If you’re an eCommerce store owner, then you may know the pain of shipping. From comparing the rates of different courier partners to managing timely deliveries, it’s a lot of work for any eCommerce seller. And while most consumers are familiar with two-day and overnight services like FedEx, UPS Next Day Air, and 2nd Day Air, there’s another option that can get products to your customers quickly and affordably: ground shipping.
In this blog, we’ll provide you with an overview of the ground shipping option and give you a few tips on optimizing this traditional yet reliable form of delivery. So, let’s get started.
What is Ground Shipping?
Ground shipping is one of three standard services offered by carriers like UPS, FedEx, and USPS. It’s also the slowest delivery method available as goods are typically delivered within 3-7 business days, depending on your location.
But the fact that ground shipping is so slow shouldn’t be discouraging to eCommerce sellers. After all, it’s less expensive than other kinds of shipping services. It can help boost customer satisfaction ratings by ensuring that goods arrive on time for birthday parties, holiday celebrations, or everyday purchases. By implementing a few strategies into your business model, you can save big bucks on ground shipping while improving your customer experience.
Let’s take a look at some of the top ways to optimize ground shipping for your online store.
1. Pick Your Carrier Wisely
First and foremost, you’ll need to select an appropriate carrier. FedEx, UPS, USPS – these are the best options to choose from. But if you’re looking for the best ground delivery rates, try selecting only one carrier. The more options you have, the higher your shipping costs are likely to be. By working with one carrier in particular, you’ll get consistent rates and better tracking information.
Another thing to consider when choosing a ground shipping solution is location. For example, if your warehouse is located in the South, you may opt for FedEx or UPS.
But if your business is based in New York City, USPS may be a better option since it covers the entire East Coast. By selecting just one carrier, you can ensure that all of your packages are delivered on time and arrive intact at their destinations.
2. Time Your Packages Appropriately
The ship date is when your package will be shipped out from the warehouse.
If you’re sending several packages in a week, then it’s best to ensure that they’re all scheduled for shipment around the same time. This way, you can reduce shipping costs by consolidating multiple packages into one delivery.
But if one of your packages is time-sensitive, be sure to mark it as such. For example, if a customer ordered a birthday gift for their father, you need to ship it overnight to ensure it is delivered on or before his special day. In this case, you may want to separate the package from your other goods so that they’re sent at a slower pace.
If this time-sensitive package is placed in the same shipment as your other packages, it may not arrive in time for when it needs to be there. When scheduling your shipments, make sure that the customer’s wishes are taken into account, and they know how soon their package will arrive.
3. Include a Personalised Note
Another way to improve your ground shipping rates is by including a personalized note in your packages, especially when sending gifts or goods that require customer attention. While this may not make a massive difference during the holiday season, it can help improve your customer service ratings over time.
4. Make the Most of Free Shipping Day
You’ve probably heard about free shipping days – big eCommerce retailers like Amazon and Target offer them quite often to entice people into shopping online. By strategically selecting these days, you can save a lot on ground shipping. However, don’t include free shipping as your default option since this can decrease customer satisfaction ratings. Instead, make it an optional upgrade to avoid disappointment and incentivize purchases.
5. Use Labels That Stand Out
If you’re opting for FedEx or UPS as your ground carrier, then you’ll need labels that stand out. Among the easiest ways to do this is by using high-contrast colors like black or royal blue to make it appear visible during the printing process. And don’t forget about additional materials that can help your labels stand out, such as glossy or scented paper options.
6. Keep Track of Your Packages
Finally, you’ll want to keep track of all your packages to ensure they’re successfully delivered. Set up shipping alerts through the shipping carrier’s website, then check all tracking information daily or weekly for updates. This way, you’ll tell when customers receive their purchases and provide additional support if needed.
As an eCommerce seller, it’s essential to optimize ground shipping for your business while improving customer satisfaction ratings. By working with one carrier and offering free shipping options sparingly, you can save big bucks on-ground delivery rates while boosting your sales in the process.
7. Find Out Where Your Goods Are Coming From
Ground shipping is a great option if you’re getting goods from an overseas supplier or manufacturer. However, keep in mind that land customs rules, taxes, duties, etc., need to be paid before the shipment can arrive at its destination. You’ll also have to factor in time zones into your deliveries – what may seem like next-day shipping could take over a week depending on the region of the world you’re sending your goods from. Figure out these factors beforehand, so you know exactly what to expect when your packages arrive.
For example, if you’re working with a supplier based in India, you’ll likely need to pay customs fees and taxes before receiving your order. Factor in an extra week or two into your shipping expectations to compensate for these charges, then keep track of all goods with a shipment tracking tool so you can monitor their progress towards completion.
There are a lot of benefits to consider when you’re selecting ground shipping for your eCommerce business. By balancing the speed of delivery with the cost, customer service ratings, and your overall brand reputation, you can optimize this type of shipping to ensure that all aspects of your operation are running smoothly.