Ship Local - The Benefits of Shipping Items From Your Store
The e-commerce landscape continues to evolve from one year to the next. As an increasing number of people become more comfortable ordering online, the overall sentiment is that there will be no use for brick-and-mortar stores in the future. This could not be further from the truth. As online orders continue to rise, companies need to do everything in their power to ensure they can meet their customer’s expectations, especially when it comes to shipping.
One way to enhance your shipping logistics is by shipping items directly from your store.
What is ship-from-store?
Ship-from-store is a fulfillment method that allows you to ship your goods directly to your customer from any nearby store instead of shipping packages from a warehouse. This method usually works if you sell items that people typically like to see in person, but are happy to order them online as well. Take clothes, for example. A clothing store will already have the clothing items in stock that a customer wants, so shipping it would take a little extra effort. This approach allows your store to serve an additional purpose.
Here’s another example. Imagine your customer wants to expedite shipping on an item. Your fulfillment center is a state or two away from the customer. To get them their product as fast as possible, you’ll have to charge an additional fee. Even with the upcharge, you may not be able to deliver the parcel as soon as the customer wants, so your customer may choose to go somewhere else if she wants new jeans for the party tomorrow night. Instead, imagine that this customer only lives a few miles away from one of your stores. Expedited shipping from this distance becomes much easier. Now, the customer can have her jeans in time for the party, and she doesn't even have to pay an upcharge.
When your stores double as fulfillment centers, you allow your customers to enjoy faster shipping and lower rates. This will put your business ahead of the curve for little to no extra cost.
Other benefits of ship-from-store
There are many benefits to consider when it comes to a ship-from-store fulfillment process. It is one of the most efficient ways to use stock and avoids stockholding that could lead to less profit. Let’s say your flagship store receives a shipment of your best-selling product only to quickly sell out. A smaller, less-frequented store may end up with excess inventory of the same product that they cannot get rid of. To keep inventory moving in these less-frequented stores, you may need to mark down items and reduce profit margins. By using another store’s inventory, businesses can maximize profit and reduce out-of-stock items.
Offering a ship-from-store option can decrease delivery time and lessen shipping costs. Factors such as these are incredibly important to the consumer and can make for a better overall customer experience.
Does ship-from-store work for every business?
Unfortunately not. Shipping your items from a store will only save you time if you have stores that are appropriately spread throughout your customer base. If your nearest store is farther away from your customer than your fulfillment center, it will be counterproductive. Smaller, more boutique brands likely will not benefit from ship-from-store, but it could lead to substantial savings for big-box retailers and luxury brands.
The good news? Your shipping strategy doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Rather than taking an extreme approach in your shipping and fulfillment strategy, consider testing a partial ship-from-store strategy to see how it benefits your business.
Implement our multi-carrier shipping API to support your ship-from-store strategy
Utilizing your brick-and-mortar stores as fulfillment centers will undoubtedly enhance your logistics and put you ahead of your competition. Integrating this technique into your logistics can seem daunting, but EasyPost’s modern shipping technology makes it easy.
Our shipping API will seamlessly fit with any point-of-sale system in use. EasyPost can also power the back-end for customized or out-of-the-box applications. However you decide to do it, there's technology available to outfit your brick-and-mortar spaces into truly omnichannel outlets.