eCommerce Shipping Companies: The Definitive Guide

Friday, June 21, 2024

In the fast-growing world of eCommerce, shipping is one of the most vital and intricate components of a thriving business. It's also a significant cost source, as brands spend 5-15% of their total revenue on logistics. 

This percentage is even higher during peak seasons and for businesses selling products in competitive markets where rapid delivery is expected. As an online retailer in 2024, there is much to learn about working with international parcel delivery companies.

You want customers to be happy with their purchases, which goes beyond having a good product.

Think about the last time you placed an order online. What were the chances of you searching elsewhere if a website listed that your product would arrive a few weeks after placing an order?

You want items promptly. Although eCommerce shipping companies have a tough job, especially around the holidays or when unexpected weather conditions or unforeseen situations cause delays, customer satisfaction hinges on how quickly your business can deliver an order. 

Navigating the Landscape of eCommerce Shipping Companies

The eCommerce shipping companies landscape consists of numerous carriers, from local to global giants. You can fulfill and deliver orders in-house, especially when starting, but this limits your geographic selling range. A large amount of revenue may be lost if you cannot quickly get your products into the hands of your customers who live in different countries.

Although regional providers may sound ideal, they only service limited areas. Partnering with a provider like SkyPostal can allow us to deliver products to Latin America.

Let's consider some things when deciding which company to use.

Essential Factors When Choosing A Shipping Partner

Customers' biggest complaints with eCommerce businesses is when they must pay exorbitant rates for shipping and handling or when there's an unexpected extra fee upon checkout. Be mindful that these are likely reasons that lead to nearly 50% of abandoned shopping carts.

Suppose customers consistently find that they must pay for rush deliveries or expedite the shipping process of products from your store. In that case, this creates a negative impression and reduces your chance of repeat buyers. You'll likely need to implement several eCommerce shipping solutions.

For starters, factor these key considerations when choosing a shipping partner to meet the demand.

1. Business Size and Goals

Small-scale entrepreneurs, for instance, may not need international or even nationwide deliveries. If most customers reside in one city or region, you can use an ePacket with USPS, assuming your packages meet their weight, width, and size regulations. Small and medium-sized businesses shipping across borders, particularly to Latin America, often use companies like SkyPostal (which is an excellent option since SkyPostal has better rates than other major carriers and customs experiences).

Be mindful of company goals, also. Do you plan to stay regional or local? If so, smaller companies may be more economical, depending on your pricing structure. A globally established company looking to cut back on high overhead costs would use the international delivery options provided by SkyPostal.

2. Service Options, Fulfillment Speed and Coverage

Before starting a partnership, consider the specific service options you need and where your customers live. Global businesses, especially eCommerce businesses, usually prioritize providers that offer speedy turnaround times, such as next-day or 2-day delivery.

In the era of Amazon Prime, buyers often expect fast shipping with most products. Those offering quick shipping methods or options for 1-day delivery are prioritized. Smaller-scale online retailers that make homemade or hand-designed crafts can use ground shipping offered by USPS, FedEx, and UPS.

3. Integration Capabilities and Cost-Efficiency

Before proceeding, it is critical to consider technology integration capabilities to automate shipping and order fulfillment stages. Remember, not all businesses use the same systems. For example, SkyPostal offers free connections to its customers.

For instance, small or even mid-sized operations will have minimal API support and often resort to a multi-channel spreadsheet, which can create issues, especially during a growth spurt. With the rapid evolution of eCommerce businesses in recent years, most providers offer easy access through online software. This enables bulk printing for shipping labels, bills, commercial invoices, and customs documentation when moving items across borders.

This saves time, especially during surges like those seen during the weeks surrounding holidays. You'll want an option with an easy-to-use dashboard that has streamlined real-time tracking options. Your inventory management will be more effective, and your warehousing will be more organized.

Remember also that, by law, online sellers are prohibited from selling, manufacturing, producing, storing, or delivering alcohol through any SkyPostal or USPS shipping option.

4. Carrier Reliability and Performance Analytics

While shipping solutions sound helpful and ideal, research before assuming your product will arrive undamaged or on time. For starters, evaluate previous performance levels, check provider ratings, and contact companies for specifics of their track record. Packages can always fail to arrive during shipping due to situations like adverse weather conditions, accidents, or unexpected circumstances or problems beyond the provider's control.

Larger eCommerce shipping companies that handle tens of thousands of orders daily usually have contingency plans and even backup delivery solutions, especially during peak seasons such as the holiday season. Since SkyPostal specializes in shipping to Latin American countries, they have the connections and expertise to handle these orders.

