folder E-commerce Tips & Tricks

Ecommerce Shipping: How to Pick The Best Options For Your Buyers

calendar 2021-10-18 | glass 8 min read | user Ricky Hayes
Ecommerce Shipping
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'Excellent products, but poor delivery service. 👎'

You don't want to hear that from your customers, right?

Imagine your friends and family have arranged a surprise birthday party for you. 

They told you to arrive at 8 p.m. But you turned up at 1 a.m. and found an empty venue.

You didn't only screw up, but you also missed your friends' surprise.

That's what your customers feel when they don't get their products delivered on time. You'll probably lose a chance to have them as loyal customers.

This is why your ecommerce delivery strategy is an essential aspect of your business. Especially if you're starting an online store.

And when it comes to shipping, there are only 2 things that customers want:

1. Cheap or free delivery

2. Fast shipping times

So, what can you do to upscale your eCommerce delivery strategy?

In this post, I'll walk you through all the must-haves for a killer eCommerce delivery strategy.

But before that, let's discuss first...

What is ECommerce Shipping And Fulfillment?

ECommerce shipping includes everything you need to do to deliver products into your buyer's hands.

But there's so much more to eCommerce delivery than just that.

Not sure what am I talking about? 

Let's dive right into the...

Importance Of ECommerce Shipping

Do you know that for 62% of US customers, shipping is the single most important factor contributing to a positive user experience?

No wonder, Amazon Prime played its part in building customer expectations.

With their 2-day delivery model, many customers expect super-fast deliveries.

But is this all about super-fast deliveries?

No, it's more than that...

And according to Deloitte Research, free shipping ranks 2nd as the top reason 72% of US shoppers want to buy online.

Now, what does that mean?

It means that customers are not only looking for turbo-fast deliveries, but they also want them for free. 

I know that is too much to ask for. But it is what it is. 🤷‍♀️

Now you're probably wondering...

What eCommerce shipping methods can you use? And do you need to stick to one channel or offer choices? 

The answers to these are right in the following section… 👇

Types Of Shipping Options 

Types of Shipping Options

When it comes to payment and delivery options, more is always less.

What do I mean by this?

Your customers want more choices.

So, you might ask,

Should you offer multiple shipping options? The answer is YES.

Here's an overview of some common shipping strategies that you should offer to your customers.

1. Same-Day Delivery

The same-day delivery model is great for two reasons. First, over 53% of customers in the US will pay extra for same-day delivery.

Second, many customers, especially youngsters, shop online to get instant delivery of things. 

So, if you're targeting urban audiences, same-day delivery works perfectly for you.

But here's the catch…

The same-day delivery model won't work for you if you're not working with a leading shipping partner.

So, if you're willing to spend more on strengthening your eCommerce shipping, one-day delivery is the best solution.

If same-day delivery isn't an option, you can also try...

2. Overnight Shipping

If you don't want to throw money on same-day delivery, give overnight shipping a try.

Up to 18% of customers say they like overnight delivery models and will pay extra money for that.

Some businesses also opt for a...

3. 2-Day Delivery Model

2-day deliveries are also acceptable if you're able to do it consistently. So, if you're looking for that sweet spot where you can balance cost and speed, this option is for you.

Anything above 2-days is a sin. I mean, I'd suggest you stick to one of these three options as that's what present-day customers want. 

Speaking of shipping rates...

ECommerce Shipping Rate Structures

I'll be honest with you. I hate paying for deliveries.  

But, you need to understand that I am not alone. Over 82% of customers prefer free shipping. 

Thus, if you're planning to charge hefty for your expedited delivery, that's not going to work. 

You have to find a solution. Not sure where to start? 

Here are 3 top shipping rate structures you can follow for your eCommerce and shipping fulfillment.

1. Free Shipping

The best of all.

Many owners offer free shipping benefits to increase conversions. And let me tell you that works.

Take the example of ASOS here. They offer worldwide free delivery for their customers.

Free Shipping

But if customers aren't going to pay for shipping, who will?

The thing is, free shipping is only possible if you know how to do it right. There are two ways you can go about it...

1. Increase your product prices (include the delivery cost in the base price)

2. Allow free delivery when a customer spends a certain amount of money

Another option you can try is...

2. Offer Flat-Rate Shipping

You can also offer flat-rate shipping. This means offering a flat shipping rate regardless of what customers order.

