eCommerce Shipping

eCommerce Shipping: Strategies, Methods and Best Practices in India

  Apr 03, 2024  

Sarah owns an online jewellery and accessories store. She has been successfully operating for the past two years, thanks to her creative choices. Yet, she has noticed a slight dip in customer satisfaction and repeated sales in recent months. Concerned about retaining her customer base and growing her business, Sarah decided to check the possible reasons. 

She realized that she needed to focus on improving her shipping process and enhancing the overall shopping experience for her customers. You must be wondering why it is so important. 

Well, with eCommerce in today’s digital space comes new ways to shop which enable people to search and purchase products from their own homes. However, there is one critical factor behind every successful eCommerce transaction; dependable shipping services. Herein lies a discussion about everything eCommerce shipping as we happen to know it as well as how quick online selling can lead you toward happier buyers.

What is eCommerce Shipping?

eCommerce shipping refers to delivering items purchased online directly to clients’ doorsteps, which involves activities such as order processing, packaging, label printing, transportation, and final delivery stages, among others.

Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar stores where customers can walk out with their purchases immediately, eCommerce transactions require efficient shipping methods to ensure timely delivery and customer satisfaction.

eCommerce Shipping Process

Order Processing

When a customer places an order online, the process begins. The eCommerce platform gets the details for the order which includes information about the product, shipping address, and choice of shipping method.

Packaging

After receiving the purchase request, inventory items have to be selected and prepared for packing. Careful packaging is necessary in order to safeguard products while in transit to ensure that they arrive in perfect condition.

Label Generation

A shipping label contains the customer’s address and other relevant data. This label is then placed on the package to ease the tracking and delivery process.

Transportation

The packed items are passed on to a shipping carrier or logistic provider who will then transport them. The factors such as transportation speed, cost, and destination determine which carrier should be used.

Delivery

The courier partner transports the package to the customer’s doorstep or sends it back to the designated pickup location. Sometimes customers get tracking information to monitor the status of their shipment.

Shipping Modes

Standard Shipping

Standard shipping usually takes 4-5 business days for delivery. It is the most cost-effective hence a preferred option but may not be suitable for time-sensitive products. Buyers prefer to get their products as soon as possible.

Expedited Shipping

Expedited shipping is a faster delivery option and usually comes with a guaranteed estimated delivery time of 2-3 business days. It has a little higher shipping cost than standard shipping but is preferred by customers who require faster delivery.

One-Day Shipping

One-day shipping promises to deliver the very next day. It is ideal for urgent orders but comes with significantly higher shipping fees or membership of the platform.

Two-Day Shipping

Two-day shipping is guaranteed shipping option which became synonymous with Amazon Prime’s 2-day delivery promise to the customer’s doorstep, in 2005. It has been widely adopted by eCommerce businesses worldwide. It is cheaper and convenient option to one-day shipping and meets the customer expectations of faster delivery.

Overnight Shipping

Overnight shipping guarantees delivery by the next morning. It is the fastest shipping option available but is also the most expensive option.

Hybrid Shipping

Hybrid shipping combines land and air transportation to optimize delivery time and costs. It balances speed and affordability, making it a popular choice in eCommerce businesses.

eCommerce Shipping Pricing Strategies

Different eCommerce businesses charge different shipping rates from their customers. Here are a few popular shipping pricing strategies used by businesses across all sizes and phases of growth:

Flat Rate Shipping

Flat rate shipping is the most common form of shipping where the same specified shipping fee is charged either for all orders or for all those that have a certain weight range, order value, or other classification. The average cost of shipping and handling per order in the category should be used as flat-rate shipping. However, the delivery charge will only be paid partially by some orders while others will be overcharged.

Real-time Carrier Rates

Some online shopping stores show real-time carrier rates while ordering goods. This means that carriers’ exact fees are taken from them based on a customer’s position, time, and mode of delivery.

This enables you to bill your customers exactly what it costs your business to ship their orders.

