Shipping as a Strategic Advantage

A significant factor in Amazon’s success is its shipping strategy. Offering free and fast shipping has created a new standard in the ecommerce industry.

Many stores are looking for ways to replicate Amazon’s shipping strategy so they can keep up. To help with that, here are some strategies that you can implement to make shipping a strategic advantage:

How to Use Shipping as a Strategic Advantage

1. Offer Free Shipping

Amazon has made offering free shipping the norm. As a result, customers expect the same thing from your brand.

Free shipping is a great way to invite customers to finish their purchases. In fact, 92% of customers will leave your site if their order doesn't include free shipping.

Customers don’t want to go through bad surprises in their purchase. If customers add products to their cart only to find out that they’re paying more than they thought, they’re more likely to abandon their cart.

We’ve put together a powerful guide that breaks down specific strategies you can use to make free shipping a reality for your business. Check it out, because it’s free! (Not even an email.)

 

2. Create a Clear Return Policy and Make It Generous

Even with the best products in the world, your return policy is what could make or break your sales. More than half of millennial customers report that a bad returns process has led them to stop buying from a brand.

This is why you need to make your returns policy clear and easy to follow from the beginning.

To write a successful return policy, try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What would the ideal returns process look like to you? How can you make sure that returning items is as simple and straightforward as possible?

Consider the cost of processing returns, shipping, restocking, etc. in your returns process. Sometimes it makes sense to offer a refund and let the customer keep the product. This is a great way to show you care about the customer’s experience!

 

3. Offer Customers the Possibility to Get Faster Shipping

Another area where Amazon dominates is with its Prime program for customers.

When customers sign up to Amazon Prime, they not only get free shipping, but also two- and same-day delivery as part of their membership. The program is so successful that its subscribers expect to double in the next decade.

You can do exactly the same for your brand. In exchange for a monthly or annual fee, offer your customers the possibility to get faster shipping options, such as two-day expedition or next day delivery.

You can enhance this as part of a membership program that includes access to exclusive products, discounts, content, or other aspects that are of value to your particular customer.

It’s a win-win for everyone. You’ll be able to cover the cost of shipping, while the customer’s order gets to arrive faster at their doorstep.

 

Include Order Tracking Info

4. Include Order Tracking

Another way to make shipping a strategic advantage is to offer tracking on the customer’s orders. It’s something that Amazon integrates directly as part of their platform.

Order tracking provides customers with peace of mind and reduces their anxiety. They can follow their packages in real-time and get a solid idea of when they can receive their item.

If something goes wrong during transportation, they’ll receive notifications on their package instantly.

Providing customers with tracking on their items shows that your brand is trustworthy. By optimizing their purchase experience, they’ll be more likely to come back to your store for more.

Order tracking is easy to implement with the right shipping software. At Essential Hub, not only do we provide tracking technology, but you can opt-in to getting insurance on each package so your orders arrive safely.

 

5. Plan in Advance for Holiday Seasons

Holiday seasons are some of the busiest moments of the year. If you’re not forecasting the demand for your products, you’re setting yourself up for a shipping disaster.

Start negotiating now with carriers so you can find the best shipping rates. Also, do research on what type of fees and restrictions are involved with shipping during the season.

It’s also important that you focus on offering multiple shipping options during busy times. Customers typically expect to receive their packages fast, so offering multiple delivery is a good option.

Use multiple carriers at the same time

6. Integrate Multiple Carriers at the Same Time

Lastly, one of the best ways to step up your shipping strategy is to integrate multiple carriers such as UPS, USPS, and DHL at the same time.

A multi-carrier approach allows you to compare different rates and delivery options so you can choose which one is the most cost-effective. You’ll have more flexibility on how you want to cover shipping, and can better adapt to customer requests.

With hundreds of carriers worldwide, however, it can be challenging to find a way to integrate all of them at once. That’s why Essential Hub makes your job easier by creating seamless integrations with 100+ US and international carriers. We even take care of all documentation if you plan to ship internationally.

 

Final Thoughts: Shipping as a Strategic Advantage

Amazon has completely transformed the game. The modern customer now expects a faster delivery, often at no cost.

By applying the tactics above, you’ll be able to make shipping one of your most powerful tools as a business. Your store will gain an edge over the competition and deliver a better customer experience.