How to Improve The Shipping Speed of Your Store
By Laura McElroy

Owning an e-commerce company comes with many responsibilities. Probably the greatest one of them all is ensuring shipping times are reasonable. With so many e-commerce stores now offering fast shipping times, it is essential for your business to match it or do better.

Customers expect free two-day shipping as a standard, so if your business is not offering this service as a minimum, you may be losing customers. Many customers may even forget what they had ordered by the time it arrives if it takes too long.

One of the best things you can do to boost your e-commerce business is to improve your shipping speeds. Here’s how you can do this:

Picking times

One of the simplest ways to make the customer feel special is to let them know their order has been picked on the same day that it was placed. This picking service can be challenging in e-commerce, since many customers may be shopping after hours.

However, one way to address this is to have a cutoff time. A third-party fulfillment service can have a picking cutoff time of, say, 5 pm. So, any orders placed up to 5 pm on the day will be picked on the same day. Employing order cutoff times like this can help you manage your shipments more easily.

Warehouse locations

When you have a warehouse in a single location, all your shipping must be done from that location. This means that people living far away from that warehouse might wait longer for their shipment. Alternatively, it could put a lot of strain on the pickers and packers for that warehouse and might result in slower processing and shipping times.

Having more than one warehouse may be an expensive layout in the beginning, but it can go a long way in speeding up shipping times. You have more space, a larger workforce, and origin locations closer to the recipients. The expense of additional warehouses can be quickly made up in shipping volume when customers support your model of efficiency.

Third-party services

Using specialist third party services can also speed up your shipping time, and potentially reduce costs. Hiring a third-party logistics company means all your shipping, from receiving stock to shipping to customers, is taken care of by experts.

Red Stag offers a 3PL warehousing service where the shipments are received, stored, picked, packed, and shipped by their expert shipment handlers. 

This means they are always aware of what stock is stored where, how much is left, and how best to pack it, resulting in faster shipping times. Additionally, any loss or damaged stock falls into the responsibility of the third-party shippers, so your business never loses money for bad stock.

Notification times

Notifying customers every step of the way is a great idea when you want them to feel important and informed. However, there are some consequences you might want to consider when notifying customers immediately of every step.

While you can guarantee two-day shipping, your customer might receive the item at the last possible moment. Delaying your notification process to be one step behind until the final moments of delivery might be a good way to ensure customer satisfaction. This means that customers are still being informed but are not expecting every step of delivery to be as quick as the first.

Efficient processes

Evaluate the processes already in place to see whether they are at their most efficient. Where is time being lost or wasted? Eliminating inefficient practices can save time and money.

Consider using digital barcodes or even using drones for the picking processes. Locating items might be a lot easier if you have a digital tracker or bird’s-eye view. Any steps you can take to make the process more efficient are all steps in the right direction.

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