The ultimate beginners guide to e-commerce shipping and fulfillment
We work with a lot of eCommerce customers, some it is their focal point, and for others it is a new wrinkle they are offering clients during the current times as demanded. We always recommend our customers both seasoned and new to the ball game that they have their shipping and fulfillment division of their business dialed in prior to embarking on any sort of promotions or paid advertising as once the faucet is on, the sales come flowing and a great advertising will quickly exploit holes in your process.
We absolutely love this article from our partners at shopify.com please give a thorough read through (maybe even book mark the original article for future reference :)
by Thea Earl
Jul 16, 2020
15 minute read
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Here is link to the FULL ARTICLE
You put a lot of effort into making sure your customers have a great experience. You approve the images, you tweak your store, and you write the emails, all with the goal of leaving your customers happy.
But when it comes to shipping, it can feel like you’re handing your brand over to a stranger. With some thought and planning, however, it doesn’t have to feel that way—which is a good thing, because shipping is a key part of your business. It’s the point where a customer finally experiences your product in person, and it can also represent a major expense in your business, depending on your shipping strategy.
That’s why it’s so important to map out a defined shipping strategy. Since the world of shipping and fulfillment can seem complex when you’re not familiar with it, we’ve got an overview of everything you’ll need to know to make the best choice for your business.
We’ll go over some of the basics of shipping your products and help demystify this complicated topic.
We’ll talk about setting your shipping strategy, packaging, provide resources and links to popular carriers, look at tracking and insurance, balancing shipping costs with profitability, how Shopify can help you streamline your shipping, and apps to help make it all easier.
Shipping strategy 101
Shipping rates and methods
Calculating shipping costs
Packaging and marketing
Insurance and tracking
Customs declarations and forms
Labelling your packages
Using a fulfillment warehouse
When you ship with Shopify Shipping, you get access to pre-negotiated rates with carriers in the US and Canada, and you can manage your entire shipping process in one place.
Shipping strategy 101
There are some basics that set a foundation for the rest of your shipping. While you can come back and change each of these later on, as you learn more, these are the key decisions and steps that make up your high-level shipping strategy.
Your shipping rates and methods. Are you going to pass the full cost of shipping on to your customers or will you offer free or flat-rate shipping to absorb some or all of the cost? How will you get orders to your local customers? By the end of this post, you’ll have more information on how to make this choice for your business.
Product weights. To streamline the process, measure and update the weight of each product you sell. Having that information set up will help you get a good sense of your total costs, and pass along accurate prices to your customers.
Choose your preferred packaging. While there’s more to be said about what kind of packaging is right for your products, once you’ve selected it, you can add that information to Shopify so you can calculate accurate shipping prices.
Source your packaging. You can order free packaging from USPS, UPS, or DHL, or invest in branded packaging if that’s part of your strategy.