Smart Shipping Made Easy

All posts by admin

Is Your Shipping Approach Contributing to Online Shopping Cart Abandonment?

Shipping Costs and Return Fees Are Among Top Reasons Online Shoppers Abandon Their Cart by Paula Heikell An astounding 75% of online shopping carts are abandoned by shoppers, leaving a vast number of potential sales just lingering at the final stage. Imagine the potential revenue spike if organizations could correct the issues causing shoppers to walk away right […]

Read More...

Shipping Costs and Return Fees Are Among Top Reasons Online Shoppers Abandon Their Cart

by Paula Heikell

An astounding 75% of online shopping carts are abandoned by shoppers, leaving a vast number of potential sales just lingering at the final stage. Imagine the potential revenue spike if organizations could correct the issues causing shoppers to walk away right before making a purchase.

ecommerce shopping and shipping image

To do so, it’s important to understand the primary drivers of shopping cart abandonment.

Why customers abandon their shopping carts

There are a variety of reasons why a customer might fill up their cart and then ditch it at the last moment. Among the most popular: they’re doing research. When they’re shopping, consumers do a lot of research on cost-related factors as they seek the best available deals.

Research Before Buying

According to ChannelAdvisor, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases, with Amazon (55%) and Google (28%) the most frequent starting points. Seventy-nine percent of shoppers look for free return shipping and 71% of shoppers use online carts to evaluate shipping fees and return policies.

High or Invisible Shipping Costs

The Baymard Institute found shoppers abandoned their carts because extra costs were too high, including shipping, taxes and fees (60%) and they “couldn’t see/calculate total order costs up front (23%).

Shoppers abandon their carts for many other reasons, like forcing customers to register to make a purchase, unnecessary coupon forms, complicated checkout processes, stock availability issues and the demand for price-match guarantees. But with the majority of shoppers abandoning carts over concerns with shipping costs and options, a smart approach is to leverage smart shipping technology to help close more sales.

Preventing shopping cart abandonment with flexible shipping options

“Free shipping” is often the top reason why shoppers choose certain e-commerce stores, but is it the only reason? Not according to Fulfillment Service which reports free shipping is important, but not as important as low prices.

The Importance of Choice

Fifty-eight percent of those surveyed want free and discounted shipping, while 28% want a choice of shipping options.  A good portion of shoppers are willing to accept longer delivery windows for free shipping and it’s still important to provide expedited shipping as an option.

Essentially, both fast and free shipping options create incredible incentives for customers and can dramatically increase sales. The question is, do they increase sales enough to be worth it? Shipping costs typically account for 5% or more of the total cost, which can eat into profits.

Jerry Storch, CEO of Hudson’s Bay Company, a brick-and-mortar retailer that includes Canada’s The Bay department store, Lord & Taylor, and Saks Fifth Avenue, claims it’s more expensive for retailers to deliver products to a customer’s home than to have them shop in the store. “The economics are clear,” Storch stated at a Shoptalk e-commerce conference. “Direct-to-home has a supply chain cost three times higher than a store-based model.”1

Right-Sizing Your Free Shipping Program for Profitability

Still, over 46.5% of small to mid-sized businesses say that offering free shipping increases their profits. The key to correctly utilizing this kind of promotion is to find the sweet spot between costs and increased sales.

software to compare shipping costs

How? Many companies are embracing free or expedited shipping to gain a competitive advantage but getting creative to address those situations where either option is simply too cost-prohibitive. For example, they:

  • Offer free shipping on standard delivery, but charge a premium for premier services such as expedited or time-specific deliveries
  • Charge for shipping on low-value products or orders and offer free shipping on high-value purchases
  • Provide free shipping options if certain carriers are used
  • Consider using lower-cost regional carriers, as well as the postal service

Leverage Technology to Handle the Added Shipping Burden

Companies may be able to convert shippers into buyers by offering plentiful and creative shipping options that may satisfy customers’ needs, but it can also increase the burden on an organization. To do so, a seller must be committed to handling a wider mix of shipping speeds and carriers, which impacts profitability.

