Papers

Shipping Strategies for Online Retailers

As retailers continue to find themselves in direct competition with Amazon and other retail behemoths, they will continue to be pressed to provide a similar - if not better - shopping experience to their customers. By Pitney Bowes

July 1, 2016

Most online retailers would agree: In the past several years, fulfillment has become one of their top pain points.

Not only have they found themselves being squeezed by competitors, but also by the rising rates of the major shipping carriers.

And thanks to Amazon raising the bar on free two-day delivery, the idea of paying for standard delivery is no longer acceptable to many online shoppers.

How can e-retailers meet consumers’ expectations while protecting their profit margins? It’s not easy.

Responding to the competition, many are offering to ship orders for free or cutting the minimum order required to qualify for that perk.

At the same time, UPS and FedEx are consistently raising rates in a variety of ways, including their annual general rate increases (GRI) and by implementing new fees.

Retailers still stuck in the old way of handling fulfillment - partnering with a single carrier that claims to offer the lowest rates - are seeing their profits dwindle.

There is a better way, but it requires implementing a series of strategies that can cut fulfillment costs and improve satisfaction.

Those strategies fall under two main headings: diversifying an e-retailer’s carrier options - also known as carrier enablement - and getting up to speed with USPS compliance rules so that the retailer can leverage improved and cost-effective services offered by USPS.

This white paper will explain how retailers can implement these two strategies quickly and measurably improve their bottom lines.


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