Resources for Businesses Shipping Orders During COVID-19

Resources for Businesses Shipping Orders During COVID-19

COVID-19 has a huge impact on communities and on our economy. Since the quarantine, retailers have closed their locations and people stay home to social distance, there has been an increase in online shopping and package deliveries. In this new normal, businesses are adapting but still using online shopping and package deliveries.

While shipping carriers continue to operate as an essential service, there may be some changes that could temporarily impact the way you fulfill orders. To keep your business moving during these uncertain times, we’ve put together a list of strategies to help you ship orders and communicate with customers.

  1. Optimizing your shipping strategy
  2. Getting products to your customers
  3. Communicating with your customers

1. Optimize your shipping strategy

Free packaging materials

Many carriers offer free packaging for use with a specific shipping rate. Although there is no cost for the materials, you might need to create a free account with the carrier in order for them to send it to you.

Shipping rates at checkout 

Now more than ever, customers are expecting fast and affordable delivery options.

While shipping times can’t be controlled, you can consider pricing options like free or flat-rate shipping. If you choose to offer free shipping, you can include the fee in your product prices, or you can absorb the shipping costs. If you choose to offer flat-rate shipping, customers will pay one consistent rate depending on where they are located.

Save time buying shipping labels

Adding weights for your products and packages will ensure you get accurate label prices and save time when purchasing a label.

2. Get products to your customers

Due to COVID-19, some carriers have temporarily changed their shipping services and policies. Shipping delays should be expected due to canceled flights, governmental decisions, and staff reductions. Consider offering local delivery for customers who are located nearby. 

3. Communicate with your customers

Stay in touch with your customers to communicate shipping delays and encourage engagement through updates and promotional offers.

Communicate shipping delays

Send an email to your subscribers and/or create an announcement bar to share shipping updates with customers on your site. 

Leverage social media

With many people staying at home, now is a good time to communicate using social media. Let your customers know how they can continue to support your business, whether through online shopping, local pickups and deliveries, or with gift cards. You can also share promotional codes to boost sales and communicate safety measures your business is following.

For more resources to help you navigate your business during the COVID-19 health crisis, visit our blog and check out our Instagram account @asiacommerce, or you can join our membership so you can import products easily, just fill the form here: https://asiacommerce.net/import-export-request/

When Is The Right Time to Switch to Outsourced Fulfillment?

When Is The Right Time to Switch to Outsourced Fulfillment?

Most companies begin to fulfill their own orders, while some eventually use a third-party logistics solution as they grow. Thing is, sometimes it’s difficult to know when to switch, especially when you build your own company from the ground up with nothing but personal savings.

Businesses with various sizes can get benefit by using warehousing and fulfillment services. There are variety of companies that offer warehousing and fulfillment services, some of which specialize in smaller or larger-scale operations

However, there are clear signs that it’s time to switch to outsourced fulfillment.

Cyclical or uneven sales

If the number of orders you process fluctuates throughout the year, it’s probably difficult for you to handle to running and staffing your own warehouse. A logistics company will be able to adapt to your needs.

Besides, unexpected spikes in sales can interfere your delivery promise. An expert can handle times when your daily order volume peaks so you can focus on your delivery consistency and make efficient experience every time.

You’re too busy

Source: Freepik

If you’re too busy dealing with order fulfillment and thus distract your growth focus, it’s probably time to outsourcing it. As a business owner, you need to be able to devote time to sales and marketing, expanding to other e-commerce platforms, sourcing new products and ideas, and improving your business for the long term.

Lack of infrastructure

Source: Kit8

If you’re expanding your business geographically, you may outgrow your current infrastructure before you can adapt. Shipping to locations across the country or even the world comes with logistical challenges that increase expenses and shipping times. This can inhibit large-scale growth.

When you outsource to a global fulfillment partner, they’ll be better equipped to serve a growing customer base, leveraging multiple locations, and optimizing fulfillment accordingly.

Third-party warehousing and fulfillment isn’t right for everyone, but if you find yourself in one of these situations, it might be time to start calling around and chatting with logistics companies.