The best way to create more profitable free or expedited shipping offers is to increase the profit per item shipped, and the simplest way to do this is by reducing shipping costs. Cue: technology.

Regardless of company size or industry, there are numerous shipping software options to automate the shipping process and achieve savings in any fulfillment operation. Options range from barcode scanning shipping software that streamlines processing for warehouse workers to fully automated transportation execution systems that eliminate the need for staff to process shipments.

At their core, these solutions enable companies to automate shipping decisions for each parcel they ship, considering delivery deadlines, carrier rates, performance and other factors. In addition, the data analytics that are derived can provide significant insights that translate into negotiating power with your carriers.

Logistyx shipping software showing carrier rates and transit comparisons.
Logistyx shipping software showing carrier rates and transit comparisons.

A good multi-carrier shipping software makes it easy to process domestic and international shipments in seconds by:

  • Managing local, regional, national and international shipping carriers on a single shipping system
  • Auto-comparing rates/services for small parcel, postal, LTL and other carriers to identify lower-cost options
  • Providing a user-configurable business rule engine to apply customer-specific shipping rules
  • Auto-generating carrier-compliant shipping labels, export shipping documents and more

Eliminate cart abandonment with best-of-breed shipping solutions

While retailers consider the impact of free or expedited shipping offers on their bottom line, it’s also critical to remember the financial loss that results when potential sales walk out the virtual door – carts full but abandoned – as shoppers seek another vendor who will provide the same products with the shipping options they desire.

Retailers who recognize the high cost of a lost customer are investing time and resources into providing a variety of shipping options to keep these shoppers on their site. The best way to achieve this is to choose a multi-carrier shipping software platform that is scalable and flexible and makes it easy to respond quickly to rapid changes in shopping behaviors.

Paula Heikell is Vice President of Product Marketing at Logistyx

###

Logistyx Technologies is a provider of carrier-agnostic e-commerce fulfillment software and shipping software solutions that enable shippers to manage all their small parcel, LTL postal, regional, national and international carriers on one platform. We also help companies automate their reverse logistics process for greater efficiency and lower cost. Contact us today. 

Copyright © Logistyx Technologies. All rights reserved.

Survey: 28% of Online Businesses Not Aware of Dimensional Rating Costs

Have You Compared Your 2015 Shipping Invoices to 2014 Lately? You May Be Surprised A large portion of online businesses are still unaware of what dimensional weight rating is and how it works, even though the FedEx and UPS new dimensional rating programs may be taking a huge bite out of their profits. Endicia recently […]

Read More...

Have You Compared Your 2015 Shipping Invoices to 2014 Lately? You May Be Surprised

A large portion of online businesses are still unaware of what dimensional weight rating is and how it works, even though the High shipping CostsFedEx and UPS new dimensional rating programs may be taking a huge bite out of their profits.

Endicia recently surveyed over 700 businesses to understand how they felt about the FedEx and UPS dim weight pricing and found that 28 percent of online businesses surveyed hadn’t heard of dimensional weight pricing.¹

This means many businesses are unaware of just how much their freight bill can or already has increased. Lightweight shipments present some of the biggest spikes in shipping costs. For example, the Wall Street Journal estimates that under the new pricing model, shipping an eight-pound, 32-pack of toilet paper between 601 and 1,000 miles will increase by 37%.² Industry estimates predict that roughly one-third of shipments will be impacted by this change.

Additionally, 74 percent of businesses disagree with dimensional weight pricing because they believe it is expensive and unfair to businesses and shippers. So what do businesses plan on doing now that they are faced with these price hikes?

Going postal: 80% say they will use the U.S. Postal Service® for their larger, lightweight packages.