Be mindful that only some shipping service providers use metrics the same way. Ask questions so your internal shipping operations are working well and customers are happy with how and when they receive packages.

What Major Players in the eCommerce Shipping World Consider

As already mentioned, eCommerce fulfillment can be a demanding process for large-scale or small operations, considering things like:

  • Inventory control
  • Order fulfillment
  • Warehousing efficiency
  • Inventory synchronization with online marketplaces or sales platforms
  • Customer support needs
  • Handling charges and making sure you are charging the correct shipping costs.

Thankfully, many excellent, established providers have impressive KPI metrics and decades of experience shipping large or small packages worldwide. SkyPostal, for example, specializes in shipping to Brazil, Mexico, and other Latin American countries.

Remember that each eCommerce shipping company has different package restrictions regarding width and size, weight requirements, and more.

Tips for a Stellar Customer Shipping Experience

For small and medium-sized businesses selling in saturated or competitive markets or online retailers looking to stand out from the rapidly growing sector of eCommerce, you need every advantage to set yourself apart. 

To do this, you must know how to ship economically and at affordable rates while ensuring products arrive on time and without damage so that customers feel compelled to return for repeat purchases, especially since the number of consumers purchasing goods online keeps increasing.

eCommerce businesses generated more than 1 trillion dollars in 2024. Experts believe that eCommerce companies will total approximately 8 trillion dollars within the next few years, with over 20% of consumer purchases made through online retailers.

To capitalize on this, be sure to create a user-friendly website that includes a transparent return policy. Here are some additional factors to factor in for customers.

Communicate With Transparency and Follow Through

One of the worst things any seller can do is prevent a buyer from knowing where a product is in the shipping process. The world expects updates, so use systems to streamline and automate this process.

If your platform needs to be more robust to handle this, partner with eCommerce shipping companies that are equipped to do so, such as SkyPostal. This will keep customers calm and encourage them to order again.

Most modern sellers, whether independent freelancers, online resellers, or those who sell handmade jewelry or home-crafted furniture, can quickly send out notifications when a product leaves a facility, is at a processing hub or is en route. 

You'll also want to notify customers of the day a product will arrive so that they can arrange their schedules. Of course, the faster the turnaround time, the better, so provide as many expedited delivery methods as your system allows.

Provide Tracking Numbers With Easy To Use Options

As modern customers place an order through an eCommerce store on your website, they want to feel assured that their products are on their way. A significant component to ease this worry is providing unique order identification numbers they can use with any marketplace platform you are selling from.

It's critical to keep track of order volume and orders already placed. Your best eCommerce shipping company is one that enables instant access so you or any employees with clearance privileges are aware of the status of each order. In short, be detailed, use metrics, and quickly share data.

Streamline and Offer Multiple Return Methods

Naturally, there will be times when products are different from what is pictured when customers choose the wrong: 

  • Color
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Width
  • Or version of a product

Online stores and marketplaces offer return processes for these reasons.

Be mindful of return processes. The higher the product abandonment, the worse your performance rating will look. Try to make it as simple as possible for a customer. 

Use the Right Packaging

To start, get packaging that makes sense—sturdy but straightforward, compact, and cost-effective. When packing products from the start, keep returns in mind.

Nobody wants to tear through countless layers of packing tape, bulky plastic, or even fragile paper. Remember, most modern companies are mindful of their impact on the planet so source your packing and shipping materials ethically from providers who also focus on doing their part for sustainability. This will incentivize buyers to continue using your business as their trusted marketplace provider.

It will also demonstrate, from a business perspective, that your focus is broader than just selling goods. Be as user-friendly as your platforms, marketplace services, and eCommerce business permits so that your eCommerce business ideas or operations keep a steady flow of momentum, with happy customers returning for more.

eCommerce Shipping Companies: Final Thoughts

eCommerce shipping companies need help getting items delivered worldwide quickly and undamaged. While several major providers, such as SkyPostal, are excellent starting places, carefully evaluate and choose the company whose systems work for you. Customers expect access to several speedy shipping solutions, including 1-day and 2-day shipping, accessible and more economical.

Be communicative to assure your customer base that items are being processed and on their way promptly after they make an order. You'll maintain a healthy cash flow and minimize handling charges by incorporating critical components into your selling plan. This results in a better image and customer perception of your business.

For more information or to partner with a highly experienced international Latin American shipping carrier, contact SkyPostal today.