It is 2018, and the world runs on the Internet. Due to the explosion of e-commerce stores and the further integration of the worldwide market, many companies in a wide variety of industries are finding themselves in a position wherein they have to move goods around the world — as soon as possible.
In the past, the logistics for making this happen would have sent any logical person running (very fast) in the opposite direction; however, with the introduction of efficient online shipment platforms, even the newest small businesses can start taking their business global.
If you are looking to create an online store, or wish to expand your business around the world, or maybe even just need a more efficient way of doing what you already do, then you should read on to learn how to make the most of an online shipment platform.
- Understand the importance of using an online shipment platform
You spend much time developing your products, strengthening your brand, creating a fantastic user experience, and all the other aspects that go into running a successful online enterprise. So, you don’t want to throw that all away by not having your shipping logistics sorted out.
After all, shipping is still an essential part of ensuring that your customers have such a good experience that they continue shopping with you.
Working with a top online shipment platform makes the shipping process as streamlined and efficient as possible for you and your team. The best online shipment platform will make it easy for you to organize your freight — from receiving a quote to booking your shipment, paying for the service and tracking its status.
This is a game-changer for small and medium-sized businesses that have previously found it challenging to obtain (and maintain) similar standing in the global economy, as it makes it more accessible for those looking to have cross-border trade for growth. It is a clear sign that improvements in technology can help these companies to move past obstacles in shipping and compliance.
- Recognise what your needs are from the online shipment platform
For many business owners, it can often feel scary to hand over control of the shipping logistics to someone else. How can you be sure that they are going to continue and maintain the quality standards in the experiences that you provide?
Therefore, first and foremost, you want to ensure that any online shipment platform that you are considering working with has stellar customer reviews and a successful track record.
Additionally, you want to ensure that the company is able to handle a wide range of freight options — air, sea, and road freight — and is also competent in all phases of local and international shipping.
The best online shipment platforms will also produce quality supply chain value-added services (for example, documentation, shipment tracking, and cargo insurance).
- Get your part of the deal under control
Once you have found the best online shipment platform for your business, it is time that you get your part of the bargain under control. In other words, you need to outline a detailed shipping strategy.
In the beginning, you need to start by working out your shipping rates, your product weights and your preferred packaging. While working out these details, it is crucial to always be considering your margins.
After all, if you are going to be successful at e-commerce (which presumably, you want to be), then you should continually consider your profit margins. For most online sellers, international shipping denotes a notable expense, so you want to make sure you have a thorough shipping plan in place; otherwise, you may unfortunately wind up losing money on shipping.
Does your business require you to ship items around the world? How do you currently deal with that — what are the pros and cons? Let’s start a discussion concerning this topic in the comments below!
- Toby Edwards is the CEO of Shipa Freight and is based in Dubai. Shipa Freight is a new online platform powered by Agility that makes it easy to get air and ocean freight quotes, book, pay and track shipments online. Shipa Freight empowers small and medium-size businesses, taking the complexity out of International Freight Forwarding, making it easy to manage legal, regulatory and compliance issues, and offering convenient ways to pay to move their goods.