Improve Transit Times & Customer Experience with One Solution
by Carly Lutz
July 26, 2018
Click..."Thank you! Your order has been placed..."
YAY! Now that a customer's order has been placed on your eCommerce or marketplace site, this is your opportunity to shine! The task of smoothly getting your product into the customer’s hands is simple, right? Unfortunately, this is not always the case as fulfilling orders in line with customer expectations can be daunting and costly in the world of eCommerce today.
Customers expect companies to send packages with fast, cheap shipping which brings the pressure for eCommerce merchants and brands to stay competitive, reliable, and get your goods to end customers ASAP. 97% of retailers recognize the need for fast, reliable end-to-end shipping management, with 52% of retailers actively evaluating or researching a cheap shipping solution. The most prevalent shipping issue that is impacting both your customer experience and your bottom lime, carrier time in transit delays.
When you step back to evaluate your current order processing and fulfillment, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I maximizing efficiency and optimizing rates and services from carriers?
- Are my carriers delivering on time and am I holding them accountable?
- How am I communicating with my customers throughout the fulfillment process?
Fulfillment can be made cost effective and seamless with strong logistics coordination and planned strategy. Reducing carrier transit time is a valuable way of enhancing your customer's experience. If you are fulfilling in-house, a multi-carrier rate shopping technology is extremely beneficial. A multi-carrier technology allows you to compare shipping rates via API calls for all carriers with an active rate card loaded into your EasyPost account. This technology also allows you to optimize your carrier mix, providing you the best balance of shipping cost and customer satisfaction with fast transit times. For example, if a customer selects 2-day first class shipping, the multi-carrier technology will pull the best rate based on the service level selected and customer location. EasyPost's API aggregates multi-carrier rates and allows you to receive tracking updates every 15 minutes. This allows you to communicate status updates to your customers in real time via webhook events on branded tracking pages, personalizing the customer's experience.
If you're outsourcing fulfillment, consider working with a 3PL that is utilizing multi-carrier rate shopping technology. If your 3PL is relying on rates from a single carrier or potentially only a few, it is likely that there is an opportunity to better optimize the carrier mix providing both better rate cards and transit times while improving the overall customer experience. EasyPost has a partner network of 3PLs and 4PLs in the United States that we can connect you with to better optimize your multi-carrier options and time-in-transit.
It is also important to acknowledge when carriers are accountable for meeting transit time SLAs and when there is an opportunity to receive a refund for shipments. Certain service levels warrant a refund of the amount paid for the shipping label if the guaranteed service level commitment conditions are not met. This is often an oversight unless your business is conducting monthly audits of your shipping reports to identify any SLA refunds for guaranteed shipments, duplicate charges, or even inaccurate surcharges.
The fact is, consumers are becoming more and more impatient. A recent study reveals that 88% of customers think 3-4 day shipping should be free. Reducing time in transit and communicating tracking updates to customers is a necessity in order to survive and thrive as an eCommerce business. By investing in multi-carrier technology, as well as considering the cost-saving benefits of utilizing a 3PL network, you can improve your time in transit metrics and enhance your customer experience. The customer experience improvement in this case can be tied to lowering your business costs through multi-carrier optimization and better shipping rates, and additionally through a faster, more reliable shipping service of your products. This combination is powerful to the success of your eCommerce or marketplace business and EasyPost is here to help you along the journey!
Looking for a fulfillment solution to better optimize your carrier mix and time in transit? EasyPost can connect you with our 3PL partners, providing a network of warehouses across the United States. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.