USPS shipping priority mailUnlike FedEx and UPS, The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) did not increase shipping costs in January 2015. In fact, it reduced Priority Mail rates, making it an affordable option for businesses to ship heavier packages, up to 40 pounds. Lastly, the Postal Service does not apply dimensional weight pricing to packages up to one cubic foot in size. For more details, see ADSI’s recent blog about USPS 2015 Proposed Pricing. For more results from Endicia’s survey, check out the infographic here.

Easy Solution: Add USPS to Your Multi-Carrier Shipping Software System

Now is the time to evaluate your shipping costs, carrier portfolio and your shipping software system’s ability to automatically compare USPS rates and services with your other carriers. You may also want to consider adding regional carriers for certain areas of your customer network, as these carriers may offer rates/services as Select_Shipping_System-Small-126x150much as 40% lower than national carriers’ rates. For information on how regional carriers can support your business, download ADSI’s whitepaper, “Regional Carriers: A Sound Shipping Strategy for Competitive Advantage.”

As always, if you have questions about optimizing your carrier portfolio so that you can compare all carriers/services on one shipping system, ADSI is here to help. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

¹ Jessica Foth, “The Results Are In: Businesses Say They’ll Switch to the USPS Due to FedEx and UPS Dimensional Weight Pricing,” Endicia Blog, 1/21/2015.

² Maria Haggerty, “How Retailers Can Adapt to Dimensional Weight Pricing Change,” multichannelmerchant.com, 9/15/2014.

Large Insurance Provider Reaps Big Benefits with Logisytx Campus Shipping Solution

Large Insurer Automates Processing One Million Non-Warehouse Shipments For this large insurance company, responsive small parcel shipping is a must. Every day, nearly 70,000 employees and more than 20,000 agents work together to support sales and customer service activities. Product and service information is typically sent out via small package delivery from the Company’s network of 24 corporate offices, […]

Read More...

Large Insurer Automates Processing One Million Non-Warehouse Shipments

For this large insurance company, responsive small parcel shipping is a must. Every day, nearly 70,000 employees and more than 20,000 agents work together to support sales and customer service activities.

Product and service information is typically sent out via small package delivery from the Company’s network of 24 corporate offices, operations and service facilities.

Challenge

The company wanted a more efficient, cost-effective way to handle the high volume of non-warehouse small package shipments being sent from offices and other locations. The existing process was manually driven.

They opted to roll out Logistyx Technologies’ Ship-IT™ multi-carrier shipping software solution in all corporate locations, operational and support centers.

“Logisytx software was performing well in our regional service facilities where we process 5,000 to 7,000 shipments per day,” said the company’s business automation analyst and project team leader, “We decided it would work well in all our locations.”

The Logistyx shipping solution has deliver operational and financial benefits.

Benefits

  • Automated the processing of one million non-warehouse shipments per year
  • Eliminated manual, paper driven processes related to shipment processing, tracking and cost analysis
  • Gave all employees access to easy carrier rate shopping so they can choose lower cost options
  • Gained company-wide visibility over all shipping activity
  • Freed up staff to perform other duties rather than hiring additional employees or temporary staff

Download the full case study 

Please contact us for a complimentary consultation today. You can contact us by phone at 877-755-2374 via email at info@logistyx.com.

Five Tips to Minimize Dimensional Rating Costs

There is no foolproof way to completely avoid the higher shipping costs the new dimensional rating programs will incur. However, you can start taking steps now to minimize the impact as much as possible. Following are five recommendations that can help control costs.

Read More...

Be Proactive – Five Tips to Minimize Dimensional Rating Costs

Tips to Minimize the Impact of National Carriers’ New Dimensional Rating Programs

It seems that everyone is talking about the new FedEx and UPS expanded dimensional rating programs. The general consensus appears to be that most companies, particularly B-to-C shippers, are bracing themselves for higher – in some cases, much higher – freight bills.

