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8 best ways to make ecommerce shipping and delivery profitable
Shipping trends

8 best ways to make ecommerce shipping and delivery profitable

Yukta Anand
February 3, 2023
mins read

Since the COVID-19 Pandemic, customer behaviour has changed, and more and more people have shifted to shopping online instead of visiting brick-and-mortar stores. In such a time, ecommerce brands are competing to provide the best ecommerce shipping and delivery experience at the lowest possible cost to attract customers.

Moreover, marketplaces like Amazon have raised the bar of customer expectations by providing same-day delivery, order tracking and notifications service. In order to compete with ecommerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart, brands need a robust ecommerce shipping and delivery strategy.

This may become expensive and hamper your brand’s profitability. Thus, it is important to maintain a balance between fast shipping and cost-effectiveness. You must be wondering how to do so. Well, this blog will help you with just that!

In this blog, you will learn what ecommerce shipping and delivery are, why is their importance rising and how to create a profitable ecommerce shipping and delivery strategy.

What are ecommerce shipping and delivery?

Ecommerce shipping and delivery are the processes involved in transporting an order from a storage space- an ecommerce warehouse or fulfilment centre to a customer’s doorstep. Ecommerce shipping includes:

  • Picking products from their designated location in the ecommerce warehouse
  • Packing orders
  • Handing orders over to a courier partner

On the other hand, ecommerce delivery is the last leg of order fulfilment, i.e. delivering the order to a customer’s doorstep.

Why is the importance of ecommerce shipping and delivery rising?

Shopping has taken a digital leap, and now customers purchase almost everything online. To stay relevant and provide customers with an Amazon-like experience (same-day shipping, express delivery and more), ecommerce brands must streamline their ecommerce shipping and delivery processes. With the right strategy, ecommerce shipping and delivery can be fast, affordable and manageable. Thus, you could ship and deliver orders at lightning-fast speed and maybe offer free shipping to your customers, as it can persuade 80% of customers to shop.

The benefits of a comprehensive ecommerce shipping and delivery strategy are:

1. Lowers shopping cart abandonment

Customers expect to receive their orders as soon as possible. Often customers abandon carts to shop from competitors if the expected delivery time is too long. You can prevent this by ensuring quick shipping.

2. Helps deliver orders quickly

A comprehensive ecommerce shipping and delivery strategy will help you deliver orders in the least amount of time by storing inventory closer to customers and partnering with courier companies with a national geographic footprint.

3. Reduces errors and increases efficiency

Efficient shipping and delivery can also help ecommerce brands reduce manual errors through the use of technology in order processing and boost overall efficiency.

4. Boosts cost-effectiveness

Ecommerce brands can also ensure cost-effectiveness by focusing on ecommerce shipping and delivery. For example- you can schedule return pick-ups with order deliveries in the same area to save on return shipping.

5. Delights customers

Quick shipping and delivery are two of the most important customer satisfaction metrics. Ecommerce brands can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty by shipping and delivering orders at a lightning-fast speed.

How can brands make ecommerce shipping and delivery profitable?

Ecommerce sellers often face the dilemma of choosing between a memorable Customer Experience (CX) and cost-effectiveness as they find it difficult to manage both. In an effort to delight customers through custom packaging or fast delivery, you may spend too much. Fortunately, a well-thought-out plan for handling ecommerce shipping and delivery can help you ensure both- a great CX and cost savings. Let’s see how:

1. Smartly allocate inventory

One great way to streamline ecommerce shipping and delivery is by planning inventory storage. If your inventory is stored closer to customers, you could deliver orders faster and cheaper as the transit time and distance would be lesser.

You can allocate inventory by analysing your historical sales data to find zones of high consumer demand and splitting inventory across them.

For instance: Eshopbox provides inventory allocation suggestions based on historic sales data to split inventory in the most efficient way.

