Maintaining a timely and reliable shipping operation is essential to the success of your eCommerce business. Think about Amazon, who rose to the top of eCommerce with speedy and reliable shipping. 

You don’t need to promise the product will reach your customer the next day. But, with an efficient shipping process, you can develop a strong brand image of dependability and satisfy your customer base

This guide covers how to improve your shipping process, including:

  • Track and document everything.
  • Standardise and streamline. 
  • Use automated and digital tools.

See also: How to boost your eCommerce sales.

How to improve your shipping process tracking

If you struggle to keep up with everything you’ve shipped or need to ship, your methods can get messy. 

Disorganisation often leads to delays and mistakes that drag down your operations management. Ultimately, it’ll make your business look unprofessional. 

Check what needs doing

So, the first step to improving your shipping process is keeping up with everything you need to do. 

Each day, check in with:

  • What you need to ship – so you can get them to the post promptly.
  • What outstanding products you sent but have yet to deliver – track your parcels for this. 
  • What orders have arrived with customers – so you know when the order is complete. 

Track parcels with the courier service

Tracking your parcels may cost a bit extra, but doing so will help you understand where your goods go once you put them in the post. This way, you can check the status of an order for a customer. 

Plus, you’ll be able to prove you’re not responsible if a parcel gets lost in transit.  

How to standardise your shipping process

It’s much easier to stay on top of your shipping if you use consistent procedures for efficiency and accuracy. We’ll cover the best way to do that. 

Create a consistent process

Consider a standard procedure for shipping your business products that makes sense to you. Then, repeat that same process each time to avoid mistakes.

For example, you might print out invoices for sales each day, then set up a designated space for boxing products and visit the post at the same time each day. 

If you use a warehouse, you might send invoices regularly and call to check everything’s set to go out on time. 

Use documentation and checklists 

Documenting your standard shipping process will help you stay on track and double-check yourself later on. Keep digital or print records each step of the way, including the invoice and shipping receipt

This way, if a customer says a parcel didn’t arrive, you can check your documentation. If you kept the postage receipt, you’ll know it was likely the courier’s mistake rather than yours.  

Here’s an example checklist to break down your shipping process: 

  • Purchased 
  • Packaged 
  • Shipped 
  • En route 
  • Delivered 

Use this checklist for each product you ship and mark the date and time down when you complete each step. That way, you’ll avoid missing important steps. 

Focus on communication

The more people involved in your shipping process, the more important it is for everyone to be on the same page. 

Don’t go in blindly when choosing a courier service to ship your items. Find a service that’s reliable and efficient to communicate with. For example, you might use the Royal Mail, Hermes, or DHL

If you store your products in a warehouse, ensure you can quickly reach the people working there

How to improve your shipping process with automated tools

Tools can streamline your procedures and reduce the stress of doing them manually. Automated tools can save you from falling behind, especially if you plan to scale up your shipping operations.

See also: eCommerce shipping solutions for UK small businesses

Use an automated shipping tool

Simplify your shipping process with digital, automated tools. These tools save you time, and many of them offer discounted rates on shipping, reducing your costs in the long run. 

Here are a few shipping tools to consider:

  • Shipstation – helps you manage your shipping by tracking progress and connecting with various couriers and selling platforms.
  • Bryd – Good for international shipping needs. 
  • Shippo – Focuses on simplicity and affordability for small businesses.
  • ShipBob – Connects to your inventory and warehouse for efficient shipping.

Consider dropshipping

If you sell wholesale goods for your business and find it challenging to keep on top of your inventory, you may want to consider dropshipping.  

Dropshipping services do the shipping for you. This way, you don’t have to keep a physical inventory or worry about maintaining your shipping process. Plus, they only charge you for the products you sell

Although, dropshipping comes with regular expenses, and it may not work for all businesses. But it can help you streamline your product management if it’s more than you can handle. 

If this sounds like the right choice for you, check out services like Bigbuy or Aliexpress

Better shipping for a better business

Now that you know how to improve your shipping process, you can create more efficient business operations. Just remember to:

  • Track and document the status. 
  • Use a standardised system that makes sense to you. 
  • Incorporate automated tools to streamline your procedures.

As you organise your shipping operations to make them quicker, you must ensure you have the inventory to meet your customer demand. To do this, check out our article on how to calculate inventory turnover

Streamline your business finances with Countingup

The right tool can help you organise your finances to stay on top of your eCommerce earnings. 

Countingup is the business current account and accounting software in one app. It automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for thousands of self-employed people across the UK. 

Start your three-month free trial today. 

Apply now.