There are various benefits to setting up an online business. However, there are some details to which you should pay great attention. The shipping label is one of them. If you are a beginner, it might appear to be complicated with the array of information printed on them. However, it is a critical element for a smooth shipment process. Shipping label printing has recently become the industry standard for successful shipment logistics. Each courier service has its unique mailing label template, which aids in delivery process optimization.
A shipping label may be a minor part of the overall ecommerce puzzle. However, it is critical to both inbound and outbound logistics and aids in optimizing the order fulfilment operations. Without proper shipping labels, your clients' orders may be misplaced, resulting in a negative customer experience, decreased brand loyalty, and losing revenue. The majority of third-party logistics businesses need pre-labelling for package collection.
A shipping label is added to every shipment and item transported for the purpose of information transfer. This guide will help you grasp everything about Shipping Labels and their importance in any eCommerce shipping operation.
2) What are Shipping labels, and how does it work?
To put into layman's terms, shipping labels are identification tags that describe an item en route. It comprises all of the critical information about a package. They contain the receiver's name and address, weight, tracking number, barcode, and so on. Shipping Labels also include information about the shipment mode (e.g., Express, Standard, etc.), allowing the carrier to guarantee that the service paid for is supplied. Each shipping label is unique, and preceding labels cannot be used again. A new label must be created for each shipment.
As previously stated, shipping labels typically carry the following information:
- Address of origin/return Address of destination
- Shipping class Package weight (Next Day Air and Priority Mail, respectively, in the examples above)
- Shipping barcode with electronic tracking number (automatically generated by the carrier)
A conventional shipping label includes a one-of-a-kind bar code. The bar code lets you, the carrier, and the consumer trace the product and, ideally, prevent it from being lost. This code is scanned at numerous stages throughout the delivery process, including when the product is sent, when it arrives at and departs the shipment facility, and when it reaches its end destination.
3) How to print a shipping label?
There are two methods for creating shipping labels. Shipping labels are now digitally created by shipping service providers, such as ClickPost. This simplifies the job of an online company since they no longer have to bother about the layout and templates of these tags.
If shipping labels are made using a carrier's label making-printing facility, then monitoring data and shipment confirmation must be physically emailed to the end customer so that they may track the placed order at their end, with a similar process for delivery verification. Some service providers use a pay-as-you-go strategy suitable for small-to-medium volume retailers. In contrast, others use a monthly fee-based system, which is ideal for high-volume e-commerce distributors.
3.1) Methods for generating shipping labels:
3.1.1) From orders
- Select an online delivery provider. The majority of significant carriers allow you to print shipping labels online.
- Navigate to the Orders page of your shipping service provider's website.
- From the Shipped section, double-click the order for which you wish to print the label.
- Hover your mouse over the Shipment section to view Buttons for Print Label/Download Label
3.1.2) Generate from shipments
- Navigate to the Shipment section of your shipping service provider's website.
- Select the Order in Transit and then click More > Label Print/Download
ECommerce businesses pass these labels through a trial print procedure before printing the finalized shipping label on the registered order. After the sample(s) are approved for affixation over Cartons, boxes, packages, or containers, and the order is dispatched for final delivery to the end purchaser, the shipment label tagging procedure is deemed complete.
You may print shipping labels from your home if you operate a home-based online store and don't need a warehouse inventory management system. Mailing labels are typically 4 x 6 inches and 5.5 x 8.5 inches in size. You'll still need to think about eCommerce shipping options, purchase eCommerce packing, and assess shipping prices.
3.2) Methods for printing shipping labels:
If you are printing labels at home, there are two widely used and internationally acknowledged methods for printing shipping labels:
3.2.1) Typical inkjet or laser printer:
In general, you should avoid using these printers since they use a lot of ink, which is pricey. Additionally, some glue is required to adhere to the printed labels on the packaging. However, these printers are enough if you only need to print a few labels.
3.2.2) Printer for thermal label
These printers are intended to print labels and are the most popular alternative globally. They don't need any ink; they all need rolls of label printing paper. Heat embeds the print, allowing the tags to display precise information without blotches while still having a long shelf life. On the other hand, Thermal printers are pricey pieces of equipment that would only make sense if you needed to produce shipping labels in bulk volume.
4) Different types of shipping labels:
Shipping labels are available in a multitude of forms, sizes, and colours. These labels are order specific and may be personalized. The labels' versatility allows for considerably better tracking of each made order. The following list contains are some of the most common types of shipping labels used globally:
4.1) Arrow labels
The arrows imprinted on the tags indicate which side of the package should face up. This label is typically found on electrical, electronic, or industrial items.
4.2) Fragile labels
These labels indicate that the contents of the package are fragile and should be handled with care. For example, if the box contains a glass item, it must be handled with care so that it arrives safely. Thus, fragile labels play an essential role in delivering easily damaged objects. Moreover, such labels must be eye-catching enough to be seen; they are frequently printed in vibrant colours.
4.3) International shipping labels:
Because of the expanding global trade, these labels are becoming more popular. Every day, millions of shipments are delivered from one nation to another. This sort of label includes a detailed explanation of the contents of the container and if the product requires protection from extreme weather changes. If necessary, such a label will also provide information on the item's fragility.