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to completely avoid the higher shipping costs these dimensional rating programs will incur. However, you can start taking steps now to minimize the impact as much as possible.

Following are five recommendations that may help reduce the impact:

1. Eliminate manual packaging decisions.

When the packing decision is left up to the staff on the fulfillment lines, it can be tough to make sure every order is consistently packed in the most cost-efficient carton or box. Whether an order is packed in a larger box than necessary or stuffed so full that the carton bulges, you run the risk of incurring higher freight charges. One way get control over packaging costs is to add cartonization software to your order fulfillment system. This will ensure the most cost effective packaging decision is consistently applied, and also accelerate workflow.

It’s also wise to re-evaluate the information exchange between your order entry, warehouse management and shipping system to determine if the collective systems share enough decision data to automate the carton decision process. We’ve seen numerous companies create an integration plan that allows them to automate and embed business rules into the fulfillment process to ensure the right packaging decision every time, based on the customers’ shipping preferences, product details and delivery options.

 

2. Consider adding regional carriers to your portfolio.

Is a national carrier really the only option for every order you fulfill? Or is possible to meet certain customers’ delivery requirements via a regional carrier? Savvy shippers are already exploring the benefits of using regional carriers.[i] Mikel Mobley, Director of Sales for OnTrac, a regional carrier serving the eight Western States, noted “Shippers are looking for delivery alternatives. Since our rate structure remains unchanged, we are able to offer a significant discount over the national carriers’ expanded dimensional programs. If every shipper evaluated their customer concentration and their options for regional carriers, they would find the savings can be considerable.”

The optimal foundation for an expanded carrier portfolio is a carrier agnostic shipping software system that enables you to add national, regional, local and international carriers onto the same platform. Without this, it is virtually impossible to ensure that you’re choosing the lowest-cost carrier service that can meet your customers’ delivery requirements.

 

“The reality is that a multi-carrier shipping software system is more important than ever,” said Rick Jones, president and CEO of regional carrier Lone Star Overnight (LSO), “But too often, legacy or standalone shipping systems offering just a single carrier are left in place because the warehouse staff is most familiar with them and thus perpetuating the status quo. Meanwhile, thousands of dollars are left on the table because the shipper lacks the ability to compare multiple carrier services and rates at once and select the best service and cost option for each and every shipment.”

Jones is also an expert on comparing the benefits to be weighed in considering regional versus national carriers. To learn more, request a copy of our whitepaper, “Regional Carriers: A Sound Shipping Strategy for Competitive Advantage.”

 

3. Shipment consolidation – is it more possible than you presumed?

This question goes out to the B-to-B shippers who may be facing shipping cost increases as a result of the new dimensional rating program. “We’ve been analyzing our customer delivery network, and we’ve found that a portion of B-to-B shippers may also be caught in this net,” said Jones.

If this is the case, reevaluate your fulfillment system and use shipment consolidation software to ensure that you’re able to consolidate shipments wherever possible. If your shipping system does not have freight consolidation capabilities, this may be a red flag. Having the ability to consolidate your shipments and also simultaneously rate multiple carriers’ dimensional weights rules to your shipment can help reduce the impact the new dimensional rules will have on your business.

4. Will shipping minimums help?

Many companies have implemented incentives such as “free shipping for orders over $75.” For orders below a certain limit, the customer pays for the shipping. Has your organization run the numbers to see if this is a viable option to controlling costs? One company, Craft Supply, implemented this program as a customer incentive program and control shipping costs and it worked very well. 

5. Consider other options to shipping.

Many retailers are considering other options to shipping as well. For example, some retailers with brick-and-mortar presence are offering in-store pickup and/or ship-from-store. This is more convenient for customers as they don’t have to wait to receive their goods and also reduces shipping costs for merchants. However, a successful ship-from-store or in-store pickup system requires integrated e-commerce software that can consolidate the order management function.[ii]

Be Proactive – Develop a Dimensional Rating Strategy Now

The new dimensional rating programs are going to cause tremendous change in the way shippers manage their small parcel deliveries. The best way to prepare for this ‘brave new world’ in parcel shipping is to be proactive. Begin now. As you analyze your customer delivery network, your carrier portfolio and your technology platforms, chances are good that you’ll uncover new alternatives that will yield significant savings, without compromising service.

