As online shopping continues to grab the imagination of shoppers, so does the sophistication of the world of e-commerce and those that supply products online. Some elements of the online shopping experience, like shipping, have become more complex and detailed as customers seek the shortest time possible to receive their purchases.

Storage and packing are equally important and as an online business starts out the idea of using self storage is one of the least expensive storage options to choose from. It also provides a starting point for a new online business, as it serves the purpose of storage and distribution well.

Online shoppers are becoming so discerning that the elements of shipping and also the packaging is as important as the product purchase itself. This means that online businesses should go the extra mile to ensure that they meet the expectations of their customers by taking these factors into account.

Using a self storage unit like Stop & Store Penrith provides a perfect launch pad for an online business, and by taking these added dimensions into account, customer satisfaction will be assured.

Let’s look at some tips on how this can be done.

Shipping Costs: What do Customers Expect?

As there are a few options available when it comes to shipping, the shipping strategy chosen must be clear from the beginning. Whether it’s a courier service or Royal Mail that is going to deliver the product, have an unambiguous offer for customers so that they are never let down and know what to expect.

Whatever the promise, make sure that the costs are built into the profit margins that are expected. While the customer may be thinking that shipping is free, of course, it can’t be because it is a cost of getting it there must be paid for somehow.

In getting to a shipping cost, a shipper will need the dimensions and the weights of each product, and as there is likely to be a range of sizes and weights involved, an average shipping cost could be calculated according to the projected product sales mix.

As packaging is assuming a far more important role in the visual impact of the e-commerce experience, the cost of packaging also needs to be built into the price.

Your Shipping Offer for your Online Business

The finished product cost, shipping, and packaging cost have all been calculated, which means that the shipping offer can be made to the customer. How it is expressed is up to the online business owner. In the end, it’s a financial decision that is disguised in marketing language.

  • Free Shipping

    Offering free shipping means that the cost of the packaging and shipping is added to the cost of the product. Some marketers offer free shipping over a certain shopping cart size, thereby encouraging extra sales. If the product price is going to be compared to those of the opposition, the added margin may count against the free shipping option.

  • Charge Shipping Rates of Carrier

    The live pricing of a carrier is a transparent way of informing the customer of what the shipping charge is. This means that the customer can decide whether to choose a shipping option by this means. Customers can also choose options such as next-day or two-to-three-day delivery, the latter being at a better price. A customer then feels that the shipper is at least offering some price advantage.

  • Local Delivery

    Customers within a certain radius of the business could be serviced by means of a different method using a local delivery service provider. In order to promote local sales, this could be offered as a free or much-subsidized delivery fee.

  • Flat Rate Charge

    If the products are fairly homogeneous in size and weight, a flat rate charge is a possible offering. Customers seem to like this option, but the shipper must watch the sales product mix carefully so as to not lose out on profits.

Getting the Orders Ready for your Online Business

The common misconception is that the hard part of online marketing is getting the customer to fill out the shopping cart and click pay. While it is true to say that online marketing has become something of a science, the good old-fashioned part, which is packaging, and delivery are just as important. Therefore, it is vital that the sale is completed professionally, and the expectations of the customer are met, or better, exceeded.

While on the surface it may appear easy, giving the customer a happy “unboxing” experience- the moment the customer unwraps or opens the box that the product is contained in, is part of the customer satisfaction that is sought. The purpose of the packaging is two-fold: for protection during shipping and second to make an impression upon receipt.

Getting ready means attending to these details. Light secure packaging like poly mailers works well. On one hand keep an eye on the profit margin, while at the same time spending money to impress.

As the Online Business Grows

The need for a self-storage rental needn’t be for too long for your online business. Whether a short-term rental or a long-term rental, only a month’s notice is required. If there are too many orders to handle, then a fulfillment warehouse could be the answer. They do the job you have been doing, storing your inventory, picking, packing, and shipping the orders for your online business.

It could work out that the shipping times are shorter and the rates better, because that is all they do, and they are good at it. Before that, your packaging design and printed materials will be in place, and you would already know how to package the merchandise, print the shipping label, and shipped the order.

Starting small, in a space no bigger than the average-sized garage, a self storage insulated container is a perfect place for your online business, from which to deliver your packages to customers.

Self storage rental units like those offered by Stop & Store Penrith can be booked by going online or contacting us directly by phone.

If you have any queries will be happy to assist you in any way possible.

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