Blind and double-blind shipping are two common practices that, when effectively employed, can increase your business’s profit margins and boost your distribution momentum. Here is everything you need to know about blind and double-blind shipping.
What Is Blind Shipping?
Blind shipping is a supply chain strategy that’s gaining a lot of popularity in the e-commerce sector. It allows businesses to covertly ship their products directly to their customers without revealing the identity or location of the manufacturer or distributor. Usually, the supplier knows the identity and location of the supplier.
What Is Double-Blind Shipping?
Double-blind shipping also relies on operational confidentiality, except it’s double-sided. This tactic involves concealing both the identities and locations of the customers and the suppliers. The supplier ships the product to the e-commerce business warehouse. From there, it’s shipped directly to the customer and the customer is none the wiser that the product came from a third-party manufacturer or supplier.
Blind Shipping in E-Commerce
Blind and double-blind shipping are both common supply chain operational strategies in the e-commerce sector. The idea is to help protect the identities of the customers while also maintaining a strong competitive edge for the brand.
If your customers learn the identity of your suppliers or manufacturers, there’s nothing stopping them from purchasing your products directly from the manufacturers at a much cheaper cost. By keeping this information confidential, you’re protecting your business interests, retaining control over the supply chain, and ensuring customer loyalty by establishing yourself as a key player in the game. Customers will appreciate the convenience of purchasing the products they’re seeking out from a reputable and sustainable source rather than having to seek out third-party sources they know nothing about.
On the flip side, if suppliers learn the identities and locations of your customers, they can then reach out directly to your customers and offer the same products at cost, which effectively eliminates you—the e-commerce business and middleman—from the picture altogether. Double-blind shipping can help you protect your assets by preventing your manufacturers and suppliers from going behind your back to directly reach out to your customers.
How Can You Set Up a Blind or Double-Blind Shipping Operation?
To set up an effective, efficient, and affordable blind or double-blind shipping operation, you need to have a good working relationship with your freight forwarder.
For a standard blind shipment, you need to instruct the freight forwarder to remove the original bill of lading which contains the supplier’s information. When the package arrives, the customer will only see your company’s information on the shipping label.
Double-blind shipments require the freight forwarder to take the additional step of providing an alternate incorrect or “dummy” address to the supplier, so they don’t learn the end-customer’s actual name or location.
Throughout the entire process, only the shipper and the freight forwarder know the shipment’s full journey trajectory from start to finish.
What Are the Advantages of Blind Shipping?
Setting up a blind or double-blind shipment supply chain operation is like running a well-oiled machine. Proper planning and execution of all intermediary processes ensures that everything will go smoothly from start to finish. Most importantly, it guarantees that the shipment will arrive exactly on the date specified to the customer within minimal risk of loss, delays, or revealing confidential information to either the end-customer or the supplier.
As you can imagine, there are a lot of advantages to employing blind or double-blind shipment processes throughout your supply chain operations. Here are just a few advantages to consider.
Protect Your Assets and Maintain a Competitive Edge
Aside from preventing the formation of a direct manufacturer-customer relationship, blind shipping also prevents competing businesses from poaching your customers and suppliers by keeping their identities, locations, and contact information confidential.
Blind or double-blind shipments help you protect your business assets while also taking on an ethical approach to product delivery that gives both customers and suppliers peace of mind when it comes to preventing identity and product theft.
One way to protect the identity of your distributors and manufacturers and prevent shipment losses or delays is to integrate dropshipping. Combining blind or double-blind shipping operations with dropshipping is an effective end-to-end solution that streamlines the entire delivery process with optimal business benefits. The product goes directly from the supplier to the end-customer and eliminates the need for warehouse storage during transition, which helps cut down supply chain costs while maintaining anonymity on both ends.
Client Retention and Quality Control
Through double-blind shipping, you can keep your distributors’ and manufacturers’ identities a secret from your customers. This anonymity prevents customers from purchasing products directly from one of your sources at a fraction of the cost and ensures their reliance on your business. This is the very definition of supply and demand. Customers demand a product that, from their perspective, can only be supplied by your business.
Establish Brand Consistency
A strong and well-planned out blind or double-blind shipping strategy allows you to maintain consistency throughout all operational levels of your brand. From back-end operations to customer service and right down to supply chain operations, you can ensure high-quality and reliable services at all times that yield favourable results for your business. Customers will be able to easily identify your products because only your logo, brand name, address, and contact information will appear on the shipping labels.
Increase Your Profit Margins
Gaining brand awareness and establishing yourself as an industry authority figure is the name of the game. Once you’ve laid the groundwork and established your brand as a force to be reckoned with, you can make necessary supply chain operational and pricing adjustments to facilitate future growth.
