It is no joke that the business world is becoming more and more competitive by the second. Naturally, things are always changing and getting better. As the world continues to advance, it is true that people are becoming smarter, and things continue to be done more and more efficiently. That being said, I have seen a lot of problems that persist within the industrial and manufacturing industries. More specifically, I think it can be said that plant managers and business manufacturers are not keeping up with their shipping needs being met and are losing out on revenue because of it. I mean, you are a company looking to make some budget changes, right? What are some of the first things to be slashed? Well, it better not be your shipping and manufacturing budget that is touched, because that is probably the single most important part of your business. After all, what is more important than the product getting to the customer? That’s the thing that a lot of businesses do not seem to be understanding right now. If you are struggling to stay afloat, there is probably a problem related to shipping and manufacturing. Now I am no expert (even though I may sound like one), but it could be said that I definitely know what I am talking about. I wanted to write this brief article about how one can be more proactive about protecting their shipping budgets and more efficiency in their shipping and manufacturing.
There was a recent study done by some fairly prestigious individuals (that I will not be citing in this article) in which some substantial research was done into consumer behaviour in regards to shipping products for eCommerce companies. One of the big ticket items that was talked about was that many consumers are not willing to put into the additional cost and wait the additional time of ordering a product that does not align with their current expectations.
This means that, if your company is having a hard time meeting shipping price and efficiency expectations from your consumers, you may be losing out on a ton of revenue that is lost because of this. So what is the reason behind all of this? Well, for starters, I can tell you right now that just because you have a good inventory of shipping boxes does not mean you know what you’re doing. Shipping boxes do not make the man, as is said by many business insiders. I personally believe that the main reason behind all of this is just the way that the world continues to change. Maybe shipping expectations were much looser 5 years ago, but things sure have changed in the last few years. As eCommerce continues to grow, consumers continue to expect more out of their products and out of the whole purchasing experience.
All I can say right now is that I am glad to not be in the eCommerce industry. Competing with a company like Amazon is almost impossible, unless your profit margins are high enough that you can afford to kick in some shipping costs. One thing to keep in mind is that shipping in higher volume is usually a lot cheaper as well, so that could help cut down costs too. I hope you learned something from this article!
I think it is safe to say that a lot has changed due to COVID19 and all the problems that it has brought about. I mean, just take a quick look at our financial market and you can see how much things have changed between now and a couple of months ago. I would venture to say that most people have been heavily affected by this virus, buy small business owners like myself have been hit especially hard. Not only is it tough enough out here for us to survive under normal circumstances with the added pressure of supermarkets like Walmart and Meijer, as well as online superstores like Amazon, but everything related to COVID19 made it so much harder. When I was told that I had to shut down my store front for several months, I was absolutely devastated. How was I going to be able to pay rent, afford my building, or pay my bills? Honestly, it seemed like I was going to have to completely close up shop at the rate things were going. However, I made a few key decisions during this time that allowed me to keep my business open even through the pandemic. In fact, I even ran into a lot of profit over this time period in a way that I never would have expected. The best decision I ever made was to bring my small business into an online format.
Well into the COVID regulations, I realized that something would have to be done, or my business would be completely finished. With the storefront being shut down in the downtown of my city, there was absolutely no way for me to sell my products. I completely relied on people physically coming into my store in order to buy my products, and therefore did not make any sales at all once my business was shut down. Though I did have some leniency in the form of rent forgiveness as well as a few small loans from the government, I did not see a way forward unless I could open my store up and start to sell my products again.
Luckily, I was informed by some of my colleagues and fellow small business owners that I could attempt to sell my products online to try to save my business. At first, I was not thrilled about this idea because I am really attached to the idea of having my physical storefront business. However, as I got more and more desperate, I decided that I didn’t really have any other option. Afterall, what did I have to lose?
I already had a website setup for my business, but I did not do any sales through that website. Setting up a store page on my website took a bit of time and I needed to hire someone to help me through that process, but we were eventually able to figure it out without too much trouble. I had to invest in a lot of business supplies that one would expect when starting an eCommerce business. Shipping supplies is super important to anyone selling products online, so I made sure to order plenty of high-quality shipping supplies in order to keep my products safe and secure while in transit. Now my store is back and booming, and I still make a ton of money from online sales.
