Your choice of shipping services comes down to your operational needs, budget, and potential business growth.
For your business to succeed, choosing the right shipping partner is critical. Whether in the manufacturing or eCommerce sector, having the right courier and shipping partner can make your business very profitable.
Delivery forms a huge part of customer experience because it is their first interaction with your brand. These days, customers are used to getting free shipping for online purchases. It may be easy for large businesses to do this, but small businesses may struggle.
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Even without free delivery, you can still make a good impression if you meet buyers’ shipping expectations. Successful businesses use reputable shipping services to meet their customer needs. To guarantee a swift and safe delivery, you must choose a shipping partner that matches your delivery needs.
To help you with the decision-making process, we designed this guide to show you what to look out for in a reputable shipping service. We believe that it will assist you in making the right choice for your business needs.
Things To Consider Before Choosing a Shipping Partner
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Logistics, packaging and, shipping are the backbone of successful businesses. Choosing the right one is a big deal and a careful decision. Many businesses operate online these days.
So, it is important to have the best partners, technology, and services to serve your customer needs. Your packaging and shipping partners are ambassadors of your business.
The reason is that a good service will boost customer satisfaction. On the other hand, bad service may ruin your business reputation.
So, here’s what to look out for when making a decision:
Money will always be a huge factor. Just as your business works with a budget, so do buyers. So, your shipping service may either increase or reduce the cost of the service you will pass on to your customers.
63% of buyers said that high shipping costs made them abandon their carts in a recent survey. Another 36% abandoned their carts because their orders took forever to ship.
As of March 2021, about 80% of online orders were abandoned. This means that they were not converted to a sale. Despite this, there is still a global increase in eCommerce conversions.
So, when choosing a carrier, it is important to compare pricing models and pick the best fit for your business. Yet, it is unwise to make a decision on price alone.
The cheapest service may not be the best for you. Instead, you need a low price for your buyers but high enough to cover overhead costs.
Or, consider reducing your product packaging to reduce the weight of shipped items.
2. Industry Experience
One of the first things to investigate is whether the shipping service is reliable and experienced. Carrying out an investigation, in the beginning, is worth the effort.
Whatever business you do, you need a shipping company that has a good reputation and has worked with businesses like yours in the past. A reliable shipping company guarantees smooth delivery.
It further reduces the weight of customer satisfaction from your shoulders. This way, you can position your company in the right light and build a positive reputation.
Transparency is key in running your business operations. So, you will need a shipping company that carries you along every step of the way.
Your customers will also appreciate being informed about their shipment status. Only a shipping company with solid industry experience can give you all these.
3. Check For Their Shipping Conditions
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Good packaging protects delivery items throughout the shipping journey. Buyers want to get their items in good conditions and will patronize a business that can deliver.
So, it can even guarantee you repeat orders from customers. There are many options for packaging your items.
It all depends on your requirements for temperature and insulation. So, a good shipping company must have different shipping conditions for different items.
Too high or low temperatures can affect the appearance of the packaging materials. Other factors are dust, odors, dirt, etc.
A good shipping company ensures that packages are in good condition throughout the journey. Before choosing one, make sure they understand the packaging guidelines for your goods.
For example, frozen foods need foam packages and insulated containers. Also, proper cushioning prevents damage due to shock during shipping.
4. Customer Service
Before choosing a service provider, do a background check. Look out for reviews or call them to see how helpful and friendly they are.
Ask for insurance options and a contact person for emergencies. Also, find out the best hours to reach them.
There is nothing worse than tracking a lost package and dealing with an unresponsive shipping agency. So, you need a company you can trust that has your business interest at heart.
Some things you should look out for are 24/7 Live support, email support, and over-the-phone support. If anything goes wrong, the buyer may pay the price of bad delivery, which will not reflect your growing brand well.
So, ensure that the shipping company allows the tracking of products. Customers like transparency and often like to monitor the progress of their purchases.
Try to provide updates when necessary to improve your customer service.
5. Consider Your Products, Buyers, and Competition
Before dealing with a shipping company, you must have specific priorities and requirements. First, consider your buyers, competition, and product.
How much are your customers willing to pay for shipping? How soon do they need your products?
Ask yourself certain questions about your products. How big, expensive, and heavy are they? How many items do you plan to ship every week, and what is their weight?
All these questions will help you determine which shipping company suits your needs.
Your competition is also another place to look at. Find out their delivery options and the services they provide. You may even place an order with a rival business to see what the experience is like.
Through this, you can determine what works, what doesn’t, and how you can perform better.
6. Speed and Delivery Range
Speed is a major selling point for businesses around the world. Statistics have shown that 42% of buyers prefer same-day delivery.
