In order to make the determination of whether shipping is needed, you need to ask yourself what you will be offering to your customers. If you are offering services, such as tutoring, writing, online training, consulting or marketing, then there is no need to set up a shipping protocol as shipping is not needed for goods that can be delivered through the digital sphere. On the other hand, if you are selling tangible materials, such as medical supplies, cosmetics, housewares, handmade crafts and pet toys, then shipping is needed as this is how customers will receive such products. If you have determined that your online store will require shipping to get your goods into your customer’s hands, it is critical that you have an established protocol in place to ensure operations run smoothly.
Decide on the Packaging
First things first, you need to decide on the type of packaging that you will need to ship your products to your customers. You may want packaging to consist of just plain, brown boxes to hide the contents inside, such as if you decide to offer products that some may be ashamed and embarrassed to purchase, like the adult diapers pictured here. On the other hand, if you are selling small, non-breakable items, like the lingerie sold by Then Comes Love, then a small, bubble envelope will do just fine.
Get a Bargain on Shipping Supplies
The mistake that some make is going to big box stores to purchase shipping supplies, such as Staples. When business owners procure supplies from stores like these, they find out quickly that they are spending more money than necessary just for the supplies, and this cuts deep into profit margins. One article published in Forbs magazine states that not only can supplies at big box stores be expensive, there is also a limited variety. So, you avoid making this same mistake and spend as little as possible, you need to get the best bang for your buck by hunting for bargains on shipping supplies.
Determine How Goods Wil be Shipped
Once you have figured out what kind of packaging you will use and where you will procure your shipping materials, you now need to decide how your goods will be shipped. You have one of two choices. You can decide to go to a post office or ship from the comfort of your home. If you go to the post office, you will encounter long lines, such as what you may encounter if you go to a post office in Midtown NYC. A post office in Midtown NYC may likely be quite crowded since this is an inner city post office, and trying to ship goods under these conditions will be quite frustrating because of lots of noise, long wait times and having to feel like you need to hurry because there may be rude people behind you who insist you do. When you ship from the comfort of home, you can skip all the lines and the crowds, and you do not have to deal with rudeness or feel hurried. Your decision will depend on what you are willing to tolerate and whether you want a quick and convenient solution or interaction with others in the community.
Once your shipping protocol has been established, you can be on your way to raking in the profits. Now, you can enjoy the fruits of all your hard work.