The Benefits of Using Third-Party Logistics

Source: Land-Link Traffic Systems

The clear advantage of using a third-party logistics (3PL) company to outsources fulfillment is that it saves you from having to do the work yourself. But there is a deeper advantage, outsourcing warehousing and fulfillment can have a meaningful impact on your business’s growth.

Avoid long-term leases

Source: Clark Logistic Services

Many logistic companies offer adjustable pricing. This means they’ll be able to adjust to your needs and costs accordingly as you grow or go through slow period. Renting your own warehouse mostly requires more of a commitment.

Bring on the experts

Source: Cole Reports

When you hire an outsourced fulfillment services provider, you’re not only get a warehouse space, but also people who will be responsible for running the fulfillment center. When you fulfill and ship your won orders, you’ll likely need to hire your staff as you expand. Managing staff takes time. If your business is still constantly changes, you may be wary of promising someone a job. Instead, you can outsource the work to a logistics company and let them be responsible for finding and hiring good people.

Each 3PL has a whole team of logistics experts and support staff who will always be there to help you along the way. They maintain all of the labor needed for receiving, inventory management, and order processing and shipping, giving you an advance agility you might not achieve easily on your own.

Use your time to optimize

Source: Time and Date

It is very likely that you don’t start a business just because you are good at packing boxes. Your time is better used to manage and optimize your company, not stuck in the logistics of order fulfillment. When you let someone else handle your logistical details, you can focus on the things that have a greater impact on your bottom line.

Be more agile

Although doing it yourself is mostly free, it can actually cost you in the long run. Consumers mostly expect faster shipping times, doing it in-house less likely meet their expectations and deliver a bad customer experience. Partnering with a 3PL for fulfillment services can benefit you from their effectiveness and buying power leverage on packaging and shipping costs. Some even update you with a real-time stock level and status so you can be proactive.

This extra time can give you and your team to test new strategies, inventory management techniques, and other strategies to achieve rapid growth without worrying about back-end logistics or hiring backlogs.

What You Need to Know About Fulfillment Services

Source: VIA Technologies

Warehousing, shipping, and fulfillment can’t be separated when you begin to establish an e-commerce business or selling products.

Even though making sells is always the exciting part, you need to make sure your products end up in customers’ hands.

There are three options you can choose to make this happen:

  1. Sell your product through a drop-shipper who will place orders for you
  2. Place your order independently
  3. Collaborate with a logistics company that will handle your warehousing and fulfillment

There are certain advantages from packing and shipping your own orders: it’s cheap and flexible. Often times, businesses that are just starting out, and businesses that have extra packaging needs, usually handle their own logistics.

And regardless of age or industry, any business struggling with cash flow will be better off handling things in-house. Sometimes you have more time to spend than money.

But if your business has expanded and growing quickly so you have the cash on hand to outsourced, you may consider for using third-party warehousing and fulfillment.

There are many logistics companies that will store your product and take care of packing and shipping your orders, but not all logistics companies provide fulfillment services such as AsiaCommerce.

But What is fulfillment service?

A fulfillment service is a third-party warehouse that prepares and ships your orders for you. It does this from its fulfillment center. E-commerce fulfillment services are ideal for businesses that don’t want to deal with shipping or have outgrown existing warehousing capabilities to a point where they’re unable to ship orders themselves anymore.

If you’re scaling fast and looking to optimize your fulfillment strategy, working with a provider that offers a central view of your data and smart inventory allocation across multiple warehouses will give you the most flexibility. To learn more about the AsiaCommerce fulfillment services, visit us here

What does a fulfillment center do?

Source: All Things Supply Chain

While each fulfillment center operates slightly differently, they all accomplish the same thing: they act as a command center for all your order prepping and shipping needs. Fulfillment centers also double as warehouse spaces for inventory storage, allowing you to hold onto product.

Some fulfillment service providers have multiple fulfillment centers, allowing them to serve different geographic locations more quickly than if they were to have just one. This allows e-commerce companies to deliver fast and affordable shipping to a diverse customer base.

What do fulfillment services cost?

