If packing and shipping physical products is part of your business offerings, Ontraport can help you streamline and automate that process.
Let’s say you’re in the fitness industry and you sell online classes, but you also have a package of weightlifting equipment that perfectly complements your course. For the customer, sending them their stuff seems simple, but the process can get complicated for you, the seller. You have to wrangle your vendors, organize shipment locations and create packing slips, just to name a few things.
Ontraport offers a number of flexible tools to support your physical product fulfillment process.
I’ll give you a brief overview of these tools so you know what’s available to you.
If you’re going to be shipping stuff around the country or the world, you probably want to charge your customers shipping fees. By adding shipping fees to existing order forms, you can pass these costs on to your customers — and you can charge different rates based on your customers’ locations. I’ll show you how to do that in another video.
Shipping and fulfillment runs refer to the process of sending items to the buyers.
No matter who is actually doing your shipping, you’ll start by configuring your shipping and packing slip settings. After that, you’ll add each of your products to a shipping and packing slip on your order form.
Once that’s done, each time someone buys a product — say that weight set — it gets added to a shipping and fulfillment run. Your account takes all of the weight set orders that came in during your fulfillment timeframe (that you set) and sends an email with that info to whoever does your shipping. This could be your fulfillment service, a shipping manager at your warehouse, or yourself.
That email includes packing slips for each the weight sets you sold and a shipping fulfillment list that has info on all the buyers in that run. Whoever receives that email uses those packing slips to keep track of what each customer ordered and puts the right weight sets (or whatever you sell) in each box. The shipping fulfillment list contains the information for shipping labels — you know, the things you stick to the box with the addresses on them. With the box packed up and the shipping labels adhered, the weight sets can be sent off to the people with the ‘hashtag fitness goals’!
For all the details on this part of the process, watch our “Packing slips and shipping fulfilment runs” video in this series.
What’s cool is that you can easily integrate your shipping and fulfillment service with automation in Ontraport. By directly connecting your shipping company to your account, you can send mail to customers on a regular, automated schedule, such as using Acutrack to ship your best-selling book. We have documentation on how to set this up, so we won’t cover it here.
Let me jump back to the scenario where you’re doing your own shipping so I can give you a few tips, just in case that’s your situation.
Even though you’ve got some manual labor to do on your end, you can still automate some parts of this process. For example, you can set up an automation that sends a thank you email to your customer, then assigns you a task to pack up the box and send a shipping confirmation with the tracking number. Sweet system!
We have a whole course on tasks, so check that out if you’re managing your own shipping and fulfillment of physical products! Otherwise, your fulfillment center takes care of this for you
Shipping physical items to your customers takes a little setup, but with Ontraport’s fulfillment features, you can smooth out your entire product delivery process.
But we’ve just skimmed the surface of physical product fulfillment. If you keep watching the rest of this series, we’ll dive deeper into shipping methods, shipping settings and packing slips.