IS YOUR SHIPPING & FULFILLMENT SYSTEM COMPLETE?
Let’s ask ourselves a few brand evaluation questions.
- Do you have a shipping system that connects to your website platform and receives all order information? (Yes or No)
- Does your shipping system automatically determine the best carrier, service and packaging to get your product to its destination? (Yes or No)
- Does your shipping system allow you to print shipping labels, packing slips and return labels? (Yes or No)
- Does your shipping system automatically correct invalid addresses? (Yes or No)
- Does your shipping system provide your entire shipping stats? (Yes or No)
- Do you have an efficient label printer for packages? (Yes or No)
- Do you ship your customers order in the most efficient packages? (Yes or No)
- Do you give customers real-time visibility of order delivery dates? (Yes or No)
- Do you allow customers to edit order details (address & more) or cancel them if they haven’t yet been processed? (Yes or No)
- Do you have an efficient warehouse receiving process for inventory assuring quantity and quality? (Yes or No)
- Do you have a storage area or warehouse that is safe and secure for inventory /Sku’s? (Yes or No)
- Do you have multiple warehousing so customers receive packages faster from warehouses closer to them? (Yes or No)
- Do you offer international shipping? (Yes or No)
- Do your orders reach most domestic customers in 2-3 days ground shipping (Yes or No)
- Do you offer expedited same day shipping? (Yes or No)
- Do you offer next day delivery? (Yes or No)
- Do you offer in person order pick-ups? (Yes or No)
- Do you offer free shipping on orders? (Yes or No)
- Are customer orders delivered in safe packaging? (Yes or No)
- One a scale of 1-10 how impressed will a customer be when opening their package? (Yes or No)
- Do you give customers delightful -extras with their orders? (Yes or No)
- Do you ship packages with marketing inserts. Such as other featured products, discounts , announcements, or promotional stickers, pins etc? (Yes or No)
- Are customer tracking numbers automatically emailed to as soon as the warehouse ships orders? (Yes or No)
- Do you allow customers to track their order on your website? (Yes or No)
- Do managers have access to track all shipment statuses in one place? (Yes or No)
- Are email updates automatically sent to shoppers updating them on when their package is in transit, in their city, out for delivery or failed to pick up? (Yes or No)
The answer is “no” to a lot of the questions right? No problem. You are here to work on upgrading or modifying your current shipping department.
We should first understand the key ingredients in providing the best online delivery experience to customers. The goal is to give your customers that “Christmas” presents morning feel when ordering and receiving a package from you.
The Key Ingredients Are:
- Humanizing and Personalized Communication
- Team Support
- The WOW effect
Now we have 6 systems and 6 tools that will complete your in house shipping department.
Can you imagine a carpenter, plumber, or electrician showing up at your home or business without the right tools? Nope! Having the right tools may be the difference between a business win or fail.
The same is true when shipping products in your online business. You need the right physical tools to get the job done well. The first time. Here are some shipping tools and tips to help your online business thrive.
THE 6 MUST HAVE SHIPPING SYSTEMS:
- WEBSITE STORE PLATFORM: www.Shopify.com
- SHIPPING SYSTEM: www.Shipstation.com
- POSTAL POSTAGE PROVIDER: www.Stamps.com or www.Endicia.com
- AFTER SHIPMENT COMUNICATION SYSTEM: www.Aftership.com
- ORDER LOOK UP SYSTEM: www.OrderLookupApp.com
- CUSTOMER SUPPORT SYSTEM: www.Gmail.com + www.Helpscout.net + www.Olark.com + www.TalkDesk.com
THE 6 MUST HAVE SHIPPING TOOLS:
- SHIPPING SCALE: www.Amazon.com/Scales
- BAGS AND BOXES: www.Amazon.com/Boxes and/or www.USPS.com
- FILLINGS AND CUSHIONING: www.Amazon.com/Fillings
- THERMAL LABEL PRINTER: www.Amazon.com/LabelPrinter
- PACKAGING TAPE: www.Amazon.com/PackingTape
- TAPE MEASURE: www.Amazon.com/MeasuringTapes
Let’s talk more about each tool.
- SHIPPING SCALE
This is the first item you’ll need. The ability to accurately weigh your packages will save you time and money on postage, and eliminate the need to weigh and drop off your packages at the post office or carrier locations. Goodbye post office lines and trips! You can buy a shipping scale at www.Amazon.com/PostalScales for under $50. If you sell only very light items (under 10 lbs.), a food scale might be a cheaper route.
Shipping boxes help protect your items, but they also add weight to your shipment. Most shipping carriers charge based on the size and weight of a package, so it’s more cost-effective to keep your packaging as small and lightweight as possible. If you have different sizes of items, you may want to keep a few box sizes on hand. A good rule of thumb is that a box should always have 1.5 – 2″ on all sides, in order to protect the item and make the item eligible for insurance if needed. In addition, make sure to leave at least 2″ on top of the height of your object. Using a box that’s similar in size to your item(s) will also save you money by eliminating the need for excess package fillers. Save money by purchasing boxes in bulk. You can find a large variety of boxes for the most affordabe at www.Amazon.com/Boxes or www.USPS.com boxes that can be delivered to your door.
- FILLING AND CUSHIONING
Protecting your items from damage through bubble wrap filling and cushioning, without spending a ton of money, is also important. Fragile items may require bubble wrap or packing peanuts, but durable items don’t require much padding. You can invest in them at www.Amazon.com/Fillings
- LABEL PRINTER
While many people think an inkjet or laser printer is a less expensive option for shipping labels, I recommend a thermal label printer. These printers produce clear labels at higher speeds versus a laser or inkjet printer. Thermal label printers run a around two hundred dollars, or you can rent them for as little as a few dollars a week. Plus, with a thermal printer, you never have to worry about purchasing or running out of ink. Additionally, software like ShipStation offers the ability to batch create labels, which can literally save hours per day versus printing or handwriting labels one at a time. You can invest in your printing life saver for the most affordabe price at www.Amazon.com/LabelPrinter
- PACKAGING TAPE
Securing your shipment is important, and packing tape costs can add up. Discount retailers, and even the Dollar Store, offer quality packaging tape that works well. You can also get them online at www.Amazon.com/PackingTape
- TAPE MEASURE
Depending on the shipping carrier, the size of your shipment box can determine all or part of the shipping cost. Use a tape measure to calculate your item dimensions, and fit them in the box closest in size to save money. Don’t forget to allow room for packaging material. Here’s where I got my measuring tapes at www.Amazon.com/MeasuringTapes
- Of course, all these physical tools assume you’re using software like ShipStation and the other 4 recommended systems to sync your orders, create shipping labels, and update shipping information back to the customer and online sales channel. Once you add the tools and supplies above, you’ll get your shipping process working like a well-oiled machine. And you’ll save time and money, so that you can get back to what we think is the most dope part of your company: the business of selling your products!
If you need help building or setting anything up in your shipping department please let me know.
Thanks for reading. Also if you can please send me a quick email letting me know what you thought about this quick guide. All feedback definitely motivates me to continue to create and share more free content…or if you have any questions, please ask me those below, too.