One of the most important and time-saving features of shipping software is automated shipping processes. By automating repeatable tasks, you can cut literally hours out of your day, allowing you to focus on building your business. But what does automated shipping mean? What kind of things can actually be automated?
Another name for automated shipping is shipping rules. These are IF/THEN statements that use triggers to automatically put processes into place, without any involvement from you or your staff. Our team of shipping experts help customers set up these rules every day, and we’ll share some of our favorites in this article.
Assign a priority color to expedited shipments
E-commerce moves at a blinding pace. Thanks to Amazon in particular, the expectation for when packages arrive has continually shrunk. So when someone chooses an expedited shipping method upon purchase, there’s no time to waste in processing!
Automated shipping rules to the rescue! By automatically assigning a priority color to your expedited shipments, you can sort by color and prioritize processing. This way, you get those packages out of the way and don’t get bogged down processing other lower priority orders first. This can help you avoid customer service issues and potentially avoid negative reviews.
Assign orders to a user
Do you have a crew of people handling your shipments? Want to make sure certain orders get assigned to employees in a specific warehouse or location? Automated shipping rules makes that simple!
Let’s say you have someone in a warehouse on the west coast, and someone at a warehouse on the east coast. To expedite delivery, you may want to break orders down by similar time zones to ensure orders can be processed in a timely manner, and sent from a closer origin point. You can easily assign orders to a user in one of those two warehouses based on the destination state of the shipment.
Prevent shipping Low Stock items
There are few things worse than watching the excitement of new orders dwindle when you realize you don’t have the inventory to fulfill them. As with adding priority colors to expedited shipments above, this automated shipping rule can help you avoid a major customer service issue.
This bit of automation requires a few more steps than some of the others mentioned so far. You first need to set low stock thresholds (a very important part of managing your inventory, as we discuss in one of our webinars on this page), then you need create an order category to identify these, and finally set automation to flag orders in that category. The frustration it can save you in the long run, however, can be worth its weight in time spent setting it up.
Seasonal shipment notifications
I’m writing this in July, but the holidays are already in mind for all of us in e-commerce. The holidays are a great time to build relationships with returning customers. It’s also a great time to start building relationships with new customers. Your shipment notifications are a fun way to do this.
First, create a special holiday version of your shipment notifications. Add some holiday flair, some personality, and be sure to mention any holiday specials you’re running. Then you can set up a shipping rule for orders placed during that time frame to receive the email. Below is what it looks like in ShippingEasy.
Print a special packing slip for gift orders
Speaking of the holidays, you don’t want to be the one to ruin the holidays for your customers. If you give them the ability to mark something as a gift, then this bit of automation will help you keep that surprise, well, a surprise!
By setting up automation to print a special packing slip for items marked as gifts, you can remove the pricing information to help avoid those awkward moments of knowing how much someone spent on a gift. This rule also lets you include special messages on the packing slip. As mentioned above, this is great for holidays, but that’s not all.
The person receiving the gift may not be aware of your brand at all. You can use this custom text on a packing slip to welcome them and encourage some repeat business. Perhaps put a code in for a discount on a future purchase, or an invitation to join your email newsletter.
Check out this video showing how easy it is to set up labels and packing slips in ShippingEasy.