Questions?

As a leading provider of carrier agnostic shipping solutions, Logistyx Technologies shipping software solution includes a large carrier library of national, regional, postal and international carriers. Please contact us today to explore how a carrier-agnostic shipping system can help you combat rising shipping charges.

Logistyx Technologies is a provider of carrier-agnostic e-commerce fulfillment software and shipping software solutions that enable shippers to manage all their small parcel, LTL postal, regional, national and international carriers on one platform. We also help companies automate their reverse logistics process for greater efficiency and lower cost. Contact us today. 

Copyright © 2017, Logistyx Technologies. All rights reserved.

[i] Read our blog post: “Factors to consider in Evaluating Regional Carriers.”

[ii] See more at the saleswarp.com blog: http://www.saleswarp.com/order-management/working-around-shipping-costs/#sthash.LzBcMyuB.dpuf

What Happens When You Use the Wrong Shipping Label

We talk so much about enabling technology in distribution operations that it’s easy to overlook the little things that play a big part in creating a smooth supply chain. Labels. That’s right, labels.

Read More...

Is it Possible to Choose the Wrong Shipping Label? Yes!

It’s ironic, really. We talk so much about the benefits of enabling technology such as computer-guided order fulfillment software, smart shipping software and real-time package delivery tracking software that it’s easy to overlook the little things that turn out to play a big part in creating a smooth supply chain.
Labels.

That’s right, labels. They’re pretty small in physical size, but they can wrinkled-barcode-labelcreate very large problems when they’re not doing their job correctly. Are you certain the labels you’re using perform well? Or are they costing you time and money as they move through your supply chain?

The right labels not only deliver the right impression and durability – they can prevent unnecessary and premature wear and tear on your printers.

As we’ve learned from many shippers, when they’re having problems with labeling, the costs in both hard dollars and customer satisfaction escalates very quickly. We commonly receive calls from companies dealing with issues related to poor reading or scanning quality, durability and printer jams due to label feeding issues.

It’s important to get it right. Labels are the final link between your company and your customers, consumers, partners and regulators.
If you haven’t audited your label stock for performance lately, it’s a good idea to do so. We’d like to help:

1. Download our new whitepaper,Selecting the Right Label.” OurADSI-Zebra-Selecting-the-Right-Label-Whitepaper icon
partner, Zebra Technologies, has put together an easy-to-read and helpful whitepaper that will answer many of your questions and help you resolve some issues that you’re already encountering.

2. Call Logistyx to talk to a label media expert. ADSI has dedicated label printing specialists on staff who can answer your questions, help you troubleshoot issues and find the right solution for your specific operational needs. We can also help you complete a helpful label audit to uncover hidden opportunities for improvement that you may have overlooked.

Logistyx is also an Authorized Zebra Maintenance & Repair Provider. If you’re having problems or need service on your Zebra printers, we’re here to help.

Questions?
Call ADSI at (877) 755-2374 or send an email to info@logistyx.com today.

###

Logistyx Technologies is a provider of carrier-agnostic e-commerce fulfillment software and shipping software solutions that enable shippers to manage all their small parcel, LTL postal, regional, national and international carriers on one platform. We also help companies automate their reverse logistics process for greater efficiency and lower cost. Contact us today. 

Copyright © 2017, Logistyx Technologies. All rights reserved.

Four Hidden Dimensional Rating “Gotcha’s” To Avoid

It’s more important than ever to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to eliminate operational oversights that can result in dimensional rating back charges. Find practical tips here.

Read More...