Some will even pay higher just to get their items the same day. Yet, you don’t have to do same-day or next-day delivery for all your deliveries.
Instead, collaborate with the shipping company to offer that service at a premium shipping price. So, customers may get free or cheaper shipping if they are not in a hurry. Then, if they want a faster option, they will have to pay an extra cost.
Delivery range is also an important consideration in choosing a shipping company to work with. If you deliver products within a small distance, consider using a local courier.
A local shipping company will know the area better and is a cheaper option than a large shipping company. Suppose you send products over a long distance or you plan to expand your business overseas.
In that case, consider shipping companies that have an international network and a good reputation overseas.
7. Consider Third-Party Logistics Providers (3PLs)
If you are trying to reduce shipping fees, consider using a third-party service provider. A 3PL is a specialist company that handles distribution, storage, and transportation.
How this works is simple. First, you send your products to the company which stores them until there is an order.
Even when your products in storage are reducing, the company will call you to supply more, and it maintains inventory. These logistics providers receive requests from buyers to buy your goods.
After receiving the request, they pick the item from storage, package it, and load it for shipping. With this type of service, you don’t need to run around to meet all your customer needs.
Handling your products' loading, pick-up, and delivery can be draining. So, it is often better to outsource it to a dedicated company.
As a bonus point, the fewer hands your products go through, the better. It reduces the risk of getting damaged or lost.
8. Look Into Multi-Carrier Options
We get that loyalty is important, but sometimes, it’s safer to have options. There are a lot of uncertainties in the business world that a buyer may not see or understand.
So, to prevent late or missing deliveries, don’t stick to one shipping company. Outsourcing to different carriers will reduce the total cost of your shipments.
It also increases the range of your delivery and gives you options to work with. The more shipping companies you work with, the more you can negotiate favorable rates.
It also widens your customer base because you can now deliver to places one carrier cannot reach.
What is ShipBob?
ShipBob is a third-party logistic service (3PL) that makes the delivery process simple for businesses. It is a tech-enabled service that works with eCommerce businesses to automate the delivery process.
What this means is that ShipBob is a software that handles logistics and shipping once a buyer makes an online purchase. It offers same-day or at least two-day deliveries.
As a producer, you can use this service to reduce shipping costs and transportation times.
Some of the services ShipBob offers are:
- Air, Ground, and Container shipping
- Inventory management and optimization
- Notifications and alerts
ShipBob is compatible with Android, iPhones, and iPads. It is also Cloud, Saas, and Web-Based.
The shipping service provides a 24/7 representative for phone, email, and chat support/help desk. As an all-in-one service, it increases conversion rates because of its affordable delivery services.
See it as a back-office for your logistics. ShipBob allows you to manage your orders and track stock levels across their various fulfillment centers. It also sends notifications if you need to reorder inventory.
If you are looking for packaging and shipping solutions, you are in luck. Arka now has a ShipBob integration through which you can order custom packaging, which is then sent to ShipBob.
In the past, when you ordered custom packaging, you would need a product record created in ShipBob. Now, with the Arka/ShipBob integration, you don’t need to worry about doing it yourself anymore.
Once you complete your order with Arka, it is sent out immediately.
What Type of Business Used ShipBob
ShipBob is a good fit for growing businesses. As your brand grows and you look forward to expanding, you may need to outsource some services.
You don’t want to be the person storing hundred or thousands of packages in your house and handling delivery yourself. Once your business starts getting a high volume of orders, consider moving to a 3PL like ShipBob.
It takes between three to four weeks to set up the whole process. They will distribute your products to various warehouses to make shipping easier.
Since it stores packages while waiting for orders, it is not fit for perishable items.
How To Set Up Your Arka Integration With ShipBob
Here’s how to set up your integration:
- First, visit the Arka integration page
- Next, click “Connect to ShipBob.”
- Log in with your ShipBob password
- Name the installation “Arka” and click “Allow” to give consent
- Go ahead to order your custom packaging from Arka as usual
- From the cart, choose which ShipBob fulfillment center you want to send the package to. The address is automatically generated.
- Complete your order
- Once your order is complete, you will see the item labeled “arka-xxxx” on your products page.
- You will also see a new Warehouse Receiving Order on the WRO page
- Finally, mark the item as a custom box
For any support-related inquiries, contact Arka Support.
Your choice of shipping services comes down to your operational needs, budget, and potential business growth. Finding a reliable company to work with can affect how efficient your business will be.
Since there is a current eCommerce boom, your business needs to be on top of its game. So, consider the tips in this article in choosing the company that is right for your type of business.