Now, this is kind of a smart move.

Customers will shop more because they know they have to pay a fixed delivery cost on whatever they order.

You can also try...

3. Real-Time Carrier Shipping

Take the burden off your shoulders by offering real-time carrier rates. For this, you have to partner with a real-time carrier shipping partner.

Customers trust this option the most because they think it's transparent and flexible.

So, this one's truly a win-win for both of you.

Now that you have a clear idea of how eCommerce shipping and fulfillment work, it's time to look at some of the best practices. 

Ecommerce Shipping Best Practices

Ecommerce Shipping Best Practices

1. Be Clear About Your Shipping Costs And Policies

As they say, honesty is the best policy. 

The biggest reason why customers abandon their carts is they get to know the actual shipping costs when they are about to checkout. 

We don't want that. So, highlight your shipping costs on every page so that customers don't get a surprise in the end. 

Look how clearly Kylie Cosmetics has highlighted their shipping costs. They also have a dedicated shipping policy page for their customers. 

Be Clear About Your Shipping Costs And Policies

You may also remove the guesswork out of the process by…

2. Display Expected Date And Time Of Delivery

Be upfront about delivery terms, timings, and days. Customers do not like to stay in the dark as to when they'll get their ordered goods. 

To better manage expectations, highlight this info on your checkout pages.  

That's how Walmart is doing it...

Display Expected Date And Time Of Delivery

You can do the same on your website by using Debutify's 'Delivery time' add-on. It lets you display the estimated time of delivery.

You may also save time and money by...

3. Outsource Shipping To A Local Service Provider

The best way to reduce delivery times is by partnering with a local eCommerce fulfillment company. 

Look for a company that:

  • Has a broad and strong network to ensure seamless deliveries.
  • Has a warehouse and a staff knowledgeable about the handling and storage of products.
  • Provide custom packaging options to ensure amazing unboxing experiences.

Take it a step further by automating your inventory management systems...

4. Consider Automation

You can't expect quick and streamlined deliveries if your inventory management is poor. 

How about automating it for increased efficiency?

Invest in tools that allow you to have a direct transfer of data between your store and fulfillment. Doing so will reduce time and cost and also improve speed and efficiency. 

What else do you need?

A well-crafted returns and refunds policy...

5. Have A Clear And Buyer-Friendly Returns And Refunds Policy

Having well-defined returns and refunds policy will make things easy for you and your customers. 

This will build trust and give your customers a clear idea about what they can or cannot do if they don't like the products. 

Hiring the right personnel can be the best investment you can make for your business. Here's how it can help with the shipping process...

6. Hire the Right Delivery Fulfillment Team

A knowledgeable team can make a massive difference to your shipping and fulfillment. The team can maintain one-to-one communication with the fulfillment service to ensure timely deliveries.

Not only this, but they can also resolve conflicts and handle customers' queries in case of late deliveries.

Keep your customers calm by...

7. Enabling Them To Track Their Orders

The last thing you want to do is to keep your customers in the dark. 

Let them track their delivery status once they make a purchase. Many eCommerce fulfillment services offer this feature.

And Debutify offers it too.

Debutify's 'Order Tracking' add-on lets your customers track their orders directly from within your store.

We're down to our last option now (the most important one, though)...

8. Share Updates

Keep your customers updated by sending emails or SMS notifications, and let them know when they will receive their orders. 

It's extremely important in case there is a change in a plan. 

Make Your Shipping Super Fast!

Having a robust eCommerce shipping and fulfillment strategy isn't an option. If you want your business to survive and grow, you'll need to get your eCommerce delivery strategy in place.

Just keep these few things in mind before you create a delivery strategy for your business:

  • Free shipping is the best you can offer to your customers.
  • Work on your shipping, returns, and refunds policies.
  • Never keep your customers in the dark (share updates and also let them track their orders).
  • Collaborate with a local fulfillment service to save time and cost to ensure timely deliveries.

Debutify can help you ace your Shipping game. Delivery Time and Order Tracking Add-Ons allow you to streamline your shipping and fulfillment. They're super easy to use and integrate seamlessly with your store.

So, what are you waiting for?

Take Your Shipping And Fulfillment To The Next Level With Debutify's Delivery Time And Order Tracking Add-Ons

14-Day Free Trial - No Credit Card Required - 1-Click Installation

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Written by

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.

375,117+ Are Reading The Debutify Newsletter.

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