Owning and operating your own ecommerce website is a truly fantastic experience that allows you to be your own boss and set your own hours. In a sense, it’s a whole new world of freedom.

On the other hand, it’s also a good deal of work and troubleshooting. Not only are you trying to sell items and find new customers, you are often put in situations where you need to learn new skills and adopt new techniques to stay competitive.

One of the often-overlooked ways to save money and improve customer satisfaction is to reevaluate your shipping methods. Sure, it’s not the most exciting thing in the world for vendors, but when that package makes it to your shoppers’ front door – well, it means the world to them. And that is something you should get excited about.

In fact, research shows that extra shipping costs (61 percent) and slow delivery (16 percent) are among the leading causes of cart abandonment. Don’t let this happen to you.

Below are a few tips to better manage your order fulfillments, cut costs and improve shopper satisfaction.

Building a Business Account

As you can imagine, ecommerce vendors send out a lot of packages; which is why it only makes sense to set up a business account to get the best deals on shipping. Popular couriers UPS and FedEx both offer shipping option for small businesses designed to help you save money. Pass on savings to your customers! That will really make them happy.

Pick a Packaging Supplier

Of course, shipping isn’t just about shipping, it’s also about materials. Boxes, packing peanuts, tape and bubble wrap all come at a price. So, why not pick a supplier to deliver the specific goods you need, for less? Fast-Pack is a good option, but there are likely dozens of suppliers near you. Feel free to shop around for the best prices.

You should also think about sustainable packaging options as a way of appealing to environmentally-conscious customers.

Return Policy Generator

It’s not uncommon for e-store vendors to process returns. This can happen for any number of reasons including breakage or exchanges. But no matter what the reason is, you store should prepare a return policy as a crystal-clear agreement between you and your shoppers.

Shopify, a free ecommerce website builder, offers a free return policy generator that is perfect for your needs.

Where in the World Is My Package?

There is a natural level of anxiety and anticipation when it comes to online shopping because you can’t walk out with your product like you would in a physical store. This can lead many shoppers to ask where their package is. Why not give them constant updates via AfterShip? This super cool tool allows consumers to track their packages through common couriers like UPS, FedEx and USPS.

Branded Shipping Labels

Let’s face it – cardboard boxes are boring. Why not add a little personality to your packages with branded shipping labels or stamps? There are literally dozens of companies out there offering affordable and creative shipping labels including ShipRobot and Stamps.com. Just imagine how excited your shoppers will be to get your branded package in their mail box.

Drop Shipping & Third-Party Fulfillment

More established ecommerce brand might be interested in drop shipping. For those who don’t know, drop shipping is form of third-party fulfillment that connects the retailer directly to the manufacturer.

This is convenient for vendors and customers because it quickly connects the order to the shipping process without all the other distribution channels. However, there is a downside for vendors since they have almost no contact with the products being shipped out.

Are you ready to transform you shipping options for the better?

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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