4 Misconceptions About Marketplace Shipping - Guest Article.
Written By: Hasan Nabulsi
Shipping is a core aspect of any ecommerce business and an online marketplace is no different. Some believe that due to the different dynamics involved in an online marketplace, that shipping must be some highly complicated process but it doesn’t have to be. In this great guest article, our good friends over at Shippo help to shine a light on the different aspects of marketplace shipping and why it doesn’t have to be a challenge.
Starting an online marketplace means you’ll likely encounter some hurdles that traditional direct-to-consumer (DTM) e-commerce businesses won’t. But, one area that doesn’t have to be as challenging as some may claim is online marketplace shipping.
This is an area of business that can’t be ignored.
Whether your online marketplace specializes in clothing, furniture, tech, or any other product category, one thing will remain true. Buyers will expect shipping through your online marketplace to be as smooth as any other site they shop at.
But, there are a few key misconceptions that plague the world of online marketplace shipping. Despite what you may have been told, there is a way to provide shipping labels to your sellers that won’t break the bank and will give their buyers multiple shipping options.
1.) Online Marketplace Shipping Is Expensive
This idea can be true for online marketplaces that are operating without a shipping solution. In those instances, you’ll have to negotiate with the carriers you choose to work with individually which can take a substantial amount of time.
On top of that, your marketplace will usually have to ship a certain amount of products to qualify for volume discounts. This can be hard to reach for online marketplaces just starting out.
However, by using Onport as your all-in-one marketplace automation solution, you’re also getting the ability to connect your Shippo account and get access to Shippo’s prenegotiated discounts with the nation’s top carriers.
This means you can provide your sellers with shipping labels from USPS for up to 89% off the retail price for certain shipments. By providing a lower-cost shipping option, you create a better experience for both the sellers and buyers on your site which could lead to greater sales.
2.) Customers Won’t Have Choices When It Comes To Shipping
While it may be easier to only use one shipping provider for all the shipments on your online marketplace, it could be counterproductive to generating sales.
In the shipping industry, carriers determine their rate based on the weight, size, and distance a package has to travel. Each carrier will come up with a different rate for every shipment based on that criteria.
Having multiple carriers in your arsenal means you can compare and then provide your sellers with the best rate possible.
It also means that buyers on the site will have options when it comes to how fast they can get their products. Some carriers will offer overnight shipping or weekend shipping while others may not. Offering diversity in shipping options can be what get’s potential customers over the edge and buying more from your marketplace.
By having access to Shippo through Onport you’ll be able to incorporate more carriers into your marketplaces’s network. Sellers can then have the option to offer shipping through carrier’s such as UPS, FedEx, or other regional/international carriers.
3.) Customer Service Will Have A Hard Time Tracking Marketplace Shipping
Online shoppers not only want choices when it comes to shipping, but they also want to know where their orders are at all times. But with multiple vendors selling multiple orders, it may seem difficult to keep track of where everything is at any given moment.
This could seem like a nightmare for your customer service team since so many questions asked are about shipping. However, this misconception is again disproven when you use the right online marketplace shipping tool.
With Shippo powering Onport’s shipping function, your vendors will be able to provide their customers with tracking numbers. Those numbers can then be put into the carrier’s site to help them instantly see where their orders are in the delivery process.
This means fewer inquiries to your customer service team about where certain packages are. This also helps your vendors provide better service which translates into customers trusting your marketplace more.
4.) Handling Online Marketplace Returns Will Be Difficult
The world of reverse logistics can be difficult to conquer for even small online retailers. So that must mean handling returns for an online marketplace must be even more difficult, right? Wrong.
Returns management is something that can be automated with the right software solution. With Onport, your sellers can issue return authorizations automatically after a buyer requests them from the returns portal. Sellers can customize this returns portal to make sure their brand is felt in this stage of the customer journey.
Sellers can then provide return labels to their customers and once those customers have sent the package back and those return labels have been scanned, they’ll be able to track their progress all the way until the return is completed.
Returns are one of the most important factors into creating loyal customers. According to invespcro.com, approximately 92% of customers would buy again from a store if the returns process was easy.
By making returns easy for both buyers and sellers, you can expect repeat customers to your online marketplace.
How To Master Online Marketplace Shipping
Imagine building a house and the only tool you have is a hammer. It won’t take long before you recognize the need for different tools and more hands to help. Similarly, when it comes to mastering online marketplace shipping, it all starts with having the right tools and partners.
By connecting your Shippo account to Onport, you’re able to offer the sellers and buyers on your site affordable, reliable, and diverse options when it comes to shipping. Returns are also made just as easily.
Generating shipping labels for your vendors, tracking shipments, setting up automation, and cutting costs when it comes to shipping can all be achieved with the use of one integrated tool.
Onport & Shippo - Powerful Partners For Your Marketplace Success.
Shippo is a leading multi-carrier software solution. Their web app and API give e-commerce merchants access to the best rates with the most carriers. Merchants can connect their own carrier accounts as well to be able to compare those rates along side each other all in one place.
Online marketplaces that utilize Shippo can connect their account to Onport to further organize and automate their shipping processes.
With Onport, our customers can scale with confidence, streamline their daily operations as well as create truly unique marketplaces. Designed to be flexible, Onport can accommodate both those seeking an out-the-box solution and through our API, those who require a more bespoke implementation.
From growing SMEs to well-established Enterprises, Onport’s infrastructure is designed to be a reliable partner for growth. Onport is trusted by brands such as Project N95, Ad Hoc Atelier, and Naduvi as well as over a hundred other companies.
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