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Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Shipping logistics is a vital piece to retailer and manufacturer processes in order to provide a powerful customer and vendor user experience. The shift in consumer behavior toward getting anything shipped to your home or business within two days has caused businesses to search for more streamlined shipping models.

“But delivering products individually to many consumers’ homes, instead of in batches to retail stores, drives logistics costs up for store operators even as consumers demand to pay less for better service,” Loretta Chao of Wall Street Journal said.

These efficient shipping models encompass a delivery infrastructure that satisfies the shift in consumer behavior via consumer facing technology. The goal for businesses is to streamline shipping, increase revenue, and enhance the customer experience.

How can businesses, both large and small do this? Let’s take a deeper look at the ways you can optimize your shipping logistics.

1. Make Shipping Part Of Your Overall Business Strategy

Pairing shipping with your overall business strategy is the first step to streamlining your shipping logistics for success. Before even implementing a plan, you should consider the overall goal. This goal can guide you along the way.

For example, if you want to make shipments faster, there are a set of tasks that will need to be completed to make this goal happen, like focusing specifically on the logistics behind speeding up shipping time.

If your goal is to decrease cost for consumers on product shipping, you may need to cut spend in some areas to facilitate cheaper, or in many cases free shipping. Free two-day shipping via Amazon Prime is a good example of how to make shipping part of the overall business strategy.

Have specific business goals behind streamlining your shipping processes and then make a plan to accomplish those goals.

2. Implement Intelligent Shipping Based On Data

Staying on top of shipping costs is another way to streamline your business’ shipping logistics. For instance, if you continually monitor and track shipping times and costs, you can identify bottlenecks and tweak your model to create a more efficient practice.

There are many ways to achieve more cost effective results, like using Reveel, an intelligent shipping company that serves up logistic contract analysis, detailed reporting and data analytics, as well as invoicing. Taking the guesswork out of reducing shipping spend can have a big impact on your bottom line.

3. Ensure Your Shipping Offering Pleases Your Target Customers

In order to streamline your shipping logistics the right way, it needs to make sense for your target customers. Providing a powerful user experience is absolutely important in today’s consumer space. If you fail to provide a great user experience, there are plenty of other places to make purchases, especially online.

“The information acquired by monitoring user experience is an invaluable asset to any business driven to improve customer experience,” Casey Weisbach of Forbes explained.

If your target customer is more Millennial, for example, offering free shipping can be more effective than having a lower cost model. Free shipping combined with the ability to return something for free is also a valuable asset.

However, some customers may prefer faster over free. This makes pairing your shipping options based on what your customers actually want.

4. Make Communication A Priority

The ability to communicate with customers, vendors, manufacturers, and suppliers more effectively is priceless. You can have the most amazing shipping logistics plan on the planet, but without communication, you can’t effectively put it into action.

BY making communication a priority, you can ensure your shipping is staying efficient, as well as identify any bottlenecks in the supply chain. This kind of goes hand-in-hand with providing a great user experience too. The more communication, the better.

5. Always Revisit Your Plan

Taking best practices into account, developing shipping goals, and putting a strategy into place is powerful. However, your work is not done. Shipping logistics is not a set it and forget it type of thing. You constantly need to revisit your plan and ensure it is still effective, both in time and money.

Scheduling quarterly check-ins on your shipping is optimal. Gather all your documents, detailed reports and data, contracts, and any other relatable documents and dig into them. This gives you the opportunity to identify areas that can be tweaked for better shipping practices, customer relations, and overall business success.

In Conclusion . . .

The above ways to streamline your business’ shipping logistics are simply the tip of the iceberg. They are, however, some of the most important to consider when first approaching potential strategies for maximum revenue and user experience. How have you successfully tweaked your shipping logistics? We want to hear about it.