The delivery experience is one of the last customer touchpoints, and it’s crucial for small businesses to get it right on the first try.
Unlike big box stores or major marketplaces, most SMBs do not have the luxury of having control of their own logistics network. Instead, they must partner with a variety of postal and express courier services to reach their customers, and in many cases, their customers will have to foot the bill for the shipping costs.
Customer expectations on eCommerce delivery have changed dramatically over the past decade, with many consumers conditioned to receive fast, flexible, and free shipping.
While offering both fast and free shipping is not feasible for many SMBs, they can appease customers by offering solutions that, while paid, provide real value and is worth the cost of shipping.
Implement your shipping strategy with rules
The shipping rule feature on Easyship allows you to save your shipping preferences on the dashboard. Think of it as setting up a processing shortcut for your shipping strategy so you can avoid manually choosing specific solutions for shipments that meet a certain criteria.
Shipping rules are incredibly useful if:
- You have strong preferences for certain shipping methods
- You ship to particular destinations often
- You would like certain solutions to be available based on the items that your customer has chosen.
Here are some suggestions for shipping rules that can enhance your shipping strategy, build trust with new customers, and exceed delivery expectations for every customer.
1. Use a trusted courier for specific shipping destinations
Let’s face it - not all places are easy to ship to.
Latin America is a good example. While countries like Brazil are very open to cross-border eCommerce, unfortunately receiving items from overseas can be quite challenging due to high import tax rates, possibility of theft, and longer delivery times.
Here are some solutions for shipping to Brazil:
While USPS Priority Mail Express International has the shortest delivery lead time, it can be extremely pricey at $75.20. While the other USPS solution is at half the price, it only offers basic tracking. At a dollar cheaper, and with regular tracking, the SkyPostal solution is looking nice.
If you’d like this solution to be chosen for all shipments to Brazil moving forward, you can set up a shipping rule to ensure all future Brazil-bound shipments are processed with SkyPostal.
To do this on the Easyship dashboard, go to Shipping Rules. Under Shipment Conditions, choose “Destination Country is”, and in the next dropdown, choose “Brazil”. If there are other countries in Latin America that you’d like to use SkyPostal for, you can also choose additional countries.
Once you press Save Condition, under Action, choose “Prefer this courier”, then “SkyPostal - International Parcel”. Then click Save Action.
To seal the deal, click the Create button, and you’re all set!
2. Automatically include insurance for high value items
Let’s say that you sell many different items at varying price ranges. Some are a lot pricier than others, so you’d prefer that additional shipping insurance is purchased should damages, loss, or theft occur.
It’s useful to note that some couriers offer automatically cover items that are valued at $100 USD and below. If your item is valued above this amount, including insurance can minimize losses and provide a better customer experience should there be issues with delivery.
To create this shipping rule, choose the condition “Customs value is”, and in the next drop down, enter the amount that will qualify the shipment for added insurance.
Under Action, choose “Insurance”, “Always include insurance”, then the Create button to save.
3. Choose solutions with frequent tracking for difficult destinations
Some countries may be difficult to ship to because of bad infrastructure, while others pose challenges due to heavy populations, long distances, inefficient customs processing, or risks of theft.
In these cases, it may be best to use solutions that offer excellent tracking to minimize losses and to keep your overseas clientele updated on their shipment.
All you need to do is choose your destination countries (in this example we’ll use China, India, and Russia), then in Action, choose “Use courier with tracking”, and in the next drop down, choose your preferred quality range (either “Excellent” or “Regular to Excellent”).
4. Pre-pay tax and duties for seamless overseas deliveries
If you are shipping to destinations where tax and duty will apply to your shipment, you can expedite the customs clearance process by accepting payment for these requirements at checkout.
While this will increase the shipping costs upfront, it will lessen the chances of the package being held in customs, causing delays in delivery and resulting in a negative customer experience.
Pre-paying tax and duties can also reduce the risk of your customer abandoning the shipment in customs due to unforeseen processing costs, minimizing the losses you may incur if you had to send the shipment back or have it destroyed at customs.
To set up this rule on Easyship, you can choose the condition “Destination country is”, then choose your countries.
In action, choose “Taxes and duties”, and in incoterms, choose “Pre-paid (Sender)”.
5. Use flat rate solutions for shipments over a certain weight
Flat rate solutions can help you save money if you’re shipping items that are heavy and can fit snugly in your courier’s flat rate box.
If you’ve calculated the weight needed to break-even in your cost savings, you can use this information to create a shipping rule that will ensure a flat rate solution is chosen whenever your shipment reaches a certain weight.
Under Shipment Conditions, choose “Shipment weight is”, then “greater than or equal to” and your weight of choice.
After saving the condition, go to Actions and choose “Prefer this courier”, then choose your flat rate solution from the dropdown.
Boost Your Customers’ Shipping Expectations
The above examples are just a few of many shipping rules you can save on our dashboard to ensure you always get the solutions that you want your shipments to have. While it may take some time to think about your preferences and set up the rules, once it’s done you can rest easy knowing that you’re doing shipping your way!