Key points:

  • SOPs are a set of instructions that detail a standardized process to create a consistent result
  • Creating a shipping SOP can help online stores improve efficiency, reduce errors and boost customer satisfaction. Combined, this can positively impact delivery timelines and generate sales
  • Easyship's cutting-edge shipping tools can help you streamline your shipping process, allowing you to effortlessly create effective SOPs that drive growth for your online store

Looking to create an SOP for your shipping process? This article breaks down a quick SOP definition and how to develop an effective shipping SOP for your online store. Plus explore our eCommerce shipping SOP best practices and find out how Easyship can help you streamline your store's shipping process, in just a few clicks.

What Does SOP Stand For in Business

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a set of instructions that outline the steps required to complete a specific process. For online stores, they can be particularly useful when shipping a large volume of orders in a short period to customers in a wide range of destinations. SOPs can create a detailed guide for your team to effectively ship products and ensure successful delivery.

SOPs can be crucial in eCommerce shipping as they provide structure to consistently reduce the odds of mistakes happening and double check each order goes through the same process. By creating a standardized workflow, your store can work more efficiently and effectively.

SOPs can also help to ensure that every product is shipped to the same standard, no matter who handles the order. This can help your store grow through some key benefits:

  • Consistency. SOPs create a standardized process that ensures consistency across all orders
  • Efficiency. A clear workflow can help your team work more efficiently
  • Less mistakes. SOPs help to reduce errors and delivery delays by providing a step-by-step guide to follow
  • Boosts customer satisfaction. A consistent and efficient shipping process will improve customer satisfaction for every order

How to Develop SOPs for Your Online Store

To develop effective SOPs for your online store, there are some key steps you can take to ensure the quality of every order is standard. Follow the quick breakdown below to start including quality control today:

Define Your Process

The first move is to identify the key steps in your shipping process that define a successful delivery. This can include:

  • Receiving the order
  • Preparing the product for shipment
  • Packaging the product
  • Passing the order over to your chosen carrier

Next, document the steps you have identified in the shipping process in a clear and concise manner. This can include creating written instructions, or a diagram to illustrate the steps. Creating flowcharts or diagrams can allow you to help visually represent the steps in your shipping process when writing the SOP. This can help make it easier for your team to complete tasks.

Establish SOPs

Creating a template for SOPs allows you to include necessary information breaking down the roles and responsibilities, procedures, guidelines and industry regulations to follow. Deciding the best format and structure of your SOPs will be heavily influenced by which style of learning your team best responds to.

Once you have developed your SOPs, you can start sharing training sessions with your team. This can include in-person training sessions, online modules, or creating a training manual to share. Encourage feedback and suggestions, this can help you increase the effectiveness of your SOPs and improvements can be made.

Once they are established, your store's shipping SOPs will need to be regularly reviewed to make sure every order is being shipped through the most effective process. Factors to consider when checking the effectiveness of your SOPs include tracking your store's on-time delivery rate, employee feedback, or major changes in your shipping process. Remember, any changes you make need to be communicated clearly.

Related post: The Warehouse Receiving Process: What You Need to Know


SOP Best Practices

There are some key best practices that can help you develop effective SOPs for your online store's shipping process. When creating a framework for your team to follow, consider the following factors:

  • Involve key stakeholders in the development of SOPs to ensure they are effective and practical to implement
  • Keep it simple and easy to understand. SOPs should be written in language that is easy for your team to follow and avoid any confusing terms
  • Check the SOPs can be scaled up or down, depending on demand.
  • Ensure the SOPs can be adapted to changes in your shipping process
  • Regularly review and update the SOPs to make sure they are effective and meeting your store's needs
  • Create an open and safe feedback system where your team can offer actionable suggestions and drive improvements

Create a Cutting Edge Shipping Process

SOPs can be crucial for online stores to ensure consistency, efficiency and customer satisfaction in the shipping process. The key steps in developing effective SOPs for your store include defining your current process, establishing SOPs, and constantly reviewing your workflow to ensure it remains effective.

While implementing SOPs may look like extra work, the core benefits make their creation a worthwhile investment for any eCommerce store. Arguably, what makes SOP creation potentially time-consuming is a complicated shipping workflow to break down. Easyship's cutting-edge shipping automation tools can help you hack the creation of a standardized and seamless delivery experience, in just a couple of clicks.

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Want to create shipping SOPs as simply as possible? Sign up for a FREE Easyship account today. Automating your shipping and fulfillment process allows you to focus on boosting sales and growing your online store