Small and mid-sized e-commerce businesses are facing unprecedented competition from retail giants with a strong online presence. In 2015, business owners will need to take a closer look at their technologies and tactics in order to compete.
One thing that will make a major difference this year is an effective shipping strategy. Ecommerce business owners who don’t have an effective strategy in place will run the risk of losing to their competition.
So here are my four shipping predictions for 2015:
Businesses will grapple with free shipping
Consumer expectation for free shipping isn’t going away anytime soon. According to a recent comScore study, the number of online purchases in the United States with free delivery hit an all-time high of 68% in the third quarter of 2014.
In 2015, we’ll continue to see major players in ecommerce find ways to deal with free shipping. For example, last year Amazon Prime — popular for its free two-day shipping — raised its annual fee to $99, largely to cover mounting shipping costs.
In order to compete, ecommerce business owners will need to reevaluate their shipping mix to look for ways to lower costs.
One carrier to explore is the U.S. Postal Service, which lowered rates for Priority Mail in September, making them a much more competitive and affordable option for packages weighing up to 40 pounds. Read more.