How to Choose a Shipping Company for Your E-Business
If you run an e-business, shipping is obviously a huge part of your strategy. That means you have to choose the right shipping partner to keep your customers happy. Question: how do you know which shipping company is best for you, especially when there are so many of them to choose from?
First off, find out where they ship. This may sound obvious, but there are other things to consider. For example, if you’re selling internationally and most of your shipments are overseas, put more weight on international rates as you choose a provider. In the same way, base your choice on domestic rates if your shipments are mostly local.
Time and Convenience
Price is a key issue when choosing your shipping partner, but definitely, it’s not the only one. Time is cash, so be sure your carrier is convenient enough. For example, are they going to come and pick up your packages or do you have to go to their facility? If they do pick-ups, are they usually on schedule? Are they reliable overall?
As most of us know, some items for delivery can be hazardous – for instance, chemicals – and special care must be provided to ensure safety during handling. Most probably, there will be special charges too, while others don’t work with such items at all. Before choosing a carrier, consider the things you normally shop and find out if the company you’re considering has no problems shipping those.
Shipping providers have varying rates, and you have to ask about pricing based on volume. If your business is currently small, for example, but you intend to scale up big time within the next year or two, don’t choose a company that will be too expensive until your business has grown.
Speaking of expanding your business, you want a carrier that can expand with you. Finding a good shipping provider isn’t always easy, and you don’t want to have to repeat the entire search process when you need a bigger carrier. So before you hire anyone, make sure they are ready to accommodate your bigger needs when the time comes.
As we have mentioned, shipment plays a huge role in your e-business, but especially in satisfying your customers. Remember, if your shipping partner bungles up, your business goes down with it. So before you hire any carrier, research their reputation in terms of meeting deadlines. You want to don’t want to compromise on this one, lest your own reputation suffers.
Lastly, take note that customers nowadays expect a lot from businesses they transact with. So if they buy from your e-store, they will want to know how exactly their package is doing, where it is at a particular point, and very importantly, when it will arrive at their door. Thus consider a shipping partner that has a solid order tracking platform, which isn’t only for the satisfaction of the customer anyway. You can also use it for your own protection through accurate, real-time documentation.