We’re almost halfway through 2017 already, and the approaching mid-year point serves as a perfect opportunity to devote some time to taking stock of your operations and looking for ways to grow your business in the second half of the year.
Revisit your shipping strategy
FedEx, UPS and the U.S. Postal Service have all recently changed their prices and services, so if you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to take a look at your shipping strategy in order to make sure you’re getting the best possible rates for every product you ship. If you’re using just one carrier for all your shipping, the first step in this process is to broaden your approach. E-commerce businesses using a single carrier face distinctive disadvantages to those who choose a multi-carrier strategy. Going this route enables you to:
- Reduce costs – When you compare rates across different carriers, you can select the carrier providing the best rates for each package.
- Avoid delays – If one carrier is experiencing service disruptions, you can quickly move packages from that carrier to another.
- Meet customer expectations – While using a single carrier limits you to what they offer, employing a multi-carrier approach gives you the ability to pick your carrier based on service options such as overnight delivery or special handling, thus providing a great customer experience.
Review and revamp your shipping station
Take a look at how you and your team prepare orders for shipment and you might discover ways to save time or money. A couple areas to review:
- Shipping materials – Think about your current products and the shipping materials you use. With dimensional weight pricing, FedEx and UPS rates are based on the size of the package instead of the actual weight. Make sure your packages are as small and light as possible, which will save you money both when shipping but also in packaging costs.
- Shipping station – Are your materials well-stocked and organized? Is your shipping station easy to navigate? You should also consider if your shipping station is the right size for your business or do you need to expand or reconfigure to better use the space you have.
- Product storage – Where do you keep your product inventory in relation to where you prepare packages? Are your most popular items easy to access when it comes time to ship an order?
Evaluate your shipping software
Are you using the right technology for your e-commerce business? Having the right shipping software in place can drastically improve your shipping operations and customers’ experience, saving you time and money. Take a close look at your existing shipping software to make sure you’re leveraging the latest technology in order to optimize your shipping workflow, stay ahead of the competition and exceed your customers’ expectations.
ShipWorks is the leading shipping software and order fulfillment solution that helps online retailers and warehouses organize, process and ship their orders quickly and easily from any PC. The software integrates with over 90 shopping carts, marketplaces, and fulfillment services — the most integrations of any enterprise-level shipping software. Marketplace and shopping cart integrations include eBay, PayPal, Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, BigCommerce, Volusion, Channel Advisor and Magento. ShipWorks also integrates with all major delivery carriers including UPS, FedEx, U.S. Postal Service, DHL, OnTrac and more. The company offers some of the most sophisticated automation features available in the market including a custom rules engine, automated product profile detection, and ShipSense, a predictive analytics feature that automatically uses order history to configure shipments.
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