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3 steps to make your shipping a competitive advantage

With more consumers shopping online than ever before, thanks in part to the pandemic, which has seen more than 80 per cent go online to buy, it’s more important than ever to have the right shipping process in place. 

Despite the fact that your brand and your shipping carrier are separate entities, customers now see your brand and their shipping experience as one and the same.

If your shipping options fail to impress, you’ll be left with complaints, problems to solve, poor reviews, and a damaged brand image. 

In fact, 70 per cent of consumers say that a poor delivery or shipping experience negatively impacts their impression of the retailer rather than the carrier. 

However, if done right, your shipping can be a competitive advantage.  

ShipStation, together with Shopify Plus, has released The Ultimate Shipping Guide, to give your business the tools to stay in control of the shipping experience.

The Ultimate Shipping Guide explores the three pillars of exceptional shipping – strong brand values, shipping transparency, and choiceright along with the skills you need to offer world-class shipping.

Understand what customers value   

Ecommerce empowers consumers to align their buying power with their values, and that extends to how they ship.

Consumers are willing to spend more to align their shopping habits with their values, and yet, high volume e-commerce brands can struggle to balance the demand for sustainable practices against the realities of packaging and shipping.

According to insights from The Ultimate Shipping Guide, consumers are willing to pay more for products and shipping if it aligns with their core values.

More than half (54 per cent) of Australian consumers are willing to pay for shipping in order to support small businesses, while 66 per cent are willing to pay higher prices in order to support small businesses.

In addition, 62 per cent of younger consumers prefer to shop for sustainable and green products and 82 per cent of consumers as a whole said they would like their parcel packaging material to be recyclable.

ShipStation + Shopify Plus’ greater automation capabilities enable your brand to improve shipping efficiency, lower the number of shipments required to fulfil orders, and reduce those air and road miles.

ShipStation can also help your brand connect with shipping partners who offer carbon-neutral deliveries, as well as local carriers who can help you keep things local. 

Communicate costs 

When shopping online, shipping visibility and transparency now sit toward the top of consumers’ wishlists.

Retailers who want to optimise their checkout experience should include clear delivery windows and transparent shipping rates. Otherwise, consumers will abandon their cart and shop elsewhere to meet their shipping needs.

According to The Ultimate Shipping Guide, 86 per cent of consumers want full visibility into expected shipping timeline before purchase, and 90 per cent want the ability to select rates and speed during checkout.

As consumers’ expectations for visibility and transparency grow, merchants also need to update how they communicate their shipping and delivery process.

Communicating shipping at the checkout can help improve cart conversion, provide clarity and transparency around shipping, and increase consumer confidence in your brand.

The ShipStation + Shopify Plus Integration enables businesses to implement customised notifications with shipping updates, which transmits the Carrier, Tracking Number, and Shipping Status both to the customer and back to ShipStation.

Provide shipping options  

Consumers have grown accustomed to the convenience of easy returns, customer loyalty programs, pickup points, and other novelty delivery options.

While most businesses added these shipping services in an effort to keep business going during lockdown, these services have now become an expected part of the e-commerce journey.

By remaining flexible, businesses will be better positioned to meet the changing demands of consumers, who are continually pushing the envelope in terms of brand expectations.        

Shipping options such as delivery redirection, conversational commerce, and flexible payment, are now becoming standard.

In fact, according to The Ultimate Shipping Guide, 72 per cent of consumers expect retailers to provide shipping and return status updates via email.

The ShipStation + Shopify Plus Integration allows special fields to be run via automation.

Refunds, cancellations, and line-item changes can also be synced with every import so you avoid shipping out unnecessary orders – cutting down both costs and waste.

You can also ensure your shipping experience is consistent across your multiple channels by bringing all of your orders into one place.  

 From there, you can build out the best automation tools for you and your customers that enhance your brand.

Whether you’re just starting out or about to go global, there’s never been a better time to optimise your shipping process.

From the cheapest way to ship, through to minimising errors and processing returns, The Ultimate Shipping Guide will take the guesswork out of fulfilment, shipping, and delivery.

Download The Ultimate Shipping Guide from ShipStation and Shopify Plus to learn more.