Source: Shipware

Fulfillment services typically charge by the hour or per unit/pallet. Providers add up costs for receiving, storage, pick and pack, shipping, kitting or bundling, returns, custom packaging, gift services, and setup. They then apply transactional (e.g., receiving, shipping) and recurring (e.g., storage) fees.

If your business has big goals, fluctuating sales, but not enough time to take care of things in-house, AsiaCommerce will help you! Just fill the form here

What You Need to Know About International Dropshipping

Source: Chinabrands.com

Internet and Technology advancements have made doing business across countries easier and faster than before. Now, you can do business anywhere in the world. Yes, by anywhere it means you can do it in the comfort of your home and office. Indeed, e-commerce has changed the way people do business.

Dropshipping is one of the business models that you can do internationally. Dropshipping means that you partner with a wholesale supplier or manufacturer who will directly package and ship the products to your customers. Or, you can be the wholesale supplier and be the one to ship the products to customers of your partner wholesale vendor.

In this article, we will discuss 10 things dropshippers need to know about international dropshipping.

  • Shipping Carrier
Source: More Than Shipping

You must partner with a shipping carrier who will meet your specific shipping requirements. If you choose to dropship, you need to consider the coverage of the dropshipping supplier. Most especially if you offer worldwide shipping, you need to partner with a supplier who offers international shipping.

These are the factors that you need to consider in choosing a shipping carrier:

  1. Shipping options,
  2. Rates,
  3. Coverage,
  4. Tracking or Mapping tools,
  5. Delivery Timeframe,
  6. Fees,
  7. Package size,
  8. Policies

When you will offer dropshipping, you will be the one to ship the products directly to the customers of your partner wholesale buyers. So choose a reliable and trustworthy shipping carrier that fits your shipping requirements and that you can do business with for the long haul.

  • Destination Country Regulations
Source: Shutterstock

Every country has its own regulations, clearances, and restrictions for packages coming from abroad. You need to be familiar with importation laws and regulations for every country that you will ship your products to.

  • Get an Insurance
Source: The Economic Times

Shipping carries a lot of risks. As you can imagine, cargoes containing the packages have to travel by land, sea, and air to get to their destination. Depending on the destination country, there will always be risks involved such as shipment delays and errors that are not controllable.

Thus, it would be wise to get insurance so that losses can be covered. There are different insurance companies so you need to study and compare their policies, requirements, and coverage. Choose the best, most reliable insurance that offers a lot of coverage.

  • Shipping Rates
Source: Elegant Themes

The shipping rates can vary depending on a lot of factors:

  1. Shipping Carrier;
  2. Size and Weight of the Package;
  3. Country of Origin and Destination Country;
  4. Custom Regulations.
  • Delivery Time
Source: GPS Tracker

Depending on the destination country, shipping carrier, and customs regulations, delivery time will vary from country to country. You need to take into account the delivery time to get the package across to the shipping address of the customer. Give allowance in the delivery date so that you can provide proper expectations to the customer.

  • Electronic Invoice
Source: Due

International shipping requires you to have a sales invoice which is part of the documentation.

Shipping carriers also offer paperless or electronic invoices. This way you will be able to transmit the invoice to customs and obtain clearance from them.

  • Customs Clearance
Source: Janio

In shipping, you must take into account customs at the destination of the cargo and at the origin of both imports and exports. The documentation requested with internationally transported goods is vital to prevent delays and additional charges from occurring.

You need to deal with customs fees, which will be based on the value of the item you are shipping out and its destination.You also need to deal with taxes such as shipment fees, warehousing fees, and other additional charges. One company may also have different tariff computation depending on the scope of their services and locations.

  • Tracking
Source: Search Engine Journal

There are a lot of international shipping carriers that offer tracking services for shipped goods. So you need to also consider that when choosing what carrier to partner with. Once you can track the shipments, you will know whether the parcel or package has arrived at the shipping address or not. You will also know if there are shipment delays and issues or if the shipment is being held at customs.

  • Packaging
Source: Shutterstock

Most consumers value the packaging and presentation of the products as much as the product itself. Aside from ensuring that products are neatly packaged, the packaging is also an important factor in shipping. Depending on the package size and weight, shipping rates will vary.

