Ecommerce is hyper-competitive. So starting an online business can be intimidating. There are numerous things to consider including website design, inventory management, marketing and shipping which is arguably the most important factor that can make or break a sale. Your competitors aren’t always out to get you. In fact, they’re sometimes your greatest teachers for improving your ecommerce shipping strategies. Here, we’ve snooped around and created a list of four things you can learn from your competitors.
- Free shipping
Free shipping is popular with all shoppers. This is so obvious. Savvy online retailers can take actions that will significantly reduce shipping costs to cover the cost of free shipping such as offering free shipping with a minimum purchase or offering free shipping to loyal customers only.
To help you get creative, check out how to make free shipping profitable.
- Compare carriers and service levels
Savvy shippers always try to discover the best combination of carriers and service levels for each shipment. USPS is generally the most affordable option for smaller, lightweight packages. Shipping rates comparison platforms like ShipGooder offers the opportunity to compare carriers and helps online retailers to specify the cheapest or the fastest way to ship packages.
In a previous post, we have explained three carrier’s comparison in detail, find it here.
- Minimize packages
At the start of 2016, major carriers introduced dimensional weight pricing which significantly increased shipping rates. Smart retailers and fulfillment companies have started packing smaller. Our study has shown that reducing package size, even by a few centimeters or ounces, make a big difference. See how to reduce shipping costs by effectively packaging your products.
- Return policies
A clear and favorable return policy assures credibility and is crucial for building customer trust. Successful online shoe-and-apparel Zappos gained popularity with online shoppers in part because of its liberal return policies. Zappos makes its free-returns process simple; return information is prominently featured on its website. Such simplicity and transparency have given Zappos a competitive edge.
Over to you…
There are lots of strategies out there that can help you drill down into your competitors’ shipping strategy. A basic understanding of what is and isn’t working for your competitors can only help your own shipping efforts.