Are you trying to start an eCommerce business right now? Well if so, I have news for you. There are just under a million other people trying to do the same exact thing as you right now. Does that scare you at all? Giving you second thoughts? Well, the good news is that you are going to be just fine, because you have me. 2021 is the greatest year that has ever existed as far as eCommerce companies go. Especially with the pandemic of 2020 (which is still a problem in 2021), it is easier than ever before to start a successful eCommerce business and make some serious money while doing it. If you have a natural knack for business and marketing, as well as money management, problem solving, and entrepreneurship, then you might have what it takes to be successful in the world of eCommerce business. However, there are still some things that you should be aware of before you go all in on this eCommerce business idea. Luckily for you, I am a super experienced eCommerce consultant and have had hundreds of these conversations with people in the past 10 years alone. Therefore, I am going to run you through some of the basics of what you need to know before you get to starting your eCommerce business.
The first thing that you need to know is that eCommerce selling involves a great deal of market research. Are you prepared to put your nose to the grindstone and do what it takes to really understand the world in which you are selling to? Analyzing the market is one of the most important things you can do when starting an eCommerce business, because it helps you identify potential strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities that exist within the market you are selling.
You can also get a better idea of who your competitors are and how best to defeat them and ruin their next family Christmas. That’s right, you are going to need to get cut-throat in this business world if you want to compete with the big dogs. There are also a lot of different types of eCommerce business models, and choosing the right one for you is super important. This will also help you better understand the market that you are researching and how you need to be approaching different market segments.
Another important thing you need to keep in mind is that you will not have any physical storefront or contact with your customers. Rather, everything you will be doing will be completely online, which has its drawbacks and benefits. The important thing to remember is that the only physical contact that your customer will have with you is through your product that is shipped to them. Oh, that’s another thing, you are going to need to take great care to purchase the right kind of shipping materials. Not only does your product have to be good quality, there has to be a need for it. In the business world, we refer to this thing as a niche market. So, you need to be using proper shipping boxes and packaging supplies. The last thing you need is for your product to be damaged during transit, or to hurt the unboxing experience for your customer by not investing in good shipping boxes and shipping supplies.
In my line of work, there are a lot of things that I have to be in charge of. I have to manage so many different things all at once and be in charge of a multitude of teams and projects. Honestly, it is exhausting work. Let’s face it – my life is cooler than yours and I’m way more important than you. Now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you why I am writing this article. First and foremost, I absolutely hate going to the post office. To me, there is nothing worse than having to get in my car in the heat of the summer and sit there and sweat while I wait for the AC to kick on. Then when things finally start to cool down, I have to deal with midday traffic (since I’m usually at work when this happens) and spend at least another 20 minutes trying to drive to the post office. Then, what’s I finally arrive at the post office, I have to spend another 15 minutes waiting in line and waiting for the employees to get the things I need. And all for what? A few boxes and some packing materials? It just simply isn’t worth it. I am a businessman first and foremost, and I see no greater flaw like a lack of efficiency and wasted time.
Consequently, I began to look for alternative ways to go about finding shipping supplies. Now like I said, I am an insanely busy person and would not normally waste my time looking for different means of obtaining mail supplies that are more efficient than going to the post office, but this situation in particular struck a nerve with me. I started looking for different places around the city where I might find some more supplies. Staples offered a longer drive time but less of a wait than the post office, and they had a pretty decent selection.
However, Staples is often more expensive than what I would like to pay for shipping supplies and I fundamentally disagree with the way that they run their business, so that was a no go from me. My next thought was to look for ways to order the stuff I needed online. Afterall, you can order just about anything online these days, so I figured I would give it a shot. I spent a lot of time on my laptop looking up different websites and suppliers, got quotes from several different vendors, and even went as far as to hop on the phone with some of these people. When I tell you that I take my mailing and shipping needs seriously, I mean it!
As it turns out, online shopping for my shipping needs was the way to go. It is way more convenient to just hop on a store website and order what I need, rather than going through that long arduous process of driving to the post office and all that. I honestly feel bad for any plebeians who still buy their shipping and packing materials in a brick and mortar store. Online shopping is the future baby, and I intend to cash in hard on all my sweet, sweet savings by purchasing the stuff I need in bulk online. You may refer to me as the next Bezos.