A poor shipping experience can detrimentally impact the effort you put into maintaining the quality of your products and services. If your customers do not receive their orders in great condition and by the expected deadline, your company may receive poor marks across the board, despite hitting targets in every other area. To avoid this situation and maintain your company’s positive reputation, you must follow a beneficial shipping model to get orders out to your clients fast and efficiently.
Identify Ideal Shipping Carriers
You have many options when it comes to select the best shipping careers for your online marketplace. The top shipping carriers in this realm include:
The average weight and dimensions of the orders you send out will help determine which shipping carrier can best meet your needs. If the packages you deliver to your customers are less than one pound, for example, the USPS may offer an ideal shipping rate and delivery promise for your orders. Oversized packages, on the other hand, are better handled and delivered by dedicated package delivery services, such as DHL and FedEx.
Negotiating Long Term Expenses
If you deliver a high volume of orders each year, you can potentially negotiate lower rates with your selected shipping carrier. Your total output must exceed their volume minimums to qualify for a discount. To negotiate a lower rate for Priority Mail shipping through USPS, for example, you must commit to sending over 5,000 packages a year.
Each carrier has their own volume qualifications to consider on your search for lower rates. Upon finding a program you qualify for, you will need to sign a Negotiated Service Agreement to lock in the discount rates for the year.
Consider Offering Free Shipping
After identifying your ideal shipping carrier and locking in your ideal rates, you must consider ways to pass your savings onto your customers. During the consideration period, it is important to remember that the leading online retailers tend to offer free shipping to their clients as an added bonus for shopping through their marketplace.
You can extend free shipping on orders above a certain monetary threshold or follow the Amazon Prime formula by creating a membership program. The added value of free shipping makes your marketplace stand out above the rest, so it is well worth the time and effort put into its development.
Following Through With More Options
On the checkout screen, make sure to give your clients several shipping options to choose from to best support their individual delivery needs. Multiple shipping options allows your clients to tailor the delivery date to a convenient time period by adjusting the associated fee. Giving your clients the ability to skip free shipping in favor of paid expedited delivery can give your marketplace an edge against the competition.
Clearly Communicating Expectations
Regardless of what you end up charging your clients for shipping, you must clearly communicate delivery expectations to avoid backlash that results in negative reviews. Make sure your clients receive clear information about the delivery date and time for their orders. Send a tracking number or allow tracking through your marketplace website to place delivery monitoring in your client's’ hands. If your clients contact you with shipping questions, complaints or concerns, immediately extend support their way to ease their worries.
Creating Your Ideal Shipping Model For Your Marketplace Platform
Although developing a shipping model for your online marketplace platform requires a lot of thought and planning, the benefits will pay out in dividends through reputation and profit increases. You can utilize CRM software to monitor the results of your shipping practices to determine how to improve your system in the future. Always take the time to review how your shipping model works for your marketplace platform and clients to determine if additional improvements are needed.