To the untrained eye, freight management may seem as simple as choosing someone to move goods from the warehouse to a customer’s doorstep. The truth is, effective freight management is a multifaceted effort that requires careful consideration of multiple moving parts.
To help eCommerce brands create a successful freight management policy, here are two questions you should always ask as you define your strategy:
How does delivery contribute to your brand experience?
Brands must establish what they want their freight management strategy to say about their customer experience and brand identity. For example, if one of your brand’s valued customers orders a package that arrives later than scheduled, can’t be tracked, and looks a little worn around the edges when it finally does show up, you risk a detrimental blow to your brand image.
Factors like timeliness and packaging condition speak volumes about the quality of your customer experience. While not all retailers can afford to provide the highest quality delivery, and many shoppers don’t desire it either, they must at least meet the minimum delivery requirements for a happy customer. Online retailers should ensure their products are delivered intact and at the expected time to convey an overall commitment to customer satisfaction at all stages of the brand experience.
Is free shipping a viable option?
ECommerce brands often struggle to determine when, and if, free shipping can be a boon for the bottom line. But, ditching a free shipping policy altogether can actually hurt your sales. For example, online shoppers often don’t commit to a purchase when they see a steep shipping price tag. Online retailers can circumvent this problem by offering a free-shipping threshold that encourages a larger average order value in exchange for the cost to ship.
Other factors to consider include customer location, the size and weight of your products, and the average order value. Brands should also consider clear boundaries when implementing free shipping. For example, you can offer free shipping only during the holidays and special sales events, or require customers to create an account or sign up for your newsletter to qualify.
If you’d like some more guidance on how to craft a successful strategy for freight management, download our tip sheet, “3 Crucial Questions to Ask When Creating Your Freight Management Strategy,” here.