Control Shipping Costs by Eliminating Hidden Dimensional Rating Gotcha’s

Many freight carriers and logistics service providers have their own dimensioning systems to automatically measure package dim weights and calculate freight charges when the shipments reach their facilities.

However, recent announcements by FedEx and UPS to expand their dimensional rating programs make it more important than ever to ensure that you’re doing everything possible to eliminate operational oversights that can result in dimensional rating back charges.

Seemingly minor differences in calculations can result in significant back charges from the carrier.

Discrepancies can occur for several reasons, including:

  • Actual carton measurement discrepancies: One of our customers found that the carton measurements they were using to calculate freight costs actually differed from the carrier’s measurements for the same cartons.
  • Carton shape: The volume used to calculate the dimensional weight may not be absolutely representative of the true volume of the package, depending on the shape of the package. The carrier will measure the longest dimension in each of the length, width and height and use these measurements to determine package volume. If the package is a right-angled box, this will be equal true package volume, but if it is any other shape, the volume calculation will be greater than the true volume of the package.
  • Data entry errors: For example, the shipping clerk processes a 20-pound package measuring 20” x 20” x 20” but forgets to add the dimensions. The resulting charge is $20.00. However, when the box reaches the carrier’s facility, its equipment picks up the dimensions and calculates the dimensional rate at $40.00. You will be billed back for the difference of $20.00. These errors, added up over a year’s time, can amount to thousands of dollars in back-charges.
  • Packing processes: Do not overpack orders – it can easily result in back charges. For example, you pack a carton so full that it causes the size to bulge and you report a 20 lb. carton at 20” x 20” x 20” for a freight charge of $40.00. However, the carton actually bulges out to 22” x 22” x 22”, so the carrier’s dimensional system calculates freight charge to be $45.00.

Best Practices to Eliminate Dimensional Rating Back Charges

  • Consider adding a dimensioning system, integrated with your shipping system. There are a variety of dimensional systems available to accommodate a wide range of operations. If you’re not sure if it fits your needs or where to start, our system specialists can help you determine a configuration that is best for your fulfillment environment.
  • Eliminate data entry errors related to dimensions. Replace the keying of box sizes with barcode scanning. Many of our customers print a template of barcoded carton sizes for each carton type. The shipping clerk scans the barcode instead of keying in numbers – and potential upcharges related to incorrect measurements are eliminated.
  • Integrate box types into the order process. Set up your box sizes as a series of codes that can be passed from the order system and passed to your shipping system. If you’re using an automated order packing solution like Pack-IT, the operator can scan a carton type as they are packing the order.
  •  Audit your inventory of carton types and sizes. Make it a regular practice to verify all of your carton or box types and compare them with your carriers’ measurements of the same. This can prevent back charges from occurring on future shipments.

These best practices can help you control “after the fact” shipping charges.

The question remains, how to control the proportion of your shipping volume that will be subject to dimensional rating.

Unfortunately, there’s no simple answer to this challenge, which will face many B-to-B and particularly B-to-C shippers. One best practice is to implement a multi-carrier shipping software system solution that allows you to easily add other carriers who will not apply dimensional rating to all of their shipments. We’ll cover this in our next post. In the meantime, we’d be delighted to discuss your dimensional rating questions with you. Please contact us today.

Learn More

New Pricing Addresses Industry Trend, Promotes Packaging Efficiency and Environmental Responsibility,” UPS, June 17, 2014.

Tough love” or power grab? FedEx’s shift to dimensional pricing is in eyes of the beholder,” DC Velocity, May 12, 2014.

###

Logistyx Technologies is a provider of carrier-agnostic e-commerce fulfillment software and shipping software solutions that enable shippers to manage all their small parcel, LTL postal, regional, national and international carriers on one platform. We also help companies automate their reverse logistics process for greater efficiency and lower cost. Contact us today. 

Copyright © 2017, Logistyx Technologies. All rights reserved.