How to Choose the Right Shipping Carrier for Your Apparel Brand

When it comes to your brand, the companies you choose to partner with are one of the most important decisions you’ll make. This is especially true of your shipping carrier partner. Your partnerships are the key to your success and choosing the right shipping carrier is essential to optimizing your shipping strategy. 

The shipping partner you choose will depend on a variety of factors such as what products you’re shipping, where you’re shipping from, and where you’re shipping to, as well as the weight and dimensions of the packages. Your brand is unique and you need a shipping partner that solves your unique business challenges. Since each shipping carrier has both pros and cons, it can be tough to decide which one is right for your brand. 

Factors to Consider When Deciding on a Shipping Carrier

There are many different shipping carriers you could opt for as an ecommerce apparel brand. The number of choices could be overwhelming if you didn’t have a framework of what to look for. You want a shipping partner that is not only able to meet your needs now but one that can also grow with you as you scale your apparel brand. So, here is what you should evaluate when deciding on which shipping carrier to partner with:

Fulfillment and Customer Location

The shipping carrier you select will depend on where you’re planning to ship parcels. For example, if you ship apparel locally, you’ll probably work with a different shipping carrier than you would if you also shipped parcels internationally. The reason for this is that each carrier has different services, benefits, and rates. 

Therefore, if you’re only shipping products locally, it would make more sense to partner with a national carrier that offers ground shipping instead of an international carrier that only offers more expensive expedited shipping via air. As you can tell, the location of your supplier warehouse and the location of your customers play a big role in determining who you should partner with when it comes to delivery. 

Shipping Technology

Another consideration is whether the shipping carrier uses the latest technology to improve the logistics process. Unfortunately, traditional logistics is a broken and outdated process that limits itself by not employing the available shipping technology. Ideally, you want to work with a shipping carrier that implements the latest technology and can seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platform via a shipping API. 

When your delivery partner has a shipping API that connects to your store, the delivery process can start the moment that your customer places the order, which helps to speed up the delivery process immensely. Plus, this type of technology allows your shipping partner to print labels, manage inventory, provide parcel tracking, and more while you simply focus on marketing your online store and customer service.

2-Day Delivery Times

Is a 2-day delivery period important to you and your customers? The answer is most likely “yes” since everyone is used to the expedited shipping offered by Amazon and other ecommerce giants. Shipping is an industry where speed matters, especially if you want to stand out from the competition. That’s why one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a shipping carrier is transit times. 

The overall time it takes for the package to get from your fulfillment center to the delivery destination will impact your customer experience. Average delivery times vary from carrier to carrier but will depend on shipping zones and whether the carrier utilizes technology or not. For the best delivery times, you need to partner with a shipping carrier that has access to a wide network of in-motion supply assets and the latest technology in order to offer expedited shipping. Additionally, if you want affordable 2-day shipping times then it’s best to work with a shipping carrier that has a zoneless shipping policy such as X Delivery.

Supply Chain Assets

If you’re shipping your apparel across the country, then you may want to consider choosing a delivery partner that has a wide network of reliable shipping carriers that can collect parcels from warehouses anywhere in the country. This will ensure faster delivery times and prevent unexpected transit delays. 

X Delivery leverages a network of in-motion supply chain assets to meet all these needs. Therefore, by working with X Delivery, you have access to a team of shipping carriers across the entire country which means that you can fulfill orders faster and in a much more cost-effective manner than if you only partner with one shipping carrier. 

Package Weight & Dimensions

If you make use of a shipping carrier with a zoned pricing model, then the end destination will affect the delivery costs since it will be based on how many zones the parcel crosses. However, if you use a shipping carrier with a zoneless pricing model, then it’s the weight and dimensions of the package that mainly affect how much the shipping costs will be. 

In this case, it’s important to optimize the size of your packages. This means that the smaller and lighter your packages are, the less it will cost to ship them regardless of the destination. One way to optimize your packaging is to make use of poly mailers. These lightweight yet sturdy plastic bags are designed for shipping products such as apparel. Best of all, they don’t add any additional weight to the parcels, which allows you to get the best possible rates for shipping.

Green Shipping Options

Point-to-point ground or air shipping requires fewer steps as it doesn’t require any unnecessary stopover at a central hub. That means less fuel because all the flights are nonstop. Plus, all the means of ground transportation after that are shorter as they are going to the final destination. 

This shipping model cleverly employs unused delivery assets that would normally be forfeited by larger delivery companies simply because of the size of their shipments. Instead, point-to-point shipping delivers smaller quantities of products and sends them directly to the customer in the most economical and efficient way. This saves both costs and greenhouse gas emissions. So it’s a better system for your bottom line as well as for the environment. 

Tracking Capabilities

You need to ensure that the shipping carrier you work with provides you with advanced tracking capabilities. Both you and your customers need to be able to track packages quickly and easily. You need to be able to track packages as a way to assess fraudulent claims of lost packages. And your customers need to be able to track their orders too as this gives them peace of mind while reducing pressure on your customer services department. 

Providing your customers with a shipment tracking number that they can use to track their orders on your website also increases trust and loyalty. When your shipping carrier has a shipping API that integrates with your ecommerce platform, tracking becomes much simpler for both you and your customers. These increased tracking capabilities should definitely be a factor that you consider when choosing your shipping carrier.

Pricing

The delivery costs will determine the shipping rates you can offer your customers. It will also determine what shipping options you can offer such as free shipping. Ideally, you want to partner with a carrier that does what it can to reduce costs. For example, working on a zoneless pricing model instead of a zoned pricing model would significantly bring down shipping costs. 

