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Ready to sell online? Shipping is a key part of the customer experience.

Ready to transition your brick and mortar presence to an online store? Shipping details you may not have considered before will make a big difference to your customers, and your sales.

There are many factors to consider. In Shippo’s annual State of Shipping survey, 75 percent of online retailers consider the cost of shipping to be their biggest operational challenge. The good news is that there are ways to keep shipping costs affordable and processes smooth.

Manage inventory across your networks

If you’re selling online for the first time, but all of your inventory has been set up for physical retail, you’ll have to make sure your inventory management system can manage both. Having an organized, up-to-date inventory will confirm you have an accurate count of what is in stock.

Did you know that omnichannel shoppers spend three times as much as single-channel shoppers? Having an accurate count of your inventory across the board will ensure you can accommodate customers who use more than one channel for shopping.

A package for a birthday shows how important shipping details are when buying online

Check shipping details like dimensions and distance to optimize costs

When it comes to shipping, one of the first things to look for are ways to minimize the box size. Consider padded envelopes and poly mailers for soft items.

Another key indicator of shipping rates is the distance the packages travel. Longer distances between origin and destination addresses usually mean more expensive ecommerce shipping costs.  Look at where your packages are going and adjust your origin address around the most-popular destinations.

For instance, if you have a majority of packages getting shipped to California, consider shipping details like renting warehouse space in the state and using a mix of regional and national carriers to deliver your packages locally. Although effective and efficient multi-carrier management will be key here.

Consider a mix of carriers and service levels

If you’re shipping to a local address, consider a regional carrier or a USPS Regional Rate Box. If you have a small, heavy product, see if it fits in a USPS Flat Rate Box. It’s a great option since the weight won’t impact the cost of the product, letting you avoid the hefty price tag that comes with hefty products.

For educational material, like books or instructive DVDs, you can ship via USPS Media Mail. It’s very strict about the contents you can send, but if your packages qualify, you’ll save significantly.

A row of mailboxes shows all the shipping details you may not be aware of when sending a package to a new customer for your online store

It’s all in the Shipping Details – Don’t Forget to Send Order Confirmation Emails

E-commerce shipping confirmation emails are opened 1.5 times on average. Emails with shipping details are a critical moment to communicate with your customer and foster loyalty for repeat purchases.

When you do send these emails, include a link to the order tracking page, since emails with links have twice the click rate than confirmation emails without them. And consider including your brand name in the subject line, since that has a 7 percent increase in unique open rates compared to emails without it.

A package shows the shipping details you may not be thinking about when you sell online, learn it all in this article from Selz the Ecommerce platform for growing businesses

Smart retailers will also include logos and other relevant opportunities when they email the tracking information in order to continue the experience and build brand loyalty. For example, click-to-open rates are 16 percent higher for confirmation emails that include invitations to join loyalty programs.

Confirmation emails aren’t the only part of the post-purchase experience, however. Learn more about setting up your returns policy to make the returns process easy on your customers.

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Figuring out the best shipping practices can take some thought, but can also be exceptionally rewarding when you build customer loyalty and repeat purchases by providing the smoothest shipping experience. Take time to experiment with what works for your business and dig to see what resonates with your customers most.

About the author

Helen Phung

Helen is the head of communications and PR at Shippo and focuses on telling Shippo's story to the world in ways that are compelling and differentiated. She's spent years running communications for leading enterprise startups in the Bay Area. Outside of the office, she enjoys camping and travel with her toddler in tow.

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