Even if your company operates through an online store, your product is probably physical (unless you sell something like a digital product—we can relate). And if you’re concerned with product shipping—which is a huge part of how a retail business operates—then you’ve definitely got a tangible product, and you’ve probably experienced more than a little stress in this area of store operations.
As a business, you’ve got a lot on your plate. There’s branding, social media, marketing, product creation, customer service—the list quickly becomes overwhelming. Shipping seems easy to push off, something fairly unimportant that happens at the end of every transaction. A lot of companies don’t even bother with having a defined shipping strategy in place. But how your product gets to your customers is of the utmost importance! Shipping matters! It’s part of your overall customer experience, it can affect the quality of your product, and it can even be used as a branding and marketing tool.
Unfortunately, the whole process of shipping can also be a mess.
Shipping is complicated; there are carriers to consider, potential returns to work through, package sizes and weights and special instructions (oh my!), and – enough printed labels to TP a frat house.
Is this an elaborate prank, or your office during a label making frenzy? There’s not that big of a difference.
Streamlining the process within your company can help to improve the way your business handles shipping and make your company more efficient. Not having a shipping strategy can cost your company more money than you’d expect. But ultimately, handling shipping on your own can often create more chaos than control, and it demands more resources than your company might be able to allocate. Steering your own shipping, to grab the pun that’s right there (I don’t even feel guilty) can cost you time, manpower, and more than a few grey hairs.
Luckily there are solutions to your company’s shipping needs. There are a number of online third parties that can help you automate your business’s shipping process, letting you make your entire shipping strategy efficient and ship-shape. To name just a few, there’s Shipwire, ShipEasy, and one of our new favorites, ShipStation.
While ShipStation is the company that we’re personally most familiar with, each company offers similar, very helpful features. These services partner with hosted eCommerce solutions like CoreCommerce that you can fully automate and customize your shipping specifically for your product’s needs. If you have multiple online selling channels, shipping automation usually allows you to link all of them to your account. Shipping solutions let you manage your imports, exports, and orders neatly, all on the same site and broken down to be intuitive and easy to organize. You can even choose your own carrier, or multiple carriers, and usually see comparison prices for each carrier you’re considering—all neatly charted out for you.
Over on ShipStation, the options for customization are nearly endless. Their goal is to make every aspect of the shipping process—even parts of the process you might not have even considered—automated and painless. You can automatically set shipping specifications for each product on your shopping cart so that their shipping labels include those details without any hassle. You can send automatic emails to your customers confirming purchasing and giving estimated arrival dates. They have a mobile app that’s incredibly handy and easy to use, and they even have inventory management functionality!
No matter what company you decide to work with, if you do make the switch to automated shipping, the monetary cost of the service more than makes up for itself.
Imagine a world where you get mobile updates when your orders for a certain product have surpassed the number that you’ve got in stock. Imagine being able to brand through your shipping by including receipts with your company logo or notes with your company message. Imagine having an archive of saved labels to pull from. Imagine not having to spend valuable company time on copying and pasting over and over and over for your label printing.
Don’t overlook shipping as an unimportant aspect of your online business! A little bit of strategy—and perhaps quite a bit of easy automation—can help your company make cuts in overall cost, time, and energy. And who doesn’t want that?
CoreCommerce is proud to announce the launch of a new partnership with ShipStation. The ShipStation platform allows eCommerce businesses to automate shipping processes and save time: “Import, sort, and process your online orders just the way you want them. No one has the powerful automation features or as many customization options as we do (and we promise it’s really easy to setup). Our shipping software allows you to automate nearly every task associated with eCommerce fulfillment, order management, and shipping – saving your business countless hours by helping you get ship done!” Learn more at www.shipstation.com.