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If you're getting started with an ecommerce store, you absolutely can't neglect a shipping strategy. You should shop around online to see which logistics company is giving you the best rates and most convenient times. If your product is similar to someone else's, but they offer cheaper or faster shipping, you could be losing out to the competition.
There are a few things to think about when choosing who to ship with. Consider these, for instance:
- How much will shipping cost me?
- How much will packaging cost me?
- How easy is it to get shipping labels? Do I print them out myself or order them? Do I have to do it each time, or can I do it in batches?
- What's the process of getting my inventory to the logistics company?
- How fast will a package arrive door to door?
- Do my customers care about having multiple shipping options? (Express, standard, etc). Does my product's competitiveness depend on shipping speed?
- Do I need to use different companies to ship to different parts of the world?
- How much shipping and fulfilment related stuff do I have to do myself? How much am I able to outsource to the company?
- What tracking and insurance is available?
There's a Shopify feature available for US merchants (and hopefully soon the rest of the world) called Shopify Shipping -- aimed to help you out by making shipping and fulfilment that much easier.
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL WITH SHOPIFY SHIPPING?
With Shopify Shipping, you can streamline your shipping process by printing USPS shipping labels directly through Shopify at discounted rates. This is a big deal, because it can knock off 30%-40% of your shipping costs compared to buying labels individually at retail prices.
Unlike basically any other service, Shopify Shipping doesn’t require any setup or third-party accounts to get started. You can buy and print labels directly from the order fulfilment screen in your Shopify admin. Your costs are automatically added to your normal Shopify user bill.
SO HOW DO I MAKE IT HAPPEN?
JUST PRINT, STICK, SHIP, AND SAVE
Buy a shipping label in your Shopify admin when you're fulfilling an order in your Shopify admin. You can do this from an order's Fulfilment page. The cost is automatically added to your Shopify monthly bill, and you'll get a discount on the label. You can cancel the label if you no longer need it, even after you've bought it.
Download and print the USPS shipping label. The tracking number for your shipment will appear in the Fulfilment section of your order's information page in Shopify.
Stick it on the outside of your package. If you aren't using labels, then you can use tape or a packing sleeve.
Drop off your package at any post office. Shopify Shipping allows you to drop off prepared packages without having to wait in line.
Note: Shipping rates are calculated based on the weight of the products you’re shipping. You can add the weight of your products when you upload them to your inventory, so Shopify can calculate the correct rate. You can use the Bulk Editor to add all of the weights at once, instead of going through item by item.
READY TO SEND IT ASAP? ENABLE SAME-DAY SHIPPING
There are a lot of benefits to offering same-day shipping. It helps you get those customers who are in a rush, it helps you keep up with the competition, and it helps avoid any customer complaints.
If your business has the capacity to do so, consider offering same-day shipping. You can use Shopify Shipping to calculate higher rates for express delivery, and let your customers choose that option from your Fulfilment page.
LET YOUR CUSTOMERS KEEP TRACK OF THEIR PACKAGE
If your Shopify store ships through USPS, FedEx, UPS, or Canada Post, your customers can use their order status page to track their package’s progress with a live map and real time updates. This is available whether you're using Shopify Shipping or not, and of course it integrates seamlessly.
WHEN SHOULDN'T I USE SHOPIFY SHIPPING?
Even though Shopify makes everything easier, it's shipping feature isn't necessarily for you. Buying and printing your own labels makes sense if you have a relatively small or medium operation, but if you're outsourcing your whole fulfilment or packaging process, it might not meet all your needs. With Shopify Shipping you are still in charge of packing up your product and taking it to the post office yourself. However, if you have a different company like a warehouse do this, you can still have them use Shopify-discounted shipping labels.
It's also of course not going to work for people who need to use logistics companies other than USPS. However, Shopify is always improving and will hopefully be offering Shopify Shipping for merchants outside the US soon.
Want to learn more about different shipping options? Check out one of our other blog posts.
Figuring out a good shipping system that works for you and your customers is crucial to the online business scene. Using Shopify Shipping is an easy way for small and medium ecommerce stores to keep all of your logistics in one place, save money, and give your customers what they're asking for. Elkfox can help you make the most of your Shopify store, and help you learn more about using shipping to grow your business. For more information, contact us today.