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A beginner's guide to designing and building a physical product How your supply chain determines your product's fate

The best shipping solutions for small eCommerce businesses 

Handling shipping for an ecommence store is painful and super stressful. In this post we show you how to make the shipping process much easier.
Feb 6, 2020 • 4 minute read
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The Savvy entrepreneur's guide to simpler eCommerce shipping in 2020

The most frustrating thing about running an ecommerce business  is sorting out all of the shipping mess. Our  guide will help you sweep things into beautiful order.
Read on to learn how. 

Have a shipping strategy

Most of the time, frustrating shipping issues are a result of having no shipping strategy in place. You need to strategize the most optimal shipping workflow so that you are not a slave to your own admin.
Luckily there are some great third party solutions that take care of a lot of the shipping work for you.
Here are a couple of options:

Shipbob

Shipbob stores all your inventory for you in their fulfilment centers. So you can ship your alexpress products within 1 - 2 days from the US instead of making your customers wait the standard 15 - 20 business days! They'll even help manage your inventory for you.
Here is a video explaining this solution in more detail:

Inventory source

Inventorysource completely automates your supplier product feed. They will keep all of your product quantities up-to-date, process orders and track your shipping.

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Inventorysource has a directory of almost 200 suppliers which includes US based suppliers, so you can dropship your products to your customers in a flash.
This video will get you more acquainted with the software
 

Easyship

Easyship is another completely automated shipping solution. Simply connect your online store and the software will synch all of your product movements. You can even create shipping labels if you prefer to package and ship your items yourself.
This video demonstrates how easy it is to integrate easyship into your Shopify store.

Increase average order pricing

If you're drowning in the sea of shipping fees, a simple solution could be to just increase your pricing. You don't need to be afraid of doing this, customers are more than happy to pay more for a product if they perceive it as more valuable
To support this perception you may need to tweak your branding design  to make it more prestigious.
Check out this video by Dan Lok about increasing product pricing. It may help alleviate any reservation you might have.

Minimize shipping costs

Try to get your shipping costs as low as possible. The best way to achieve this is by good ol' fashioned relationship building. Email your suppliers, start a conversation and develop a relationship.
To catalyze the process offer them an incentive in exchange for cheaper pricing. This could include mention them on your website  either via a simple branded link on the bottom of your page or a dedicated blog post .
Another way to drastically decrease shipping costs is to sell lighter products. So steer clear from pianos, double basses and anvils, small toys, clothing, and jewelry are light and they're always in high demand.

Expand your market

With a shipping solution in place, such as the 3rd party solutions we mentioned earlier, you'll have the bandwidth to expand your customer reach and experiment with lookalike audiences
Consider incentifying all of your sales with free shipping and discount codes.

Improve operational efficiency 

Shipping frustrations may also be a result of your inefficient admin processes in other areas of your business clogging up your workflow pipeline.
You should take a step back and map out your entire workflow to identify opportunities for innovation , then Iron out all the bumps and wrinkles with tech solutions. 
There are solutions available for just about any business operational issue, a simple Google search will uncover them. What a time to be alive!

Customized packaging

If you want to go that extra mile to impress your customers, customized packaging is a great idea. Not only does it demonstrate incredible attention to detail, but it also gives your business an illustrious appeal which will support your decision to increase your product pricing.
If you are not a skilled artist, you can hire a freelance designer  to design your packaging for you.
Because climate change  is currently a hot topic, choosing eco-friendly material in your packaging will support your markering efforts and get you heaps of sweet sweet referrals.
Here are some eco friendly packaging solutions:

Hire a team to support you 

Even with all the tech solutions in place, you'll still need at least some humans behind the controls, especially if your online store takes off and becomes wildly successful.
There's nothing brave about forcing yourself to endure the stress of managing your own, its ok to seek help.

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There are two important trends you as a business owner need to be aware of:
Most brick and mortar stores are switching to ecommerce stores .
The gig economy is booming .
The most successful entrepreneurs identify rising trends and ride the wave to success. You should, therefore, marry the above two trends together by hiring remote freelancers  to help run your store for you.
Not only is this becoming the new hip method of doing business, it's also much cheaper than hiring in house (no need to pay for benefits, no rental costs, no employment contracts etc).
Also remote workforce is super easy to scale  too, so you'll be setting yourself up for future success.

Final thoughts 

Managing shipping is a headache, there are too many moving parts and when things go wrong, customers vent their frustration through negative reviews. Follow our guidelines to ensure your ecommerce shipping solutions are in ship shape.
 
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