Just like the day you figured out that sorting out your sales tax enabled you to focus on doing the things in your retail business that you’re truly passionate about, it’s time you applied that logic to shipping and fulfillment. With $443 billion eCommerce sales forecasted for the 2017 US economy – up by 8-12% from last year and at thrice the rate of the general retail industry, retailers need to do everything they can to ensure their fair share of the pie. And there’s no easier, nor more proven way to do this than by innovating the way you ship.
In Temando’s upcoming State of Shipping in Commerce 2017 report, we found that retailers of all sizes still struggle with getting the balance between profitability and customer experience right. Shipping and fulfillment automation is an issue for about a third of US retailers, while the escalation of carrier rates is challenging for over half of them. Throw in the fact that 56% of high-spending Americans will abandon cart and buy at a competitor’s online store should delivery options be unfavorable; you’re in a perfect storm.
Before you let excuses creep in on how shipping’s always going to be hard, consider this: 43% of US retailers last year experienced sales growth when they succeeded in improving their shipping. So, where to start? How about finding out where you’re at with this checklist:
Checklist: 10 Things That Shipping Superstars Do
- I offer shoppers with a range of delivery options at checkout.
- My customers receive automated delivery updates when the shipping status of their online orders change.
- My returns process is easy, and customers can choose their return shipping options.
- My average order value (AOV) increased when I introduced free shipping promotions or spend thresholds.
- I can create shipping rules for marketing campaigns across different segments easily.
- I’m able to fulfill orders in less time than ever before.
- My carrier costs have decreased despite our increase in shipping capabilities.
- My conversion rate has improved upon the introduction of shipping options.
- Delivering in peak periods like the year-end holidays is not difficult.
- Customers rave about our great shipping.
If you’ve checked less than five of these above items, you’re likely worried about being part of the great retail meltdown even if you’re a pure play retailer – or at least you should. With shopper behaviour modified by the likes of Amazon Prime, and the rise of buying experiences over material items, retailers are faced with an increasingly complex set of challenges. To help you along, here’s a handful of tips:
5 Things to Know About Shipping
- Delivery options are fun. Fun for your customers, who would buy or shop more often with you. Fun for you, as you’ll stress less about cart abandonment due to shipping-related reasons.
- Carriers are your best friends. Or at least, their variety of rates and strengths in different types of delivery styles and geographical areas are. But onboarding different carriers are an in-house nightmare and employing an agency to do all the work can get real expensive.
- Everyone loves a good deal. But that doesn’t mean free shipping is the only route to riches. Speed and convenience are two major reasons why shoppers go online, so bake this into your shipping value proposition.
- Shipping in much more than just deliveries. Think getting an online order out the door to your customer is all you need to do? Think again. Tracking the shipment, and offering return shipping is as important to your customers – and will influence their lifetime value.
- The benefit of great shipping runs deep. So deep that you may never want to swim out of it. Aside from more sales, expect to see less carts abandoned, better customer experience, less carrier costs, higher average order value…I told you it goes on.
So don’t be sitting duck and let your retail business be swept away by the tide – anchor it down with a sustainable shipping and fulfillment process which will help you build a seamless shopping experience for your customers.
Gain fresh insights into the US ecommerce industry by registering your interest for Temando’s upcoming State of Shipping in Commerce report, or email us to discover how Temando’s shipping technology can transform your retail business.
Temando is a shipping technology company founded in Australia, and have since amassed 60,000 users globally. Its integrated shipping solutions enable merchants to access a multi-carrier platform through a single interface or API integration with many of today’s leading commerce platforms. Like TaxJar, Temando is a Magento premier technology partner. Start a conversation: @temando