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    How to manage shipments for e-commerce

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    Lluis Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans

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    In the process of opening an online store, the first attention is usually directed to the bureaucratic aspects and the choice of the platform. Only later do you think about the management of shipments and the choice of express courier for parcel delivery. This does not mean that shipments are an insignificant aspect in the success of an e-commerce: they are in some respects the final step, but certainly not the least important. Indeed, it is often the decisive one: even if you have a small online store, you must always keep in mind that users have become accustomed to fast, safe and low-cost shipping.



    The comparison between the express couriers

    Before choosing an express courier, ask for quotes from the main shippers, both Spanish and international. Normally couriers have more competitive rates on shipments to Spain, foreign ones for cross-border deliveries. The choice, however, must not only be based on cost, but also on delivery time overall quality of service.

    After collecting quotes, it is important to test the different couriers and make a selection and evaluation at the end, in order to be able to work with multiple couriers and choose them according to the destination and type of goods. For example, some couriers may be more competitive for shipments to the islands, others for the transport of large packages, still others for the delivery of delicate goods.

    When calculating the cost of a shipment, it is important to keep in mind that most couriers use volumetric weight to calculate rates, a parameter that considers both the weight of the package and the space it occupies. Some operators, such as Spanish Post, on the other hand, they calculate the rates based on weight only if the package does not exceed certain dimensions.



    The automation of shipments

    Even a small business e-commerce can have a good level of automation of shipments. Once the online orders have been received, the process of shipping the goods - if not properly structured - can lead to delays, inefficiencies or even errors. In this case, platforms such as Packlink PRO, which allow you to choose the fastest and cheapest courier with just one click for all orders received. The management of shipments is further facilitated by the bulk printing function, with which the labels of all shipments can be printed at once. Packlink PRO has PrestaShop addon and for other e-commerce platforms and marketplaces such as Amazon e WooCommerce, which make it easy to integrate with your online shop.

    To keep orders, shipments and warehouse under control, management software or even simple Excel applications are useful that help small online shops to control the movements of goods and the stocks they have.

    The packaging

    Good packaging must protect the goods from shocks, vibrations, compressions and any falls. In general, they are necessary one outer and one inner packaging. The outer one is the typical cardboard box: sturdy, resistant, new and of the right size (neither too small nor too big), to be closed with adhesive tape. The internal packaging protects the goods from shocks and vibrations and includes materials such as polyethylene foam or plastic sheets with air bubbles: the choice also depends on the goods to be shipped. For glass bottles there are numerous formats that allow safe shipping, such as Nakpack, made entirely of corrugated cardboard.


    Packaging has not only the function of protecting the goods, but also of presenting them. You can choose a special package for the goods contained in the package, or even insert a thank you or a coupon inside the package: a sign of care and attention towards those who have chosen your store to buy online.


    Tracking of shipments

    The shipment tracking allows the customer to follow the path of the package to its destination. It is an increasingly used function and receiving the package within the indicated times is an extra security for the user. This function is now provided by all major national and international couriers, as well as by shipping comparison platforms. So after the purchase do not forget to provide the customer with the link from which to follow the delivery of the package.


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