The eCommerce market is expanding really fast, reaching £259,928 million only in 2018 and only in Europe. And that’s not all! According to a research from Statista the revenues of eCommerce market are expected to reach £284.092 million in 2019 with 450.9 million users worldwide.
On the same research, it was found that China
holds the first place with £477,154 million in 2018, following by United States with £378.507 million and United Kingdom
with £64.851 million.
These figures are tempting, aren’t they?
ECommerce is a very appealing market, that can bring a great profit to your business. So, yes, starting your eCommerce business now, is the right time to do so. But remember, start small and work smart. Running an eCommerce business can be very difficult, however if you prepare a cost effective and efficient supply chain strategy, everything will become a lot easier and your business will basically run for itself.
In this article, I will give you some tips that you should have in mind and focus on, in the first steps of your eCommerce business.
Calculate the Exact Weight
To begin with, I know that measuring a product’s weight is a quite obvious thing to do, but many eCommerce beginners fail to do it in the right way. In many cases, the weight is being estimated and not measured precisely, resulting in higher cost. Remember, that knowing the exact weight of your products will help you master the shipping process and drive revenues back to your eCommerce business.
When you calculate your product’s weight, always include any spare parts, manuals and basically everything that may be included in the package. Since many services charge extra by gram, be sure to measure precisely your products, if you want to avoid paying more.
Size is Important
Did you know that many carriers charge prices based on the dimensional weight? That means, that the size of your packaging plays an important role in the shipping process. Imagine shipping products such as clothes across the world using air freight
or sea freight
services. Clothes are not heavy products but they can be bulky. Hence, if you rely only on the actual weight of your products, you may end up paying unexpected fees. If you try to make your packages as small as possible, the dimensional weight will be reduced and you will pay less.
Be Careful of Fragile Products
Let’s say that you have decided to sell porcelain cups and saucers. They don’t weight too much don’t they? However, you could say that this type of product can be very fragile if it’s not handled appropriately. And here’s the trap. You have to be very careful with these products, and ensure that your customers will receive the product that they bought. Hence, stuff the package with bubble wrap, air pillows and anything that can ensure you that your products will arrive in their destination in one piece.
Use Shipping Software
Technology has found its way to the supply chain industry. You can leverage on shipping management systems, to track and monitor your products until they reach your customers. Another thing that you can do is to use different marketplaces such as Alibaba in Asia, ASOS in Europe and Amazon in America. These marketplaces can offer you an online space to show your products and the ability to find customers all around the globe.
Beware of the Packaging
In the marketing world, the package of the product is an important determinant of the product’s success. Customers can reject a product, if it does not have the proper package with appealing features. Pay attention to the design of the packaging and be as creative as possible. Use different colours, shapes and drawings in a way that they tell a story for you and your product.
Further, do not use the same boxes that your supplier used or boxes from returned items. Of course, in a small business, money have to be used wisely and using different boxes for every delivery might seem expensive to you. But what you are trying to achieve is to build loyal relationships with your customers, so they can choose you again and again. Hence, combine good materials and be creative.
Always Validate your Customers
Building an online business means that you rarely, if not never, meet your customers. In addition, people, when using the internet, are constantly multitasking. So, don’t be surprised, if a customer enters incorrect contact details. An incorrect address means that your products will not find the right customer and they will have to return back to your warehouse storage.
What you can do to avoid this confusion is, once again, to leverage on technology. There are many shipping software solutions that can alert you if someone enters an invalid address. In that way, you can be sure that all your deliveries will reach your customers.
Choose a Shipping Rate Method Wisely
There are 3 different shipping rate methods you could use for your products.
- Free Shipping: Most companies use this shipping method for their products. Free shipping is supposed to be free for your customers but not for you. Keep in mind that if you want to choose this method, you will have to pay the fees out of your margins.
- Carrier Rates: In this method, you charge the carrier rates. You can pass the rates to your customers and let them choose the best option for them. Although this option, leaves you free of the shipping rates, it is likely that your customers will leave the cart without completing the purchase.
- Flat rates: Many small size companies use this shipping method. We cannot say that this method is the least expensive one, but it is certainly the most competitive. It works best if you have regular orders with products of almost the same size and weight.
My recommendation on which shipping method to choose, is to start with flat rates and then turn into free shipping or even carrier rates. When you establish your business to the market, you can choose whichever option you prefer, but in the meantime, you can start with something that is cheap, easy to use and effective.
Understand the Market
Before entering a market there’s one thing that you need to do, and that is research. Every country has its own policies and regulations regarding shipping and customs
. You need to be sure that you are compliant with the law of each country and that you understand the fees and taxes that you have to pay when exporting your goods.
Work with a Freight Forwarder
Collaborating with a freight forwarding agency, can give you an advantage. The supply chain industry can be very complicated. A freight forwarder can handle all the processes without you having to care about the customs clearance
. A linehaul sourcing specialist, such as Haulystic
, can provide you with high quality logistic solutions, tailored to your needs and requirements. Haulystic freight services ensure transparency and simplicity with competitive rate cards.
Our subject matter experts have intensely worked for over 14 years in the eCommerce market, understanding our customers’ requirements and the market trends. We want to make shipping simple for you, so you can focus only on growing your business.
Join our team and start a unique experience with Haulystic
by booking your shipments online