Last year, 80% of market gains came from Amazon, and 64.7% of online sales in the U.S. came from five companies. These companies are continuing to expand their offerings with competitive prices, lightning-fast shipping, and a flexible returns policy, and customers have become accustomed to free shipping with short turnarounds (often one to two days).
Historically, many SMBs have been able to remain competitive with larger brands through offering similar shipping rates and a high level of customer service. However, as customers become more demanding and automation becomes more prevalent, it’s important for businesses to keep innovating their eCommerce shipping strategies to stay on equal footing with the big guys.
If you’re looking to improve business shipping strategies, another option is to offer flat rate shipping. With flat rate shipping, SMBs can avoid overcharging or undercharging customers and have predictable costs and profits no matter what the customer purchases.
Using flat rate shipping, SMBs don’t need to spend time and effort adjusting shipping rates – plus, in being upfront with customers, you’re offering a more transparent and improved customer experience. However, flat rate shipping doesn’t work for all businesses: it’s most effective for companies offering products of a similar size and weight.
Use the Right Shipping Technologies
Shipping technologies and analytics have made it much easier for businesses, regardless of size, to monitor shipping at every stage. This increased visibility isn’t just beneficial for the customer – businesses can also be more accountable and react quickly to delays, errors, or damages that occur during the shipping process.
Today, customers expect to be able to track details of every stage of the shipping process, and ecommerce shipping software allows small businesses to offer transparency across every part of the buyer journey.
Multi-carrier shipping is also key for SMBs looking to compete with major eCommerce retailers: by offering shipping services from multiple eCommerce shipping companies, small businesses have the flexibility to offer the best rates and fast shipping in line with large online retailers. Platforms like Shippit are integrated as part of TradeGecko’s eCommerce platform, and allow small businesses to scale their shipping needs as business expands, and find the best carrier to ship a product based on the customer’s location and the size of the product.
Finally, as mCommerce continues to accelerate, omnichannel strategies are essential for SMBs looking to compete with major retailers – particularly when it comes to shipping. Mobile purchases account for 58.9% of all online sales, and SMBs have to accurately track and fulfil orders across mobile websites, social media storefronts, and offline stores, in order to offer customers a seamless shopping experience.
Whether you’re looking to revamp your eCommerce shipping strategy or automate your existing processes, TradeGecko’s powerful eCommerce platform can help you track every stage of the order, inventory, shipping, and fulfilment process.Featured Video