How to Optimize Your Shipping Process Workflow
When it comes to e-commerce, a well optimized shipping workflow is a cog that must work perfectly, both when you have few orders and when they start to increase.
It is not just about meeting customers’ expectations, who are becoming more and more demanding, but also about working while keeping everything under control.
In today’s article we will see how to optimize the workflow of ecommerce logistics with some small but fundamental expedients. But first let’s make a brief overview of what happens when you receive an online order.
The anatomy of an ecommerce shipping workflow
It’s 9 o’clock on a sunny morning and you’ve just started working. Not even the time for a coffee and the first orders begin to arrive. 1, 2, 5, 10 purchases on your ecommerce and the first thing to check is the actual availability of the products.
Do you manage the warehouse and the supply of objects by yourself? Or have you outsourced everything to third parties? Either way, you have to control that everything flows super efficiently.
Moreover, when you receive an order, you must see whether your customer lives abroad and you need an international shipment, or if he or she has chosen a very fast delivery that requires an equally fast fulfillment.
At this point, as the purchased items begin to be carefully packaged, you need to update availability and request new quantities from your supplier.
Between an email and an invoice, the packaging and a newsletter to send, the afternoon arrives: have you already made agreements with the carriers in charge of collecting and shipping the items? Do you know if the next collection will coincide with the delivery of one or more returns?
Keeping the workflow of ecommerce shipments under control requires time and energy that are subtracted from the sales and marketing phases. But there are ways to optimize the steps we just described.
How to improve your ecommerce logistics workflow?
A manageable workflow is closely related to the relationship with your customers.
In fact, if when they are about to buy a product they find unclear delivery options, lack of return rules or they don’t know if they will receive the tracking of their order, they could buy and send you worried emails or even make a return complaining to you for poor support.
According to this study, 58% of online buyers would like to consult clear return rules, without misunderstandings, while this other research shows how unexpected shipping costs are the main reason for cart abandonment from US users.
The workflow of ecommerce logistics therefore has a direct impact not only in terms of time and energy that you and your team devote to the manual operations of supply, packaging, entrusting to carriers, but it is even connected with the decision to buy on your ecommerce.
Find out how to optimize your entire ecommerce shipping management process with some practical tips!
Set up your shipping rules
What are the costs of national and international deliveries? Do you rely on multiple carriers with very different rates? Do you offer 24-hours or in any case very fast shipments?
Your customers should quickly find on your ecommerce any information about the shipping methods at their disposal. Check out this guide to learn more about the different shipping options you can offer.
First of all, however, your ecommerce shipping workflow needs to run smoothly and allow you to keep all your promises.
For example, it is better not to offer fast international shipments if you have not already turned to a very reliable carrier.
Another example is with free shipping – you should always check that it is not an excessive cost to you due to surcharges and unexpected carrier rates.
Use an automated shipping label generator
Preparing a package for a shipment requires a large number of manual steps, including filling out correctly and applying the shipping label.
As long as it’s just a few labels a day you can manage all the orders yourself in a simple way, but what happens when the orders increase, they come from different marketplaces, and you have to ship with multiple carriers?
Think how much time you would save with software that automatically generates shipping labels, greatly speeds up the workflow and avoids manual transcription errors.
ShippyPro Label Creator has exactly this function: it imports all your orders on a single dashboard and allows you to print hundreds of customized labels in just a few clicks.
Mitigate the time sink of receiving returns
Returns represent a considerable cost, not only in economic terms.
Of course, customers increasingly want free returns. But to optimize all the steps of ecommerce logistics, you must also think about when you will receive the return and will finally put your product back on sale.
To speed up these steps, it might be very useful to include a prepaid return label inside the package you ship, or let the customer print it easily through a customized return portal embedded on your site.
All this is possible thanks to ShippyPro Easy Return, the ecommerce returns software that avoids waste of time and transforms returns into new sales opportunities.
Offer shipping notifications and tracking to your customers
A customer constantly informed about the status of his order is a satisfied customer who appreciates your assistance and will not send you complaint emails.
For you, this represents a significant time saving, less worries and the chance to devote yourself to managing your store’s shipments without interruption.
If such a picture today seems to you just science fiction, it could soon be reality.
How? Thanks to ShippyPro Track & Trace feature, which allows you to track every single shipment and send customized notifications from the moment the package leaves your warehouse until the carrier rings the customer’s doorbell.
Offer multiple delivery options during Checkout
In order to meet the needs of customers with an increasingly frenetic life and stressful rhythms, you need fast shipments that arrive at their destination in the blink of an eye.
Offering customers a large number of delivery options at Checkout will allow you to get many more conversions.
For a buyer, in fact, having pickup points such as tobacconists, lockers, warehouses available or being able to compare the shipping rates of different carriers to choose the most convenient is a great advantage.
For example, think of those who are always traveling for work or those who wish to collect their order calmly, between one errand and another.
Even in this case there is nothing utopian in the solution that ShippyPro makes available to you. With ShippyPro Live Checkout, you can improve the customer delivery experience (and your shipping workflow) by showing the most convenient shipping rates and an updated map of pickup points.
A shipping software that supports you from A to Z
As you can see, shipping quickly and easily and optimizing your workflow is possible thanks to a shipping software that assists you from the moment you receive the order until the much desired object is in the hands of the customer. And even later, in case of returns.
Try ShippyPro’s most advanced feature for free. To get started, all you need to do is:
- Create a ShippyPro account.
- Try Label Creator, Track & Trace, Easy Return and Live Checkout features for free.
- Choose the plan that suits you best.
Sign up now!