With everything done online nowadays, it is critical that businesses are equipped with the best tech, the best partners and the best services to make sure they can continue to serve their client's needs while maintaining room for growth.
So to help with the extremely important decision of which company should handle your shipping, we compiled a shortlist of criteria that you should use when doing your research:
A huge factor will always be money, in particular, budget. How much do you have to spend, and how most effectively can you spend it?
What should end up happening, is that the shipping company you choose will reduce your costs, and pass on the savings to your customers.
Make sure to compare the pricing model for each shipping courier, as the type of shipping solution they provide might come with a different pricing structure, which comes with its pros/cons.
*If you want a more detailed read on this, please check out our blog on it here.
Loyalty is an important trait, don’t get us wrong, but sometimes having options never hurt anyone.
And although it can be tempting to stick with only a single courier, outsourcing to multiple couriers will only increase the range of your delivery and reduce the overall cost of shipment.
The more options you have with couriers, the more opportunities you have to negotiate better rates, keeping the rates low, while also expanding your audience size since you can now reach areas that your current single carrier might now reach.
However, if you still can’t decide, you can always meet in the middle and go with a hybrid solution — a cheaper, more global, internet-savvy solution.
“I have signed up to ship through Eshipper for my parcel shipping needs. They have saved me lots of money on shipping compared to a direct business account with Canada post, Ups etc. They also have a dedicated account manager and support team to help answer any questions I have. I will continue to use them for my shipping needs for my business moving forward!”-Mat Ouellet
Over-communication is key, as in life, as in shipping.
There is nothing worse than having to track down a lost package while dealing with a delay in response, or even an unresponsive, shipping company.
This is why your partnered shipping company should be with someone you can trust, and that you know has your best interests at heart.
All this to say, make sure your partnered shipping company offers the following:
…because if they don’t, your customer might end up paying the price of a poorly delivered package, which then reflects horribly for your brand.
Ensuring the freight company offers all the shipping services that your company needs is crucial — and for good reason.
If your needs are not met, then what’s the point of the partnership?
Providing a solid foundation of shipping services, that are all interlinked to better serve your shipping needs, is the standout feature(s) of any shipping company.
When you’re starting out your eCommerce business, there is nothing stopping you from doing the work yourself, however, the second that sales start coming in, it’s time to think about growth and your eCommerce shipping solution.
And the choice of shipping partner is critical during this moment.
Don’t neglect the relationship between managing supply chain and growth, especially with advances being made in globalization, having a trusted partner, with years of experience, will help you navigate through the logistic complexities and help you come out on top.
This is huge, both for you as a business owner, as one of your customers.
Make sure the courier company you end working with has the appropriate infrastructure in place to facilitate tracking, and also a way to provide you easy access to viewing the data points.
You need data to make more informed decisions for both customer service oriented decisions, and financial ones — which in turn will help your business grow and become better.
As a side note, pouch pirating has become somewhat of an epidemic, and consumers are demanding more transparency with where their package is at all times. In fact, 4 out of 5 shoppers expect regular updates about their package whereabouts.
This makes order tracking capabilities a must-have when choosing a shipping company.
Single source of truth, the perfect term to use in this situation.
Basically it means having to only look at one place to find all the necessary information that you need, from package order information, to the various app integrations and the data that they are sending back about the status of your business’ logistics.
Having your shipping company be easily integrated with the web's most popular shopping platforms, like Shopify or Woocommerce, will be integral for the long-term success of your business, and it’s ability to have all it’s eggs in one basket (which is actually a good thing in this case) for easy viewing, accessibility, and tracking, plus it makes it an super easy eCommerce shipping solution.
Taking risks are fun, but when it comes to business, that’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
And choosing to work with a shipping company that hasn’t done the groundwork to get themselves on their feet, build their fleet and expand their network, is a risk.
Instead, focus on finding established, trustworthy shipping companies that, with their years of experience, can help solve problems rather than create them.
Shipping locally, and especially shipping internationally, combined with the headache of dealing with multiple courier services is a tall task for any solo entrepreneur, and getting some help in this area will only lessen the burden off your shoulders.
Make sure your partnered shipping company matches the requirements that you are looking for.
Do they offer air shipping? Only freight? Railroad?
How quick can they expedite a package, and how well do they handle the facilitation to get your products to multiple distributors across the region?
These kinds of requirements/services could change the shipping time of your packages dramatically, so it’s important to align your needs with the shipping company before handing off the work to them.
As a bonus tip, try going with an end-to-end shipping service provider because dealing with the pick-up, loading and delivery of your packages, all using different services, will quickly become a nightmare. Besides, the fewer hands your package has to go through, the less likely it will get lost or damaged while onroute.
At the end of the day, the choice of shipping company for your business comes down to your budget, your operational needs, and how much growth you are experiencing. However, finding a streamlined and reliable shipping partner will be key in how well optimized and efficient your eCommerce business can be, especially during this eCommerce boom that we are all experiencing.
Remember, look for courier services that match the needs of your business, while also saving you time and money. There are many amazing shipping companies out there, but only one that is right for your business, so make sure to do your research when choosing!