You started an online store, and it’s been an enormous success. Products are selling well, and customers expect to receive everything they ordered. What’s your plan for getting from point A to point B?
Shipping can quickly become aggravating. However, it does not have to be a traumatic experience. We’ve seen the mistakes that both new and experienced businesses make regarding shipping because we’ve worked with thousands of store owners like you.
Your physical storage and shipping space
It’s easier to leave the system you’ve had in place for months or years where it is, just like weeding through the family garage. However, the key to getting orders out the door is revisiting your setup to find inefficiencies — or designing a new one with success in mind.
First and foremost, make the most of your available space. Everyone has a few items that consistently sell well. For easy access, keep them near your packaging and shipping station. Find a way to pre-pack these items if they sell frequently.
After that, make sure your storage area is clearly labelled. Request that a friend or new employee locate a product and deliver it to your shipping station as soon as possible. If they disappear for an extended period, inquire as to why they became confused. You may decide to implement a new procedure to assist yourself or your employees in quickly locating a product.
Is your shipping station productive?
Place frequently purchased items in the most convenient locations. Items that are frequently purchased simultaneously, such as socks and belts, should be kept on the same shelves. Maintain a clear line of sight. On product bins, use a labelling system that corresponds to the spreadsheet or system you keep on file.
Examine the location of your shipping station in relation to your storage area. It’s worth reorganizing if the transition from picking to printing isn’t smooth. Is it better to keep inventory in your home if your inventory is growing, or would it be faster to rent a dedicated space?
Last but not least, consider your company. Are all of your tools in one place at your shipping station for easy access? Do you need to build some boxes ahead of time? Is there any physical backtracking from the beginning to the end? Where can you save time and money by cutting steps, both literally and figuratively?
There are numerous options when it comes to who you choose to handle the actual shipping. Who you use is determined by who you’re shipping to and what services you require and ultimately necessitates extensive research.
More than any other shipping aspect, determining whether a carrier will work for you necessitates the most research. But what’s the bottom line? Make an effort to reach an agreement. Most major carriers offer discounts on their rates.
It’s always a good idea, to begin with, domestic shipping. Make contact with a local carrier that is based in your area. They’re usually a good place to start, and they may even assign you an Account Manager. If they do, talk about price breaks.
Consider the carriers — and methods — that are most appropriate for your store.
Simply put, don’t tie yourself to a single carrier; instead, look for regional alternatives. In Texas, for example, the USPS may be able to reach every corner of the state… However, LSO, a regional provider, can beat their delivery times and provide far better customer service.
Are you considering going global? To begin, select only a few products and a small number of countries. You’ll become accustomed to shipping via an international carrier and dealing with Customs forms as a result of this. Shipping software can help you automate the creation and completion of Customs documents, ensuring smooth handoffs to your carriers.