Magento store owners are a savvy bunch when it comes to selling and scaling their business. When it comes to their Magento shipping, not all of them have the knowledge, familiarity, or proper resources to tackle their shipping processes efficiently.
As we head into the busy season of the year, there’s no time like the present to talk about how to streamline, optimize, and just overall make your Magento shipping processes better.
Increase the speed of your Magento shipping
One of the biggest hurdles for any online shipper is time allotment necessary to process, pick, pack, and ship orders. Are you choosing the right carrier and service? Is this the best packaging to use? How do I process my orders: as they come in, batch them, prioritize them based on SKUs included in the order, or distance the package is traveling? There are a ton of questions to answer, and that’s not including when things go awry.
Incorporating automation solves nearly all of the questions above. Let’s look at a couple of examples of how shipping automation makes Magento shipping easier:
Which carrier and service do I use?
It’s entirely likely that you plan to use a mix of carriers between USPS, FedEx, UPS, and perhaps even DHL when shipping your orders. It can be time-consuming to hop from browser tab to browser tab comparing which carrier and service are most cost-effective for one order, let alone many.
Having a quick and easy shipping calculator to calculate shipping rates across multiple carriers makes your life exponentially easier. This should be available in most major shipping software providers (see ShippingEasy’s below) and can cut hours of time from your week finding the most cost-effective way to ship your orders.
Which packaging should I use?
While this will largely depend on which carrier you use, you may not be aware that you can get supplies from USPS, FedEx, and UPS, absolutely free! These materials are specific to the services these carriers provide and help optimize your shipping.
If you’re using your own packaging, or even carrier-provided packaging, it’s important to make sure you’re using boxes with as little wasted space as possible. This will be notably more important in 2019 when you ship USPS, as they’re extending dimensional weight (DIM weight) to Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express. In a nutshell, DIM weight calculates the size and girth of a package, compared to its weight, and chooses the larger of the two to calculate shipping costs.
For example, let’s say you sell large high-end purses. While they may not weigh much, if you’re trying to box them up without too much folding of the product, you’ll likely just use a bigger box. That larger box could cost you more in 2019 with USPS’s new DIM weight calculations, even if you’re shipping using a service like Priority Mail.
Simplify multichannel selling
If you’re using a platform like Magento, chances are you’re selling on other channels as well. Be that Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Bonanza, or other niche marketplaces like Reverb, having disparate sales channels can be a drain on your time and productivity.
It’s important to have a single platform for managing all your orders. When you can view all your orders in one place, it allows you to prioritize orders, batch print labels, and set automated processes to make sure everything moves smoothly.
For example, if you also sell on Amazon, you know that those Prime orders need to get processed ASAP. Tagging those orders with a priority tag allows you to identify them immediately and get those orders processes first.
Also, when choosing your order processing prioritization, destination can be a factor. Sort all your orders by destination or zone, then you can make those going further a priority to process first, so they arrive on time. This can buy you time should you get backed up, you won’t miss your delivery promises. Trying to do this across disparate platforms, stores, and marketplaces would probably take you more time than it would save!
Realize other processes can be tied to shipping
Something many retailers don’t take advantage of is the massive amount of valuable data contained in your orders and shipping. This data can be used to fuel marketing efforts and automate inventory management. Let’s look at how your Magento shipping data can power these two efforts to increase orders and productivity.
Order data = marketing data
You are sitting on a treasure trove of useful data from your Magento store orders (and orders from other platforms, as well). Often times, online sellers don’t take advantage of this data in their customer marketing efforts because they aren’t quite sure how to utilize it properly.
When you have your order data tied into email marketing platform, you can easily tie them together. For example, firing off a welcome email with a coupon offer to a new customer can help build repeat business. Employing product recommendations based on previous purchases or global recommendations can show a customer you recognize their interests and want to strengthen your relationship with them further.
Winback email campaigns with a great offer to customers who haven’t purchased in a previously established period of time can reactivate them and increase revenue. All these are examples of tying your customer data to your email marketing efforts that can have a massive impact on customer retention and your overall bottom line.
Inventory and shipping go hand-in-hand
There are a shocking number of e-commerce retailers still manually managing their inventory. This can lead to stockouts, delayed orders, and hours of lost productivity. When your Magento shipping is directly synced with an inventory solution in a two-way dialogue, all of these issues are mitigated. ShippingEasy’s Inventory Management tool has two-way sync with Magento (2.0 or later), giving Magento sellers massive returns.
See what Shaun Donovan, owner of Appalachian Organics, said about his productivity increase.
“After adding ShippingEasy’s Inventory Management system, my team and I were able to add 10 hours of lost productivity back into our week. We’ve since added 3.5X inventory stock and doubled our sales year-over-year.”
What would you do with 10 hours back in your week after streamlining your Magento shipping and inventory processes? How would that help you grow your business to new heights? Now is the time to start thinking about streamlining these processes before the busy holiday season gets into full swing.
Need a Magento shipping solution that can keep up with the power of your Magento e-commerce store? ShippingEasy has you covered. Try the whole suite of our products in a single platform, free for 30 days. Just click below to get started!