Shipping costs are an expensive fact of life for e-commerce stores. Chances are, you found a single shipping source that provided you with the cheapest options over the majority of your shipping needs, and dealt with the fact that some shipping situations made it far more expensive than other options. Instead of limiting yourself to one source, consider expanding your options and conveying several benefits to yourself and your customers.
1. Scaling that fits your business – Don’t stick with the first shipping service you started with out of loyalty, apathy, or the assumption that it is still the lowest price even as your shipping needs increase. Bulk shipping deals have the potential to cut your costs significantly, and options such as freight consolidation give you the advantage of freight shipments without filling up the entire truck with your own goods.
2. Reducing cart abandonment rate – Nothing scares a customer away faster than shipping cost sticker shock. When you work with shippers who specialize in bulk shipments, have less expensive international rates, or are the cheapest options for next-day delivery, you retain your customers and complete your sale.
3. Drop shipping options – It’s faster — and sometimes cheaper — to have the manufacturer or distributor send out the products directly. You avoid being the middle man and the extra expense of storing the products in your own warehouses. You also avoid back-order issues with customers if you have on-site warehousing and work with drop shippers. If you send out products directly from the manufacturer when you don’t have any more stock, you don’t end up with a customer unhappy with how long it takes to restock and send out their order.
4. Split testing shipping times – That said, the cheapest shipping costs are not always the most ideal, even in the eyes of the cost-cutting consumer. You have a lot of competition on the Internet. If your shipping service makes you consistently slower than your competition, customers are going to choose the closest thing to instant gratification they can get through online shopping. With multiple shippers, you’re able to split test different shipping options and find out exactly how long it’s taking a service to get from your location to the customer.
5. Third-party logistics (3PL) – If tracking shipping performance data and juggling multiple shipping services is not feasible for your business operations, you don’t have to give up on benefiting from multiple shippers. Third-party logistics services, also known as 3PL, handle the shipping logistics for you on an outsourced basis.