What is small package shipping?
Small package shipping, can be defined as a delivery service that specializes in packages and parcels that weigh less than 150 lbs. Actual or dimensional weight, however, is not the primary distinguishing feature of these delivery services.
The small package delivery industry offers services that cater to residential delivery. This is where individual boxes and parcels are shipped directly to the recipient’s home or place of work. Although small package delivery can also focus on B2B shipping, residential delivery is the most common type of shipping service used for ecommerce sales and retail sales. The explosion in growth within this sector has made small package delivery companies an important link to customers for ecommerce brands.
The defining feature of a small package delivery company is their door-to-door shipping services, which take advantage of integrated tracking and visibility throughout the parcel’s journey. This is handled by a single point of contact carrier. When it comes to online retail, customers require more touchpoints and communication throughout the sales process. Ecommerce brands need to partner with small package delivery companies who understand what their customers are seeking when they shop online.
How is B2C small package shipping different from B2B shipping?
Although a lot of B2B shipping is done by small package shipping companies, there are significant differences due to the differences in expectations from the consumer. Residential shipping has become an integral part of the ecommerce retail experience. It embodies the brand an online retailer tries to convey through their website and is often the part of the supply chain that customers interact with most. Small package delivery companies also act as a sort of customer service line when packages and parcels get lost.
With B2B shipping, the arrival date of the merchandise is the most important factor, and in many cases, what is being shipped is not necessarily what is being sold to consumers. B2B shipping also deals with more time-sensitive shipments of merchandise, making the focus of the shipping process more routine than personalized. Companies favor consistency and reliability when ordering supplies or products.
Carriers like FedEx® and UPS® both offer small package delivery services that cater to B2C and B2B customers. However, to get the most out of their residential delivery offerings, an ecommerce brand should consider partnering with a delivery expert who understands the nuances of B2C residential shipping.
Small package tracking must focus on customer experience
When a customer confirms their online purchase, the wait begins. People look forward to receiving their orders and count down the days before it arrives. A good small package delivery service will keep the customer in the loop and keep them updated on the whereabouts of their orders. If an order is delayed, they won’t feel the need to contact the brand or the carrier right away. Customers typically check on the status of their orders an average of four times before the items are delivered. These moments can serve as important customer touchpoints that can reinforce a customer relationship through branded tracking. This gives an ecommerce retailer the chance to promote their brand, products, and social media channels.
Small package delivery companies will also provide customers with the right tools to manage their deliveries. That way, they won’t need to spend a day at home waiting for a parcel. From special delivery instructions to confirmation messages at drop-off, small package delivery services are primarily focused on servicing the customer.
Connecting small package delivery with ecommerce returns
With shoppers frequently returning the items they bought online, the ecommerce returns process needs to be as seamless as the delivery process, as it is in reality an extension of the brand experience. Carriers and shipping companies need to integrate pickup options and detailed branded tracking while the parcel returns to the fulfillment center. This keeps the customer informed and lets them know when they can expect a refund from the vendor and gives the retailer a chance to communicate with the customer through branded communication channels.
Good small package shipping translates the brand’s retail experience
The delivery person is no longer just the person that hands off your ecommerce orders; they’re part of your brand’s customer experience. That’s why choosing the right small package delivery company is so important to growing your brand.
To learn more about what to look for in a small package delivery provider, talk to a delivery expert from Pitney Bowes. They’ll have the experience and know-how your brand needs to deliver a top-shelf ecommerce customer experience.