Amazon Prime Same-Day delivery now covers more than 30% of the country, Shopify has just announced its two-day fulfilment network, eBay’s hiding expensive delivery options, and you’re still rocking last year’s shipping speeds. If you feel like a fish out of water when it comes to eCommerce shipping, read on, as we uncover the top eCommerce shipping best practices for 2019.
What is fast shipping and why does it matter
Fast shipping includes shipping options that range from two days to 14 minutes and eight seconds. Apart from being a newsworthy story, fast shipping is essential to your eCommerce business because:
– Customers now expect fast shipping as standard; and
– Your competitors are now offering fast shipping as standard.
To put it simply: if you don’t offer fast shipping, your customers will head to someone who does.
Fast shipping best practices for 2019
But, it’s one thing offering fast shipping, and another thing achieving fast shipping – especially when Amazon keeps raising the bar. Luckily, we’ve rounded up the top fast shipping best practices for 2019 – providing the ultimate hacks for delivering the ultimate speeds. Let’s crack on:
#1 – Inventory management
Before taking items off of the shelves, let’s first consider the items on the shelf. Good inventory management is the cornerstone of best practice shipping. Why?
– It tells your sales channel(s) how much stock you have to sell – so you’re not trying to ship items that don’t currently exist in your warehouse;
– It tells you where your sold stock is located – so your warehouse staff aren’t wasting time searching for products; and
– It tells you when to order new stock to sell – so that you have more orders to ship.
And it gets even better. Inventory management software is now affordable and straightforward to use – even for small businesses. Automatically syncing stock across sales channel(s) to provide you with an up-to-date overview, inventory management software is not just best practice – it’s a no brainer.
Top tip: Find the best inventory management software for your business, with our helpful guide.
#2 – Order management
Next up, is how you manage your orders – specifically how you get them from the screen to the door. Order management can be one of the biggest time leaks in your fulfilment process – delaying picking, packing and delivery. Streamline your order management by:
– Using multi-channel management software to download multi-channel sales orders in real time;
– Having an accessible computer in the warehouse for staff to work on these orders; and
– Having a person responsible for updating orders.
#3 – Warehouse management
When was the last time you reorganised your warehouse? Reduce the time it takes to get an order from the screen to the door with these simple warehouse management hacks:
– Learn and understand the importance of SKUs and then implement them in your warehouse to make picking quicker and easier;
– Reorganise your warehouse so that it follows your fulfilment flow (computer > pick > pack > door); and
– Use your inventory management system’s reports to help you identify slow-moving stock and then either put it into the sale or out of the way.
#4 – Bulk print everything
Ok, not everything, but bulk printing saves a lot of time and a lot of finger ache. Use a system that integrates your shipping carriers with your sales channel(s) so that you can:
– Bulk print pick lists;
– Bulk print pack lists;
– Bulk print invoices; and
– Bulk print shipping labels.
It’s the 21st century, after all.
#5 – Bulk upload tracking details
And the bulk work doesn’t stop there. Adding tracking details to your orders is eCommerce customer service 101 (keeping them happy, informed and out of your inbox) – but it can be time-intensive. With Expandly, you can quickly and easily upload tracking numbers to your sales channel(s).
#6 – Outsource if it’s not for you
Perhaps the biggest game-changer of them all is knowing that outsourced fulfilment is no longer reserved for the big players. eCommerce businesses of any size can save time, money and hassle with the right fulfilment company. Take our logistics partner Synergy, Retail Support for example – they use Expandly to offer their SMBs access to their fast fulfilment network, without the onboarding costs associated with a larger retailer.
Making the most of fast shipping
Once you’ve implemented these top delivery tips into your eCommerce business, then you can take advantage of fast shipping programs, increase conversion rates and gain better customer reviews. But more on that another time – for now, we’ll let you get on perfecting your shipping. Enjoy!
Expandly multi-channel management software makes fast shipping easy across multiple sales channel(s). See for yourself with a free demo.