• online store deliveries

Working Out Your Online Store Delivery Options

The backbone of a successful Online Store is your ability to deliver your product satisfactorily to your customer. What that process looks like varies from store to store. There is sadly no one magic answer. Fortunately, Arpastart eCommerce offers many options.

If you haven’t launched your store yet, you may not have put much thought into this side of your business. Your shipping will require A LOT of thought.

WHERE WILL YOU SHIP TO?

You will need to consider where you ship to. By default, we will set your Arpastart eCommerce store up to be available to deliver to Australia, but you also have the option of selecting international destinations. By default, you can’t ship to just anywhere in the world. Payment service providers can restrict activity from particular countries they associate as being high risk and can suspend your account if you try. Make sure you check with any payment merchant accounts you use to ensure the countries you want to ship to are covered. You will need to carefully consider your shipping expenses. Some small, lightweight products can inexpensive to send overseas; heavier or bulkier items can be exorbitantly expensive to send internationally.

HOW WILL YOU COVER SHIPPING COSTS?

Will you offer free, flat rate shipping, or pass on shipping costs directly to your customers? Will you allow free shipping over a certain value or quantity of purchase, or give customers options around which company their products are shipped with or the type of shipments available, such as express or registered post? The type of product that you ship, the courier companies that you use and your physical location often have a large bearing on what the best option for your business is.

FREE SHIPPING

While deep down people know that the price of shipping is built into the products, free shipping remains a strong selling point. It is often a reassurance for customers to know that when they hit checkout on their shopping cart, there are no extra costs to pay. They may even add an item to the cart, with the perception that they’ve just saved themselves some money. Free shipping can be applied across the store, or with Arpastart eCommerce, to individual products or categories, above a particular value or quantity of purchase, to individual customer groups, or to individual customers by way of coupon codes.

You may choose for your regular, full-price paying customers to get free shipping, and for your discounted wholesale customers to pay for their shipping costs. (Yes, Arpastart eCommerce allows for you to manage your wholesale orders with no fuss!)

FLAT RATE SHIPPING

If you stock only a particular size of products, flat rate shipping can be a really attractive option. You will know that your shipping expenses are fairly constant and that with a nominal fee, you can cover your shipping costs at least to a point that you’re not going to run into strife with an unexpectedly large courier bill.

PASSING ON SHIPPING COSTS

This often sounds like the most attractive option for many businesses, particularly those who sell large, heavy products. When the customer pays the delivery fee you have the advantage of not having to foot the bill for delivery to remote areas. Delivery to some locations can cost more than the product itself. Not having to build the cost of shipping into your product pricing means being able to keep your prices lower, and customers who live nearby don’t have to foot a larger bill than necessary to cover the delivery costs to those who live further away. It’s not problem-free, however. Shipping costs are paid for on checkout based on the weights and dimensions included in your product information, so these need to be accurate. While the quotes are a really good indication of courier costs, they are not always perfect, and there can be occasions when inaccuracies in the quoting or processing mean that you get an unexpected shortfall that you need to cover. It is important to monitor your costs to make sure that your quotes include all the applicable charges.

FLEXIBILITY

It is really important not to tie yourself too closely to a particular courier company. You never know if they might suddenly drop support for your products or areas you need to deliver to, or drastically increase their prices. Arpastart eCommerce offers enormous flexibility with our advanced shipping module, allowing you to mirror the options offered by the integration of many couriers manually. This saves you money and gives you the flexibility to offer a wider range of options to your customers.

Evolving your shipping strategy with your growing business is absolutely vital to its long-term health and success. Re-evaluate every few months to make sure you’re delivering the absolute best possible service and experience for the best possible price.

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS

Generally speaking, customers expect that their order will be delivered quickly, cheaply and in perfect condition. While that’s not always possible, good communication goes a long way toward allaying any concerns. You should always ensure that your customer knows what to expect. Our article next week will be focussed on how to keep your customers informed and up to date without taking up enormous amounts of your time and effort.

2018-05-19T23:41:05+00:00 January 14th, 2016|Arpastart eCommerce Platform, Online Stores|

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