The Last Piece of the eCommerce Puzzle: Shipping and Fulfillment
Killer product: check.
Slick logo: check.
Ecwid store, catchy domain name, and accounting software: check, check, and (groan) check.
Looks like you’re ready to do business! You’ve ironed out your workflow, from your vendors all the way to your final sale. Materials arrive, product departs. You’ve got a
The way that your product arrives at your customer’s door is not someone else’s
But don’t fret! We’ve already done much of the legwork to help you get started.
The first thing to consider is your product line. For example, if you design and sell posters featuring adorable kittens, your shipping needs are rather simple. You’ve got a product with low shipping weight, low size variation, and you are not likely to need Shipping Insurance (see below.) Just about any carrier will suit your needs; just do a little homework to see if one is a better fit for your business (i.e., perhaps one is closer to where you have your posters printed.)
On the other hand, if your product line is a bit more diverse, you’d do well to look into such companies as Uline to supply your boxes and packing materials. They’ve got the process down to an art, with boxes for just about every shape and weight of product. It may take some trial and error, but success here will only aid in the overall satisfaction of your customer. Excessive packaging (or worse, insufficient packaging) will drastically decrease the perceived value of your product.
Up and Running with Ecwid
Ecwid connects the dots between your product and your carrier. It’s easy to set up Ecwid to do all the number crunching for you, so that your customers have the most
You have several options for how you’d like to handle your shipping calculations:
- Free Shipping is a great way to add perceived value to your brand. It can also be used as an upsetting incentive; buy Bundle X to receive free shipping on this order, for example.
- Flat Rate Shipping is an easy option, if your products don’t vary widely in shipping cost. The simpler you can keep it for your customers, the better.
- Calculated Rates are most useful when shipping heavier (or more valuable) products nationwide, or even globally. Each order’s needs can be drastically different. Shipping one item across town is fairly straightforward, but a high volume order shipped to Uruguay is a different matter altogether. You can learn about Destination Zones, and how they may affect your shipping costs, right here on our website.
Whatever your preferred method is, this handy article in our Knowledge Base will walk you through the steps for getting your store ready for action.
Ecwid also works with shipping partners, which can be integrated smoothly into your online store: Aftership can be added to track shipments and notify customers of delivery, ShippingEasy can easily print shipping labels, and 71lbs tackles the unfortunate reality of shipping refunds.
Hedge Your Bets
The final thing to consider is whether you should invest in Shipping insurance. This is often overlooked, or seen as a fluff expenditure. But as with any insurance, you buy it hoping to never need it, but when (not if) you need it, you’re sure glad you have it.
Most carriers have an automatic $100 coverage, but be warned: this is not insurance, rather a declared value assumption. The difference is subtle, but important. Every package received by a carrier has an assumed value of $100 or less, and as such, this $100 is the maximum that any carrier will pay out if there’s a lost or damaged package. Acquiring insurance beyond this requires some diligence and paperwork, but it’s generally a
Is shipping insurance worth it? That is entirely up to you. Having said that, I strongly recommend it for
I dug up an excellent
Forewarned is Forearmed
Doing business in the online marketplace is an attractive option for
While there is some truth in this, it’s the worryless perspective that causes