Getting customer’s orders shipped in a timely manner is a cornerstone of running a quality business online. When customers receive their order fast, they are more likely to make a repeat purchase and are more likely to have a positive association with your brand. On the flipside, when a customer perceives your shipping time to be slow, this can destroy retention and lead customers to make their opinion known online.
In today’s world, e-commerce and online retailers can arm themselves with the wealth of knowledge the internet provides and optimize shipping times. The following secrets are some of the best ways to optimize your shipping operation and satisfy customers:
- Automation – the first step to truly optimizing your sales and shipping process is to automate everything you possibly can, while still providing the level of service you need. Having your cart integrated with your fulfillment, whether its third-party fulfillment or you fulfill your orders, is the first step. If you are fulfilling the items yourself, this can generate a label to your shipping solution, as well as generate a message to be emailed to the customer giving tracking and letting them know the shipping process has begun. If you are using a third-party fulfillment solution, automation is set up for you and saves time and money by handling this entire process for you.
- Optimize Order Sorting – one trick that high volume sellers who fulfill themselves learn quickly is that sorting orders by the most recent order is a way to lose time and energy. While this does allow for recent orders to move quickly, it has little other benefits. If you instead sort your order by in a way that is most efficient for picking, this can reduce the time spent packing and reduce overall shipping times. One of the advantages of working with a fulfillment company is that their business is to optimize these processes and become efficient at picking and packing to reduce shipping times.
- Combining Services – all business owners know that adding steps to the process is how you add time to the process, which in turn costs money. If you can combine steps of the process, like packaging and shipping, this allows you to streamline your system and eliminate inefficiencies. Using a fulfillment company that can warehouse, package, and ship your orders all from the same facility is one of the most efficient ways to accomplish these goals. If you are fulfilling orders yourself, the key is to combine these activities into the same area yourself so that labels print to the station where you’re packaging and shipping from. If you contain these elements to a small area footprint, it allows for maximum time saving, which optimizes profits.
These secrets only scratch the surface of how to craft your shipping execution to boost profits and retention. Being aware of your own inefficiencies and how you can work to solve them is the cornerstone of being an entrepreneur and running a successful business. Make sure you take a look at your shipping practices and think about where you can save time while making customers happy, then let’s see where your bottom line goes!