4.4) Dot labels
These labels indicate if the contents of a container are flammable, corrosive, explosive, toxic, and so on. Such markings are critical, and their absence might endanger both people and property. As a result, these labels are frequently printed in bright colours with large font. Shipping labels are necessary since they assist postal officials in determining where the shipment is to be delivered. These tags also ensure that your product is handled with the utmost care. Without these markings, the mail carrier would have little information about your packages.
5) Tips for Shipping label
5.1) Factors to consider while printing shipping labels:
Here are a few other considerations when it comes to mailing labels:
5.1.1) Detailed Instructions
Make a note on the packaging if the contents of your item require specific instructions. This may include designating it as "Fragile," "Perishable," or "Flammable" (carriers will often ask this as well). You should also take notice of whether a product must be "This Side Up." These unique needs will guarantee that your delivery gets to your customer's door in ideal shape.
5.1.2) Packing Slips
A competent e-commerce merchant always provides packing slips, often known as "waybills." This is placed inside the package (or outside, in a plastic wallet) and a receipt. The labels must include your company's contact details, the client's address, the delivery date and number, the products in the box and their quantities, a customer care number, and any other remarks or information concerning returns, refunds, etc.
5.1.3) Label Position
Shipping Labels must be placed on the top of your product. Check that the label is fully visible and that no edges are folded over since this might conceal critical information or render it unreadable. Also, make careful to smoothen any lumps after glueing it down, as this may cause the barcodes to become illegible. To safeguard your label, wrap it with clear tape or keep it in a plastic wallet. Just make sure the entire label is readable.
5.2) Tips to consider when choosing a shipping label printing partner:
When it comes to printing shipping labels, precision surpasses virtually everything else. As a result, keep the resolution in mind while selecting a shipping label printer. The higher a printer's resolution, the sharper its readability. When letters and barcodes are printed at a higher resolution, their readability improves. This allows the scanners to examine your shipments more rapidly and boosts efficiency.
5.2.2) Adjustable in size
If you're shipping out goods of all shapes and sizes, it's logical that you'll need to print labels with varying measurements. Furthermore, if you send any items, your labels may have different information for each product and vary in size. As a result, it's a good idea to see if the printer supports printing labels of various sizes. Some printers offer pre-defined dimensions from which to pick, while a few more modern printers allow you to customize the dimensions of your mailing labels.
Another critical element to consider while selecting your ideal printer is connectivity. Printers now come with connectivity options, including wireless connections in specific models. Remember that you only need to invest in the functions valuable to you.
Customers increasingly anticipate lightning-fast delivery as the eCommerce business grows by leaps and bounds worldwide. Companies are constantly searching for methods to improve every aspect of their supply chain, and printing is a critical component of that process. When you buy a printer with faster printing rates, the minutes, even seconds you save, can quickly add up to hours, resulting in increased productivity and revenues for your organization.
6) Shipping Label troubleshooting
A decent label sends a clear statement to potential consumers. Unfortunately, an incorrect application might convert into a negative image for your company. Label flaws can range from minor mistakes to total failure. Print quality is one of the most prevalent issues that label printing partners face. Darts, wrinkles air bubbles, squeezing, edge lift, rip during the application, adhesive failure, and other issues
Low-quality adhesives, applicator issues, or extreme weather conditions all contribute to errors on your package labels. Each defect will have a negative impact on the image of your company (if the tags can attach to your container in the first place). As a result, it's essential to identify the origin of these challenges and resolve them.
While the labelling procedure is not usually a key priority for ecommerce, it has an impact on consumer experience, particularly when it fails. With a smooth-running label process, delays or inaccurate deliveries, missing products, and other complications may be avoided. Here are some areas to explore for potential growth and how they may be benefiting your enterprise:
6.1) Long-term storage
The peeling or fading of merchandise placed outside may be caused by the environment rather than the conditions affecting those objects within.
6.2) Barcode scanning errors
Ruining the intensity or design of barcode labels can quickly lead to shipping label failures, which can result in delayed or lost products.
6.3) Printer settings
In the case of stationary printers, many extra steps lead to lost hours and higher label prices and more significant potential for errors when labels are transported around between printers and where they are supposed to be used. Moving the labels to where they will be used, or even better, placing them on a cart, will save work and errors involved with your labelling procedure.
6.4) Application Method
Apparently, minor label issues may occur due to varied adhesive requirements. Temperature, humidity, and exposure to factors all impact when and where the label is attached to the goods.
7) Final thoughts
Delivering a product to the customer's place on time is usually the most challenging order fulfilment aspect. Companies typically put shipping labels on their items to avoid bottlenecks. This might be challenging for small enterprises that cannot join up for applications specializing in label printing. On the other hand, small firms can print their mailing labels and get the job done instead of relying on such programs.
Customer happiness is critical for all businesses. You may improve customer satisfaction by employing shipping software to handle shipment procedures such as label production. Shipping applications such as ClickPost, ShipRocket, Orderhive, Eshopbox, etc., are genuinely necessary to generate shipping labels for many carriers from a single dashboard. As a result, warehouse operations and order pickup are more efficient.