E-commerce fulfillment. You’ve been there. Consumers want what you’re selling, and they want it now. Study after study shows if you can’t deliver, your customers and their money go elsewhere and you never see them again.

“38% of shoppers say they will never shop

with a retailer again if they had a poor delivery

(a.k.a. ecommerce fulfillment) experience.”

So how do you meet their expectations without tying yourself and your business into a pretzel? Learn from the largest online shippers in the country.

Amazon.com started with founder and owner Jeff Bezos and his family and friends personally hand packing and shipping every item from their garage. Does that sound familiar? They obviously don’t do that anymore. Neither does any business who plans to stay in business or scale their business. That’s a fact. Consider this:

  • After all the work you do to get buyers to the checkout cart, did you know that a Baymard Institute study found that 61% of shoppers will abandon their cart if shipping, taxes, and other fees are too high?
  • 56% of shoppers said that being presented with unexpected costs is the reason they leave without completing their purchase.
  • Forget the holiday panic around Christmas deliveries. More than 53% of shoppers say that delivery speed any time of year is the most important consideration. More than half of those shoppers canceled their orders when delivery times were too long.
  • 38% of shoppers say they will never shop with a retailer again if they had a poor delivery experience.
  • At least 25% of shoppers have canceled an order because of slow delivery speeds.

If you’re a small business who ships large volumes of products of any size, you need to learn the secrets of ecommerce shipping if you want to become and remain profitable. The biggest secret to success is controlling your shipping costs:

Shipping Costs Can Make or Break Your Business

“Shipping costs” is a catch-all term for a variety of costs associated with getting a product to a customer. It can include returns, damaged or lost items, packaging, tracking costs, and insurance. By streamlining, organizing, and systematizing your shipping costs and process you can cut your costs in half.

  • Consider prepaid shipping. If you’re a large volume shipper, you can cut your FedEx and UPS costs by up to 20% with prepaid shipping. Buy a quantity of shipping labels upfront. When you’re ready to ship your package, affix the prepaid label to the box and ship. If you send out the same weight packages on a regular basis and know your shipping cost in advance, this is a great option. Plus, you save hours on time and labor on estimating, printing, and weighing packages.
  • Buy insurance from a third party. UPS and USPS charge about 80 cents to $1 for every $100 of coverage you buy. What most shippers don’t realize is you don’t have to buy their insurance even if you ship through them. Third-party companies like Shipsurance, Parcel Insurance Plan and U-PIC Shipping charge .45 cents or less per $100 value and can save you up to 90% on shipping insurance costs.
  • Communicate costs. Go out of your way to explain your shipping, return, and damaged items costs to customers. There’s nothing shoppers hate more than paying shipping costs unless it’s paying higher shipping costs than they anticipated. Offer several options and shipping prices, so your customers feel like they have a choice and are more in control of costs.
  • Use a third Party Shipper (fulfillment center). Are you really saving money by shipping everything yourself? Using a third party shipper a.k.a. fulfillment center actually saves you money. A fulfillment center is a business where you as a merchant can store your packages and rely on that company, like eworldfulfillment.com for instance, to pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for your products. It’s what made Amazon the monster business it is today. Letting a company like EWorld Fulfillment do your heavy lifting and shipping for you can save you money.
  • Should you pack everything at once, or as orders come into your business? Time your existing process for at least a week-to-30-days to see how much time it takes, then decide.
  • Standardize your boxes and padded wrappers. Don’t try to have a box for every product. Have boxes or padded envelopes that will accommodate a variety of items.
  • Hire part-time workers. Use students or interns to come in for an hour or two a day to pack your orders for you, freeing you to focus on the business itself.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the stress of fulfilling your orders it might be time to consider a third party shipper, or organizing your shipping department – even if it is your garage or spare bedroom!