If you’re ready to make shipping easy on your business, you’ve come to the right place — and at the right time. A wide range of new technologies has emerged in recent years to help both small businesses and large enterprises better manage their shipping process.
So, whether you run a small eCommerce site or a growing online sales empire, follow along with this guide to learn more about how to make shipping easy.
Use modern online store software
If you want to succeed in online sales, one of the first steps is setting up your own online store on a domain that you own and control.
Selling on third-party marketplaces like Amazon and eBay is a great way to boost your sales, but you also give up a lot of control and some of your profit when selling on their platform.
With your own online store on your own website, you control everything. That includes the sales system and tools that communicate new sales to your fulfillment system. If you just use a contact form that emails you order details, it’s time for an upgrade!
Here are two great systems that can tie into your website to handle the sales process and offer great integrations with shipping and inventory apps:
GoDaddy Online Store: GoDaddy’s online store software allows you to add up to 1,500 products and 10 images per product, and has built-in inventory management. You can plug into Square, Stripe, PayPal, Apple Pay or accept cards from any major card company.
WordPress with WooCommerce: If you run your site using WordPress, the most popular content management system in the world, WooCommerce is built just for you. WooCommerce is built by the same people who built WordPress itself, so you know it will integrate and work well. Plus, it has tons of useful plugins to make shipping easy for your team. Here’s how to add WooCommerce to a WordPress website.
Automate as much as possible
If you want to make shipping easy, start with modern solutions.
Hand-written purchase orders and manual emails are out and automation is in.
If you only ship a limited number of products, you likely only need to send a few standard size orders with rare exceptions. That means you can set up your process to simply plug in a customer’s address, hit print and affix the label on the box.
Using Stamps.com or business tools from UPS or FedEx, you can quickly and easily plug in customer details and your computer takes care of the rest. You can prepare each package at the office, or your garage and drop them with the shipper. Quick and simple!
Dedicated shipping apps like ShipStation plug into all of your selling channels, including your own website and third-party marketplaces, to centralize your fulfillment process while getting discounts from major shippers.
With so many tools out there to help with online sales and shipping, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
If you can keep things simple and use just a few tools, you should have a better experience than integrating a whole suite of tools.
With GoDaddy Online Store and WooCommerce, for example, you can integrate sales, payments and inventory in one place. There is no reason to use a laundry list of tools when just one or two handle everything you need.
Manage fulfillment with dropshipping
The luxury version of this process involves using a dropshipper. In this scenario, a third-party vendor holds your inventory and processes orders for you.
All you have to do is market the product online, watch the sales roll in and wait for your check or direct deposit to arrive.
Of course, dropshippers charge their own fees, which can make this option cost prohibitive for some businesses.
Dropshipping is ideal for eCommerce businesses that operate as a side hustle. If you have another job and run your online store on the side, dropshipping companies can manage the order and fulfillment process seamlessly while you keep your day job.
If you follow in the steps in Tim Ferriss’s “The 4-Hour Workweek,” a dropshipping solution may even allow you to quit your job and run a business that makes money while you sleep. You can’t beat that!
Keys to success that make shipping easy
With a little focus and tools like these, you can put your eCommerce business on autopilot and enjoy robust sales, a simple shipping process and big profits.
- Fully automated sales: The first thing you need to make shipping easy is implement the right sales system — one that’s automatic, processes customer payments and sends sales details to your shipping system.
- Inventory management: You can’t complete a sale if you don’t have something to ship! Integrating your inventory into your sales system means you won’t disappoint customers with long delays or refunds.
- Shipping system: Whether you use a stand-alone shipping system or one that integrates directly into your store’s software, you can set standard package sizes and weights so shipping happens in one or two clicks. With modern shipping tools, you shouldn’t ever have to manually enter shipments or addresses.
- Reliable shipper: All of your efforts will be for naught if you don’t have a quality shipping company ready to receive your packages. The best shipping systems integrate with the USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL and more.
Make shipping easy — even on a small budget
You don’t have to be as big as Amazon or Walmart to succeed in online sales today.
Countless entrepreneurs run online businesses that sell and ship fun, useful and unique products around the world.
Even if you run a small store from your home office or garage, you can still access professional shipping tools at affordable rates.
It all starts with your website, and you can build your sales and shipping system from there. If you currently handle your shipments manually, it’s time to upgrade to save time and money. Those added profits may just trickle down to your bottom line, and that’s what running a business is all about.