Online Shipping: Expectations vs Reality | ShippingEasy

Online Shipping: Expectations vs Reality

By Rob Zaleski
Oct 23, 2018
online shipping expectations vs reality

The holiday season is coming up! This means that it’s about to be the busiest time of the year for online stores. If you want to be competitive in your market, you have to offer competitive shipping. Consider this: a recent study found that over half of U.S. shoppers have abandoned a digital shopping cart because the online shipping costs were higher than they expected, and a quarter canceled because the shipping options weren’t timely enough to meet their needs.

Even though shipping is critically important, it doesn’t have to be frightening! With the right tools at your disposal and strong processes in place, e-commerce shipping can be a competitive advantage instead of a hassle. Below, we’ll review some of the most common fears that e-commerce sellers have about online shipping and what you can do to alleviate those concerns:

1. Profit Margins Are Already Low for Online Stores

The Fear: Shipping your products on time at a reasonable price point is going to take a significant chunk out of your already too-low profit margins.

The Reality: With the right strategy and rates, online shipping can be quite affordable. For one thing, you can obtain great rates simply by taking advantage of shipping software like ShippingEasy, which can save you up to 46% off retail rates. That puts a lot of margin back on the table!

You can save even more by comparison shopping across multiple carriers. Each carrier will have a different rate based on shipping origin and destination, the weight, and the size of the packaging. For example, ShippingEasy’s proprietary Flat Rate Green offers the very best rate on packages that are small but heavy, often beating Priority Mail. Being able to quickly compare between carrier rates and choose the best one gives you better rates, improving your margin yet again.

This might seem like a lot of work at first, but when you employ shipping software, it’s quick and easy. The most difficult choice you’ll have to make is whether or not to pass these savings along to your customers or to enjoy an improved margin!

Learn more about the 2020 USPS online shipping rates by clicking the button below!

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2. Online Shipping Materials Add up Quickly

The Fear: Materials are going to be a hassle. You’ll either need to spend a ton on quality, professional packaging or you’ll need to use anything that’s laying around which can create a sub-optimal customer experience.

The Reality: This one is easy to debunk. Did you know that practically every major shipping carrier (FedEx, UPS, and USPS) all offer 100% free shipping materials for businesses to ship? All you have to do is use their services to ship your goods.

Are you concerned that they might not have everything you need to ship successfully? Let’s take USPS as an example. Here are some of the materials you can receive for free simply by ordering them online:

  • Priority Mail
  • Priority Mail Express
  • Flat Rate
  • Boxes
  • Envelopes
  • International Shipping Supplies

TIP: if you are shipping more than 500 packages via USPS each month, get your own USPS Account Manager. They can help you set up automatic supply orders, ensure you’re getting the best rates, and more! Just fill out this form, and we’ll put you in touch.

Best of all, you can packs of 10 or 25 at a time, making it easy to load up. FedEx and UPS have similar items available, so there’s no reason to pay more than you need to for shipping materials.

If you’re shipping some extremely large or complicated, you might need customized packaging. In that case, you should forecast how much packaging you’ll need and buy it in bulk. You’ll often get hefty discounts for buying in larger volume, ensuring your shipping remains cost-effective.

3. E-commerce Businesses Have No Time to Spare

The Fear: Being an effective shipper takes a great deal of time. At best, you’ll need to block away hours each day to handle your shipments. At worst, you may spend the majority of each day handling it.

The Reality: This is one last fear that you can put to bed. Finding a great online shipping software partner like ShippingEasy and putting automated processes in place will save you time, not add to your workload. You’ll be able to automatically integrate all your stores and marketplaces, organizing orders and printing labels with the click of a button.

As mentioned above, you can automate orders with shipping rules. For example, to increase the efficiency of your quick-turnaround Amazon orders, you can automatically tag all orders from Amazon with a priority tag and handle them first. You can assign other rules for a wide variety of factors, including the weight of the package, store, destination, and automatically assign carrier and service. You merely need to make sure that your catalogs are fully fleshed-out and accurate. A little bit of preparation will truly turn work that used to take hours into something that takes only a couple of minutes.

Want more ways you can maximize the efficiency of your online shipping programs? Click below to read our recent article on that exact topic!

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Rob Zaleski

Content Marketing Manager at ShippingEasy
I'm a digital content and social media nerd with a passion for telling stories, helping connect people, and finding joy in the details.