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How to ship an order: Everything you need to know
Shipping trends

How to ship an order: Everything you need to know

Versha Kamwal
May 31, 2022
mins read

Fast shipping is one of the most important factors that affect the buying decision of online shoppers around the world. According to the Bizrate Insights survey, 68% of consumers said fast shipping would persuade them to place an online order.

Ecommerce businesses must find the right balance between speed and affordability to create an exceptional shipping experience that suits their customers.

Although optimising ecommerce shipping may sound easier in theory than in reality, ecommerce businesses can stick to strategic plans that fulfil their shipping expectations without burning a hole in their pockets.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what is ecommerce shipping, what are the essential factors that affect ecommerce shipping, what is the process for shipping an order, and how can Eshopbox help you with ecommerce shipping.

What is ecommerce shipping?

Ecommerce shipping refers to all the services that are required for transporting online orders from a storage facility used by the ecommerce seller (warehouse or a fulfilment centre) to the customer's delivery location.

What are the essential factors that affect ecommerce shipping?

1. Customer expectations from shopping experience especially ecommerce shipping

While creating a shipping strategy that best suits your ecommerce business, you must consider the customer expectations—in this case, fast and free shipping is the absolute favourite of customers. So, if you want to make your shipping options appealing to your customers, there are 10 ways to offer free shipping to your customers while covering its cost.

Moreover, you can opt for expedited shipping services so that your orders reach your customers faster than ever. However, it’s important to compare shipping carriers and their shipping services and then decide which options will suit your business best.

2. Customer locations

When you’re running an ecommerce business, your customers can be located anywhere across India. So, if you have one warehouse, offering fast shipping across India will be very costly. However, if you have multiple warehouse locations covering all the zones, i.e. North, East, West and South—you can reduce shipping costs significantly while providing express shipping.

3. Measurements and weight of shipments

The size and weight of your online orders is an important aspect—as all major shipping carriers use a pricing technique to calculate shipping costs, i.e. volumetric weight. It considers the size of a package to determine the shipping cost. Thus, you need to weigh and measure your products in order to get a brief idea of the shipping cost.

Most shipping carriers (like Delhivery, Bluedart, and Ecomexpress) calculate shipping rates based on the dead weight (the actual weight of your shipment) of the package or its volumetric weight, whichever is greater. This means shipping larger packages attracts higher shipping costs.

Moreover, it’s crucial to choose packaging that fits just right, so you don’t get overcharged for shipping products in a larger box. You can also use envelopes and poly mailers to reduce package weight and shipping costs.

4. Shipping rates by courier companies

Courier companies give you a correct estimate for shipping rates based on shipment weight, package dimensions, shipping preference (e.g. standard mode or express mode), and origin and destination details. You can get quotes from multiple courier companies and compare them to choose the best service at a reasonable price. Moreover, it’s best to consider your profit margins so that you can cover the shipping cost and make a profit.

5. Shipping insurance

Customer orders can sometimes get lost or damaged in transit. In such scenarios of shipping exceptions, you can minimise their impact with shipping insurance. It is the coverage for customer orders shipped via a courier company to recover any losses. This means you must consider and include the cost of insurance in the total shipping cost.

6. Unboxing experience

If your ecommerce brand values the unboxing experience, adding more packaging into the mix (e.g., a marketing insert, custom note, or using a custom branded box) may be part of your process to ship an order out. You can even consider eco-friendly packaging to showcase that your brand is conscious of the environment. This means you need to consider the level of custom packaging and its cost while shipping an order.

The 5-step process for shipping an order

Let’s take a look at the different steps involved in shipping an order:

Step 1: Choose the right shipping plan for the right products

The first step involves gathering all the essential information of your products as shipping different types of products have different rules in place. For example, how you pack and ship F&B (Food and Beverages) products will be different from packing and shipping apparel. Moreover, shipping hand sanitisers and batteries will be considered hazardous materials while shipping and you may need licence and certifications if you’re manufacturing and selling vitamins and supplements.

Step 2: Use the appropriate supplies and packaging

Depending on the type of products you’re shipping, you’ll need to find the right packaging for them. This step involves two crucial considerations on keeping your products safe in transit and creating an exceptional unboxing experience for your customers—avoiding any packaging mistakes.

Step 3: Determine which shipping service you want to use

After comparing the quotes from multiple courier companies, you need to decide which shipping service offers the best shipping speed keeping affordability in mind.

