What’s it like to receive a long-overdue package on your doorstep? For some, it’s a relief that it even arrived at all. As a merchant processing online orders, eCommerce shipping options in Australia are your bread and butter. But depending on the time of year, it can turn into a nightmare. And if you’re not set up with the right shipping partner, it can be a nightmare all year round.
That’s why, when selecting the right aggregator, shipping services in Australia can be affordable, organised, and fast.
In this post, we’ll cover how to become a master at eCommerce shipping and why it’s important to select the right partner.
Before we jump in, let’s cover the basics.
What is eCommerce shipping?
eCommerce shipping solutions begins when a product is purchased online from a retailer to the point of delivery to a customer’s delivery address. It involves all stages of the process to transport the product from location A to location B.
There are three main stages of the eCommerce shipping costs process that will help you determine the best eCommerce shipping options for your business:
- Order receiving: Keep track of your items and make sure you have enough stock to process the order. This stage goes hand in hand with your inventory management system.
- Order processing: Confirm and verify order data, like shipping address.
- Order fulfilment: Generate a picking list and pick, pack and prepare items for shipment.
So, now that you understand the three main stages, we can dive deeper into how to pick the right shipping strategy for your eCommerce business.
If you already have a shipping system in place, you might think there’s no need to look any further. However, I encourage you to consider other eCommerce shipping options in Australia. In fact, you can scale and grow your business faster and save up to 30% off or more on shipping costs.
A well-selected eCommerce shipping solution can offer local delivery and discounted shipping rates on providers like Australia Post. As a result, reduce shopping cart abandonment and increase conversions for your online store.
Here are five ways to master an eCommerce shipping strategy in Australia to help you select the best shipping costs method for your business.
We can’t talk about shipping costs without calling out the biggest retail giant in the room. Thanks to Amazon Prime, two-day shipping, same day shipping and overall FREE shipping is the new normal for retailers. For a customer, the best option is finding an online store that doesn’t charge for shipping. But, what impact does this have on you as a vendor? If you’re not careful, this can affect your profit margins, customer experience, and ends up costing you a lot of money in the long run.
Offering free shipping to your customers can still be an affordable option for your business. Build your shipping fees into the price of your product by getting shipping rates upfront from providers based on the number of orders you process. Or, offer a minimum order quantity to prompt customers to qualify for free shipping. This is a great way to boost conversions and upsell to your customers.
For example, if your average order value is $40, consider offering free shipping at $50 to accommodate shipping costs. Also, by offering different delivery options like same-day delivery, you must include a cut-off time. Give yourself time to process the order right after. Specify an order cut-off time before 2:00 PM AEST to ship orders on the same day.
Shipping orders require careful packing and packaging. Once it’s in the hands of the shipping carrier, you can’t guarantee your order will be delivered in one piece. To put your mind at ease, we recommend selecting high-quality packaging. This will automatically increase your customer’s satisfaction when your product turns up in perfect condition on arrival. If you’re an eco-friendly business or working towards building a sustainable business, packaging is a huge factor to consider. Selecting the best shipping method means reducing packaging waste. Parcel packaging can still be environmentally friendly while being durable. Some shipping services in Australia charge a flat rate based on the size of the packaging. If your package is packed with a tight, compact, and lightweight material, you can save on shipping regardless of weight or destination.
We looked at what size packaging we needed to pack and ship our orders. Once we had our carton size and weight, I looked at options of adding multiple items to each box. This was a good indicator to see if the additional weight would cause a price increase. However, this is dependent on how many items customers purchase. If they purchase 2 items, there is no point in sending 2 boxes. The shipping cost was too high. It would be best to have a larger box option that could hold 2 items.
Bill Baramilis, Head of Operations at Livani Hair Care.
Location is key for eCommerce shipping options
When it comes to eCommerce shipping solutions, it’s about finding that logistically local sweet spot. As an eCommerce merchant, you need to stay focused on growing your business. The last thing you want to think about is negotiating shipping rates. Set up your business in a location surrounded by other businesses, like Workit Spaces eCommerce hub in Sydney, NSW. If you’re already set up in a location but you’re not receiving discounted shipping rates, consider switching your business address to be closer to a commercial or retail precinct. You’re guaranteed to save money and get access to lower shipping rates. Strategically operate your business from a centralised address that dispatches thousands of orders from surrounding businesses. It doesn’t matter if you dispatch 50 orders or 50,000 orders a day because the warehouse providers’ discounted flat-rate shipping rates will still apply to your business.
Integrate your sales channels
We briefly touched on it in the last point, but selecting a shipping aggregator that offers integrations with multiple sales channels is essential. It seems like a no-brainer but if you’re just starting out, finding a partner that connects with multiple sales channels is important. Once you connect your sales channels, you can synchronize data and inventory in real-time to know how many orders you’ve processed, the number of orders, and inventory levels. Your eCommerce shipping option should integrate with your sales channels to include tracking numbers. SKUtopia, and eCommerce supply chain software integrates with sales channels like Shopify. This can be done through automated customer emails or notifications. This extra step builds trust reliability with your brand.
When processing orders through your sales channels, it’s best practice to give yourself a buffer on delivery times to avoid unhappy customers. Whether it’s a change in inventory levels, technical difficulties or a plethora of other logistical issues that could go wrong, you can save yourself a stressful situation by outlining padding on delivery times. Communicate estimated delivery times on your product pages. Under promise and over deliver on faster delivery times by adding a range of business days to expect a package, even if you know the customer will receive it before then. For example, there’s nothing better than expecting a package to arrive in 3-5 business days and receiving your order on day 2.
Offer Loyalty Programs
A loyalty program is a great way for online and offline retailers to increase customer loyalty and retention. It also promotes repeat purchases and brand awareness. In fact, 79% of customers want eCommerce merchants to offer loyalty programs to benefit from faster and free delivery services. As an online or offline retailer, you can easily create an incentive program that has shipping rates built into the cost of products and programs.
Improve your eCommerce delivery options and keep your customers coming back for more
Besides offering a premium shipping service or faster delivery times, the right eCommerce shipping costs options in Australia will depend on your budget, margins, product, packaging, location and more.
We can all agree that there’s a lot of room for growth and innovation when it comes to the eCommerce industry. However, it all depends on your ability to stay ahead of the manual processes involved along the way. The goal of selecting the right shipping strategy and partner is to retain profits, deliver to your customers faster, and overall boost your sales. This will help reinforce your brand and build trust with your customers throughout the delivery process.
Riarne Gale is the Head of Content & PR at SKUtopia. She’s passionate about sharing great tips, resources and strategies for all things eCommerce, shipping and logistics.