Recent lockdowns across the country have driven record parcel numbers, and with all important events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and of course, the end-of-year holiday season, fast approaching, now is the time to supercharge your ecommerce shipping and delivery.
ShipStation, together with Shopify Plus, has released a new whitepaper, The Ultimate Shipping Guide, to give your business the tools to stay in control of the shipping experience this peak season.
The Ultimate Shipping Guide will walk you through every aspect of effective and efficient fluffiest. From the cheapest way to ship, through to minimising errors and processing returns, the guide takes the guesswork out of fulfilment, shipping and delivery.
Understand Shipping as an Extension of your Brand
Despite the fact that your brand and your shipping carrier are separate entities, customers now see your brand and their shipping experience as one and the same.
If your shipping options fail to impress, you’ll be left with complaints, problems to solve, poor reviews, and a damaged brand image.
In fact, 70 percent of consumers say that a poor delivery or shipping experience negatively impacts their impression of the retailer rather than the carrier.
However, done right, your shipping can be a competitive advantage.
With this in mind, you should have a finely tuned check-out and post-purchase experience in place, both for yourself and for your customers.
The Ultimate Shipping Guide explores the three pillars of exceptional shipping – strong brand values, shipping transparency, and choice – right along with the skills you need to offer world-class shipping.
Align your Processes with Customer Values
Ecommerce empowers consumers to align their buying power with their values, and that extends to how they ship.
Consumers are willing to spend more to align their shopping habits with their values, and yet, high volume ecommerce brands can struggle to balance the demand for sustainable practices against the realities of packaging and shipping.
According to insights from The Ultimate Shipping Guide, consumers are willing to pay more for products and shipping if it aligns with their core values.
In addition, 62 percent of younger consumers prefer to shop for sustainable and green products and 82 percent of consumers as a whole said they would like their parcel packaging material to be recyclable.
ShipStation + Shopify Plus’ greater automation capabilities enables your brand to improve shipping efficiency, lower the number of shipments required to fulfil orders, and reduce those air and road miles. It can also help your brand connect with shipping partners who offer carbon-neutral deliveries, as well as local carriers who can help you keep things local.
Be Cost Transparent
When shopping online, shipping visibility and transparency now sits toward the top of consumers’ wishlist.
Retailers who want to optimise their checkout experience should include clear delivery windows and transparent shipping rates. Otherwise, consumers will abandon their cart and shop elsewhere to meet their shipping needs.
According to The Ultimate Shipping Guide, 86 percent of consumers want full visibility into expected shipping timeline before purchase, and 90 percent want the ability to select rates and speed during checkout.
As consumers’ expectations for visibility and transparency grow, merchants also need to update how they communicate their shipping and delivery process.
Communicating shipping at the checkout can help improve cart conversion, provide clarity and transparency around shipping, and increase consumer confidence in your brand.
The ShipStation + Shopify Plus integration enables businesses to implement automatic shipping updates after label creation, which transmits the carrier, tracking number, and shipping status both to the customer and back to ShipStation.
Offer Choice and Convenience
Consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of easy returns, customer loyalty programs, pickup points, and other novelty delivery options.
While most businesses added these shipping services in an effort to keep business going during lockdown, these services have now become an expected part of the e-commerce journey.
By remaining flexible, businesses will be better positioned to meet the changing demands of consumers, who are continually pushing the envelope in terms of brand expectations.
Shipping options such as delivery redirection, conversational commerce, and flexible payment, are now becoming standard.
In fact, according to The Ultimate Shipping Guide, 72 percent expect retailers to provide shipping and returns status updates via email.
The ShipStation + Shopify Plus integration allows special fields to be run via automation. Refunds, cancellations, and line-item changes can also be synced with every import, so you avoid shipping out unnecessary orders – cutting down both costs and waste.
You can also ensure your shipping experience is consistent across your multiple channels by bringing all of your orders into one place. From there, you can build out the best automation tools for you and your customers that enhance your brand.
Whether you’re just starting out or about to go global, there’s never been a better time to optimise your shipping process.
This holiday season, gain control over carrier rates, fulfilment, and delivery challenges with the help of ShipStation and Shopify Plus’ global shipping insights.
Download The Ultimate Shipping Guide from ShipStation and Shopify Plus to learn more.
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