For instance, if a customer wants the product to be delivered within 24 hours, he will pay Rs 100 extra otherwise the standard shipping charges are Rs 40, which will be delivered in 4-5 business days.

While real-time carrier rates seem to be an effective shipping pricing strategy, it can get a bit complex to implement. Tying up with a shipping solution can make this a bit easier.

Free Shipping

The cost of shipping is typically built into the product price. Free shipping can be a powerful marketing tool to attract customers, but it can also impact profit margins. Additionally, it can reduce the number of abandoned carts, improve conversions, and foster customer loyalty.

So, how to keep profitable while offering free delivery?

  1. Including the price of the shipment in the product itself
  2. Fulfilling purchase criteria before free shipments can be availed
  3. Taking a recurring fee in the form of a loyalty program in exchange for free shipping on all orders just like Amazon charges the Prime membership fees

Impact of Faster Shipping on Customer Satisfaction

Fast online sales delivery plays a crucial role in enhancing customer satisfaction and driving repeat business. Here’s how:

Improved Customer Experience

Customers love it when their orders are delivered on or before time. They feel valued which results in a positive customer experience and are more likely to purchase again.

Increased Trust and Loyalty

Faster shipping builds trust and loyalty among customers. When a brand delivers on or before time, it showcases that the brand or seller is reliable in terms of squeezed delivery bandwidth which fosters long-term relationships.

Reduced Abandoned Carts

When the sellers show a longer expected date of delivery, buyers often abandon their carts and want faster alternatives. By offering fast delivery options, eCommerce businesses can reduce cart abandonment rates and boost conversion rates.

Competitive Advantage

In today’s fast-paced, cutthroat eCommerce landscape, reliable shipping can give a cornerstone. Businesses that offer expedited or one-day shipping may attract more customers and gain a competitive edge over their competitors.

Positive Reviews and Referrals

Satisfied customers tend to give positive reviews and refer the brand to others. Fast delivery contributes to higher customer satisfaction, resulting in more favorable reviews and word-of-mouth referrals amongst friends and peers.

Why Has eCommerce Shipping Become Crucial Than Ever?

It’s opportunistic yet it’s complicated!

Global Competition

The eCommerce market is flooded with millions of brands emerging every year, and thus competition is stiffer than ever before. To make a difference, companies must ensure that the shipping services they offer to their customers are exceptional.

Rising Shopper Expectations

Consumers now expect seamless and efficient shipping services. To meet these growing expectations, In order to meet these rising customer expectations, eCommerce businesses have to constantly come up with innovative ways of surpassing customer demands.

Supply Chain Challenges

Labor shortages, port congestion, and rising freight costs are some of the challenges that have made it hard for businesses to effectively manage their fulfillment process. Dependable logistics partners help to navigate these hurdles and guarantee timely product delivery to customers.

Attention Span

Consumer attention spans are fleeting. Amidst continual distractions, however, it becomes crucial for a company to provide personalized shopping experiences and post-shopping experiences so as not to lose its customers’ interest.

Brands Winning eCommerce Game with Shipping

Amazon

One of the biggest online stores known for its global presence is the best example. Amazon’s speedy delivery makes it stand out from the crowd. It’s like a cherry on top, making customers super happy by cutting down wait time. This has got Amazon a lot of repeat purchases and loyal customers.

To achieve such fast delivery, Amazon strategically utilizes local fulfillment centers and collaborates with reliable courier services. This ensures real-time tracking and timely updates, giving customers peace of mind and making it the top-notch choice for buyers.

Prime became the game changer!

Fast and reliable delivery must be the top priority of eCommerce sellers. Keeping this in mind, Amazon created Prime membership for people who wanted to pay a certain price to enjoy expedited shipping. This gave Amazon a competitive advantage in the cutthroat competition of the eCommerce industry.

