Acquiring customers online can be a very tough task - and retaining them can be even tougher!
The online startup industry is a dog-eat-dog world, and with new companies popping up everyday, it's hard to maintain a toehold in the crowded market. To stay competitive, you need to have attention-grabbing out-of-the-box ideas that give your business an attractive and unique selling point. Offering good shipping is vital to eCommerce success, and in the battle to for customers, fast, reliable shipping is a a very enticing option. Same-day delivery, next day delivery, and 2-day delivery are just some of the most popular services available now.
Speedy delivery is so important that a recent report discovered that 61 percent of people making purchases online are willing to pay more for same-day delivery. In fact, same-day delivery is so commonplace now that 56 percent of young online shoppers expect to see it with all online retailers.
The importance of fast delivery is highlighted by the fact that 18 percent of consumers choose to use online stores based on fast delivery options like same-day delivery and next day delivery. In light of this, more than 50 percent of businesses are planning to offer these services within the next few years. But 51 percent of online businesses already offer same-day delivery, next day delivery and 2-day delivery options to their customers. So, if you want to get a slice of the big online retailing pie, you'll need to be quick about jumping on the bandwagon!
Same-day shipping vs. same-day delivery
As the name suggests, same-day delivery means customers will receive their packages on the same day that they order them. Next-day delivery means the package will arrive the day after ordering; while 2-day delivery means the order is delivered within two working days. The idea of speedy delivery is appealing for consumers, but it can be challenging for retailers to implement.
It's important not to confuse delivery with shipping. Same-day shipping means the package will be shipped on the same day the order is placed - but it does not specify the delivery day. The difference should be self-explanatory, but it's subtle and fools a lot of people.
Amazon has raised the barwith its Amazon 2-day shipping service. Because of same-day shipping and Amazon 2-day shipping, customer expectations are rising and competition has become increasingly tough. However, since this service is handled by region, it's not available for all items.
Same-day shipping by Amazon is also a great service for fast delivery. If you place your order in the morning before 12pm, you will recieve your package by 9pm on the same day, and all at reasonable delivery charges. Amazon offers these services in virtually all major metropolitan areas.
Here are 10 Shipping Strategies for Faster Delivery
Now that we have established the importance of fast delivery for an eCommerce business, let’s discuss some ideas for how you can implement it.
1. Automate your fulfillment process
Automation is key for streamlining your business, particularly when it comes to warehouse management and shipping. By automating your processes, you can easily deal with inventory management, creating an order, gathering all the shipping documents, and fulfilling your orders.
To ensure fast delivery, all these processes should be linked so that each step is traceable and becomes simple and efficient. Even if you have different software and systems for each step, integrating everything makes the whole process easier.
2. Reduce shipping options
Although it may seem like offering a variety of shipping options will help you cater to a wider range of customers, when it comes to same-day or next-day shipping, having too many options can quickly become a pain for your business.
Fewer options mean that you have easy shipping solutions ready to go, ensuring your customers get their orders, fast. With just a few options, preparing your orders for shipping becomes a lot easier.
3. Efficient and well-trained staff
Even if you have the best automated systems available, poorly-trained staff can ruin it all for you. Slow, error-prone staff members can slow your process and disrupt fulfillment, so much so that your business can be seriously hampered.
Efficient, well-trained staff can do just the opposite. They will not only get your orders out faster, but they'll keep your shipping going like a well-oiled machine!
4. Outsource fulfillment if possible
Combine your packing and shipping processes into one seamless flow. A fulfillment center can help you carry out both processes in one go. Logistics companies are experienced in carrying out packing and shipping in a fast, professional manner. They'll also organize tracking and documentation so that you don't have to worry about it.
Although it may seem that outsourcing is an expensive affair, it’s a very feasible and affordable option. The efficiency it provides makes it all worthwhile.
5. Be well prepared for in-house fulfillment
If you decide to do in-house fulfillment then you should have a proper process in place along with all the necessary arrangements. Get the packing materials in advance. Arrange a dedicated space for packing and storing. And don't forget to get a label printer for all your orders! If you can automate all of this, even better - after all, automation practically guarantees accuracy and speed!
6. Group shipments
Combining shipments into one unit will save you time and effort, and shipping can potentially be cheaper and faster, too. So, if you’re shipping internationally to a warehouse or a logistics company for last mile delivery, you're probably better off grouping your shipments.
7. Build a rapport with your shipping company
Stay in touch with your courier company. Build a connection with their customer service representatives and understand how they work. Along the way, you'll probably also pick up some tips for reducing your shipping costs and speeding up the process.
8. Hire staff instead of doing everything yourself
Don’t try to do every task yourself just to save a few bucks. It’s impossible to do everything yourself and to an acceptable standard. Take a big-picture view and see that a little extra help goes a long way - don't be afraid to delegate!
9. Be responsive
Be responsive, not just with your customers but also with your warehouse, fulfillment center, and shipping company. Speedy communication will ensure that you can better solve problems and handle crises. Interacting with your courier company can also help you get better service and delivery times, and you'll be able to track your shipments at every stage and provide better customer service.
10. Clear customs in advance
For international shipping, you should use online custom clearance in advance. Many countries let you declare your items online before they're shipped out. Your package can then easily go through customs at its destination, saving a lot of time.
Offer Fast Delivery for Your Customers!
Fast delivery in the form of same-day delivery, next day delivery and 2-day delivery are now commonly offered by eCommerce businesses to gain and retain customers. Competition is tough, so small businesses need to go above and beyond to satisfy their customers. It's a challenge, but it's easier to achieve than you think and if you get it right, the results are worth all the pain.
Easyship can be your partner for fast delivery. We offer more than 250 shipping solutions with shipping rate discounts of up to 70 percent. We also have a network of partner warehouses globally to make international shipping easy and quick. Sign up today to explore fast delivery options around the world!