Eshopbox has a distributed network of fulfilment centres to cater to your unique requirements
Eshopbox has a distributed network of fulfilment centres to cater to your unique requirements

2. Ramp up order processing

If your ecommerce sales are high, but you are unable to process orders on time, it can be detrimental to your brand’s growth. Moreover, to deliver an order on time, it must be shipped on time. So, it becomes vital for ecommerce brands to quicken the pace of order processing. Here are some possible ways:

  • You can introduce technology such as conveyor belts and RFID tags in order fulfilment to reduce human errors and speed up the process
  • Ecommerce sellers can create an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for picking and packing products to increase efficiency
  • You can also lay emphasis on adherence to SLAs ( Service Level Agreements) to prevent penalties from marketplaces

For example: Eshopbox follows SOPs while picking and packing orders and uses technology to ensure an incredible order accuracy rate of 99.95%.

3. Build a strong shipping network

You can ensure same-day, next-day and express delivery options by creating a strong shipping network. You can also decentralise inventory to store it closer to customers and pay for regional or local shipping which is cheaper than national shipping.

4. Focus on quality packaging

It is critical to deliver orders in a safe manner, after all, no customer wants to receive a damaged product. Ecommerce brands can prevent in-transit damage by using the right packaging like a box of the correct size, bubble wrap and more.

5. Use cost-effective shipping strategies

Another method to make ecommerce shipping and delivery more efficient is to use strategies that help you save on operational costs, like:

  • You can tie up with multiple courier partners to get the best possible shipping rates
  • You can partner with a 3PL (Third-party Logistics) like Eshopbox that can provide discounted shipping rates
  • Ecommerce brands can reduce the weight of the package by using smaller boxes and discarding unnecessary in-fill

Eshopbox, for example, can provide you with discounted shipping rates due to the bulk order volume it deals in.

6. Optimise last-mile delivery

Last-mile delivery is the final leg of order fulfilment. It refers to delivering an order from an ecommerce warehouse or fulfilment centre to a customer’s location. Optimising last-mile delivery can help you deliver orders quickly and economically. Let’s see how you can optimise last-mile delivery:

  • You can decentralise inventory across multiple fulfilment centres
  • You may partner with 3PLs like Eshopbox, which use intelligent order routing
  • Ecommerce brands can also partner with courier companies which use route optimisation

For instance: Eshopbox uses intelligent order routing to allocate it to the fulfilment centre closest to the customer’s location to provide same-day, next-day and express delivery in 29,000+ pincodes.

7. Pay attention to a memorable shipping experience

Ecommerce brands can alleviate the shipping experience by focusing on the post-purchase experience. It refers to the treatment customers receive from an ecommerce brand after placing an order and is an important determinant of whether a customer will shop from an ecommerce brand again. According to research, previous CX with a brand is one of the top two determinants of repeat purchases. You can alleviate the post-purchase experience by:

For example: Eshopbox helps you deliver a remarkable customer experience through custom packaging. Eshopbox also provides real-time order tracking and active order notifications to prevent WISMO (Where-Is-My-Order) calls.

Custom packaging of Brillare done by Eshopbox
Custom packaging of Brillare done by Eshopbox

8. Manage returns efficiently

If a customer initiates a return, the product must be shipped back to the ecommerce warehouse, meaning you may have to pay for return shipping. Fortunately, returns need not be unprofitable; in fact, with proper returns management, you can boost a customer’s trust in your brand and ensure cost-effectiveness at the same time. You can stay economical while handling product returns by:

  • Allowing easy exchanges with size or colour recommendations
  • Aligning return pick-up with an order delivery in the same area to save on return shipping
  • The returned products can go through a quality check and be refurbished or restocked if the quality is appropriate
  • You can also raise a claim for damaged products on marketplaces

For instance: Eshopbox efficiently handles returns, restocks and refurbishes products after a quality check and provides you with evidence to raise claims for damaged products on marketplaces.

Bottom line

Handling ecommerce shipping and delivery can be a challenging task with the danger of running your profits dry. Fortunately, ecommerce brands can significantly benefit from having a comprehensive strategy to provide fast shipping and delivery. 3PLs like Eshopbox can help you go the extra mile in delighting customers while ensuring a robust ecommerce shipping and delivery process.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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