Lean Supply Solutions provides full-service and cost-effective warehousing and distribution, order fulfillment, and e-commerce fulfillment, as well as 4PL contract logistics services for an international supply chain market. Serving a wide range of businesses from large multinational manufacturing companies to e-commerce and retail businesses, we build effective end-to-end supply chain strategies for our clients. Contact us today to learn more.
Small business owners have a lot of responsibilities, from running their backend operations to hiring the right personnel to help them realize their business goals and provide excellent customer service.
In the modern age, e-commerce is the natural next step to growing your business. But you have to plan your e-commerce venture carefully to ensure that it’s successful—this is not a space that you can or should just dive into without a plan or safety net. As a novice small business owner, you’re not expected to know everything right off the bat. And you’re bound to make a few mistakes along the way. Nonetheless, you should try to come up with a tangible plan to help see you through the more challenging times of running your business.
Nowadays, customers simply expect more from the businesses they support—accurate package tracking, faster shipping timeframes, a special unboxing experience, and ultra-sanitary shipping conditions, just to name a few. Essentially, they expect total supply chain transparency. Given the current state of the world, they’re entitled to it. It’s important to not only understand these needs, but to do everything in your power to meet them and show your customers what you’re doing to improve their experiences with your company.
With that in mind, let’s delve into the top five things you should know about the logistics and product shipping side of business management.
1. Order Volume
Small businesses typically have lower overhead costs than large enterprises because they carry fewer products. However, the cost of shipping products can be significant for small businesses because they don’t have access to the same resources as larger businesses do. Figuring out the logistics of shipping your products out to your customers is extremely important.
Start by contacting distributors and negotiating shipping rates to see if you can cut down the costs. Shop around to a few different distributors until you find one that can work within your budget and logistics strategy. That way, you can fulfill your order volume and charge your customers a fair shipping fee.
2. Take Packaging Precautions
Packaging is another important aspect of the logistics side of your business. It should be unique and branded, so that customers can instantly recognize the shipments they receive from your company. The packaging should also reflect the nature of the product that’s being shipped.
Fragile items require a little extra packaging like different internal compartments or packing peanuts and Styrofoam to secure them in place and prevent breakage during transportation. If you’re shipping products nationwide or internationally, remember that different regions have specific product and packaging regulations that must be met.
The type of product you’re shipping also influences the dimensions of your packaging. Small items can usually be shipped in bubble-lined envelopes for protection, whereas larger items should be shipped in boxes. Make sure your shipping and logistics budget accounts for the different types of packaging you may require for your various products.
3. Product Shipment Tracking
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are relying on online orders for their basic needs including clothing, groceries, etc. While this trajectory was always on the horizon, the pandemic has accelerated the need for greater supply chain transparency. With more people depending on online orders and deliveries, it’s crucial to give your customers and your staff the ability to track product shipments.
Customers want to know exactly when they can expect their products to arrive at their destinations. They also want to know what precautions are being taken to ensure their products are shipped safely and completely intact without any delays or issues. Supply chains and distribution centers are considered essential services and many have been operating overtime just to meet their tight deadlines. Product shipment tracking is mutually beneficial to customers and supply chain personnel. In case of a delay or problem with the shipment, each package is assigned a specific order number that can be electronically traced, so that the location is always made available.
4. Get Comprehensive Insurance
A comprehensive order shipment policy protects your business and gives your customers peace of mind when they purchase a product from you. Make sure your insurance policy is clearly stated either on the online order form or during the ordering process, so that there are no surprises. Your insurance policy should be clear and concise. It should state exactly what steps customers can take in the event that their order doesn’t arrive on time or if it somehow gets lost in transition.
Package tracking is one form of insurance in the sense that it reassures customers that they can find out the exact whereabouts and stage of the shipping process their parcel is in at any given time. There’s always the chance that something can go wrong during the shipping process. Packages get misplaced, lost, or stolen. As a small business, you have the option of either purchasing product shipping liability insurance or you can offer this to your customers for a small additional fee during checkout.
5. Delivery Timing and Destination
A major part of transparency and product tracking is letting your customers know when their orders have actually been delivered. Package tracking technology allows customers to check the trajectory of their orders, but sometimes they can forget to log in to the application.
As your business continues to grow, you can start sending out automatic text or email notifications every time a package is delivered, so your customers know when to pick it up from its designated destination.
Trust Lean Supply Solutions to Deliver Your Packages on Time
As a privately owned corporation, Lean Supply Solutions is committed to providing innovative logistics, distribution, and supply chain solutions to all of our customers on a national and multinational level. We incorporate a unique blend of lean processes, cutting-edge IT systems, and applications of world-class quality systems to deliver quantifiable value for our clients. To learn more about our state-of-the-art logistics processes and how we can help you expand your supply chain, contact us.