Ecommerce has been growing year upon year since the beginning of the internet; however, these days, it is positively exploding as people are actively avoiding going to brick and mortar stores.
If you have a product you are thinking of selling, then it makes more sense to open an ecommerce store and sell online than it does to have a physical presence. If you do want a store or already have one, then you should at least do both online and brick and mortar.
Once you have that sorted out, you need to decide on shipping as there are a number of options. In this article, we will talk about the various shipping possibilities.
Do Your Own Fulfillment and Shipping
Many ecommerce store owners opt to have a third party do their fulfillment and shipping, and in many cases this makes sense, so we will cover this in another section. But, there are times when it makes more sense to ship yourself.
For instance, if your store is growing and you already have a physical presence, then you should think about doing local deliveries or even further afield if you are doing a lot of sales.
You will have more overhead by doing this, but you will likely save money in the long run. You’ll have to pay for insurance for the vehicles and the cost to maintain and run them but buying road diesel in bulk can help offset the costs somewhat.
The biggest advantage to doing this is that you can price very accurately for shipping since you are in control of the entire process. Then you can incorporate this into your sale pricing and take advantage of lower shipping costs or even free shipping.
Third Party Fulfillment
The easiest way to go about shipping for your store is to outsource the entire process. There are warehouses that you can hire that will store, package, and ship your product so you can do your business out of the corner of your bedroom if you’d like.
You won’t ever be dealing with the physical aspect of the product which gives you less responsibility; however, it does come at a price. You will pay a lot of fees for the service, and if you are moving a lot of product, then it can really add up.
You also don’t have much of a say in the shipping, so you are at their mercy price wise. You can always add this into your pricing strategy, but it will be hard to work in tight margins as a result.
Fulfill and Ship Through a Courier
A great middle ground that does give you more flexibility is to have your own warehouse so you can do your own fulfillment, but hire out the actual shipping using a service like DHL or FedEx. You’ll pay higher rates than if you ship yourself, but you can easily work around the pricing and make it work.
For instance, you can pay the courier by the weight of the package but charge a flat rate to your customer so you can make sure that you are keeping the shipping costs on your end down to almost nothing and still compete on price.