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As the number of Amazon retailers increase, more and more of them are concerned about the shipping part of their business. Shipping plays a key role as not only does it ensure delivery but also that the customer’s order is fulfilled. Although Amazon has its own delivery solutions, sellers still have to make the best use of them to optimize their customer service; great customer service increases sales. This blog will cover the five best tips for successfully managing your Amazon shipping which will help your business growth at the beginning of 2019.
1. Optimize your shipping option.
As the statistics say, almost 2/3 of Amazon customers are Prime members. If your customer profile is like this, you have to take Prime membership into account because there are more possible shipping options under the Prime umbrella. Paying for the Prime privilege offers more specific delivery options—free two-day shipping, business prime shipping, Amazon prime pantry, Amazon prime now, Amazon fresh, etc. The free two-day shipping should be the most common option for the Prime shipping service. It is available for all sorts of products. If you opt for this one, it is quite likely to boost your sales as it offers you a competitive advantage. The business prime shipping is the free two-day shipping service for business entities. Amazon prime pantry is for non-perishable grocery products. These items will be shipped within 1-4 days after purchase. Some items such as meat may require special packaging and faster shipping to ensure their taste and quality. Amazon prime is not available for all areas, but it does have a wide variety of products that can be shipped with this premium service. Generally, it is only applied to items Amazon stores and delivers. Amazon fresh is the latest service that has been added and is only available for several select cities and mainly for grocery delivery. You can choose your own shipping service based on your products and so optimize your customer service by choosing the most suitable shipping methods offered by Amazon. In this way, you can strike a balance between your budget and your business goals. You can explore more about how fast shipping impacts your business.
2. Improve your order fulfillment.
When it comes to ordering fulfillment, you must think of Amazon FBA. Actually, Amazon has a several order fulfillment methods for sellers and shipping is a key part for the order fulfillment. If possible, you can improve your order fulfillment to better your shipping management.
- Fulfilled by merchants (FBM)
FBM means you have the most control over your selling business. You are responsible for all the parts of your business including your listing on Amazon, storing your inventory, packing and shipping, and the customer service. For the shipping, you have to do it by yourself which can be a disadvantage.
- Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA)
This service is the most common sellers’ option, and it allows you to utilize the popular prime shipping option. It means Amazon will help you store, pack, and ship after your items reach the Amazon warehouse. It the most practical method if you want Prime status for your items, but you do pay extra fees for such a service.
- Seller fulfilled prime (SFP)
SFP is for sellers that have their own warehouses and sell on Amazon. Sellers who want to opt for this option must have the ability to deliver the products in the time promised and manage the order fulfillment on their own.
- Shipping with Amazon (SWA)
This service is an option not yet available for all Amazon sellers. SWA means sellers can hold onto their inventory, and Amazon will ship orders for them through the site. Amazon will be on the site to pick up the products to be shipped. This option works well, and it is expected that it will be expanded in the future.
3. Parcel Auditing
Parcel auditing is a very important part of managing your shipping process and one you need to take into account. You can have someone check all shipped parcels and get the parcel data for smooth shipping. If you don’t have the workforce, there are applications that you can use for your business. Parcel auditing should include checking the cost, including tiered & incentive discounts and accessories, service failure audits, reporting of exceptions, duplicate invoicing of the invoice, package, and package-charge levels, account number, proof of shipment, proof of delivery, violations of guaranteed service agreements, etc.
4. Reviewing Your Shipping Approach
It’s prudent to review your shipping approach after a set amount of time. When you get the data and analytics for your shipping, you need to review them and checkup your shipping performance. The data and your review will deliver insights for your business. This analysis means you can re-evaluate your shipping performance and adopt more measures to strengthen your business operation. If possible, get and review a regular report for your shipping strategy so that you can monitor your shipping performance, include shipping cost, your shipping efficiency, shipping approach, etc. Then you can improve your shipping management ongoing based on this important data.
5. Respond to customers’ possible inquiries.
Customers will inquire about products to answer the questions they have before selecting one to buy. It’s imperative for business owners to respond quickly and accurately to their customers’ inquiries. To stand out amongst competitors, you have to reply to your customers’ shipping inquiries immediately and win their heart because of the great service you offer.
However, it is a waste of time and workforce if you are always answering the same types of questions about shipping details. To reduce such a repetitive task, you can prepare a list of shipping questions that customer most commonly ask. Create scripted template answers to these most frequently asked questions and save your time for other tasks. For different or unusual questions, you can respond to it in person or ask somebody else for help.
All in all, the above five tips for shipping management will help you manage your shipping service with high efficiency and boost your business. You can adopt one or two on the basis of your own business situation.