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Print Posted By Ecommerce Exchange on 10/11/2017 in Ecommerce

Ecommerce Experts Offer Seasonable Shipping Advice

Ecommerce Experts Offer Seasonable Shipping Advice

Fulfillment and shipping are critical components to achieve ecommerce success. Amazon has raised consumer expectations and set the bar for shipping and delivery times, leaving most online sellers scrambling to come up with expedited fulfillment strategies.

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, Greg Ng, VP of digital engagement at PointSourceShippingEasy CEO Katie May, and Cody DeArmond, manager of user acquisition for ShipStation were interviewed by E-Commerce Times reporter Vivian Wagner to offer ways that Internet businesses can keep pace with ever-increasing consumer expectations for instant gratification from their ecommerce transactions.

Here are a few things they suggested to help etailers step up the performance of their order fulfillment operations.

Offer Speedy Delivery

The faster you can get your goods out the door and into your customers' hands, the better. Consumers increasingly expect their purchases to arrive quickly, and they're drawn to two-day, next-day and even same-day shipping offers.

"Right now, Amazon has set the bar with same-day shipping, whether retailers like it or not," noted PointSource's Greg Ng.

"Expectations for shipping speed are rapidly changing, and retailers may need to make updates to their digital experience and backend supply chain so that they can keep up," he told the E-Commerce Times. "That may mean working with third-party suppliers, distributors and technologies that can ensure a more accurate, seamless and speedy delivery process."

Offering speedy shipping options -- especially if they're free or low-cost -- is where the world of e-commerce is headed, and the sooner online merchants can adapt to this reality, the better.

"While the future of shipping is uncertain, it's obvious that higher expectations and faster delivery are here to stay," he said.

Ship From or To Your Store

For e-commerce businesses that also have a brick-and-mortar presence, shipping from or to the store can be appealing to consumers.

"With consumers turning to both offline and online commerce touchpoints, each channel must be relevant in unique ways to shoppers, and shipping is a huge part of that," said Ng. "Allowing same-day or next day shipping after buying in store -- or vice versa, buy online and pick up at store -- is one way that we are seeing retailers update their options."

Offering these kinds of options isn't necessarily a simple matter, since it involves making sure that your products are available to ship according to the timeline provided to the customer, either in the store or online.

"This requires better logistics and supply chain data, but ultimately it could provide more value to the customer by giving them a consistent experience no matter where they shop, allowing them to make purchases in ways that are convenient to them without extra fees," explained Ng.

Get Outside Help

Outsourcing shipping-related tasks might seem unnecessary, particularly for e-commerce retailers just starting out. Making use of the services of companies that assist in shipping, however, can be a lifesaver, since the complex, demanding, and ever-changing world of shipping is often best navigated by professionals.

Let's face it: If you get help with shipping, you'll free up time to make or source your products, market your business and find new customers.

"By simplifying the shipping process, e-commerce retailers can concentrate on what they love most -- building their business," said Katie May, CEO of ShippingEasy.

With a shipping service, online merchants can get the help of a dedicated support team, along with discounted shipping rates, instant label printing, and other benefits.

"If a customer is an experienced shipper with a warehouse and thousands of packages to get out the door, ShippingEasy provides full automation across everywhere they sell and every shipping carrier," May told the E-Commerce Times.

Getting help with shipping is, most importantly, a time-saver.

"When you don't waste hours each day copying and pasting addresses and tracking numbers, or shipping orders one by one, you can spend a lot more time developing new products and getting the word out about your brand," said Cody DeArmond, manager of user acquisition for  ShipStation

"Putting a scalable, automated process in early means that your success isn't dependent on one person who holds all the shipping knowledge," he told the E-Commerce Times, "and that you will be ready for any amount of orders that come in."

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