Have you ever wondered how online shopping sites like Amazon work? There’s no need to wonder any longer – we’ve put together this breakdown of the different stages of the process, so you can see what happens from order to delivery.
When you shop online, your cart acts as an extension of your wallet
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wondered about the logistics of shopping online specifically, how does a company receive my order and then ship it out to me? I used to think that the company magically knew when I placed an order and would have a box waiting for me at my doorstep.
The truth is: it’s a bit more complicated than that. When you place an order with a store, there are two things happening simultaneously: The site charges you and sends a confirmation email telling you that your purchase has been received.
Meanwhile, the merchant begins packing up your items and either ships them off to be delivered or holds them until they can deliver in person. Then once the package arrives at its destination, the delivery partner scans it so that the shipping service knows where to send it next.
All online retailers have become experts at managing your expectations
Since online shopping was begins, customers have started to complain about their orders not arriving on time. But who is at fault when a package doesn’t make it to your doorstep on the promised date? Well, we asked our team of experts and here’s what they had to say.
The retailer ships the item and provides tracking information so that you can stay informed about the progress. With every step of delivery that a package makes, the customer is either notified via email or app notifications. So what’s going wrong then? Well sometimes an order may take longer than anticipated due to any number of factors like bad weather delays.
There’s no such thing as free shipping
We don’t blame you for wanting free shipping, but it’s not something a lot of stores offer. In fact, some sites offer free returns, but not free shipping! So if you’re buying a product on its own, and it has free shipping as an option, that usually means the company will spend time and money to ship your order out even if you just wanted one item and pay the retailer handling fees in the process.
Now we’ll get into the details. One thing to note is that many stores have different standards for what counts as free. Some companies have tiered pricing where they only offer free with orders over a certain amount.
Others charge per-item shipping costs without requiring any minimum purchase size. The specifics vary from store to store, so make sure you know what you’re getting before you ordering.
But there is such thing as cheap shipping
How do I get free shipping from my shopping site?
First of all, know that these websites exist in order to make a profit, so if they are offering you something for free, they need to have another way to make money.
Shipping costs money and a company usually needs someone else in the middle usually the delivery partners to deliver the items. This is where companies have found an opportunity to take over part of this process by having items picked up by them and dropped off at your home or by having items shipped directly from their warehouse. Either way will cost them money, so they either charge you more upfront or through monthly membership fees. Most sites offer both options.
Many companies use shipping experts to make this all happen
Hands down, the most popular way to deliver a product is sending to your front door. So when you order something on one of the many shopping sites available to us today, what happens next? A shipping expert takes care of everything for you!
They’ll pay for the item using any number of common credit cards and get confirmation of their purchase from the retailer within minutes.
Whenever you buy something online, it doesn’t simply arrive on your doorstep
After your payment has been processed, the site has to collect and store the items you have order. The items are then picked up by courier companies who will package and ship them out to you at a cost to the retailer.
This can take anything from a few days to many weeks depending on where in the world you live. The exact time frame is also dependent on what service they provide, such as express or standard shipping. There’s a whole system in place behind the scenes.
This is a system that many of us never stop to think about. how shopping sites work from order to delivery. Here’s the basic process. once a customer places an order, it must be picked and packed, weighed for shipping and then forwarded on for shipment.
Tracking information is typically available online so customers can monitor their package as it makes its way to them. In addition, for high-value packages or ones with special needs, there are security measures in place designed to provide comfort that it will not be lost or damaged in transit.
Here’s how online shopping sites really works
Online shopping sites are complex, even when they seem simple. The process of placing an order, shipping it out, and then delivering it to your door can be more involved than you might think.
There are many opportunities for things to go wrong, but it’s much easier for these problems to be solved before your order is placed. Here’s a rundown of the whole process of what happens from clicking buy to when that package arrives at your doorstep.
1) Orders are processed by warehouses in massive quantities usually hundreds or thousands per day. These orders come in from retailers all over the world who have partnered with the online retailer.
2) Packages arrive on conveyor belts with barcodes on them which computers read to figure out where they need to go next. At this point, human workers may have already sorted some packages based on ZIP code or based on retailer space.
Other packages still need sorting by hand so workers will look up the location where each package needs to be delivered using their computer screen with maps. Then they’ll put them into different bins based on address and zip code.
A final note about refund policies and returns
Return policies vary on which store you’re shopping with, but the general rule is that items can be returned as long as they’re unopened and in new condition.
If there are issues with an item you buy, contact the retailer or manufacturer to try to have it replaced or fixed before deciding to return it.
When returning a product, don’t forget your packing slip and keep all the original packaging for your protection. Stores generally refund purchases either by cash or credit within 30 days of purchase, so take note of that date when making returns.