E-Commerce Shipping: Today’s Top Challenges for SMB Shippers

Take a look at the top issues currently facing SMB shippers.
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With so much uncertainty surrounding current events, it can be hard for SMBs to know where to focus their time and attention to ensure their business continues to thrive. If you manage your company’s e-commerce shipping logistics, it’s important to know some of the current challenges in the industry — and how you can mitigate them moving forward. Don’t have time to stay up-to-date on the shipping industry? Unishippers is here to help!

Since we know business owners have plenty to worry about on top of managing their shipping logistics, Unishippers has compiled a list of some of the top issues facing e-commerce shippers this year. Read on to learn about these challenges and how Unishippers can help you streamline your shipping strategy to succeed in today’s changing economy.

Sales fluctuation and buying trends
As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, consumer spending habits continue to fluctuate with the economy. Some e-commerce shippers may worry about how the economy will impact their orders, but it’s important to note that online sales data looks promising. While brick and mortar sales are down this year, e-commerce sales are actually increasing. Due in part to an increase in “buy online, pick up in-store” (BOPUS) curbside orders, e-commerce sales are expected to increase 18% in 2020. In fact, many consumers (especially shoppers ages 65 and older) are starting to utilize online shopping for the first time. With no signs of e-commerce sales slowing down, it’s important to be prepared for continual orders. As we gear up for the busy holiday season, make sure to stock your inventory appropriately and assess your supply chain so you can avoid any potential issues as orders increase in the coming months.

Increased perishable orders and shipments
Just like BOPUS orders, perishable orders from e-commerce platforms have also increased as more people have started ordering groceries (and other perishables items) from home. If your business sells perishables online, your customers will expect their orders to arrive unspoiled. When shipping perishable items, be sure to properly package and store products, labeling and dating them to know when they will expire. You should also determine the proper temperature for your perishable e-commerce shipments and package them accordingly with a cold source like ice packs or dry ice. Depending on how long your packages can safely be in transit before expiring, there are a wide range of UPS® delivery options to meet your specific needs. Keep in mind that, while the majority of UPS services will continue with standard delivery timeframes, UPS has suspended their Service Guarantee for the time being due to the current COVID-19 crisis.

The rise of direct-to-consumer businesses
While direct-to-consumer (D2C) manufacturers had to rely on catalogs and mail orders to sell their products in the past, this age of technology has lowered the barrier of entry to the e-commerce industry — allowing them   to sell online just like traditional retailers. By cutting out the retail “middle man,” manufacturers can sell directly to consumers, allowing them to collect higher margins and mark down their products to be more competitive. To ensure your company continues to thrive in this crowded marketplace, it’s important that your business remains competitive by offering affordable pricing and other unique benefits. Read this recent blog post to learn how your e-commerce shipping strategy can help you stand out above the crowd.

A comprehensive shipping strategy is a crucial part of any successful e-commerce business — especially in times of economic uncertainty. Request a free shipping assessment today or contact Unishippers to learn how we can help optimize your e-commerce shipping strategy for success.

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