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E-Commerce Shipping and Fulfillment Basics For Newbies

 December 23, 2014  /  Comments Off on E-Commerce Shipping and Fulfillment Basics For Newbies

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There are many reasons why it’s hard to imagine life without the internet. Aside from the fact that it’s an awesome way to research tons of topics, stay in touch with family members and friends, and also do online shopping, it’s also a convenient way to start a business as well.

If you’re someone who has recently gotten into the e-commerce industry and a big part of what you do consists of shipping out products that customers order directly from your site, this is an article you’ll want to read. That’s because it’s going to share with you some proven shipping and fulfillment basics for newbies that will have you looking like a pro in no time.

Make sure to check your inventory. One of the main reasons people like to shop online is because they can get what they want without ever leaving their house. However, after they place their order, they want to be confident that it will arrive within a decent amount of time (preferably within 7-10 business days unless it’s an international shipment). That’s why it’s so important to check your inventory on a weekly basis. Items that you don’t currently have available, make sure to state on your website that it will take longer for them to ship. That will avoid any confusion in the long run.

E-Commerce Shipping and Fulfillment Basics For Newbies

Batch orders together. One mistake that a lot of e-commerce business owners make when it comes to preparing their shipments is labeling each order as they come in. The problem with that is it takes up a lot of time that you could use on other duties. Thankfully, there is software that you can use that will print identifying information on a batch of labels all at one time. You can read more about this kind of software by going to Endicia and putting “batch printing” in the search field.

Research more than one carrier. Although you may automatically think that you should use a carrier that is close to your house or that you’re used to using (such as UPS or FedEx), the reality is that it’s actually a good idea to look into several carriers in your area before deciding on the company that will best suit your needs. For instance, there are a lot of people who prefer USPS for domestic shipping because it lets them track packages. Plus, the shipping is cheaper. For help on what questions you should be asking a potential fulfillment company, check out this free downloadable PDF from Red Stag Fulfillment.

Pay close attention to customs forms. If you happen to do quite a bit of international shipping, this means that you’re going to be required to fill out a customs form for each package. If you don’t fill it out completely or correctly, that can cause a major delay in your customer receiving their package (if they end up receiving it at all). So, definitely pay close attention to those forms as you’re filling those out. It’s tedious at times, but it’s very necessary.

Look into home shipping. Say that you spoke with a customer sales associate who works for a company like Shipper’s Supplies about another packing and shipping tip that you should keep in mind for your e-commerce business. Something that they might tell you is that you should consider doing more home shipping. It saves time and money when it comes to traveling back and forth to carrier companies, and it can help you to get more items out at one time too. For more information on home shipping, visit Made by Continuum and put “tips for home shipping” in the search field.

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