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Own an Online Store? 5 Questions to Ask About Your Shipping

Gretchen Brooke 2016-08-13 16:00:00

For online stores today, the two most important aspects of running these businesses are website design and shipping costs. For Canadians, you will notice competitive prices, but when you head to the checkout counter you will come across an enormous shipping price-tag.

In other words, your $3 watch will now cost you $10 (plus tax) because of shipping costs.

This is why it is crucial for ecommerce outlets to select the right shipping company. Everything from what the business demands to what the consumers demand, picking the best shipping company can make or break your company. Many online stores even experiment with small-time courier services that just employ a man and his bicycle.

Whether you're a multi-billion-dollar online store or you've just started out selling custom design sweatshirts, you will need to do your research and due diligence to find the best possible shipping firm for your company. Reliability, cost and scheduling are key facts to focus on.

Remember, more and more Canadians are heading to the Internet to shop. You have to take advantage of this. But how can you if your shipping costs are just sky high?

Here are five questions to answer when selecting the right shipping company for your online store:


What is Your Target Market?

Where your shoppers are located could be the biggest factor in what shipping company you ultimately select. Are your shippers primarily located in Canada or do they shop from abroad? Whether you have domestic or international customers, this is something you have to consider as you take a look at your options of shipping companies in your city. For more information, read this article to learn how to make the most out of your target market.


What Kind of Products are You Shipping?

The types of products you ship will likely affect the delivery and the costs. For instance, if you're shipping heavy-duty computer equipment then obviously it will be more expensive. However, if you're shipping light clothing then it will be less expensive. It's all about the products you sell and ship to your customers.


What is the Average Size of Your Orders?

The size of your orders matter big time. This is why so many online stores set a minimum threshold for shipping. If you're buying five books from Amazon then it's likely going to be free shipping. Therefore, you have to consider what the average size is of your orders. If it's just one hat or one t-shirt or one gram of gold bullion then you will have to determine if this is worth it or if you should establish a limit so your customers will be enticed to earn free shipping and thus buy more stuff.


What are Your Insurance Options?

Insurance is especially important to have when you're shipping to foreign customers. This protects you and your shopper so be sure to ask the shipping company what kind of insurance they provide to their customers. It may be free or it may be extra. It just depends on the size of your order.


What are Your Speed Expectations?

Lastly, do you have any speed expectations? If you do then this is something else that you will have to take into account as you shop around. If you want your domestic order delivered in two days then you have to find out if a shipping company can accomplish this. Or, if you want your international order delivered in seven business days then this is also something you have find out if a shipping company can achieve this expectation.

Since the time of global trade, business owner have asked the question: how can I lower my shipping costs? Next to taxes and duty fees, shipping costs are the next big cost for businesses.

In an era where every penny counts, companies have to find ways where they can lower their shipping costs. Although a large chunk of online stores don't have to worry about things that conventional brick-and-mortar stores do, they still have to consider shipping.

And this is why you must concentrate as you look around for the right shipping company to hire for your needs.

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