Step 4: Generate or print your shipping label

Once you’ve opted for the right service for shipping orders, you can generate a shipping label. If you’re fulfilling orders yourself from home, you’ll likely need a label printer, ink, and paper. Otherwise, you can have a carrier or 3PL provider like Eshopbox do this for you.

Step 5: Hand over the shipment

After your order is ready, the next step of the shipping and handling process is handing it over to the shipping carrier, who will transport it to your customer.

The process for shipping an online order
The process for shipping an order

How can Eshopbox help you with ecommerce shipping?

As you can see, ecommerce shipping isn’t always straightforward for online businesses. There are many complicated nuances and considerations involved, which can be overwhelming and time-consuming. That’s why you should consider letting a 3PL provider like Eshopbox store your inventory, ship your orders and manage your end to end ecommerce fulfilment, from storing inventory across multiple warehouses pan India to getting your orders shipped efficiently.

1. Streamline your ecommerce shipping

By handling your entire shipping operation for you, Eshopbox relieves you of the time-consuming and complicated task of figuring out how to ship your orders efficiently. Here’s how Eshopbox helps:

  • Split your inventory in multiple fulfilment centres across India to reduce transit times dramatically and store your inventory in state-of-the-art fulfilment centres.
  • Streamline the entire process by following a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to achieve desired shipping speed for every customer order.
  • Stick to SLA-driven shipping if you’re selling on marketplaces like Amazon, Flipkart, and more
  • Figure out the best carriers to deliver your orders on time and in a cost-efficient manner
  • Empower your customers to choose a preferred mode of payment like Card on delivery and Cash on Delivery (COD)

2. Automate your ecommerce shipping

Eshopbox simplifies ecommerce shipping for businesses of all sizes by automating the shipping process. Here’s how Eshopbox helps:

  • Automate the entire process of receiving and processing orders and getting them ready to ship soon after orders are placed on any of your sales channels
  • Cut down picking and packing time and reduces manual errors with the use of automation in the entire order fulfilment like barcode scanners, conveyor belts, and more
  • Enable faster delivery to customers with intelligent order allocation to the optimal fulfilment centre
  • Set up priority pick and pack for the orders that need quick turnarounds or express deliveries
  • Stay in complete control of the order fulfilment and delivery process with real-time order updates on the Eshopbox workspace

3. Get the best rates and reduce shipping costs

With Eshopbox's strong shipping network, you can take advantage of efficient and cost-effective shipping for your business. Here’s how Eshopbox helps:

  • Reach customers across 29,000+ pin codes in India while saving 45% on shipping costs, including discounted fulfilment supplies with a robust shipping network
  • 100% of your customers across India qualify for express shipping
  • Deliver orders on time as Eshopbox’s proprietary algorithm uses a combination of ground, air, and regional carriers
  • Take advantage of bulk delivery discounts and provide fast order deliveries while minimising shipping expenses as Eshopbox has strong tie-ups and discounted rates with multiple courier companies
  • Allocate all the fulfilment resources according to your current order volume to effectively manage variability in sales without incurring extra costs
  • The weight and dimensions of each product received at the Eshopbox fulfilment centre are captured using a Cubi scan machine—eliminating any weight discrepancies
  • Manage returns efficiently by aligning the return shipping with an upcoming order delivery—helping you save on return shipping

4. Achieve carbon-neutral and sustainable shipping

The most critical step of ecommerce shipping is making sure that your customers don’t receive damaged products. That’s why Eshopbox takes every precaution to safeguard your customer orders in transit against any damage.

  • Eshopbox uses secure dunnage, packaging materials and pays special attention to fragile products

For ecommerce businesses that want to minimise their environmental impact, Eshopbox is the go-to 3PL to achieve carbon-neutral shipping.

  • With Eshopbox, you can customise your packaging with eco-friendly materials to cut down your carbon footprint and build customer trust
  • Eshopbox also allows you to surprise your customers with customised packaging as per your requirement by setting flexible packaging rules and including marketing inserts and samples

Bottom line

Ecommerce shipping is a vital process that has the potential to strengthen your ties with your customers. It helps you improve conversion rates, drive repeat purchases, and build brand loyalty. To fully leverage this robust process, you need to focus on providing seamless shipping so that your customers receive their online orders fast while ensuring efficient and cost-effective shipping. By implementing the above strategies, you can achieve tremendous success while winning on the customer experience and keeping your profit margins intact!

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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