Having an efficient shipping and fulfillment system is very important to the success or failure of an online store. For example, many shoppers abandoned orders due to a shipping time shown that was too long or not provided at all, or sometimes, shoppers don’t like it when extra costs for shipping come up towards the end/checkout.
So, how can one deal with these issues? There are many aspects to this side of your business, you have many options to configure shipping, let's go through the framework of setting up a sound Shipping and Fulfillment process for an Online Store.
Understand your Business Model
The first step is to understand what type of business you want to start, is it dropshipping, a service, luxury products? The type of products greatly affects your shipping costs and conditions. Consider the following variables:
- The distance between the warehouse or seller (place to dispatch products) to the shipping address.
- Weight of the shipment.
- Depending on the type of goods, if it is something which can be easily damaged during the shipping process, there will be additional packaging charges for extra protection.
- Shipping charges may increase depending upon your product's worth. This will be different with different courier services.
Selecting Shipping Company
The most important part of setting up a good logistics system for your business is to select the right shipping companies to work with. Depending on where you are in the world, there can be different options for shipping, but the popular ones globally are:
If you are running a dropshipping store, then your supplier is taking care of the shipping. It is a good idea to validate the supplier first by ordering a single unit from them or even requesting a sample. Evaluate the packaging quality, time taken, and product health to determine if they will meet the desired standards. Lastly, make sure they do not end up including any of their own marketing material when shipping to your customers.
There are a few steps you can consider when handling shipping costs for your customers:
- Check the countries you are targeting for customers.
- Request your local shipping services or others that are located within the region of your warehouse/storage to get you a list of region codes and the rates per kilogram for those regions respectively.
- After you have narrowed down the suitable shipping companies, owners can negotiate rates to get discounts on volume shipping or event discounts for small businesses.
You can negotiate a better rate if you have an idea of how many shipments you’ll be sending out in a month. Some platforms, like UPS, also allow “Real-Time Rates”, which means the checkout is directly connected with UPS and the customer can get the exact rates from them.
Order Confirmation and Receipt
When you process payments send your customer a receipt of the transaction by email. If you are using a sales platforms like Amazon or eBay/ PayPal they will do this for you. For Portugal, for example, Jumpseller has integration with Invoicexpress which means that every time a new customer shops in your store, you can send them an invoice for their purchase. A carefree implementation.
How to set up Shipping with Jumpseller
On your admin panel you can access the shipping options by going under Settings > Shipping
Here you can set an "estimate" price of what the customer will have to pay to deliver the package from origin to the destination. You have 3 default shipping options to choose from:
UPS, Chilexpress, and other shipping services, which are also available options depending on your store’s country, define the estimated fees automatically which are later shown in your shopping cart.
If you have the Premium Plan with Jumpseller, you have the added advantage of using the Fulfillment option. Fulfillment helps the merchants to send the package to the client. UPS, ShipIT, CTT, etc, define the fees themselves automatically, through web services, so you never define the price. you just need to deliver it to the service or have the package picked up somewhere.
For Example: In Portugal, with the CTT fulfillment services, you can generate a label, paste it on the package and take it to a CTT post-office to have it delivered without any extra paperwork. In the future there will also be a CTT Pick Up Service, i.e, when you generate a label and paste in the package, you can request a package pickup and CTT will come to you to get the package.