These special members get their packages faster than a shooting star. It’s like magic, making their shopping experience super awesome. With speedy deliveries, online stores can keep their customers happy and coming back for more. It’s like a secret recipe for success that many leading eCommerce stores are using!

Myntra

Myntra, a titan in fashion and lifestyle eCommerce has carved a niche for itself, earning the trust of countless online shoppers. Apart from discounts to cash on delivery what worked wonders for Myntra was its hybrid logistics model. It takes uttermost care of its supply chain management and employs delivery agents with high experience to ensure impeccable services.

Myntra ships the products of sellers through Myntra courier partner Ekart Logistics. Myntra had its own logistics brand Myntra Logistics as well. However, post-acquisition from Flipkart, it merged Myntra Logistics with Ekart, Flipkart’s logistics brand. Thus, all Myntra orders are shipped through Myntra courier partner Ekart Logistics.

Top eCommerce Shipping Partners in India

Delhivery

Starting its operations in 2011, it serves over 10,000 customers, of which 75% are eCommerce business sellers. Best known for its Cash-On-Delivery (COD) services and RTO services, its focus lies on express delivery, same-day, next-day, and on-demand delivery.

DTDC

Founded in 1990 in Bengaluru, DTDC enables eCommerce businesses to customize deliveries according to the preferences of different customers and provide services such as COD, bulk shipping, heavy-weight shipping, or express delivery.

Customer enterprises can benefit from both of their inter-state and intra-city delivery options to enhance their fulfillment.

Blue Dart

Blue Dart

The courier company since operations in 1983, offering multiple payment packages, Blue Dart is known for multiple payment packages that bundle services together. Blue Dart has a reach of over 35,000+ pin codes in India and 220+ countries globally.

Ekart Logistics

It stands as one of India’s foremost logistics and supply chain service providers. It started in 2009 when it commenced operations as the in-house supply chain services provider for Flipkart.

Offering an array of services, Ekart simplifies pick-up and return processes, ensures comprehensive first-mile and last-mile coverage, and provides customer-friendly payment options. Leveraging technology-driven supply chain operations through API-based integration, Ekart guarantees timely shipment creation, reliable tracking, and seamless problem resolution.

FedEx

FedEx before making a mark in India for the provision of perfect shipping solutions to online businesses, FedEx had made a name in the worldwide logistics market.

When it comes to eCommerce businesses in India, it is known as one of the best courier services because it can deliver heavyweight products, fragile goods, and high-value goods.

This international and domestic shipping is supported by FedEx Shipping API, which links online stores with its main services: FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, and FedEx Express. The documentation detailing FedEx API enables easier returns management, as well as the creation of shipping labels and performance reporting.

Xpressbees

Xpressbees is a top-tier courier company and is known for its exceptional serviceability. It is known to provide on-time deliveries, ensuring packages reach swiftly and securely. They have an extensive network that allows broad coverage in remote areas and strategic tie-ups.

What also sets them apart is tracking and monitoring services through cutting-edge technology which provides complete transparency to the customers. Moreover, their dedicated customer support is excellent. It ensures that concerns are promptly addressed, enhancing the overall experience of the customers. With a customer-centric approach and a commitment to be a reliable shipping partner,

Getting Started With The Right Shipping Solution

When you run an eCommerce business, reliable eCommerce shipping is everything. Remember, the first impression is the last! If your shipment is delayed or in a bad state, the customer is most likely to not purchase again from your store. By understanding the importance of different shipping options and prioritizing fast online sales delivery, eCommerce businesses can enhance customer satisfaction and drive growth in the competitive online marketplace.

If you are tired of your current shipping partner, get started with RapidShyp, an eCommerce courier aggregator that provides an option of 10+ courier partners and offers services across 26000+ pin codes.

Pragya Gupta is a content marketer with over 7 years of experience in writing, content strategy, and PR. At RapidShyp, she’s involved in research, editing, and writing for the blogs, reports, shipping encyclopedia and other brand assets.

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