You can choose the materials for the packaging of your products to make them more presentable to customers. You can have your own creative packaging design that showcases your brand.

  • Terms and Conditions

You also need to be aware of the terms and conditions of the shipping carrier as well as the dropship supplier.

Make sure that you know their return policies and exchanges, payment methods, insurance, guarantees, to name some.

By knowing these 10 things, you will be better equipped when shipping your products to customers while maximizing your profit margins.

But if it’s too complicated for you, don’t worry, Asia Commerce will always be there to help you, just fill the form here: http://www.asiacommerce.net/import-export-request/

Increase Sales and Build Loyalty with Email Confirmation Order

Increase Sales and Build Loyalty with Email Confirmation Order

What things do buyers like and make them return again? Buyers like email confirmation order. Yes, they will open it repeatedly, click on the link, and give the email priority in the inbox. In fact, a confirmation email can help online sellers to gain confidence and additional business.

About 64 percent of shoppers consider transactional email confirmation the most valuable messages in their inboxes, according to a whitepaper, email service provider, an order confirmation email also has a high degree of openness, 114.30 percent compared with the average level of openness between 13 and 14 percent for email marketing campaigns.

Order confirmation email has to be transactional. But this does not mean that online sellers can not cover information or even an offer intended to strengthen relationships with buyers and encourage additional purchases.

Order confirmation email is also the first touch point of purchase, also the first opportunity for sellers to adequately support the sale. It can be used to present policy recommendations and communicating the product, making it easier to find information about the status of orders, and can also be used as an opportunity to promote marketing.

Upgrade Purchasing Information

An order confirmation email in addition to informing your customer that the order has been received and your store will start the process of picking and packing of goods. But it can also build trust. When the order information of your online store is better, you show professionalism and trust.

Consider to show:

  • The order number;
  • Estimated delivery date, even before the item has been delivered;
  • A description of the item or items purchased;
  • Product prices and taxes;
  • Product photos;
  • Shipping costs;
  • Link to your return policy;
  • Customer service contact information, including phone numbers.

Email Konfirmasi Pesanan

Confirmation of the order had to explain almost every aspect of the order. Making it a reference buyers can return whenever they have questions.

Fast Delivery

Order confirmation email of an online store is an analogy of the physical form of a receipt printed at the end of the transaction which is usually done by most people in the shop who do direct face to face interaction between buyer and seller.

In other words, speed is important. Try to convey this transactional messages in seconds.

Related Articles:

Relevant Product Recommendation Offers

Personalization is key to product recommendations in your order confirmation email. Thus, these recommendations should not be hard coded into the email.

Offer two or three suggestions of products based on shopper’s order history and profile. This is not an upsell, where you offer a product similar to one that is purchased, but cross-sell, with the related item that complements the product purchased.

Consider the problems onsite, as well. Is your website showing some product recommendations during shopping or checkout? How do customers react to recommendation?

Do Not Treat Customers As If They Are New Buyers

To further enhance the order confirmation email message, try not to treat all customers equally. There is a difference between the first buyer with your regular customers.

Consider giving a different order confirmation email for repeated buyers. Thank them for their loyalty and offer them something special to come back. If your store is discounting a product, this may be a coupon code just for them. Or if the discount is not part of your business model, consider a free product or a specific service for regular customers.

Design for Mobile Devices

Email Confirmation

According to most surveys, 45-70 percent of the email message is read via a mobile device, therefore it is not wrong to make viewing an email message eye-catching in mobile. In fact, given the current state of the email marketing industry, the mobile phone is the first thing that has become a standard.

Make It Look Good

Finally, email confirmation order should look good. It needs to reflect your brand.

The formula for building loyalty and sell more with the order confirmation email is, first, to strengthen your confidence gained during the initial purchase and, secondly, to offer the opportunity to buy more through product recommendations.

Eye-Catching Email Design

A professional design implies professionality.

So, thats the tips to increase sales and build loyalty with email confirmation order, hope it helps to grow your business. Is there anything that we’ve missed or you maybe have another opinion regarding this? Leave in the comment below.

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