Today, an estimated 24 million e-commerce sites are selling to customers locally or internationally. And that doesn’t count all the shops on websites like Etsy or Amazon.
If you’re one of these millions of e-commerce website owners, you’re definitely going to be familiar with the necessary headache of picking shipping carriers.
Designing your website, running your social media, sourcing or making your products… These are all fun aspects of your business. The shipping logistics, not so much.
We’re here to demystify the process for you with this quick guide to selecting a suitable carrier. So read on!
1. Product Type
The product shipping experience of a company matters more than you think. For example, some carriers specialize in shipping large products while others don’t have the capacity.
Some products also have special shipping requirements. For example, perhaps you need your products to arrive at their destination still frozen. Or maybe you have particularly fragile items.
You need to look at your inventory and compare what you need to ship with what the carrier is capable of.
If you have a small inventory with small products, you might be able to manage with flat-rate shipping via the US Postal Service. However, for oversized products or large volume orders, you’ll need to consider freight shipping options.
2. Reputation and Experience
Doing your research on different providers and carrier options is essential. For example, you can go here to learn more about what to expect from trucking companies.
Word-of-mouth remains one of the best ways to find a reliable shipping partner. Ask other e-commerce business owners in your network for their recommendations. Reading online reviews is another helpful way to get a list of potential freight forwarding partners together or narrow down a list.
At the end of the day, though, it comes down to what your customers trust. They’re the ones paying for it, after all. And they’re almost always going to want to see well-known names like FedEx, UPS, or USPS–or whatever shipping carrier options are popular in your country.
Comparing shipping costs is crucial when picking a suitable carrier for your e-commerce business.
First, take stock of the size and weight of the products you sell. Most carriers list their rates based on these figures, so you only need to visit their site to do basic comparison calculations. If your products don’t fit within the standard parameters, contact each carrier for a custom quote.
Don’t forget to consider the additional benefits offered by each carrier in your decision-making process. If you sign on as a long-term partner, you could get perks like free insurance, free package pick up, lower shipping rates, cash backs on late deliveries, and more.
Get It Right When Picking Shipping Carriers
If you don’t get it right when picking shipping carriers, you risk jeopardizing your success in the e-commerce business. In the age of Amazon, all your customers care about is how quickly, safely, and cheaply a product gets to them. So take your time reviewing potential carriers, and don’t be afraid to drop a company if they’re not serving you efficiently.
For more e-commerce business tips and tricks, browse the other articles on our website.