The e-commerce industry has been pegged as a trillion dollar and growing, online industry. It generates more money than most economies, with the exception of a very few. This year alone, e-commerce is expected to haul in over $1.4 trillion dollars in worldwide sales, a number that will continue to expand in 2016 and beyond.
A wide array of shopping cart services and marketplaces are online that allow just about anyone to create their own online store – further fueling this burgeoning industry. It’s palpable to compare the e-commerce industry to even pharmaceuticals or big oil; that’s just how big it’s gotten.
Tantamount to this equation is the other side of the coin: the customers who are shopping online. After all, they dictate what trends become viral, and what fulfillment methods that e-retailers use. And the consumers have voiced their opinions, stating that they want expedited shipping, discount or free postage, hassle-free online product returns and consistent customer service.
Getting your store to the point of being able to offer all of this is not impossible. But it will require some hard work and diligence on your part. With a variety of software solutions that can help you tackle these issues and stay on top of them, you’ll want to also ensure that have capable and user-friendly shipping software for all carriers at your disposal along the way.
What follows are four quintessential reasons why this matters greatly to your bottom line.
Preparing a Logistical Approach
Logistics is what makes the business world go around. But what logistics are you lacking that could be in place?
· Make sure you have a fulfillment checklist setup, and that your fulfillment department is stocked and organized, so you can get orders shipping faster.
· Update your shopping cart to list shipping costs and taxes upfront so that customers are not dissuaded when they go to checkout.
· Offer low-cost shipping or free shipping by utilizing the discount postage providers like Endicia, Stamps.com or Express 1.
· Make returns hassle-free and offer simple ways for customers to return or exchange items so that you can better compete with your rivals.
Create Synergy in the Fulfillment Process
Synergy does not come out of thin air. It requires a stringent approach and the wherewithal to troubleshoot and resolve problems as they arise; which they very well will. Modernized shipping software for all carriers helps you bring this much-needed synergy by enabling you to more agilely tackle fulfillment.
· It integrates into the API of your online store to instantly pull the orders as they come in.
· It lets you organize, sort, edit, manage and process orders with ease, in batch or individually.
· It lets you compare carrier rates and connects you to discount postage options.
· It generates the digital postage and shipping labels for you.
· It updates your shopping cart and customers with the shipping status and the tracking number.
Capitalize on Discount Shipping Options
Of course, as stated above, customers want cheap or free shipping. Most e-commerce stores can’t afford to offer free shipping because it digs into their bottom line too much. But you can still offer discounted shipping. Companies like Express 1, for example, get you the coveted Commercial Plus pricing on USPS shipping – which saves you a small fortune while letting you pass these savings along to your customers so you can attract more sales.
Reduce Fulfillment Time and Appease Customers
Finally, being able to use the logistics that you put into place to curb fulfillment time, improve shipping accuracy, reduce shipping costs and better serve your customers will do wonders for your business model moving forwards. As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into running an e-commerce store these days and being successful. Make sure that you are as best prepared as possible by integrating these key logistics beforehand.