There’s no reason why shipping should take more than a week, unless products are backordered or they are being custom made. So if your customers orders are getting delayed, learn how you can ship fast and make a profit in today's episode of the podcast.
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How to ship fast:
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What's up, everybody? Anton Kraly here, from ecommercelifestyle.com. And welcome back to the podcast. If you're new here, just know that this show is designed to help eCommerce store owners to increase your revenue, automate your operations and become number one in your niche. Now the recent format of the show has been me answering your questions that are either submitted on social media or via email and just trying to use this as a way for me to literally be able to do more than type out a one sentence response.
So today's question was actually submitted during a YouTube live stream that I just hosted a few days ago. And this question came in from a YouTube account, where the channel name was Anton. And I don't know if that's your real name or not, it's kind of funny because in my life, I was thinking about this. I've only known four other Anton's. One was my grandpa, one was my dad, one is my son and the fourth was a drug dealer in my high school, who sold a ton of drugs. So maybe you're the fifth Anton. I don't know. But either way, it's a good question and it says, how do I choose my shipping options? Cheap shipping, but long with possibly many returns due to the time or fast shipping, but a very small profit margin because of the shipping rate.
So again, great question. What I just want to get across first is that you don't have to choose. You could have both and I totally understand why you're asking this. Obviously, you want those products in your customers hands as soon as possible. You want to keep them happy, but you still want to maintain a healthy profit margin. And just so we can put that in perspective, what I would want to see you do and really anybody who is following any of my systems do, is maintain an average net profit of about 25%.
And when I say average, I don't mean for every product you sell. Let's just say you sell thousand dollar products, that you're going to net 250 on each sale, because let's just say, for example, you have a supplier located in New York and you have a customer that buys, that's in New York. Well that's going to be a lot cheaper to ship than when you have a customer in L.A. And with that being said, we offer free shipping on all of our stores, so our actual profit per sale does vary based on where the customers are located. So that's why I use that average.
Now the other thing that I think is super important to know before I give you some tips here is that I don't think that there's any reason why a customer should ever have to wait more than seven days to receive the product that they ordered. So if I ordered from your store on Monday, there's no reason by the next Monday I shouldn't have that product, either at my home or at my business. And again, you should be able to offer that service while still remaining very profitable. And, of course, there could be some exceptions to the rule. If I was ordering a product that I knew was back ordered, if I was ordering a product that was custom made or personalized, then yeah. It's not going to be delivered in a week, at least not usually. And the reasons we can get products delivered so quick and offer free shipping is because we always ship with ground shipping. We always pick that most economical option and that's what I recommend you do as well.
Now before we get into that and how to set that up, the first thing that you have control over, that will determine how quickly a product gets to the customer when you're drop shipping, is how quickly that order gets submitted to your supplier. And on our store, when an order is placed, there's literally only minutes that go by before that email is forwarded to the correct supplier. And the way that we do this is through custom automation that we built into Shopify, I'd recommend you do this as well. There's apps for it, but they're all crazy expensive. So the way we did this is we connect our Shopify stores through Zapier, which is a tool that let's you make automations. And then we built automations that checks what brand the order is for, so what actual supplier is it coming from. And then, an email gets sent automatically to the correct supplier saying, "Hey, we need to order one product of this SKU number, shipping to this customer's name." Again, all built automatically so there's no delay on our part from getting that order to the supplier so they can ship it right away.
Now the next step is how quickly is your supplier going to get that product out of the door and what method are they going to ship with. So to make sure that they can always ship as quickly as possible, my advice, first off, is ask them to ship on their account and simply bill it to you. So whether they ship with UPS, FedEx, DHL, freight, whatever, if they already have their own internal system for printing out shipping labels for getting orders out the door, have them do it on their accounts because that will speed up the process. It'll get the product out the door sooner rather than later.
Now if your supplier or one of your many suppliers, tells you we don't ship on our account, then what you want to do is ask them who their preferred carrier is. So again, maybe they'll tell you UPS or FedEx or DHL or a freight carrier, whatever that is, what you're going to want to do is create an account directly with that shipping provider. And the reason you're going to want to do this is because when you create your account, you're going to get an account number and you can give this account number to that supplier. So let's just say they say, "Our preferred shipping carrier is UPS." You make an account on ups.com. You give that UPS account number to that supplier and you say, "Whenever orders are sent into you, please ship them as soon as possible using our account number." And what this allows them to do is actually create those shipping labels on your account, put them on the packages, arrange pickup, get them out the door and then you'll just be billed separately for shipping by whoever that carrier is.
Now the reason you want to do that is so there's not this other waiting time in between, where you submit the order to the supplier. The supplier says, "Okay. Great. Can we have a shipping label?" You go to UPS. You make a shipping label. You email it to them and all this time is just being lost when a product could be out the door. So do that.
Now next step that's super important is to let your suppliers know that you always want to ship with the most economical option, which is ground. So whatever that is with whatever it's called with whatever carrier they use, just let them know always choose the cheapest option, whether they're shipping on their own account or on your account. That way you're not just paying an extra 30% to get it to the customer a day faster. You don't have to do that. Now I'll also say it is a good idea to give the customer the option if they want to pay more for even faster shipping. So the way we do this is we have different up charges that the customer could accept if they want it. Again, standard ground shipping is free, but let's just say they want some type of expedited service. Okay, pay this amount extra and then we'll offer that to you. When they pay that amount extra, we just know to let our supplier know, "Hey, don't ship this one via ground. Ship this one via priority mail or via two day guaranteed," or whatever that service is.
So that's how you can help and accommodate those customers that want the products even faster and still maintain your profit margin. And one more thing I'll just throw in here, if you're selling anything that's really large and really heavy, I also recommend adding in a third tier of shipping. So you have your ground that's free, you have your expedited that's extra money and then the third tier is white glove delivery. And with white glove delivery, the delivery service will actually bring the product into your customer's home. They'll take it out of the box. They'll take all the boxes and the garbage away and that's why it's called white glove. It's the highest level of service. And as you can imagine, it's also the most expensive. But by offering those different services, it allows you to maintain your margins. By having those automations in place, it allows orders to get out the door as soon as possible.
And by either shipping on your suppliers account or by giving them your account number, they don't have to wait on you. They can just print it. They can get it shipped and your customer will receive it fast. And the reason I say within a week, that should be a given, is because pretty much wherever you're shipping from if you're in the States to your customers, there's no reason that shipment should take longer, unless again, it's a custom product, unless it is something that's personalized or if it's not just a freight shipment, but some kind of crazy bulk order of a container of something that might need some more coordination to get delivered.
But I hope you found that helpful, Anton, if that is your real name. And yeah, all joking aside though, great question. Thank you for submitting it. Hope you got value from the answer. And to everybody else out there listening in, if you did, please do me a favor, let me know. Leave a comment on the podcast and if you want to subscribe to hear every time I publish a new episode, that is two times every week, be sure to go to your favorite podcast player, search for eCommerce Lifestyle, click subscribe and you will get notified every Monday and Thursday morning when we publish new episodes. So thank you, appreciate you and I will talk to you in the next episode.
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