This week I am going to talk about something important – shipping.
Shipping is one of those things which stump most people who start off on their e-commerce adventure. It’s also one of those things which most people don’t think seriously about or care much for, thinking it is one of those ‘trivial’ issues.
Like Stephen Covey says, begin with the end in mind.
Think About Shipping Before Starting Your Shop
Begin with your shipping if you want to start your online shop.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling to domestic customers.
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling internationally.
Your shipping determines a whole lot of things. How you pack your goods, for instance. How you price your goods. How you price your goods so you make money and not lose money!
The first thing you should investigate is check out the various freight pricing offered by postal services (in this case, it would be Pos Malaysia) and courier services (such as TNT, DHL, Fedex, UPS, etc.).
Know About Weight and Volumetric Costs
Ask them for their prices and rates for shipping parcels. Determine if you are going to use weight or volumetric to calculate shipping costs. Whether you use weight or volumetric depends on the kind of products you are selling. Again, it helps to talk to people who are in the industry and know the best way to calculate shipping.
According to one industry insider/friend, the biggest mistake is forgetting that 30% of your costs are actually shipping costs. If you don’t factor this into your prices when you sell, you are going to be in the red sooner than you think! No wonder so many people struggle to stay afloat online.
All this groundwork is necessary because it ensures that when you do launch your online shop, you have your shipping costs down pat. And not have the costs eat into your profits of course.
So to start you off, here are some contact details of companies which offer shipping and freight services. Most offer package or parcel tracking these days on their website so that’s no longer a novelty or a differentiating factor.
Poslaju (Pos Malaysia)
Jalan Tun Sambathan, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03.2263 2626, Fax: 03.2274 4000
DHL Worldwide Express
Level 27, Menara TM off Jalan Pantai Baharu,
50672 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 1.800 888 388, 03.2241 8899/8000
17, Jalan TSB 8, Taman Industry Sungai Buloh,
off Kota Damansara, 47000, Selangor.
Tel: 1.800 88 6363 (Customer Service),03.2179 0370
UPS – United Parcel Service
11 Jalan Tandang, Wisma Ali Bawal 1,
46050 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03.7784 1233 (Customer Service)
3A Jalan Akitek U1/22, Seksyen U1,
HICOM Glenmarie Industrial Park, 40000 Shah Alam
Tel: 03.5033 3800 (Customer Service)
TNT Express Worldwide
17B, Menara PKNS, Jalan Yong Shook Lin,
46050 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 1.300 882 882 (24-hours), 03.7962 3333
Lot 3A, Jalan 13/2,
46200 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Food items especially need careful thought particularly if you are sending to the US of A. You can check http://www.fda.gov for details if you intend to sell foodstuffs online.
You can also read some helpful tips about the do’s and don’ts of packing goods from SkyNet’s page at http://www.skynet.com.my/dos.htm
Remember, it pays to do your shipping research way way before you launch your ecommerce site. It will save you a lot of heartache later on.
Redbox Studio offers affordable ecommerce solutions for your online needs. Contact us for details.