Hey e-commerce, So you did all the pricing comparisons, created the right content, you also have a proper mobile friendly website, have put in ads and offers for your products and now the orders have started pouring in. Judgement day, isn’t it! Now the client is awaiting their order to be fulfilled and a lot depends on this first order if you wish your client to come back to you again and again.
If you have bought something online, you would surely agree that a lot depends on how you receive the product in your hand. Actually speaking, your logistics provider can make or break your business. If you have not thought of it already, now is the right time.
What good is a business to customers if it is not able to fulfill its promise? I'm going to touch upon this topic in detail. We will discuss on packaging, selecting a logistics provider, materials needed for packaging and how to plan for it.
Packaging and marketing
Gone are the days when customers will order a product online and still receive it if the content is not in one piece or damaged. The harm caused to your business due negative reviews because of packing is as bad as no business ever generated. Packaging is now also a marketing sorts for the company. Gone are the days of brown cardboard boxes with brown tapes on it. Retailers have evolved to provide boxes which tells customers a story of the brand in itself. The box itself creates a brand for the retailers. Let’s take a few examples both from India and abroad.
Amazon and its smiling logo, gives a feel good factor and communicates the retailers desire to bring smile to every customers face. Is not it?
Trunk Club an online wardrobe company packages its products in such a good way that you can read multiple references of their packaging style on net.
Flipkart is known to provide excellent packaging and delivery of products within its promised date. It was also the pioneers to prove in India that ecommerce can really work with the kind of infrastructure facilities in India.
It goes a long way in marketing your brand and giving a great customer experience to your customers if you packaging is correct. Retailers should consider how you can improve this. Consider some of the following points:
#1 : Display branding information prominently on your packaging
#2 : Differentiate yourself from competitors by providing a personalized message, a thank you note on a rich paper, a surprise gift, in your packing
Consider weight and size
As shippers bill based on weight or size consider keeping your weight minimum but making sure that the products is safely packed. Consider choosing suitable boxes for your products. According to a news report by Economic Times Amazon uses close to 20 corrugated box sizes whereas Flipkart uses close to 40. Excessive packaging or less packaging both are bad as both will lead to losses in the long term.
The above image clearly shows an example of a small item being delivered in a very large box, both ineffective and costly proposition for the retailer.
Lot of large Indian e-retailers invested logistics on their own initially to provide a hassle free experience to customers. Some notable examples are eKart of Flipkart, Gojavas initially started as a delivery arm of Jabong. However, many new startups have cropped up in this space, Delhivry a Delhi based company, ECOM Express again based in Delhi to name a few. Even traditional courier operators have jumped on to the opportunity, DTDC launched DotZot and BlueDart started its entirely new vertical to handle eCommerce clients.
There are no easy way to summarize shipping options as there are large number of factors which come into picture while planning or selecting your logistics provider. Follow the links below to learn what these specialists have to say.
Note that the above list is NOT as per any ranking or review.
This is a huge topic in itself and probably needs a separate blog. However, a quick check on the below points will definitely help:
Offer free shipping
This is a trend now a days. However, prices have to be adjusted accordingly depending upon the kind of purchase a customer is doing. For example:
#1 : Charge shipping in case a customer opts for cash on delivery
#2 : In case of prepaid delivery opt for increasing prices of product marginally to cover cost
#3 : Or cover partial delivery cost in the price of product
#4 : Otherwise pay entire amount from your margin (reduces profitability)
#5 : Offer free shipping on a minimum amount of purchase
#6 : Offer free shipping in case of a promotion
#7 : Offer coupons to avail free shipping
Charge real time shipping rates
This means that you allow customers to choose from an option of single day delivery (more costly) that standard delivery (less costly). Additionally, online stores now offer options of providing live shipping charges to the e-tailors website.
Charge flat rate
As the name suggests you charge all your clients a similar amount. There are two benefits, shoppers are prompted to buy more as they know they are going to pay same amount for a small purchase or a big purchase
Last but not the least how to pack your product, what materials to use. Which are the companies who specialize in India for this business. Again, the market is heavily fragmented with lot of local players available to provide packing material. The below list is just indicative of products available in the market. In no way this list be considered as an exhaustive list.
Hope you enjoyed reading the post and found it helpful. Do let me know if you know of any other vendor who has helped you in your business positively and you would like their name to come up here. Post your feedback's in the comments section below.