Guestblog SendCloud: Are you wasting money on webshop logistics?

Shipping, return policy and delivery status are re-occurring queries in the search bar of many webshops. Every online retailer wants to make sure their delivery policy is up to its customer's ever-demanding standards. And the facts don’t lie: on average, the cost of logistics and shipping is over 20% of the total revenue.

Logistical costs have risen from 11 to 25% over the past 8 years. This mostly has to do with the diversity of products and their sizes, weight and destination. Making shipping one of the biggest challenges, especially in e-commerce. 

At Sendcloud, this is something we know all about. In this article, we’ll give you some great tips to make your shipping process more efficient. Thus letting you keep more of your well-earned money at the end of the day!

Free shipping isn’t what it used to be
Zalando and H&M are breaking the trend of free shipping. Which is interesting, as the big players were the ones that made free shipping the new standard within e-commerce, as a way to grow their conversion. 

Nowadays it is more common to ask a small fee with the shipping of smaller packages, especially in Spain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. H&M now has a rule of extra shipping costs for orders under 20 euros. The most important reason? High revenue, but relatively bad results. Meaning it’s time for a change, and we can expect to start paying for shipping in the near future. In the case of Zalando, they’ve gained dominance and a relatively low shipping price won’t stop their customers from buying their merchandise. 

4 simple tactics for a more efficient shipping process
How can you get rid of unnecessary shipping costs? Here are 4 practical tips:

1. Use different methods of shipping
It gets forgotten often but simply choosing the first shipping option actually isn’t all that smart. Combine shipping options and even carriers, when possible. With some logistics suppliers, it’s cheaper to ship deliveries to a collection point instead of a home address. Another supplier could have better pricing than your usual ‘first choice’ abroad. When sending products that differ in size, don’t forget about packages that can fit through a mailbox, and use ‘normal’ post (without track and trace) for less valuable products. 

Also, keep ‘the mailbox-packages’  in mind when shopping for packaging. We all waste loads of packaging; which isn’t just bad for the environment, it’s also a great waste of your precious money. 

2. Don’t forget about surcharges
Surcharges, we’d rather not talk about them, but it is a necessity to do so. When a package isn’t suited, or larger than the permitted size, logistics suppliers will charge surcharges as they obviously have to spend more time on processing and delivery. 

As dull as it might seem: always check and read the terms and conditions of your suppliers. If a package is larger or heavier than permitted, divide it into two separate ones or look for an alternative shipping method, that does allow bigger or heavier packages. Make sure that you take possible surcharges into account, know what to expect, and maybe even adjust your pricing. 

3. Automate, automate, automate
Whether you work in a team or by yourself, make sure to decrease the margin of error and automate as much as possible. There are loads of ways you can outsource your logistics, yet keep an eye on it at the same time. Large suppliers have online shipping services for stamping and the payment of packages. But have you ever thought of software that can automate all your shipping, from start to finish? With the software of SendCloud, you’re able to connect each online sales funnel to (inter)national suppliers. 

All of your orders will come in automatically whilst at the same time, you can print picklists, labels, send track & trace codes (in your own corporate style) and take care of returns, all in one! You decide on the method and logistical suppliers, activating them both in the backend of your webshop, as well as your checkout with, for example, collection points. 

4. Handle your returns wisely
Did you know that 44% of all webshops don’t meet the norms of European legislation? Every entrepreneur in the EU is obliged to let heir customers know about their rights to return products. With this in mind, the return policy is hidden a lot, and not communicated on, as webshops are afraid of receiving returns. 

Besides that, there are increasingly more solutions being thought of that handle returns more efficiently, you can actually gain conversion when using a transparent, flexible and easy return policy.

Earlier this year, Peer to Peer returns platform Keepr came out with the plan of gathering returns from webshops and sending them out, straight to new buyers. Fashion retailer Zalando started adding a large label to their products, that aren’t allowed to be taken off, to make it easier for the company to sell on the returned products. 

When receiving returns, both you and your customers can take care of them easily and automatically with SendCloud. The customer makes their own return label in the online SendCloud environment They then send the package back and you’ll both be kept up to date of the status of the package. Meaning you, as a retailer, get to sell the returned product(s) swiftly and your customer won’t be left with any difficult questions on returning and therefore bugging your customer service.

In conclusion
Saving costs on shipping is one thing. But by setting up everything involving shipping, returns, packaging and logistics properly, you’ll not only automate your business, but you’ll also create more conversion. Flexible shipping and return policies are both indispensables when keeping an eye on your shipping costs in e-commerce.

Keen to know more about efficient shipping? Let us know! Our partners at SendCloud can help by taking a look at your shipping process and see if you can save time and money and ultimately, increase conversion.

About SendCloud
SendCloud is Europe’s no. 1 shipping platform for webshops. We help online retailers grow, by automating one of the most expensive and timeconsuming processes; from offering several shipping methods in the checkout to the picking and packing of orders, printing shipping labels, sending out tracking notifications and processing European returns.