So, you just started an eCommerce store selling (candy, fishing lures, or custom socks) and your first order came in. You checked 3 times, and yes, it’s real! So what now?
The reality is, right now it doesn’t matter so much what you sell, because you made a sale and now the clock is ticking for you to get that merchandise into your brand new customer’s hands. If you’re not thinking about how to “delight” that customer Amazon has taught you nothing and you should prepare for a long road ahead. If, on the other hand, you are thrilled at the opportunity to set yourself apart, here’s what you should do:
Step 1: Ship that order!
Run down to your local pack and ship store or jump onto Stamps.com and get a shipping label onto the box as soon as possible and provide your customer with a tracking number. It’s that simple. Don’t overthink the process or engineer something on your first order. It’s your first order, if you don’t ship fast, it will be your last.
Step 2: You got one, so now plan for #2 and develop systems to support scale.
Even if you never get to 10, 100 or 1,000 orders per day, automation can help you live your best life as your business makes you money. Busy is the new dumb so think about how technology can leverage your time for you. Consider investing in a shipping plugin that will support you as an entrepreneur while you focus on user acquisition and growth! Here are a few delivery methods that can integrate with most shopping carts and will keep you out of the weeds!
Step 3: Find a 3PL to partner with.
Most companies miss the mark and try to do everything themselves for too long. The best thing you can do as an entrepreneur is align yourself with the right partners. Be it financial, logistical or otherwise, the right partner will aid your growth and allow you to do what you do best. When it comes to selecting a 3PL, I would encourage you to think about what your business will need into the future rather than focusing on what you need today. These considerations will include:
- Automation – You didn’t become an entrepreneur to answer every email or batch every label. Find a partner that can sync with your ERP and write back all necessary data to allow you to message tracking and status emails back to your customer.
- Speed – 3PLs from yesteryear don’t have the technology, warehouse layout, or culture to serve your customers of today. Vet your providers and make sure they are equipped to deliver as fast as you do.
- Vision – Yesterday’s fast is today’s normal, today’s fast is tomorrow’s normal. Make sure your 3pl understands that because your customer’s expect everything delivered yesterday, for free. If your 3pl can’t do that, try to settle on the next best option and go from there.
When it comes to eCommerce today, if you don’t have a strategy on how to compete with Amazon you are well behind. If Bezos and co has taught us one thing, it’s that logistics can be a secret weapon if you invest the time and resources to make it so. When the orders start coming in, and you’ve got to be ahead of the game. Once you have the above figured out, it’s time to start thinking about your Supply Chain in greater depth. Also, be sure to check out our blog on How to think about Shipping when Starting Up.
More About Boxton
At Boxton, we’re building the future of logistics by automating best in class processes through easy to use management software that keeps team’s moving forward, without overspending. We’ve built our platform and methodologies on the core belief that shipping should be easy, for everyone – and nothing on your invoice, should ever be a mystery.