A massive 96 percent of all Americans shop online, and the majority of them prefer e-commerce over brick-and-mortar stores. There are no crowds, no closing times, no grumpy cashiers. Unlike traditional retailers, though, you'll need to deal with logistics — the process of managing your inventory and shipping orders to customers. This is where things get a little tricky. Here are three e-commerce logistics mistakes you need to avoid.
Relying on just one shipping method can spell trouble for your e-commerce company. If your logistics company fails to deliver (literally), consumers will take their business elsewhere. It's that simple. After all, late shipping is a major pet peeve for consumers who shop online.
Currently, there's a shortage of drivers in the United States. Research suggests that, collectively, companies will need to hire one million new drivers in the next 15 years to meet consumer demand. This shortage will impact some delivery companies more than others, so it's a good idea to use more than one service provider.
When a logistic provider begins to have persistent issues, most of its customers will seek to move to a competitor. However, competitors may temporarily limit or even refuse to onboard new customers if the volume of new business will adversely impact its ability to serve its existing customers.
By having more than one active account relationship you ensure that you have options in the event one of your providers stops performing.
E-commerce merchants usually have access to three shipping methods: postal services (like USPS), parcel services (like FedEx and UPS), and LTL freight. Most merchants just use one or two of these.
As an e-commerce merchant, you probably sell products of all shapes and sizes, which makes calculating shipping costs a challenge. If you struggle with shipping, you're not the only one. Amazon lost $7.2 billion from shipping in 2016. They just weren't charging customers enough.
Remember, shipping costs are dependent on the size and weight of each package. Using a large cardboard box to send a small item like a book, for example, will only increase your costs.
The technology you use could be the root cause of this problem. Parcel apps and plugins (including those built into your e-commerce management platform) don't always take into account dimensional weight. As a result, you can't calculate shipping costs properly. Make sure you use an app that quotes shipping costs based on weight and size.
E-commerce should be a 24-hour operation. If you have a "call for a quote" button for services like LTL freight on your checkout page, customers will have to wait to hear back from you, which eliminates the open-all-hours benefit of online shopping. This often contributes to abandoned carts.
Using an app or plugin that provides accurate LTL freight quotes 24 hours a day will provide you with a solution. You can reduce cart abandonment rates and provide your customers with the information they need in real time at any time of the day or night.
Eniture Technology specializes in helping e-Commerce merchants grow by providing useful information, digital marketing services, off-the-shelf apps that solve common problems, and custom programming services. Please contact us if you need help growing your online business or implementing the concepts presented in this blog post.
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