Working with a partner such as X Delivery means you can benefit from the zoneless pricing model as well as a network of shipping carriers and distributed warehouses. All this lowers operational costs as well as shipping rates, which means that you can offer competitive pricing for shipping. This keeps your customers happy and also increases your profit margins. Definitely a win-win situation for an ecommerce apparel brand.

Why X Delivery Is the Best Shipping Partner for Ecommerce Fashion Brands

Now that you know how to select the best shipping carrier for your apparel brand, you can understand why X Delivery should be the top contender. X Delivery is a high-performance shipping carrier solution that will enable your fashion brand to optimize your shipping strategy. We can help your brand reduce shipping costs significantly so that you can have a truly successful and profitable 2022. 

Flat Rate Zoneless Pricing Model Reduces Costs

Traditional shipping carriers tend to only offer a zoned pricing model. And pricing shipping according to how many zones the parcel crosses is a truly outdated way of determining delivery rates. Not only does it affect your profit margins but it also restricts you in terms of shipping options such as free delivery. Luckily, you can avoid this problem if you choose X Delivery as your shipping partner. 

With X Delivery, you pay a flat rate based purely on weight regardless of where the package is being shipped. Flat-rate shipping helps you to anticipate your expenses and reduce your shipping costs. Plus, zoneless pricing makes it much easier for you to offer convenient shipping options for your customers, which will ensure that they follow through on their purchases. In other words, it’s the perfect way to increase your ecommerce apparel sales. 

Parcel Shipping Software & API Technology Streamlines Fulfillment 

Determining the best route and most relevant shipping carrier for each order can be complicated. However, parcel shipping software and technology has revolutionized the process. Instead of needing a dedicated team to handle delivery queries and correspond with the shipping carrier, our technology does the heavy lifting for you. 

Our X Delivery open API lets you seamlessly integrate all of your software and manage it in one place, simplifying the process significantly. Our shipping API for shipping carrier optimization helps you get your operations, logistics, and customer service teams on the same page. X Delivery’s shipping API will automatically identify the best rate and shipping route based on your unique needs. 

Basically, by implementing our shipping software and API technology, you reduce operational costs significantly because the fulfillment process is streamlined and functioning efficiently resulting in happy and returning customers.

A Network of In-Motion Supply Assets Reduces Transit Time

X Delivery gives you direct access to a vast network of shipping carriers that can access supplier warehouses all across the country. Having these assets at your fingertips is essential if you wish to grow and scale your ecommerce fashion brand. Amazon Prime has set the standard with its 2-day delivery option. As a result, expedited shipping is expected by your customers. Meet their need for instant gratification by making the most of the resources you have available. 

X Delivery will instantly select the best available shipping carrier from their network and can change carriers as needed for the first, middle, and last mile of delivery. Plus, our shipping API technology ensures that the delivery process starts the moment your customer places the order, so there are absolutely no delays in getting orders to your customers. Every single part of the process is streamlined for maximum efficiency.

Satisfied Customers Are Return Customers

The customer experience is more important than ever and as we head further into 2022, it’s going to become the factor that differentiates brands. If you want your ecommerce fashion brand to stand out from the competition, then you need to focus on the customer experience. And nothing affects customer experience more than the delivery process. 

Once your customer places an order from your online store, they start to anticipate the delivery of their order. If delivery takes too long, they become dissatisfied and impatient. This could result in them defecting to a competing brand simply because of their unsatisfactory experience. On the other hand, if the delivery time exceeds their expectation, they become repeat buyers and also word-of-mouth marketers for your apparel brand. This is the sweet spot and exactly the kind of reputation you want to cultivate for your business. 

How Your Shipping Partner Impacts Customer Experience

The shipping partner you choose has a direct impact on the overall customer experience. This is because a positive shipping experience delights customers. Satisfied customers leave more online reviews and make sure to refer their friends and family to your online store. Additional free delivery options and fast 2-day delivery leads to repeat business. 

Finally, innovative delivery solutions significantly reduce risks and offer your customers the flexibility they desire. As a result, choosing a shipping carrier is a strategic business decision with far-reaching implications. You can’t outsource it to a company without considering its impact on your customer experience. Instead, you need to own the process and view it as an opportunity to leave a lasting impression on your customers. Partnering with a modern non-asset-based logistics company is the first step in that direction. 

Choosing the Shipping Carrier That’s Right for Your Ecommerce Apparel Brand in 2022

It’s a brand new year and the competition is fiercer than ever for online retailers. You’ve put in the time and effort needed to create a solid fashion brand but need to take the necessary steps to grow and scale your apparel business. The best step you can take is to partner with a shipping carrier that not only meets your current requirements but has the resources to match your growth. The last thing you want to do is to change shipping carriers each year. You want a long-term shipping partner that you can always rely on. 

X Delivery is that trustworthy shipping carrier solution that you’ve been waiting for all along. With X Delivery, you get all the benefits of a national delivery network, an easy-to-use parcel shipping software, and predictable pricing so it’s really a win-win situation for both you and your customers.

We’re here to fix the broken system of traditional logistics companies and revolutionize the fulfillment and delivery industry to make an incredible impact that gives ecommerce fashion brands much-needed peace of mind and predictability year-over-year. 

It’s about time for you to reimagine delivery with technology that’s right for your online shopping business. It all starts with partnering with the number one shipping carrier for high-growth direct-to-consumer fashion brands. An open API for shipping carrier optimization is the key to growing into the “multiple-hundreds of orders per day” phase. So, if you’re ready to scale your brand, get started shipping with X Delivery today!

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