Every business has the three P’s – process, people, product. If your product is good and you’ve assembled a great team, then the only thing that’s left is optimizing your processes. During the ecommerce boom of the last 2-5 years, we’ve seen a lot of great teams and great products fail, because they didn’t have the right processes in place.
In the case of ecommerce businesses, one of the most difficult processes to nail is your shipping. It’s complex, made up of many moving parts (pun intended), and always changing. It can get pretty hairy if you are shipping across several zones and using different carriers.
In this post, we break down exactly how to optimize your shipping and fulfillment, what to expect, and how to dramatically lower your shipping costs so your business can scale.
Let’s dive in.
Implement Shipping Technology
Shipping products across time zones, optimizing routes, and meeting ever-increasing customer expectations is becoming a herculian task. There is no way to do this manually anymore. Companies can’t keep track of every shipment and community with every carrier themselves. As a result, a lot of brands have switched shipping technology to automate the entire process.
What does shipping software include?
To make sure you’re using the right shipping technology, you need to use a software solution that offers the following:
- Robust shipping API – it provides visibility for the entire shipping process, creates shipping labels an tracks every delivery.
- Integrations – integrates all of your software into one place such as your sales data from your ecommerce platform, your product catalog, and your packaging and fulfillment tools.
- Carrier optimization – automatically selects the best carriers for each delivery and provides the much-needed flexibility to switch between carriers.
- Reporting – provides business intelligence reports to be able to analyze and optimize every part of the delivery process.
Another huge advantage of using shipping software is that it connects your operations team to your sales or marketing team. It brings clarity to your shipping and delivery costs and helps gain valuable insights for your sales team.
For example, you can create a report that shows your delivery costs by product category or by region, which could help you optimize your marketing campaigns to target the most cost-effective products or regions.
There are a few other benefits that shipping software provides for ecommerce companies. The first is doing away with capacity restrictions.
Do Away with Capacity Restrictions
One of the most difficult challenges that ecommerce brands face is when a shipping carrier runs out of capacity. This happens every year a few months before the holiday season when the largest carriers announce that they have run out of capacity. This leaves brands scrambling to find another shipping option, often raising the cost of fulfillment and slowing down delivery.
The X Delivery™ platform uses smaller shipping carriers that do not run out of capacity, and lets ecommerce companies pick the best carrier for each delivery. So instead of getting locked into multi-year delivery contracts and hoping for the best, companies can use X Delivery and not worry about running out of capacity ever again.
Provide Fast & Free Shipping
Another challenge companies run into is keeping up with the customer demand for next-day and two-day shipping. Also, a lot of brands have started to offer free shipping options for customers in specific locations or over a certain sales threshold. This can get very expensive especially if you don’t have flat rate shipping and every delivery costs an arm and a leg.
Late deliveries are notoriously dangerous for a business. Studies show that 45% of consumers expect 2-day delivery while 57% of consumers would not use a retailer again after three late deliveries.
X Delivery’s shipping technology offers companies the ability to use zoneless shipping and deliver packages in two days across the entire U.S. No more waiting on large carriers or using expensive fulfillment options to satisfy the customer. Use X Delivery’s shipping API to retain your margins and improve your delivery.
Automatically Identify the Best Rate & Route
The last-mile delivery is often the most expensive part of the fulfillment process. It accounts for more than 53% of the total shipping cost because it’s extremely difficult to optimize. It requires more stops, more complex routes, and more time on the road.
The best way to avoid the problem is to use parcel shipping software that helps select the optimal delivery route and carrier for each customer.
With X Delivery, companies get full visibility of the entire fulfillment process from start to finish. They are able to select different carriers to optimize the first, middle, and last-mile delivery of each package.
Reduce Operational Costs and Streamline Fulfillment
The last-mile delivery is not the only expensive part of the fulfillment process. Another challenge brands face is shipping to different zones across the U.S. Traditional carriers charge based on which zone the customer is in and how many zones the package has to pass through. Often, as the package crosses state lines, ecommerce companies can get hit by a charge for each zone, which makes predicting the fulfillment costs virtually impossible.
What companies should do instead is to use software that guarantees zoneless shipping. This is where the zone of the customer is not part of the pricing structure.
With zoneless pricing and no extra charges, companies can increase ecommerce sales and customer satisfaction to steadily grow their business every year.
Optimizing your shipping process can unlock many benefits for a brand. It can help decrease your costs and improve your margins. Faster delivery times can dramatically improve the customer experience and help generate more referral and return business. It can also help decrease customer service costs by minimizing the number of returns, failed deliveries, and customer complaints.
Last but not least, a better shipping process with lower costs can help free up resources and time for companies to develop new products, spend more money on R&D, and scale across newer marketing channels. Ready to reap the benefits and reimagine delivery? Start shipping with X Delivery today.