, especially if you are shipping fragile objects. Take a look at packaging options to find the best possible protection for your particular needs.
It’s also important to consider the aesthetic appeal of your packaging. You want people to be impressed when they open something from your eCommerce store.
People want an all-encompassing shopping experience. Accomplish this by incorporating an element of design or personalization in your shipments. This will go a long way toward building customer relationships.
Consider Alternate Delivery Models
Many companies have found success with non-traditional eCommerce delivery methods. One instance of this is the proliferation of subscription-based eCommerce.
Businesses such as Birchbox have been successful at signing up customers for recurring deliveries. This strategy can work well for eCommerce stores that sell cosmetic or other goods people need to purchase every few weeks.
This approach, however, can get complicated quickly—as you need to keep track of many subscriptions. Do a cloud ecommerce platform comparison to see how well they facilitate various kinds of shipping before you settle on your choice.
You might also think about a hyperlocal shipping strategy for your eCommerce store. Essentially, this means your products are sourced and shipped only to your immediate community.
This will reduce your shipping costs and allow you to offer customers same-day shipping — depending on your situation. These ideas can greatly increase the profitability of your store.
Know Shipping Regulations
You also need to be aware of any shipping regulations governing the types of items you plan to send through the mail. Many products require special shipping permissions.
For example, you can’t ship alcohol through the US Postal Service. This might be a problem if you’re planning an eCommerce store that sells fine beverages.
You also won’t be able to send most kinds of hazardous or flammable materials. Shipping companies also enforce their own shipping size restrictions. UPS and FedEx limit packages to 150 pounds. Make sure you aren’t in violation of these guidelines.
Have a Return Policy
You don’t want to think about someone returning one of your items. Unfortunately, this is just something that happens in the world of eCommerce. More than 30 percent of products ordered online end up getting sent back. This is a major issue for eCommerce retailers.
And, it’s why you need to have a return policy in place. Figure out how you’re going to get goods back to your inventory, and refund customers. Failing to iron out these details can get you into a lot of trouble in the online sales space.
Logistics are complicated. That’s why it’s important to spend time thinking about their implementation. Having a familiarity with what eCommerce vendors ought to know about logistics will help you avoid a lot of issues while getting your products to your customers quickly, safely and as inexpensively as possible.